The best research papers are written by following a few simple ideas.
The author has to be focused on the topic that they are researching and writing about. To help keep things focused they have to think very carefully about what topic they are wanting to research and write a paper on. It has to be something that they will maintain an interest in for all the time they are researching and writing. If they lose interest during the course of their work it will show in their writing. This may reflect badly and could be costly when their work is being marked or reviewed by another author or an academic.
Key to writing a good research essay when examining a particular topic is showing that you can identify the most important issues and 'open them up' by researching them in depth. Tutors want students to show that they have the ability to research an issue in depth, learn and write up their findings independently.
In the best research papers an author will have selected their subject and will then begin to refine theirideas on that subject into something that they can research in depth focusing on particular points.
When doing a research-based paper, to get the top marks, you must draw your information from a variety of sources. You can use a mixture of primary and secondary sources; however the best of papers that will be held in the highest academic regard will be using information from sources such as peer-read and reviewed journals and other published academic work. It is acceptable to use secondary - e.g. newspaper and other media - sources, however these will not receive the same credit and respect as works by academics. It is also very important to remember that one should never base an essay or paper on the ideas or work of another author. You should only use another's views or ideas to support and give strength to your own argument.
It must be stressed that all sources used must fully and clearly referenced - especially now, as colleges have technology systems that are focused on identifying plagiarism students must always be careful to avoid plagiarism. If you fail to clearly reference sources your paper you may find that your paper is investigated for plagiarism. If any sources in a paper are found to be plagiarized, there may be very serious consequences for a student (up to and including expulsion from college).
When your research is complete you can begin to put together your essay.
In your introduction you should state the points that you want to include and the order you want to put them in, this can serve as a guideline for you to follow when writing your research essay.
When writing, you should raise your points in a logical order. Your essay will only be credible if it makes a clear and coherent argument.
Finally, before handing your essay, you should leave some time to proofread it for spelling, grammar and other such mistakes as they can cost marks.
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