Research papers fall under the academic writing category. Students are given a topic or requested to choose one and conduct research on it to describe the findings. The description will depend on the point of argument of the writer usually captured in the thesis statement. The topics of your research papers may vary with what you intend to present or your coursework.
Factors That Influence Topic Selection for Your Paper
When selecting topics for research papers, consider the following:
The instruction ns by your instructor may limit your ability to select a topic for a paper. You need to ensure that the subject aligns with the directions and objectives of your instructor. Following these instructions enables learners to scoop extra marks in their research papers.
Where students are given liberty to choose a topic for their papers, there will be varying interests. Learners will pick a fun theme that is easy to indulge and deliver quality results. In writing, it is advisable to select a topic you are passionate about because your enthusiasm will hook your instructor’s interests which is a plus for you.
- Scope and length
If your assignment requires a lengthy paper, it is advisable to select a topic with a broad range. You will have diverse areas to cover thus meeting the length requirement. In other cases, students do not want their paper to be detailed or lengthy, so they go for a narrow scope topic.
When developing research papers, coming up with a catchy topic is essential. The topics selection is dependent on your creativity level. Creativity will attract the reader’s attention thus wanting to read further. You can source topic ideas by reading books, online publications, magazines or watching educational videos that stir up your thinking perspective.
Most assignments for students revolve around coursework content. Instructors want to test the progress of learners in different learning areas. Sometimes you need to put together your creative skills and the coursework content to come up with a good topic.
Steps of Writing a Research Paper
- 1. Choosing a title
Your topics for research papers should be clear, short and informative. Readers and examiners glance through articles to know what they pertain before deciding if it is a worth it read or not. You need to make your topic catchy, exciting and informative. The reader should have a light idea of what your paper entails by looking at your subject. Consider various sources of topic ideas to hook the examiner’s interests on your paper.
- 2. Outline
After choosing a topics for research papers, before proceeding to your paper, come up with a framework. It is a brief presentation of what will be in your writing in the right order. This helps you to gauge the viability of your topic and if you have the relevant sources of information to come up with the data that you wish to present. If you are struggling to come up with an outline of the chosen topic, select another one and plan all over again. Frameworks ensure that you have a clear idea of what you want to present so that you will not get stuck in the middle of your research papers.
- 3. Introduction
Now that you are confident of what you want to cover in your paper from the outline, introduce the topic to your reader by providing some background information. The introduction should come before stating the intent of your document using your thesis statement. Do not give away all the relevant information but make it enjoyable for the reader to proceed on to the remaining bit of the paper.
- 4. Develop a thesis statement
A thesis statement should briefly describe what will be in your paper. It captures the primary purpose of your writing. If it is an argumentative research paper, be keen to state your stand in the thesis so you can progress to support it. The thesis statement is part of the introductory paragraph and comes as the last sentence. One sentence that is not wordy should be enough to explain the intent of your paper.
- 5. Body of paragraphs
It is a series of ideas and facts put together to support your thesis statement. To arrive at this, you must:
- Conduct detailed research to come up with at least five ideas to promote your subject.
Consider different referencing materials to access a vast pool of information for your paper. Library books, coursework and online academic sources provide essential information. Keep a record of the resources since you will use them for reference.
- Group the information: organisation your work is a gauging meter, and you need to present your ideas well. Each point should be separate. Take time to interpret every idea separately for a chronological presentation. The systematic arrangement not only makes your work appear neat but the reader or examiner can understand each notion without interruption. Position every idea in a paragraph and use a topic sentence for an introduction. Topic sentences ensure that the reader has an idea of what you are about to explain.
- Conduct detailed research to come up with at least five ideas to promote your subject.
- 6. Provide insights or recommendations
Depending on the category of research papers you are tackling, sometimes provision of suggestions or ideas is essential. It is common if your paper was dealing with a problem statement. You provide insights and recommendations about the subject matter without sounding authoritative.
- 7. Conclusion
In this stage, you are finalising your paper. Provide a summary of the significant points from your paper. You can also re-state your thesis statement for emphasis and leave your reader with one interesting point that will stir his or her curiosity to want to learn more about your chosen topic.
- 8. Referencing and formatting
Referencing your paper makes it authentic and guarantees zero- plagiary. List all the resources used for your paper in the correct format and alphabetical order. The reference page should come last.
- 9. Review your paper
You are bound to make errors while developing your paper. These errors may range from grammar, plagiary to wrong formatting. Reviewing your work eliminates any chance of errors and helps in gauging if your paper meets the requirements. You can review the document or ask a friend to do it. Once you are sure that all is well, then you can hand in your assignment.
Types of Research Papers
There are several types of research papers and understanding the nature of each will make it easy for you to develop them in case of an assignment. They include:
- Argumentative papers
These research papers present a two side of a controversial issue. You are required to select which side you support and provide supported facts for your decision. Alternatively, you can research on the intake of different authors, present their different opinions and then offer pros and cons at the end. Referencing is crucial for argumentative papers since you need to show proof of why you think your argument is valid.
- Analytical papers
These papers aim to analyse different viewpoints on a given topic. You can consider a range of sources for the analysis. This type of writing does not rely on deliberation. You need to provide facts rather than an opinion. It focuses on methodology, findings and conclusions of researchers.
- Compare and contrast papers
In literature, this type of research papers is used to compare and contrast two or more stories, genres, characteristics, framework or authors. You need to review both subjects to provide real contrast and comparison. Show the range of results other than just outlining the predicted results.
- Cause and effect papers
These papers explain the logical progression of probable results from a particular action. Showing the range of outcomes, in this case, is also essential. You also need to provide references that are factual and showing that the likely effects of an action or policy.
Reports can cover work or school study of an exercise that was previously assigned. It is a memorandum outlining the main issues or a breakdown of an event. The study strives to provide recommendations on how to deal with the problem according to your study. In most cases, the report is factual and unemotional.
- Interpretive papers
These are usually used for humanities and sciences when your instructor requires you to tackle a given case study using the knowledge from your coursework. These research papers students to get out of their comfort zone of answering direct questions. It polishes up their skills making them competent to tackle any challenging exercise.
The number of research papers and how to present each can be confusing. However, with practice and mastering the basics, it can be easy to craft every paper to meet the requirements using the general structure of research papers. Understanding the intent of each document will make it easy for you to collect and present information for your paper within a short time and boost your performance.