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Research Process: A Step-by-Step Guide: Get Started

Introduction

❶The authors section should include your name, as the main writer of the report, alongside the name of your supervisor. This will usually be your final point within the outline.

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These should be a quick synopsis of the facts, figures and statistical tests used to arrive at your final results. You should try to avoid cluttering up your report and insert most of your raw data into the appendix. It is far better to stick with including only tables and graphs that show clearly the results. Do not be tempted to insert large numbers of graphs and figures just for the sake of it; each figure and graph should be mentioned, referred to and discussed in the text.

Try to avoid putting in tables and graphs showing the same information; select the type that shows your results most clearly. It is usually preferable to use graphs and relegate the tables to the appendix because it is easier to show trends in graphical format. Figures and graphs should be clear and occupy at least half a page; you are not a magazine editor trying to fit a small graph into an article.

All such information must be numbered, as diagrams for graphs and illustrations, and figures for tables; they should be referred to by this number in the body of the report. You do not need to put the full breakdown of the calculations used for your statistical tests; most scientists hate statistics and are only interested in whether your results were significant or not.

Relegate the calculations to the appendix. The results section of your report should be neutral and you should avoid discussing your results or how they differed from or compared with what was expected.

This information belongs in the next section. This is the pivotal section of your hard work in obtaining and analyzing your results. In your discussion you should seek to discuss your findings, and describe how they compared and differed from the results you expected.

In a nutshell, you are trying to show whether your hypothesis was proved, not proved or inconclusive. You must be extremely critical of yourself in this section; you will not get marked down for mistakes in experiment design or for poor results, only for not recognizing them.

Everybody who has written a dissertation or thesis has had to give a presentation to a room full of fellow students, scientists and professors and give a quick synopsis. These people will tear your report apart if you do not recognize its shortcomings and flaws. Very few experiments are per cent correct in their design and conception so it is not really important what your results were, only that you understand their significance. Usually you will have had some promising results and some that did not fit with what you expected.

Discuss why things may have gone wrong and what could be done to refine the results in future. Suggest what changes in experimental design might improve the results; there is no right or wrong in science, only progress. Finally, you can discuss at the end ideas for further research, either refining the experiment or suggesting new areas. Even if your paper was a one off, somebody may come along and decide that they find your research interesting and that they would like to continue from where you left off.

This is really just a more elaborate version of the abstract. In a few paragraphs you should summarize your findings. Your abstract will do most of this for you but, as long as you do not get carried away, especially for longer reports, it can help the reader absorb your findings a little more.

Include all of your direct references here, even if you only found a couple of sentences. In the case where somebody referred to an original source, reference that too, but if you did not manage to get hold of it, try to rewrite so that you will not have to reference or use "referred in"-citation. Here it is polite to acknowledge anybody who helped you with this report, although do not go overboard; it is not an Oscar speech.

Your supervisor is a good start, as well as others who helped. If a landowner gave you permission to take samples then it is good practice to acknowledge them and give them a summary of your results, if permitted. Appendices are very useful because they give you a place to dump raw data and calculations.

They must still be laid out correctly; the data must be relevant and referred to in the main report. If you have a lot of relevant photographs of sample sites and methods then they belong here. It is also useful to insert a Google map plan to show from where you took samples.

Hopefully this will have given you a good oversight into writing that perfect report. It is not as daunting as it seems and if you do your research and listen to your supervisor then all should be well and you can get a good grade. Check out our quiz-page with tests about:. Martyn Shuttleworth Mar 14, Retrieved Sep 10, from Explorable. The text in this article is licensed under the Creative Commons-License Attribution 4. You can use it freely with some kind of link , and we're also okay with people reprinting in publications like books, blogs, newsletters, course-material, papers, wikipedia and presentations with clear attribution.

Learn how to construct, style and format an Academic paper and take your skills to the next level. Don't have time for it all now? No problem, save it as a course and come back to it later. Share this page on your website: This article is a part of the guide: Select from one of the other courses available: Don't miss these related articles:. Check out our quiz-page with tests about: Opposing views should also be noted if they help to support your thesis. This is the most important stage in writing a research paper.

Here you will analyze, synthesize, sort, and digest the information you have gathered and hopefully learn something about your topic which is the real purpose of doing a research paper in the first place. You must also be able to effectively communicate your thoughts, ideas, insights, and research findings to others through written words as in a report, an essay, a research or term paper, or through spoken words as in an oral or multimedia presentation with audio-visual aids.

Do not include any information that is not relevant to your topic, and do not include information that you do not understand.

