The first step to any successful research paper is to make sure you understand the assignment and its requirements. Here are some questions to consider when you receive the assignment from your teacher. If you don't know the answers to these questions, you may want to talk to your teacher about what you are missing.
Choosing a topic is one of the most difficult parts of writing a research paper. There are so many topics you could research, where do you even begin? Even if your teacher assigns you a topic, it might be too broad to actually research in the time you have to complete the assignment. These brainstorming tips can help you narrow your focus. Also, depending on what subject this assignment is for, you might ask yourself different questions. For instance, a research paper for history class will differ than a research paper on current events. These tips focus on writing an argumentative paper on a current event or issue.
Here are some tips for initial brainstorming of a research paper topic:
Once you know your research topic, it is time to formulate your research question. Your research question will later become your thesis statement, which will be your guide in finding sources that support your argument. Here are some tips to help you formulate a research question.
A Thesis Statement is not the same thing as your research topic. One your have chosen a topic and formulated your research question, it is time to begin thinking about the thesis of your research assignment. A topic is general idea or subject that you would like to research, while a thesis is a an argument for a specific angle on that topic supported by research.
The thesis statement is your paper in a nutshell. It informs your audience of idea that you are going to develop and support throughout the paper. It not only aids your audience's understanding of your topic, but it also gives you something to consult in order to make sure all of your points support the central claim of your argument.
Consider what kind of paper are you writing:
A thesis statement should be: