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How To Write A Research Paper Step 4: Writing

Before you actually begin writing take notes on the following things.

How will you format the paper?

Will you use charts or figures?

Do you need a title page and an abstract?  Check the assignment and make sure to include them if needed.

What will be the tone/style of the paper?  Is the paper to persuade or inform your audience?

What kind of citations are needed?  Will you use endnotes or footnotes?

Plan out your paper in advance

Create an outline to organize your thoughts and flow of information within the paper.

Write your first draft

Work through the opening paragraph, body of the paper, and conclusion.

Use the opening paragraph to define your argument and focus of the paper.  Grab the reader’s attention so they’ll be interested in reading more.
 
In the body of the paper work through your argument using examples and facts while avoiding plagiarism.  Make sure the text flows from paragraph to paragraph.

In the conclusion, wrap up your argument with a restatement of your major points and summary of the information in your paper.

Revise your paper

Edit the paper for spelling, grammar, punctuation, readability and so on.  Simple errors can make a big difference.

Ask yourself if the arguments make sense.  Do your points come across as well reasoned?  Are there any places the text doesn’t flow?
 
Try reading the paper out loud.  This might reveal areas that have problems.  Find a friend to read it over.  Ask yourself, “Is this my best work?”  If there are problems or if something is not satisfactory keep revising the text until it is just right.

The bibliography

All of your resources need to be cited in a bibliography at the end of the paper.  Look for citation examples on the Library's webpage "How To Cite Your Work" to create your works cited page.

For More Information On How To Write A Research Paper

Dartmouth Writing Program
How to Critically Analyze Information Sources
Internet Detective
OWL: The Online Writing Lab
The Writing Center