—Wichita State University Department of English Although we’ll focus more on the organization and writing of a research paper in this article, the research process is an important first step.
Research will help you in several ways: As you read and evaluate the information you discover, take notes.
The following information is adapted from the Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) and the Odegaard Writing &Research Center, with citations following.
Creating a thesis statement In writing a thesis statement, remember that your task is to take a stance, argue a position and support it thoroughly with academic evidence. Determine the kind of paper to determine your thesis' task An analytical paper: your thesis should break down an idea/issue and evaluate it An expository paper: your thesis should explain something An argumentative paper: your thesis should make a claim (an opinion) and argue it Got something different?
Here’s a tip: Try storing your notes in a spreadsheet.
Create columns for elements you want to include in your paper as well as information necessary for your citations/bibliography.Think of the proposal as the pitch and the paper as the finished product.A prospectus is a formal proposal of a research project developed to convince a reader (a professor or research committee, or later in life, a project coordinator, funding agency, or the like) that the research can be carried out and will yield worthwhile results.Writing the thesis statement first is helpful because every argument or point you make in your paper should support this central idea you’re putting forward.Most research papers fall into one of three categories: analytical, expository, or argumentative.Invest time in writing your thesis statement—it’s the main idea of your paper, from which everything else flows.Without a well-thought-out thesis statement, your paper is likely to end up jumbled and with an unclear purpose. An outline will help you organize your thoughts before you dig into the writing process.Keep track of your reference materials so you can cite them and build your bibliography later.The Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) and other university writing lab websites are excellent resources to help you understand what information you’ll need to collect to properly cite references.—Purdue OWL – Developing a Thesis Most research papers begin with a thesis statement at the end of an introductory paragraph.Even if it’s not a requirement, it’s a good idea to write a thesis statement as you begin to organize your research.