How To Get Started Writing A Research Paper: A Helpful Manual From An Expert
Writing a research paper can be one of the more challenging tasks you will ever encounter in your academic or professional life. Besides taking up the majority of your time, it requires complete focus across each stage of development. It’s no wonder so many people struggle to get started and push off this kind of assignment to the last minute. Here’s some expert help on how to get things going:
Develop a Plan and Schedule
The first step in getting started with your research paper is developing a plan and schedule. It’s best to do this the day you receive your assignment. Start from your final deadline and work backwards, giving yourself days to complete tasks and some free time to catch up on other work or get some rest. Keep your schedule with you and be sure to adhere to the deadlines.
Brainstorm Topic Ideas
Now that you have a work plan and schedule you can start to brainstorm a few topic ideas. This stage can take anywhere between a half hour to an hour, but generally can be done pretty quickly. Be creative and jot down several ideas. Take a look at your course syllabus for some suggestions. Consider things you have or will cover. It might help to brainstorm with other students.
Start Preliminary Research
Head down to the library with your list of ideas and start on some preliminary research. Take a look at the kinds of resources you will have available to you. If something is already held at the library you can quickly browse and take down some notes; if something is available through inter-library loan then order the content as soon as possible.
Create a Mind Map or Outline
Once you have some information to begin with you can create a mind map or outline to organize your thoughts and arguments. A lot of students choose not to create a mind map but it’s highly recommended that you do create the outline so that you have something to refer to when you write your first draft.
Prepare for Your First Draft
You’re ready to get started on your research paper. Hopefully, you will be on schedule and can feel enthusiastic about check off each task that will follow. When you write your first draft you’ll want to do so as quickly and as efficiently as possible, so be sure to have your notes handy for quick reference.