WRITING A RESEARCH PAPER:

STEPS IN THE PROCESS

I.  PREWRITING: SELECT A TOPIC

  1. DO SOME PRELIMINARY RESEARCH

     
  2. LIMIT YOUR SUBJECT
    1. Form a working focus statement (thesis) by completing one of the following:

a.       I want to learn more about…

b.      I want to find out…

c.       I want to better understand…

d.      I want to see if…

    1. Settle on a topic and write a working proposal.

 

  1. BEGIN TO COLLECT ARTICLES

 

  1. READ AND ANNOTATE YOUR SOURCES

     
  2. PREPARE A WORKING BIBLIOGRAPHY (Alternative: create an annotated bibliography)

 

    1. In a research notebook or folder, take note of author’s name, title of print source, date; for books, also write down name of publisher and place it was published—everything you will need for your Works Cited page later.
    2. Check your source’s credentials.
    3. Check your source’s bias.
    4. Is your source clear? Logical? Thorough?
    5. Leave room to take notes on each source’s information.

 

  1. BEGIN TAKING NOTES in your research notebook / folder.

 

    1. QUOTE DIRECTLY…
    2. SUMMARIZE WHEN…
    3. PARAPHRASE WHEN…

 

  1. COLLECT INFORMATION FROM OTHER SOURCES:  interviews, personal papers, surveys, questionnaires, or firsthand observations or experiences.

 

II. DESIGN A PLAN

  1. WRITE YOUR WORKING OUTLINE.
  2. CONTINUE YOUR RESEARCH and revise outline as necessary.
  3. WRITE YOUR FIRST DRAFT.