The purpose of an outline is to help you think through your topic carefully and organize it logically before you start writing. A good outline is the most important step in writing a good paper. Check your outline to make sure that the points covered flow logically from one to the other. Make the first outline tentative. What is the chief reason you are writing the paper?
State also how you plan to approach your topic. Is this a factual report, a book review, a comparison, or an analysis of a problem? Explain briefly the major points you plan to cover in your paper and why readers should be interested in your topic. BODY — This is where you present your arguments to support your thesis statement.
Remember the Rule of 3, i. Begin with a strong argument, then use a stronger one, and end with the strongest argument for your final point. Explain why you have come to this particular conclusion.
Organize all the information you have gathered according to your outline. Critically analyze your research data. Using the best available sources, check for accuracy and verify that the information is factual, up-to-date, and correct. Opposing views should also be noted if they help to support your thesis. This is the most important stage in writing a research paper.
Here you will analyze, synthesize, sort, and digest the information you have gathered and hopefully learn something about your topic which is the real purpose of doing a research paper in the first place. You must also be able to effectively communicate your thoughts, ideas, insights, and research findings to others through written words as in a report, an essay, a research or term paper, or through spoken words as in an oral or multimedia presentation with audio-visual aids.
Do not include any information that is not relevant to your topic, and do not include information that you do not understand. Make sure the information that you have noted is carefully recorded and in your own words, if possible. Plagiarism is definitely out of the question. Document all ideas borrowed or quotes used very accurately. As you organize your notes, jot down detailed bibliographical information for each cited paragraph and have it ready to transfer to your Works Cited page.
Devise your own method to organize your notes. One method may be to mark with a different color ink or use a hi-liter to identify sections in your outline, e. Group your notes following the outline codes you have assigned to your notes, e. This method will enable you to quickly put all your resources in the right place as you organize your notes according to your outline. Start with the first topic in your outline.
Read all the relevant notes you have gathered that have been marked, e. Summarize, paraphrase or quote directly for each idea you plan to use in your essay. Use a technique that suits you, e. Mark each card or sheet of paper clearly with your outline code or reference, e. Put all your note cards or paper in the order of your outline, e. If using a word processor, create meaningful filenames that match your outline codes for easy cut and paste as you type up your final paper, e.
Before you know it, you have a well organized term paper completed exactly as outlined. The unusual symbol will make it easy for you to find the exact location again.
Delete the symbol once editing is completed. Read your paper for any content errors. Double check the facts and figures. Arrange and rearrange ideas to follow your outline. Reorganize your outline if necessary, but always keep the purpose of your paper and your readers in mind.
Use a free grammar and proof reading checker such as Grammarly. Is my thesis statement concise and clear? Did I follow my outline? Did I miss anything? Are my arguments presented in a logical sequence?
Are all sources properly cited to ensure that I am not plagiarizing? Have I proved my thesis with strong supporting arguments? Have I made my intentions and points clear in the essay? Re-read your paper for grammatical errors.
Use a dictionary or a thesaurus as needed. Do a spell check. Correct all errors that you can spot and improve the overall quality of the paper to the best of your ability. Get someone else to read it over. Sometimes a second pair of eyes can see mistakes that you missed. Did I begin each paragraph with a proper topic sentence?
Have I supported my arguments with documented proof or examples? Any run-on or unfinished sentences? Any unnecessary or repetitious words? Varying lengths of sentences? Does one paragraph or idea flow smoothly into the next? Any spelling or grammatical errors? Quotes accurate in source, spelling, and punctuation? Are all my citations accurate and in correct format? Did I avoid using contractions? Did I use third person as much as possible?
Have I made my points clear and interesting but remained objective? Did I leave a sense of completion for my reader s at the end of the paper?
For an excellent source on English composition, check out this classic book by William Strunk, Jr. Place yourself in the background, Revise and rewrite, Avoid fancy words, Be clear, Do not inject opinion, Do not take shortcuts at the cost of clarity, … and much more. The Elements of Style was first published in There is also a particular formatting style you must follow. There are several formatting styles typically used. APA American Psychological Association style is mostly used to cite sources within the field of social sciences.
Most of us begin with some general ideas and puzzling problems, hone the questions, find the right methods to investigate them, and then gradually work out some coherent answers. All this effort pays off in a well-grounded perspective, one that can persuade a skeptical reader.
Nobody has a clear argument right away. It takes time and hard thinking to hone your perspective and distill it into a few sentences. But the effort is worth it. A succinct, well-reasoned argument is the heart of your research paper. What if you start your research paper with a tentative argument already in mind?
What evidence could effectively challenge my view? You want a thoughtful perspective, not circular reasoning. You want a thesis statement, not a secular religion. How do you come up with a good thesis statement? The best way is to build on your research paper proposal by writing a very brief paper proposing your slant on the subject. It only needs to be paragraph or so, plus a title.
If you have more than one idea for the thesis statement, write down each one separately. They should be brief and to the point. If you can express it in a single sentence, so much the better. This is not supposed to be a polished paper; it is merely a rough statement of your main idea, your prospective argument.
As long as this paragraph captures your basic thrust, it can prompt a useful discussion with your instructor. Even a preliminary thesis argument is helpful because it will guide your research. The argument only needs to be a paragraph, or perhaps even a sentence, capturing your main idea.
Even this preliminary version will guide your research. Both the discussion and the writing process will clarify your thinking and reveal more about your approach. That will lead to another round of brief writing and more discussion as you sharpen your focus and method.
Working on your thesis statement should not delay your research at all. As long as your proposal sends you in the right direction for reading and data collection, you can move ahead on that while you are still developing your argument.
In fact, you are likely to continue refining your main argument throughout the research and writing process. Your final thesis statement may not be ready until you are near the end of the project. With revision, discussion, and research, your initial perspective can mature into your thesis argument.
The introduction is where you will initially state your argument.
Research paper thesis statements are declarative statements about what you found in your research. Before writing your thesis statement, come up with a generalized statement that you want your readers to learn by reading your research paper.
The thesis focuses your ideas and information for the research paper. Remember that word "focus." Student writers often make the mistake of forgetting the focus and making the research thesis far too broad in order to include a lot of research.
Before reading a research paper, people usually look at its thesis statement. It helps them to understand if your paper is useful for them. This small sentence can concentrate all the important information about your study: the main idea and the questions that are answered on the pages of your research paper. The process of selecting a research paper thesis could partially be determined by the guidelines of your assignment. For instance, if your professor asks you to write about a very specific topic, such as the endangered status of rhinoceroses, the possibilities for your thesis will be readily clear as you do your initial research.
Tips on How to Write a Good Thesis Paper. An academic thesis is a paper written by students who are pretty close to earning an academic degree. It is the name typically given to the major document candidates compose to earn a Master’s degree or an MBA, but it can also be used to describe a PhD dissertation or even a culminating study a college student completes at the end of an undergraduate. A thesis statement is a declarative sentence that asserts the position a paper will be taking. This statement should be both specific and arguable. Generally, the thesis statement will be placed at the end of the first paragraph of your paper.