Make sure the information that you have noted is carefully recorded and in your own words, if possible. Plagiarism is definitely out of the question. Document all ideas borrowed or quotes used very accurately.

As you organize your notes, jot down detailed bibliographical information for each cited paragraph and have it ready to transfer to your Works Cited page. Devise your own method to organize your notes. One method may be to mark with a different color ink or use a hi-liter to identify sections in your outline, e. Group your notes following the outline codes you have assigned to your notes, e. This method will enable you to quickly put all your resources in the right place as you organize your notes according to your outline.

Start with the first topic in your outline. Read all the relevant notes you have gathered that have been marked, e. Summarize, paraphrase or quote directly for each idea you plan to use in your essay. Use a technique that suits you, e. Mark each card or sheet of paper clearly with your outline code or reference, e. Put all your note cards or paper in the order of your outline, e. If using a word processor, create meaningful filenames that match your outline codes for easy cut and paste as you type up your final paper, e.

Before you know it, you have a well organized term paper completed exactly as outlined. The unusual symbol will make it easy for you to find the exact location again. Delete the symbol once editing is completed.

Read your paper for any content errors. Double check the facts and figures. Arrange and rearrange ideas to follow your outline.

Reorganize your outline if necessary, but always keep the purpose of your paper and your readers in mind. Use a free grammar and proof reading checker such as Grammarly. Is my thesis statement concise and clear? Did I follow my outline? Did I miss anything? Are my arguments presented in a logical sequence? Are all sources properly cited to ensure that I am not plagiarizing? Have I proved my thesis with strong supporting arguments?

Have I made my intentions and points clear in the essay? Re-read your paper for grammatical errors. Use a dictionary or a thesaurus as needed. Do a spell check. Correct all errors that you can spot and improve the overall quality of the paper to the best of your ability.

Get someone else to read it over. Sometimes a second pair of eyes can see mistakes that you missed. Did I begin each paragraph with a proper topic sentence? Have I supported my arguments with documented proof or examples? Any run-on or unfinished sentences? Any unnecessary or repetitious words? Varying lengths of sentences? Does one paragraph or idea flow smoothly into the next? Any spelling or grammatical errors? Quotes accurate in source, spelling, and punctuation? Are all my citations accurate and in correct format?

Did I avoid using contractions? Did I use third person as much as possible? Have I made my points clear and interesting but remained objective? Did I leave a sense of completion for my reader s at the end of the paper? For an excellent source on English composition, check out this classic book by William Strunk, Jr.

Place yourself in the background, Revise and rewrite, Avoid fancy words, Be clear, Do not inject opinion, Do not take shortcuts at the cost of clarity, … and much more.

The Elements of Style was first published in There is also a particular formatting style you must follow. There are several formatting styles typically used. APA American Psychological Association style is mostly used to cite sources within the field of social sciences. Instead of providing individual recommendations for each publishing format printed, online, e-books etc. You should necessarily ask your instuctor which formatting style is required for your paper and format it accordingly before submitting.

All formal reports or essays should be typewritten and printed, preferably on a good quality printer. Read the assignment sheet again to be sure that you understand fully what is expected of you, and that your essay meets the requirements as specified by your teacher.

Know how your essay will be evaluated. Proofread final paper carefully for spelling, punctuation, missing or duplicated words. Make the effort to ensure that your final paper is clean, tidy, neat, and attractive. Aim to have your final paper ready a day or two before the deadline.

This gives you peace of mind and a chance to triple check. Before handing in your assignment for marking, ask yourself: If you feel any difficulties in writing a Research Paper, our writers and editors are always ready to help! Click Here to contact us. By clicking "Log In", you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy. We'll occasionally send you account related and promo emails. Diana from Aresearchguide Hi there, would you like to get such a paper?

Writing a good research paper outline

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Below are examples of research paper outlines. Creating an outline is the first thing you should do before starting on your research paper.

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Tutorial to the research paper outline. It helps you through the steps of writing a research paper. Good writing is essential for any article or term paper.

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How to Write a Research Paper Outline: The Complete Step-by-Step Guide access_time March 29, Writing a research paper outline is a rather challenging but usual part of student’s life. A research paper outline is a generalized, organized overview of a research topic. Outlines are useful as they help the writer think about a topic in more detail, revealing areas that may require more research. Like most outlines written for academic papers, there are at .

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Aug 23,  · Writing an outline for a research paper can seem like a time consuming task, and you may not understand the value of it if you have never written one before. Outlines can help you structure your research and your final paper in much more efficient ways, though, so it 77%(62). For a standard research paper of pages, your outline should be no more than four pages in length. It may be helpful as you are developing your outline to also write down a .