Now that midterms are well underway and will be over soon, many students are beginning to turn their attention to their research paper assignments. In courses and seminars that I teach, the research paper is often worth at least 30% of the final grade, and so it is imperative that research and preparation starts early. Over the past year, I have blogged on a number of topic areas related to planning and executing a well organized research paper, and so I thought it might be useful to collect some of those posts here for the fall semester:
- First, it is useful to plan how you will manage writing your papers using an assignment calculator.
- Second, you will want to review how to begin researching a topic (Part One and Part Two)
- Third, you need to make sure that you know how to create a strong thesis statement
- Fourth, plan an outline for your essay
- Fifth, make sure you learn the art of paraphrasing
- Finally, give yourself time before handing in your paper and review the "Top 10 Mistakes" students make when completing a research paper (Part One and Part Two).
For an even more detailed approach to writing a research paper (especially if you are new to university), see my previous post "Research Paper Season: Are You Prepared?" that breaks down the steps above to an even greater degree. Good luck and remember that the best research papers are ones that set out a clearly established argument (thesis) and make direct references to your sources. We don't necessarily expect original research from undergraduates, but we do expect to see a framework for how you arrived at your final conclusions.