How to write a research paper

Organize and structure your thoughts to write an essay

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How to write a research paper by Mind Map: How to write a research paper

1. Think about your topic

1.1. What will you enjoy writing about?

1.1.1. Dogs

1.2. Why will someone who reads this be interested?

1.3. What's your goal for this paper?

1.3.1. Inspire someone about your topic?

1.3.2. Specific grade?

1.3.3. Do your best work?

1.4. Decide what your topic focus will be.

1.4.1. Pitbulls

2. Research

2.1. Compile some ideas

2.1.1. Pitbulls are awesome!

2.1.2. They have a bad reputation

2.1.3. Some places outlaw pitbulls

2.1.4. This isn't fair

2.2. References

2.2.1. Primary sources

2.2.1.1. Research studies

2.2.1.2. Expert reports

2.2.1.3. News reports

2.2.1.4. Survey data

2.2.1.5. Journal articles

2.2.2. Secondary sources

2.2.2.1. Third party research

2.2.2.2. Books

2.2.2.3. Magazine articles

2.2.2.4. Blogs

2.2.2.5. Most web pages

2.3. While researching, start compliling your "Works Cited" page.

2.3.1. MLA format is usually used for English papers. Use an MLA formatter like this one:

3. Sketch your outline

3.1. Intro

3.1.1. Include your thesis

3.1.2. Give a summary of the paper

3.1.3. Have a "hook" to grab the reader's attention

3.2. Body

3.2.1. Each topic from your thesis should have a section

3.2.1.1. include subpoints or rebuttals where needed

3.2.1.2. keep suptopics organized so they don't get lost

3.2.2. Include sources you will reference in each section

3.2.3. Follow the same order as your thesis

3.3. Conclusion

3.3.1. Restate your thesis

3.3.2. Summarize your conclusions

3.3.3. Reinforce your purpose

4. Format and write

4.1. Start with an MLA template, like this one

4.2. Use your outline to write your paper

4.3. Use an MLA reference to help with in-text citations

4.4. Pay attention to how you quote your sources.

4.5. Use good transition words

5. Proofread & Finalize

5.1. Have someone read your paper for you

5.1.1. Does it made sense? Points clear?

5.1.2. Any questions?

5.2. Double check for spelling, run-ons, fragments

5.3. Check citations and references

6. Watch this video for an overview

7. Choose your thesis

7.1. It should describe what you want your paper to do

7.1.1. Persuade?

7.1.1.1. Pitbull legislation should be repealed because 1, 2, 3...

7.1.2. Inform?

7.1.2.1. Pitbulls are really intelligent and lovable pets because 1, 2, 3. Therefore, they don't deserve their bad reputation.

7.1.3. Analyze?

7.1.3.1. An analysis of dog breeds shows that pitbulls are a breed with a bad reputation but devoted following.

7.2. It should be defendable and supported by your research. Use Toulmin as a guide

7.3. Should be a roadmap to your paper

7.3.1. Have at least 3 points you will discuss

7.3.2. Can be one sentence or explained in your intro paragraph

7.3.3. Need more help?

8. Teacher

8.1. Rubric

8.2. Resource

8.2.1. Research help

8.2.2. Formatting questions

8.2.3. Writing help

8.2.4. Anything else!