The Writing Process for Research Papers

Written by: 
Daymar College

During an online program, a vocational student will have many chances to put their writing talents to use. It can be intimidating to start with a blank page and create a masterpiece. Fortunately, writing has a process with many different phases to help you create that written masterpiece.

Before you begin writing a research paper consider the audience you are writing to. Is this research paper to be published in a journal or handed to an instructor for a grade? Do you have to explain a lot of industry jargon? Make sure to understand the assignment that is given. What is the objective of the paper? Does the assignment have any formal requirements or any suggested subjects?

The next task is to select the subject of the research paper. The subject will either be given to you by the instructor or will come from the topics covered in class. Choosing a subject that interests you will make the research paper easier. Now that you have a subject, it is time to collect the information you are going to write about. Think about the questions you want to answer and look for information that will answer these questions. Use the Internet to find articles, journals and studies that pertain to your research paper. If you are writing a one-page paper, limit the time you spend looking for resources, however if you are writing a term paper you may need a lot of information to support your ideas. While you collect the data, always make sure to keep a working bibliography so you can properly cite references while you write.

The Planning Phase

The planning phase is crucial to any research paper. The first thing to do is formulate the thesis statement. A thesis statement identifies the central idea of the research paper. Are you supposed to evaluate a topic, compare two topics or analyze a theory? Write a one sentence thesis about the topic chosen and examine it from a particular perspective. A thesis statement sets the tone and direction for your research paper.

The next stage of the planning phase is to develop an outline. Create an outline with bullet points that will explain each main point. Try to incorporate all of the information collected and create a road map for you to follow while writing the first draft.

The Drafting Phase

The drafting phase includes an opening, middle and conclusion. In the opening, start by introducing your topic and stating your thesis. Use collected information in a way that will engage the reader from the beginning. The middle will cover your main points and offer any background information to set up the flow of the research paper. Next, start supporting your main points with the bullet points from your outline. State the main point, follow it up with collected information and clarify the main point at the end of the paragraph. The ending will reassert the main points of the research paper, support your thesis, and gain the reader’s acceptance.

The Revision Phase

The revision phase will allow you to take another look at your research paper and make sure you made a compelling argument to support your thesis. If it is an important paper, have someone else you trust read the research paper to offer a different perspective. They will also make sure you collected enough research to support your thesis. When revising the research paper, save editing for later. Don’t focus right now on spelling, grammar and punctuation. The goal of the revision phase is to make sure the ideas are sound, properly explained and fully supported by citations. The organization of the research paper will be considered during the revision phase to make sure you have your strongest information or arguments first. Finally, make sure to have a compelling introduction, supporting information in the middle and a strong ending.

The Editing Phase

Now that you have revised your research paper, it is now time to focus on the spelling, grammar and punctuation. Too many mistakes in a research paper can be distracting and cause the reader to miss important information. While editing, you will want to consider your word choices and overall style of writing. Is the research paper formal enough, did you use too much industry jargon, or overly repeat the same points too often? Once the research paper is free of errors it is ready to be turned in to your instructor and/or published.

Where you interested in the writing process? Ready to get a diploma or degree at a vocational school? Daymar College has been helping students achieve their educational and career goals since 1963. Daymar College Online offers degree and diploma programs that are flexible and convenient. You can get started toward a career in fields such as business, health care and criminal justice that offer the same diplomas and Associate and Bachelor degrees earned on campus. Contact us today to learn more about getting your diploma or degree and starting a rewarding career.