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4 Keys to Writing Successful Research Papers

Aug 30th 2013 at 3:52 AM

When your teachers or professors assign you to write a Research paper do you dread the thought of it? By learning and mastering 4 keys to writing successful research papers, you will be able to write thoroughly researched, well written and successful research papers in a short period of time.

The 4 key elements are:

• Researching your topic

• Creating an Outline

• Writing a rough draft

• Rewriting and editing final Writng a Research Paper

The purpose of this article is to show you how to apply these 4 key elements to writing successful research papers.

Key #1: Your Topic Research Paper Outline


When your teacher/professor assigns gives you the assignment, be sure that you write down as much information about the topic and verify its accuracy. Today, many have the option to research their papers in the Public/School libraries or the Internet. If you have both options, strive to use both in order to help validate the information you have gathered. If you use the Internet to conduct your research, use verifiable information sources like online: University, City, State or National libraries to help strengthen the accuracy of your information.

Key #2: Creating writing a research paper outline

There are different formats you can use to create your research paper outline. For this article, I am using the format that uses Roman numerals (I, II, III, IV) four major topics and Alphabets (a, b, c...) for minor topics and lower level numbers (1, 2, 3) for sub-topics. If you are using a word processor, e.g. Word, Open Office Writer, etc. you have a choice of several outline formats.

An example outline for making a raw vegetable salad might look something like this:

Preparing a Vegetable Salad

I. Select the Vegetables for the Salad

a. Tomatoes

b. Lettuce

c. Onions

d. Cucumbers

II. Wash Vegetables

a. Fill a tub with warm soapy water

I. Use organic vegetable soup

b. Scrub with vegetable brush

c. Rinse vegetables thoroughly

III. Prepare Salad

a. Slice and dice vegetables

b. Add seasoning and dressing

I. Thousand Island or Garlic and Olive Oil

II. Croutons

III. Paprika

After you finish organizing your outline, the next key is to write a rough draft using the topic hierarchy outline.

Key #3: Writing a Rough Draft

Before you start writing your rough draft, you need to select a template. If you are using a word processor, select one of their prepackaged templates to write your rough draft. Writing your rough draft means that you take the outline created in Key#2 and write the information you gathered during your research phase (Key#1) in the order of your outline in a rough form.

Key #4: Rewriting and Editing Final Research Paper

After writing your rough draft, you are almost at the finish line. Read (Proof read) through what you wrote. Check the organization, the information included in each topic (sub-topics) and the transition between topics. Does it fit, does if flow? If it doesn't, this is the time to move it around to find a better fit or remove it if necessary.

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