If you have started writing your first research paper and feel fear, confusion, and overwhelmed, know that you are not alone. The moment you understand the rules and procedures, everything will become very simple. Many tricks will make it easier for you to master the mechanism behind this type of work and you will gain great confidence.
A little imagination can help you. Imagine being a journalist and putting yourself in his place. The moment a journalist learns an interesting, “juicy”, controversial story, he goes in search, goes to a place where he can find witnesses, collects as many pieces as he can and then joins them into one compact unit. Research work is not just an ordinary written work that you might have had at school. For this kind of work, you have to take the time, have a clear plan and pattern and follow certain guidelines. Get started on time, don’t leave too little time to a project like this. The short deadline you leave will make you anxious, confused and your work will probably be full of mistakes.
It would be best if you first think of the thesis. What is a thesis? The thesis is the main message that communicates the purpose of the work – whether it is an answer to a question or the introduction of a new idea. Let that one thesis say it all. The thesis is usually the last sentence in the introductory paragraph.
The next step you take is going to the library, to scientific sites, and to the field. Serious research work should not be based on speculative and sensationalist texts, which can be found on the internet. There are specialized scientific sites, magazines, papers, shows that can help you in a quality way.
In the world of internet, keyboard, and technology, be surrounded by clean sheets of paper. Always keep a pen in your hand and write down the flow of thoughts and ideas on those pieces of paper. Don’t rely on your memory. The human psyche is designed so that often more inspiration comes from typing on a piece of paper, than typing on a keyboard.
A mentor is the most important person in your research endeavor, take advantage of his or her accessibility. He is there to guide you and help you, so don’t hesitate to ask as many questions as you have. Accept all his suggestions as he will bring your work to perfection with criticism and corrections.
The last page of your paper should include a list of all sources that you have used and do not leave out. Serious work must include a bibliography. It can also be a list of references, a list of papers used, or a list of works cited. This will make your work look professional, serious and provide all the information that must be there.
Your finished research paper may look like a lengthy essay or it can be divided into sections. It depends on the type of research.