• An academic paper demonstrates your knowledge of a subject. • Despite the fact that they can have different formats, it typically includes a thesis or dissertation, how the study was conducted, a discussion of the various issues surrounding the topic, and a conclusion.

What Belongs in a Research Paper

• an abstract, • an introduction, • a hypothesis, • methods, data, • a discussion, • a conclusion, • and references • Many research papers also include tables and figures or other images to help visualize data.

How Do I Begin My Research?

• carefully review the requirements for the paper. • note the citation style, the length, and other such requirements. • never be afraid to ask your professor or advisor for clarification before proceeding.

• Once you have familiarized yourself with the requirements, it is time to choose a topic. • It signifies even though you have all the information, you are indecisive. • Remember that a good research topic is not a statement of fact, but rather a theory or an opinion. • Not all research topics are matters of opinion but are unknown facts or interactions.

Where Can I Find Sources?

On the one hand, more information is readily available. On the other hand, it is also important to be able to differentiate between reliable and poor sources. Critical reading and thinking are two skills that you will learn and practice when you write a research paper.

If you have access to an academic database, that will be an excellent place to begin your research. You can search using keywords and look through editions of specific journals that relate to your topic. You can also go to the library. One of the most underutilized source is librarians themselves, they are professionally trained to find information.

Best Practices for Research

Do not limit your research to articles that support your hypothesis. It is very important that you do not ignore information! A great research paper will address the counter-arguments and explain why you think they are wrong, inconclusive, or different in perspective.

Another thing to keep in mind when writing a research paper is the citation style. Any material that you take directly from another source should be properly indicated with quotes and attributed. Linking citations to pieces of material in your paper as you write will make your overall process faster, especially on your final round of editing.