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How to Write a Research Paper

How to Cite

❶There is always a temptation to use highfalutin vocabulary.

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This method will enable you to quickly put all your resources in the right place as you organize your notes according to your outline. Start with the first topic in your outline. Read all the relevant notes you have gathered that have been marked, e. Summarize, paraphrase or quote directly for each idea you plan to use in your essay. Use a technique that suits you, e. Mark each card or sheet of paper clearly with your outline code or reference, e. Put all your note cards or paper in the order of your outline, e.

If using a word processor, create meaningful filenames that match your outline codes for easy cut and paste as you type up your final paper, e. Before you know it, you have a well organized term paper completed exactly as outlined. The unusual symbol will make it easy for you to find the exact location again. Delete the symbol once editing is completed.

Read your paper for any content errors. Double check the facts and figures. Arrange and rearrange ideas to follow your outline. Reorganize your outline if necessary, but always keep the purpose of your paper and your readers in mind.

Use a free grammar and proof reading checker such as Grammarly. Is my thesis statement concise and clear? Did I follow my outline?

Did I miss anything? Are my arguments presented in a logical sequence? Are all sources properly cited to ensure that I am not plagiarizing? Have I proved my thesis with strong supporting arguments? Have I made my intentions and points clear in the essay? Re-read your paper for grammatical errors. Use a dictionary or a thesaurus as needed. Do a spell check. Correct all errors that you can spot and improve the overall quality of the paper to the best of your ability.

Get someone else to read it over. Sometimes a second pair of eyes can see mistakes that you missed. Did I begin each paragraph with a proper topic sentence? Have I supported my arguments with documented proof or examples?

Any run-on or unfinished sentences? Any unnecessary or repetitious words? Varying lengths of sentences? Does one paragraph or idea flow smoothly into the next? Any spelling or grammatical errors? Quotes accurate in source, spelling, and punctuation? Are all my citations accurate and in correct format? Did I avoid using contractions? Did I use third person as much as possible? Have I made my points clear and interesting but remained objective? Did I leave a sense of completion for my reader s at the end of the paper?

For an excellent source on English composition, check out this classic book by William Strunk, Jr. Place yourself in the background, Revise and rewrite, Avoid fancy words, Be clear, Do not inject opinion, Do not take shortcuts at the cost of clarity, … and much more.

The Elements of Style was first published in There is also a particular formatting style you must follow. There are several formatting styles typically used. APA American Psychological Association style is mostly used to cite sources within the field of social sciences. Instead of providing individual recommendations for each publishing format printed, online, e-books etc. You should necessarily ask your instuctor which formatting style is required for your paper and format it accordingly before submitting.

Insert the appropriate citations in your paper and create a reference list. Read, reflect, and rewrite your paper. Now you have a second draft. This would be a good time to compare the length of your draft to the assigned page limit. If you are far in excess of the limit, don't worry. Read your essay again, this time focusing on the organization of ideas.

Your essay should have a few main sections. You should clearly state what is the essay about, what have others said about this topic, what you say about it, and how you support your arguments. You might want to conclude with a brief reflection on what is known and what is still not known.

You should create understandable headers for each of the major sections of your paper. You might even outline your paper again. Each paragraph should begin with a topic sentence that captures or introduces the content of the paragraph. Make sure that every sentence in each paragraph belongs in that paragraph. Check for redundant text. Rewrite to produce a paper with a clear organization. Now read your essay again, this time focusing on grammar. Grammar is not just a set of rules that you must obey, it is a set of tools that you use to control your reader's attention.

You use grammatical constructions to highlight some ideas and put others in the background. Grammatical constructions specify the logical relations among the concepts in your paper.

You should favor the use of the active voice over the use of the passive voice. You may use first person pronouns. Make changes as needed to produce a coherent structure of relationships among the concepts in your essay.

Now read your essay one more time. This time focus on word choice and spelling. Word choice is important. Use a good dictionary to help you understand the range of meaning of the words you are using. There is always a temptation to use highfalutin vocabulary. You may use uncommon words if they are aposite. As you work, you will find that you are learning your own writing style.

Try to be direct and clear. No matter how you take notes, be sure to keep track of the sources for all your key facts. The best way to speed your writing is to do a little planning.

Before starting to write, think about the best order to discuss the major sections of your report. Generally, you will want to begin with your science fair project question so that the reader will know the purpose of your paper. What should come next? Ask yourself what information the reader needs to learn first in order to understand the rest of the paper.

A typical organization might look like this:. When you write your research paper you might want to copy words, pictures, diagrams, or ideas from one of your sources. It is OK to copy such information as long as you reference it with a citation. If the information is a phrase, sentence, or paragraph, then you should also put it in quotation marks.

A citation and quotation marks tell the reader who actually wrote the information. For a science fair project, a reference citation also known as author-date citation is an accepted way to reference information you copy.

Citation referencing is easy. Simply put the author's last name, the year of publication, and page number if needed in parentheses after the information you copy. Place the reference citation at the end of the sentence but before the final period. A comma separates the page number or numbers from the year" Bloggs, , p. In that case, the first publication would have an 'a' after the publication year, the second a 'b', and so on. The reference will look like this" Nguyen, b.

When you work hard to write something, you don't want your friends to loaf and just copy it. Every author feels the same way. Plagiarism is when someone copies the words, pictures, diagrams, or ideas of someone else and presents them as his or her own. When you find information in a book, on the Internet, or from some other source, you MUST give the author of that information credit in a citation. If you copy a sentence or paragraph exactly, you should also use quotation marks around the text.

The surprising thing to many students is how easy it is for parents, teachers, and science fair judges to detect and prove plagiarism. So, don't go there, and don't make us try to hunt you down!


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With a little pre-writing preparation, the main body of the project paper will come together smoothly. Be sure to follow any class guidelines in creating a project paper. Create an outline which reflects the project's main goals, a summary of the project and the final conclusions of the project.

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Write your full project plan; Execute your plan in TeamGantt; Publish your plan; Share your plan with the team and make sure they read it! Prepare to keep planning; In a major time crunch? Watch our video: How to Create a Project Plan in 5 Easy Steps.

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Every skilled writer knows that g ood writing is hard work. It can also be enormously rewarding and a lot of fun. The project writeups serve two primary purposes. First, they give you an opportunity to engage and explore the concepts presented in this class. Second, they give you an opportunity to improve your writing skills. Here are some steps to take. The project paper should be written using formal language. It should be in A4-format, include a coversheet, a table of contents, and a list of sources, in addition to the actual project paper. The coversheet is to include the title of the paper, your name, the subject, the name of .

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Sep 27,  · Writing a research paper involves four main stages: choosing a topic, researching your topic, making an outline, and doing the actual writing. The paper won't write itself, but by planning and preparing well, the writing practically falls into place%(). The research paper is simply the "write-up" of that research. Special Information to Include in Your Research Paper. Many science experiments can be explained using mathematics. As you write your research paper, you'll want to make sure that you include as much relevant math as you understand.