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Guide to Writing a Research Paper That Shines

Guide to Writing a Research Paper That Shines

Sometimes being tasked with writing a research paper can seem intimidating, but the reality is that when approached in the correct manner, writing a paper is quite simple. This guide tells you the steps that are needed to write a research paper that will come together with ease and impress your teacher or professor.

Choose the Topic

The topic should be one that both captures your interest and challenges you. The attitude you have toward the topic can determine the level of effort and enthusiasm that is put into the research. The topic should be narrowed down from something broad to something specific. The teacher should approve the topic before you start research. If you are not sure what is expected in the assignment, read the assignment sheet again or ask the teacher. Stay away from topics that are too specialized or have a narrow range of source materials.

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Finding the Information

Using a search engine is a good starting point for research. When checking out websites, pay careful attention to the domain name extensions, these will tell you who owns the domain such as the government with .gov, a nonprofit organization with .org, or an educational institution with .edu. Many commercial sites are pretty good, but a large number contain only advertisements for products. Aside from websites, use magazines, newspapers, government publications, encyclopedias, almanacs, and regular books.

Thesis and Outline

In a nutshell, a thesis is a declaration of your beliefs. The body of the essay will contain arguments that support and defend this. All of the points in the outline should relate back to the thesis. The purpose of the outline is to think through the topic carefully and organize your paper in a logical manner before beginning to write it. All of the points that are covered should logically flow from one to the other. Included in the outline should be an introduction, the body, and conclusion.

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Organize Notes and Write the First Draft

Gather all of the information according to the outline, and use the best sources available. Check for accuracy in the data that is collected. If available, opposing views should be noted to help support the thesis. This is possibly the most important part of writing a paper because you analyze, combine, sort, and digest information that has been gathered to learn more about the topic.

Arrange the outline into workable sentences in the ideas. Each idea should be summarized, paraphrased, or directly quoted to make up the first draft.

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Revising the Outline and Draft

Read the paper and correct any content errors. Double check any facts that have been included. Rearrange ideas so that they follow the outline. Edit the outline if needed, but always keep the purpose of the paper in mind. Also, run the paper through a grammar and proofreading checker.

The Final Draft

The final draft should be typed and printed in good quality. Refer back to the assignment sheet to ensure that the essay meets the requirements. Proofread the final paper for any spelling or grammar mistakes. Plan to have the final paper done at least two days before the deadline, giving you the chance to check the paper over and have peace of mind that the assignment is finished on time.

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Conclusion

Writing a research paper is a combination of gathering credible information, and then arranging this information into a way that makes sense. When you follow this approach, it will become clear what is needed to do this. Above all, follow the instructions that are given by the teacher or professor. This will be the best bet in presenting the information that is required for a good grade.

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Last Updated on November 19, 2019

7 Signs That You’re Way Too Busy

7 Signs That You’re Way Too Busy

“Busy” used to be a fair description of the typical schedule. More and more, though, “busy” simply doesn’t cut it.

“Busy” has been replaced with “too busy”, “far too busy”, or “absolutely buried.” It’s true that being productive often means being busy…but it’s only true up to a point.

As you likely know from personal experience, you can become so busy that you reach a tipping point…a point where your life tips over and falls apart because you can no longer withstand the weight of your commitments.

Once you’ve reached that point, it becomes fairly obvious that you’ve over-committed yourself.

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The trick, though, is to recognize the signs of “too busy” before you reach that tipping point. A little self-assessment and some proactive schedule-thinning can prevent you from having that meltdown.

To help you in that self-assessment, here are 7 signs that you’re way too busy:

1. You Can’t Remember the Last Time You Took a Day Off

Occasional periods of rest are not unproductive, they are essential to productivity. Extended periods of non-stop activity result in fatigue, and fatigue results in lower-quality output. As Sydney J. Harris once said,

“The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it.”

2. Those Closest to You Have Stopped Asking for Your Time

Why? They simply know that you have no time to give them. Your loved ones will be persistent for a long time, but once you reach the point where they’ve stopped asking, you’ve reached a dangerous level of busy.

3. Activities like Eating Are Always Done in Tandem with Other Tasks

If you constantly find yourself using meal times, car rides, etc. as times to catch up on emails, phone calls, or calendar readjustments, it’s time to lighten the load.

It’s one thing to use your time efficiently. It’s a whole different ballgame, though, when you have so little time that you can’t even focus on feeding yourself.

4. You’re Consistently More Tired When You Get up in the Morning Than You Are When You Go to Bed

One of the surest signs of an overloaded schedule is morning fatigue. This is a good indication that you’ve not rested well during the night, which is a good sign that you’ve got way too much on your mind.

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If you’ve got so much to do that you can’t even shut your mind down when you’re laying in bed, you’re too busy.

5. The Most Exercise You Get Is Sprinting from One Commitment to the Next

It’s proven that exercise promotes healthy lives. If you don’t care about that, that’s one thing. If you’d like to exercise, though, but you just don’t have time for it, you’re too busy.

If the closest thing you get to exercise is running from your office to your car because you’re late for your ninth appointment of the day, it’s time to slow down.

Try these 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise.

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6. You Dread Getting up in the Morning

If your days are so crammed full that you literally dread even starting them, you’re too busy. A new day should hold at least a small level of refreshment and excitement. Scale back until you find that place again.

7. “Survival Mode” Is Your Only Mode

If you can’t remember what it feels like to be ahead of schedule, or at least “caught up”, you’re too busy.

So, How To Get out of Busyness?

Take a look at these articles to help you get unstuck:

Featured photo credit: Khara Woods via unsplash.com

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