A Guide To Research Paper Writing: How To Boost Your Skills

Many students find themselves faced with the task of writing a research paper during their academic career. It’s something you can’t avoid. The skills you need to write a good paper can benefit you in many classes, so it’s worth taking the time to improve them.

Characteristics of a research paper

  • The culmination of research, exploration, critical thinking, organization, evaluation and composition.
  • May be argumentative and use a thesis statement or analytical and use a question.

Know exactly what your paper entails before you begin writing. Even if writing isn’t your favorite way to spend time, it’s a requirement for most courses. Here are 9 tips to improve your writing skills:

  1. In formal or academic writing, do not use contractions. These are word combinations where a letter has been taken out of one word and combined with another word using an apostrophe.
  2. Avoid using the phrases “there is” or “there are”. Be more direct and clear in your writing.
  3. Avoid using words such as really, a lot, very and so.
  4. Create and use an outline.
  5. Spend a good deal of time brainstorming before you begin writing. It helps get your ideas flowing and gets you over the initial writers’ block. Don’t try to stop and edit anything you’ve written. Just write freely and you can edit later.
  6. Start right in the middle – write the body of the paper first. This is where all your main ideas and supporting evidence will be incorporated.
  7. The introduction is a vital part of your paper. Without an exciting, dynamic introduction your paper may fall flat.
  8. The conclusion summarizes the content of your paper and should leave the reader with a deep impression of the point you were trying to make.
  9. Practice writing in every opportunity you can. It will get you used to the process and make it easier to tackle a big writing project.
  10. Polish up your skills with editing and proofreading. Look for online tutorials for this. Many students slack off on this step, to the detriment of their grade on the paper. Teachers don’t like to read papers that haven’t been corrected for grammar, spelling and syntax errors.

Writing is a key skill, and writing well is golden. It will benefit you during your entire time in academics as well as in most workplaces.


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