What is a Research Paper?
"Research paper." What image comes into mind as you hear those words: working with stacks of articles and books, hunting the "treasure" of others' thoughts? Whatever image you create, it's a sure bet that you're envisioning sources of information--articles, books, people, artworks. Yet a research paper is more than the sum of your sources, more than a collection of different pieces of information about a topic, and more than a review of the literature in a field. A Research paper is a form of academic writing that requires a theoretical and methodical line of thought. A research paper is an extended essay in which you present your own analysis, assessment or line of reasoning
Choosing a Topic
Research is a commitment of your time and energy, so it's important to have a clear idea of what you are looking for before you start
What Kinds of Information Do You Need?
Do you need books? Articles? Newspapers? Statistics?
Have you been asked to use primary sources? Primary sources are documents or other original sources created at the time of an event, and include official records, correspondence, memoirs, diaries, speeches, newspaper articles, photographs and more. Secondary sources synthesize the information provided by primary sources and include interpretations, criticisms, evaluations, and summaries. Textbooks, edited books, biographies and review articles are examples of secondary sources.
Writing The First Draft
With the outline before you, write as rapidly and spontaneously as possible. Recording your thoughts as they go through your mind will help to insure continuity. It is when you stop to ponder alternatives that gaps in continuity occur. Though this manner of writing often results in too much material, don't be concerned because it is easier to cut than to add.
Prepare your manuscript:
Format your research paper so it fits the guidelines of that publication. Most journals provide a document called "Instruction to Authors" or "Author's Guide" that offers specific instructions about layout, type font, and length. It should also tell you how to submit your paper and what the review process looks like.
Editing Your Own Work
The editing function is one of the few really important big things that you can learn in college-the ability to view your own production with enough courage to anticipate (and be concerned about) the potential reader's reaction.
Submit your article.
Find the journal you would like your research paper published in and submit it through the appropriate channels. Go back to the Author's Guide to review submission requirements. Some journals allow online submission, while others prefer a hard copy