General Research Paper

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A research paper is different from a research proposal (also known as a prospectus), although the writing process is similar.

Research papers are intended to demonstrate a student’s academic knowledge of a subject.

Without it, your paper will lack focus and you’ll spend much more time in the revision process trying to make sense of your jumbled thoughts.

The thesis statement is a sentence that summarizes the main point of your essay and previews your supporting points.

Your thesis statement should match the type of paper you’re writing.

Invest time in writing your thesis statement—it’s the main idea of your paper, from which everything else flows.Most research papers fall into one of three categories: analytical, expository, or argumentative.If you’re presenting an analysis of information, then your paper is analytical.Even if it’s not a requirement, it’s a good idea to write a thesis statement as you begin to organize your research.Writing the thesis statement first is helpful because every argument or point you make in your paper should support this central idea you’re putting forward.Without a well-thought-out thesis statement, your paper is likely to end up jumbled and with an unclear purpose. An outline will help you organize your thoughts before you dig into the writing process.Once you’ve developed your thesis statement, think about the main points you’ll need to present to support that statement. Now, organize your thoughts and information under each sub-heading.Create columns for elements you want to include in your paper as well as information necessary for your citations/bibliography.Columns can include headings such as Title, Author, Reference link, Page number, and Quotes. Don’t skip the organization step—it’s critical to your paper’s success.The thesis statement is important because it guides your readers from the beginning of your essay by telling them the main idea and supporting points of your essay.—Purdue OWL – Developing a Thesis Most research papers begin with a thesis statement at the end of an introductory paragraph.

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