When it comes to writing a learning how to do a research paper, there are no quick fixes, or fill-in-the-blank templates that will allow you to complete your paper without investing a little time and effort. The key to any research essay is first learning how to effectively manage your time and organize your source material. In the proceeding paragraphs, you will find helpful information on How to Write a Good Research Paper. If you are looking for more detailed guidelines on writing a research paper, be sure to consult the books and manuals recommended further down in the article.
The key to any successful research paper is remembering to start as early as possible. Take advantage of every day that you have available to you to pick your topic if one is not assigned , carry out your research and develop your research paper outline. If you are not sure how to start a research paper, ask for guidance or research ideas online. Remember, if you decide to wait until just before the paper is due to get started, you might have difficulty finding research material or you may find that other students have already picked your preferred topic.
Not to mention the fact that a looming deadline, and a lack of finished paper, will ultimately result in unneeded stress. Next you will want to select your topic — unless one has been provided to you.
The best course of action is to select a topic that interests you, even if it seems complex or difficult. By choosing to work with a topic that you have a fond or even a small interest in, you are more likely to continue to be motivated to delve deeper into you research and will be able to engage more with your readers; something that is difficult to do when the subject matter is dry or mediocre. It will help add genuine value to your paper.
While reading your writing, readers may often feel if the topic was interesting to you; if it was, that may make the readers more interested and expecting to find something valuable in your paper and thus continue reading. Keep in mind that there will be times when you will be assigned topics that are unfamiliar to you.
In these types of situations it is helpful to read up on the topic. Journals, encyclopedias, guidebooks and libraries are all excellent resources to find background material on just about every topic out there. Despite the widespread access to information, largely attributed to easy accessibility of the Internet, there are just as many non-credible sources as there are credible.
The trick is learning how to differentiate between the two. One such way is to choose to use only verified sources like trade publications, scholarly articles, journals or books from the local library.
After you have concluded and organized your research, it is time to create an outline for research paper. The best way to start your outline is to draft your thesis statement. More often than not, the thesis statement is a single sentence opener — and the most important part of the entire paper.
The thesis should present the entire idea of your paper. It lays the groundwork for everything that follows and presents your argument to the reader. You will want to make sure that it is clear, concise and to the point. Next, you will group your research notes into sections the correlate with the various aspects of your topic or argument. You might rearrange these several times until you find a format that seems the most logical. You will proofread, edit and rewrite later.
Right now, your only concern is ensuring that you have found the most logical progressing for your argument and the corresponding supporting material. If you are satisfied, begin to correct any grammatical, spelling or punctuation errors you find and add text as needed.
It might be helpful, at this stage, to have someone else read your paper just to give it a fresh perspective. If you are satisfied, open your word processor to a blank page and type up your final version.
You will want to be mindful of any specific spacing or formatting rules in the assignment details and make certain that you are also creating any supplementary pages that might be necessary.
For example, a cover page. Even if it has not been specifically requested, it is in good practice to ALWAYS include a works cited or reference page.
This is the point where it is better to be safe than sorry. To write a research paper successfully, first thing you need is to know about the formal requirements and the general approach to academic writing you have to be familiar with. Give your paper a strong intro, then follow up with the methods, results, and discussion sections. Set the basic layout parameters. An APA style paper should use a 12 point font size and be double spaced throughout.
One inch margins all around are also recommended. Use this basic layout on every page of your paper. The APA recommends that titles the short but sweet, and to the point. Ten to twelve words is a good length, and the title should give readers a sense of exactly what your paper is about. Center the title on the page. Include your name and institution below the title. Double-spacing is fine here. It should look something like this: Make use of the page header.
Every page of your paper, including the title page, should have a running header. Style it in all caps, and keep it under 50 characters. Set the page number in the upper right. The page number should appear on the same line as the running header, all the way to the right. Set the page number to show up automatically on every subsequent page. Just write the title of your paper in regular type on the start of the next page, then begin writing your introduction on the line below it.
As Donaldson conferred in …. The role of age in creating this variability has not been adequately considered. Label the methods section. It should describe, in simple terms, the exact design of your research. Create subsections to describe the participants, materials, and procedures you used in your study. A recent study of the effects of alcohol on the ability to drive showed that as little as twelve ounces of beer adversely affected the reaction time of participating drivers Smith, Provide a page number when you use an exact quotation.
