As many college and high school students are starting school, professors are already bombarding students with assignments like required essays and research papers. Regardless of the topic, there are four things that you need to consider so that your research paper can become outstanding. I know that it can be a hassle for you and many students, but if you don’t want a lousy research paper, with inaccurate facts, then it is necessary to take a planned approach when writing.
- Use well known sources
Many students often use sources like Wikipedia and other random webpages in order to rush through an assignment. However, many students have been lectured by professors (in college) and teachers (in high school) about those sources not being reputable or trusted. Why? Well if you go to the Wikipedia website, you will see an “edit” link that you can click on and alter the content at any time. As a result, many students may wind up with inaccurate data that they are looking for their research papers. Also, most of the content that is seen in Wikipedia often lacks proper citation. So if you are writing a history paper about the civil war, George Washington or General Lee, try to use sources like the History channel, Britannica Encyclopedia or tangible/ebook versions of library books instead.
- Avoid plagiarism at all costs
Many students were caught plagiarizing on their research papers and the outcome is not pretty. Little things like citing a phrase that you insert word for word in your paper, or having lots of similarity in the way you wrote the paper to other student’s work, are red flags. Those things will grab the professor’s attention and have them call you out on it. If your professor is kind enough, he’ll tell you that you’re showing signs of plagiarism, but most professors nowadays won’t tolerate it one bit. To avoid plagiarism at all costs, try to make your content as original as you can. When you are reading your information that you’ve acquired, try to digest it and then summarize it on your own words. If you have to insert a specific phrase that is relevant, you should give proper citation, such as author’s name and page number where the text was found. Last of all, at the end of writing the research paper, list all the citation sources in proper form (depending on the citation format APA, MLA, etc.).
- Make your content flow
When writing your research paper, try not to place your content all of over the place. For example, if you are writing about Henry Ford’s Car Company, the Vietnam War, or the evolution of computer processors, write each paragraph chronologically including all the details. For example, if you are writing about the Vietnam War, start from the beginning and offer some insight on the current stance of the countries involved in the war, build up to what triggered the event, describe the events as they unfolded, and end the paper on the aftermath and outcome of what happened. This concept is applicable for any research paper especially if it is a history research paper. Focusing on the facts of an event in chronological order will accurately frame your research paper and will help eliminate any confusion.
- Revise and revise again
I know it is a cliché advice that you’ll hear from teachers, but revision is so important. One missing comma or poorly written sentence can make a teacher frustrated or distract them from understanding the point of your paper. If your paper lacks of lots of revision, it will show your professor that you are not writing at a college level and hence are incapable of writing proficiently in the real world.