WRITING A RESEARCH PAPER:
STEPS IN THE PROCESS
I. PREWRITING: SELECT A TOPIC
- DO SOME PRELIMINARY RESEARCH
- LIMIT YOUR SUBJECT
- Form a working focus statement
(thesis) by completing one of the following:
I want to learn more about…
I want to find out…
I want to better understand…
I want to see if…
- Settle on a topic and write a
- BEGIN TO COLLECT ARTICLES
- READ AND ANNOTATE YOUR SOURCES
- PREPARE A WORKING BIBLIOGRAPHY
(Alternative: create an
- 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.
- Check your source’s credentials.
- Check your source’s bias.
- Is your source clear? Logical?
- Leave room to take notes on each
- BEGIN TAKING NOTES in your research
notebook / folder.
- QUOTE DIRECTLY…
- SUMMARIZE WHEN…
- PARAPHRASE WHEN…
- COLLECT INFORMATION FROM OTHER
SOURCES: interviews, personal papers, surveys, questionnaires, or
firsthand observations or experiences.
II. DESIGN A
- WRITE YOUR WORKING OUTLINE.
- CONTINUE YOUR RESEARCH and revise
outline as necessary.
- WRITE YOUR FIRST DRAFT.