How to Write College Research Papers and Term Papers
The topic is usually one that you select, although the instructor may assign a topic area. This module is divided into two sections. The first section deals with the basics of developing and writing research papers. The second section covers information on different types of papers. You will learn how to approach writing assignments, how to find and document resources, how to prepare an outline, how to present your papers, and how to avoid plagiarism.
Section one covers the following topics:
1. Getting Started
2. Brainstorming Your Topic
3. Beginning Your Research
4. Outlining Your Paper
5. The First Draft
6. Writing the Paper
7. Proofreading and Revising
8. Documenting (Citing) Your Sources
Section Two covers:
1. Book Reports
2. Term (Research) Papers
3. Short and Long Reports
4. Avoiding Plagiarism
The first step in any research paper assignment is to decide on your topic. Be sure your topic is manageable, meaning you can cover it adequately; it is appropriate to the topic; and it is interesting to you. For example, in Sociology class you may be studying changes in society. The broad theme may be "societal changes in the last hundred years." A topic more limited in scope is "the effect of television on American society." Always try to narrow your topic down to something that you can cover adequately in the number of pages you are required to write. On the other hand, be careful not to select a topic too narrow or too difficult to research. Many College Students choose term paper writing with MidTerm.us for write their term papers.
Think of a brainstorm as a way of stirring up as many ideas as you can before you narrow them down to one specific idea. Using the theme mentioned above, "societal changes in the twentieth century," think of all the ideas that come to mind about changes that have taken place in our society since 1900. Write as many ideas as you can think of on the lines below:
You have just completed a brainstorming exercise! Your next step is to choose among the ideas you listed, selecting the one topic that interests you the most to write about. If you are having trouble brainstorming ideas, get another person to join you.
When you have selected your topic, do a preliminary research scan to be sure you will be able to find information about your topic. Go to the library and search out titles on this topic. Ask your instructor for his or her opinion about your choice of topic. Be prepared to change your initial idea or modify it if it does not seem feasible as a research paper topic.
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