You take the last sip from your fourth cup of coffee. Caffeine no longer works for you, but it just tastes like you have been productive. Every tired tap of the keyboard breaks the silence of the night. You reread the last line you typed. Backspace, backspace. Your eyes dart to your phone—Thirty minutes until your paper is due and 11 Twitter notifications. You string profanities with every breath. Must writing research papers always be this tedious?
We don’t graduate from school without having our encounters with research papers. This has become an unofficial rite of passage that most schools share, to the despair of the students. We have been told that research papers are an integral part of higher learning. It helps boost our critical thinking and writing skills. But these definitions seem removed and distant from us. It may be why we treat writing our papers as simply a requirement that we have to comply with to pass the course. Although we are acquainted with various formats in writing, students are most familiar with APA style in research papers. As we chase deadlines, a part of us wonders why we are forced to write these papers when not all of us will head down the research path.
Unlike what we’d like to believe, research is not just a transcription of facts paraphrased from another transcript. It boomed soon after progress in communication. In its basic form, it is a means of correspondence from one inquisitive mind to the next. Think of it as a chat box with a more academic and formal interface. You state something, and the other members in the chat either support or refute the first idea. Only you couple each reply with ten or a hundred pages of explanation. Following this perspective, we have been replying to dead people, and babies who haven’t been born will soon be responding to us. Therefore, when you’re writing a research paper about relativity, you’re also talking to Einstein!
When you are relaying information, you can do so in multiple styles. Think of it as a maze with dozens of pathways that open to one exit. Because your paper followed a familiar path, your reader would have no trouble going through the information maze. When people adhere to the same writing style for their discipline, the transfer of information becomes more effortless. In academic writing, you are generally required to write in a specific writing style. Among MLA, APA, Chicago, and CSE styles, APA style creates a comprehensible flow of ideas for the content. The writing and citation style is direct and easy to understand. It is also easy for readers to use the reference page when they want to verify the content. The consistency of style in a specific discipline allows for smoother transfer of information.
The price of simplifying complex concepts is the liberty to structure your paper in any way you want. However, this restriction proved to be an asset for the APA writing style. Because people in the same discipline use the same style, people can follow the flow of ideas smoothly. One of the tricks you can use in writing your research paper is preparing an outline. Outlines let you arrange your ideas logically later on. You can start by dissecting the parts of a paper into headers.
You indicate on this page the name of the study, the authors, and their associated institution. There are multiple derivatives to the format, but the content is similar throughout the different studies.
Your abstract contains an overview of your entire study. Liken this section to a 90-minute film condensed into 5 minutes. You will write your research’s synopsis in a few sentences, usually in 150 words.
This is the meat and blood of your research paper. It contains the backstory of your study. You will describe how you performed the study. Your results and discussion paint a picture of what happened and why it happened.
The reference page is a list of studies that helped you in your research. It is like a thank-you list for the researchers that contributed to the writing of your paper.
After you have prepared the things you would need to write, you can start expounding on your ideas using the following guides in writing your APA research paper.
Even in day-to-day conversations, there can be times when we can’t say what we mean and mean what we say. This is a no-no in research where you have to relay an overwhelming amount of information. Since the info cannot be effectively contained in short replies or emails, researchers talk via research papers. Since we are bound to participate in the academic conversation, how do we improve our communication skill?
Imagine that there is a Netflix for research papers, and people would just scroll past yours because your title is bland. Unlike movie posters, you don’t have bright colors to attract your readers. A catchy title is even more necessary. Your challenge is making it attractive, informative, and interesting with just a few words. You can develop several titles from a list of keywords from your research paper. Select the few ones that sound good to you, or ask your friends to choose which they like best.
No one hates literature reviews more than students. You have to read a lot of articles and synthesize their content. A literature review contains the studies about your subject that will help answer your research question. You also have to explain what makes that research significant for your paper. As your review gets longer, you might stray from your research question. One way to keep yourself on track is to make a physical note your research objectives. Having a reminder around while writing your Review of Related Literature will help you tie together all your points in the review.
Suppose you drew something beautiful. Now you are instructing another person over the phone to replicate your drawing down to the smallest detail. This is what writing research methodology should be like. For the art to be replicated, the instructions you’ll give must be clear. The methods should help answer the research questions. It is encouraged that you use the established approach that has been tried in related research. However, you can also propose a method for the study, as long as you justify why there is a need for such.
This tip is all over blogs about writing a research paper and about school. However, procrastination remains the main reason why you are still revising at 11:50 PM, 10 minutes before the deadline. Arduous tasks are even more stressful when you keep looking for excuses not to do them. Remember, you cannot rush quality. Instead, work smarter by distributing your workload across several days. The earlier you start writing your APA research paper, the more time you’ll have to relax with Netflix and pizza and do other projects.
At least twice in your life, you will pour long hours on a research paper. Since they are inevitable, you can make those hours a more rewarding experience instead. Writing doesn’t have to be so difficult a task when you understand what you’re doing. The next time you have a research paper assignment, incorporate these guides and tips! And who knows, you might actually come to love research.