There are lots of assignment people face at schools and higher institutions, each of which is difficult and unique in its own way. Among the different academic written assignments, research paper writing is often considered to be one of the most challenging and complex academic work students have trouble with, because it involves thinking out of the box. This article covers all you need to know about research work, some research topics from different niches, and how to write one.
What is Research?
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines research as “studious inquiry or examination; especially in investigation or experimentation aimed at the discovery and interpretation of facts, revision of accepted theories or laws in the light of new facts, or practical application of such new or revised theories or laws.”
A more comprehensive definition of research is by John W. Creswell who states that “research is a process of steps used to collect and analyze information to increase our understanding of a topic or issue.”
Basically, research consists of three steps: pose a question, collect data to answer the question, and present an answer to the question. The main goal of this academic activity is to define a particular issue, find it, and provide new ways to solve it that can be used for further investigation of the problem.
Steps Involved in Research Paper Writing
Research writing follows a certain structural process. The following steps are usually part of most formal research, both basic and applied;
1. Observations and formation of the topic
3. Conceptual definition
4. Operational definition
5. Gathering of data
6. Analysis of data
7. Data interpretation
8. Test, revising of hypothesis
Some Research Paper Topics on:
• How obesity affects our health?
• Pros and cons of medical marijuana
• Should prescription of drugs be advertised directly to consumers?
• How can standardized tests improve education?
• Should education be cheaper?
• The creation of particular learning methods for blind children
• How to reduce global warming
• Can overpopulation be managed?
• Is nuclear power safe for humans?
• How to manage child violence?
• How to deal with mental breakdown?
• How to forecast and shape behavioral patterns?
5. Science and Technology
• What is the future of computing and artificial intelligence?
• How is light being used to treat cancer and other diseases?
• Can Nano medicine potentially extend the human lifespan?
• What are the most effective strategies for promoting a small business?
• How to build a successful startup
• The role of international business and sustainable development
How to Effectively Write a Research Paper
1. Write an outline for your research paper
Before starting your project, read your guidelines thoroughly. Have a clear understanding of the volume of work required. Note that your paper should be divided into clear, concise sections. Each of the sections has a purpose.
A typical research paper outline contains:
• A title page with your topic
• Literature review
• Materials and methods
• Tables, appendix and any other additional information required
2. Choose a topic that interests you
Choosing the perfect topic for your research is crucial, therefore choose a topic that interests you or have experience on. Some professors would provide some ready-made problems, so you can choose. But most of them would leave you on your own. While choosing a topic, run through a questionnaire like:
Is there enough information available in this particular field?
Can you find reliable, academic sources easily?
Is it possible to organize an experiment or gather evidence that would help you find an answer?
Basically, your topic is a question, and your aim consists in finding a proper answer.
3. Searching for sources
Papers of this kind contain a relatively long literature review. Usually, University libraries have open access to these sources. Search engines such as Google Scholar are can also be of great help.
4. Thesis statement
Research essay is huge and complex, and the choice of topic is just a start. You have to present some convincing explanation for your choice of topic, it is also expected you have some answers in mind. This statement is presented in a formal written form and it called a “thesis statement.”
5. Researching and experimenting
This is the most time consuming of the project. In this stage, you will delve into the literature, conduct experiments and analyze what you find as a result. Make sure you take notes of everything you do. By doing this, it would be easier to put into writing later.
Before starting to write, visualize your finished work. Take your notes and place them in respective slots in your initial outline (Step 1). Make a separate list of your references to make citations easier.
Now you have to transform your notes into a coherent, logical text aimed to prove your point. Write it all down to produce a research paper essay. The style of writing is very formal with lots of specific terms. Also note that every statement made in your work should always be supported with fact.
8. Formatting, editing and proofreading
What you put first in a Word document is not a real paper yet, it is just a draft. You would have to re-read it multiple times, edit typos and style/format it according to the style accepted at your school. And then you have a finished work in your hands. Proofreading is the basic thing to do before submission. Even if your arguments are impeccable, typos or grammatical errors can seriously damage your research work. Do not trust your own judgment. Ask a friend or use proofreading software to help catch the mistakes.