Use the singular "p. In his study on the effects of alcohol on drivers, Smith , p. As an alternative, place the page number within parentheses at the end of the quotation. If you do so, remember to place the date immediately after the author's name. In his study on the effects of alcohol on drivers, Smith stated that "participants who drank twelve ounces of beer with a 3. Indent a direct quotation of 40 or more words five spaces from the left margin. If the quotation includes more than one paragraph, indent the first line of succeeding paragraphs five more spaces ten spaces total.
Don't use quotation marks, and be sure to double space the quotation as well as your own writing. In her study of adult patterns of television watching, Roberts reported the following behaviors:. Response behaviors exhibited by participants who watched television without any other persons present in the viewing room included imitating the facial expressions and hand movements of television characters as well as talking to individual characters. Affective behaviors included exhibitions of anger such as shouting and throwing magazines at the television.
Such behaviors were less evident behaviors in participants who watched television in groups of three. Instead, participants in group watching were more likely to interject critical or humorous comments regarding the content of particular television programs. If you're citing an author who's been quoted in another book or article, use the original author's name in the text, and cite in parentheses the source in which you found the quotation.
Behavior is affected by situation. As Wallace postulated in Individual and Group Behavior , a person who acts a certain way independently may act in an entirely different manner while the member of a group cited in Barkin, , p. When citing a work with two, three, four, or five authors within the text of the paper, name them all in the first entry, e.
After the first entry, cite only the first author's name followed by " et al. When citing a work with six or more authors, name only the first author followed by et. If the author is not given, use the first word or two of the title in the parenthetical citation.
Massachusetts state and municipal governments have initiated several programs to improve public safety, including community policing and after school activities "Innovations," If "Anonymous" is specified as the author, treat it as if it were a real name: In the bibliographic references, also use the name Anonymous as author.
You must always have a reference page as well as in-text citations to avoid plagiarism. The Reference Page immediately follows the text of the paper. Items on the reference page are listed alphabetically. Begin the first line of a reference at the left margin i. All subsequent lines for a reference should be indented one-half inch this is sometimes known as an "outdent" or "hanging indent". APA has a second format that uses normal one-half inch indents on the first line of a reference, then left justifies subsequent lines to the left margin.
This format is only for documents being submitted for publishing. Student papers should always use the first hanging indent format. For the reference page, use the running head and page number, then center the title "References" two lines below. List the author's last name first with initial of the first name; year of publication in parentheses; title of book underlined capitalize only the first word of the title and of any subtitle, and all proper nouns ; the edition if any in parentheses; place of publication; and publisher.
Omit the words Publishing Company and Inc. Use one space after periods and other punctuation. Psychology and life 13 ed. List more than one book by the same author chronologically, earliest edition or work first. Book by two or more authors—List authors as they are listed in the book; use an ampersand to indicate "and.
Textbook or anthology—List cited author, date of the cited author's work, the chapter or section title, the editor's name preceded by "In" and followed by Ed. Jobs in the nineties. Issues for the 21st century pp. Book with a corporate author—List alphabetically with authors; if published by the author of the book, list the publisher as the author. Publication manual of the American Psychological Association 3d ed. Student planning guide for degree programs and portfolios.
Journal Article—List the author s , year of publication in parentheses, title of article without quotation marks and with only the first word, proper nouns, and words after colons capitalized, name of the journal underlined and with all major words capitalized, volume number underlined, and inclusive page numbers not preceded by "p.
APA (American Psychological Association) style is most commonly used to cite sources within the social sciences. This resource, revised according to the 6 th edition, second printing of the APA manual, offers examples for the general format of APA research papers, in-text citations, endnotes/footnotes, and the reference page.
APA Paper Components. Your essay should include these four major sections: Title Page; Abstract; Main Body; References; Title Page. This page should contain four pieces: the title of the paper, running head, the author’s name, institutional affiliation, and an author’s note. Create the page header/running head as described above.
Research and Citation; APA Style; APA Formatting and Style Guide; Welcome to the Purdue OWL. APA Sample Paper. Navigation; Purdue OWL; General Writing. General Writing Introduction; Research Papers. Writing a Research Paper; Genre and the Research Paper; Choosing a Topic;. Dec 10, · The American Psychological Association's (APA) method of citation is one of the most widely used styles for writing scientific and research papers, particularly in fields like psychology, sociology, business, economics, and medicine%(59).
The American Psychological Association (APA) Style Guide was developed for use primarily in the social sciences for both research papers and journal articles. The intent is to provide accurate references and citations without hindering the readability of the text and making it easier to type up or type set a manuscript. The APA style refers to the method of writing research papers recommended by the American Psychological Association. The APA style is used in the social sciences and is governed by two basic ideas.