4 Steps to Get Started on Your First Research Paper

Each student is required to submit a good research paper to obtain a college degree. Many students find it fun to write research paper, whereas others find the challenge as daunting. But the advancement in communication technologies has made it easier for students to write research papers without putting any extra time and effort.

Along with gathering information on a particular topic using online search engines, you also have options to access the online scholarly databases. However, you must understand the process of gathering information and presenting these in a logical way to make your research paper engaging and impressive.

Step 1: Define Your Research Question

Normally, a research paper is started with a question that eventually becomes the thesis statement. You must avoid your research from being controlled by a statement. It is always important to identify certain questions that you want to answer through your research. However, the question need not be static. As you keep collecting and evaluating data on the topic, there are chances that question needs to be refined. You can keep refining the question till you are sure about its effectiveness in focusing in the topic. After completing the research, you can modify the thesis statement to make it more powerful as well as engaging.

Step 2: Collect the Most Relevant and Updated Information on the Topic

You can use the internet to gather loads of information on a specific topic. But you must remember that it will be easier to compile the most relevant data for your research paper only by evaluating the data gathered from several sources. Once you identify a reliable source, it is a good idea to check the bibliography of the content to find more relevant and related articles or blogs to answer your research question. However, you must not decide the relevance of an article or blog simply by reading its title and introductory paragraph. The content must be read in detail to decide its significance for your research.

Step 3: Organize the Information Logically

The information gathered from several sources has to be organized in two stages. In the initial stages you will organize the data by adding labels. Based on your research question, you can decide specific labels for statements of same nature. The labeling system will make it easier for you to organize the information logically. After shortlisting the relevant information, you can categorize them based on identical labels. But you have to decide the specific sections of an article or blog that you will use in your research paper. The logical and systematic arrangement of the research data will help you in developing the outline for the research paper.

Step 4: Write the Research Paper Outline

The outline of your research paper will include a good thesis statement along with concise statements that will be described in subsequent paragraphs with relevant information and details. However, you have to explain the sequence in which the…

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