WebspirationPRO How To's - Write a Research Paper

How to Write a Research Paper

Research papers are standard in most college coursework. Longer than an essay, a research paper requires its author to think critically about a particular topic or question, develop a thesis or statement of their position regarding the topic or question, conduct research to support their position, and formulate a conclusion based on their findings.

To write a research paper:

  • Select a topic, making sure it is relevant to your research paper assignment.
  • Narrow the topic to a manageable subject. For example, a broad topic would be “Environmental Issues.” Narrowing the topic to “Environmental Benefits of Biofuel” is more specific.
  • Identify your audience. Who would be interested in your topic and your findings? You will need to tailor your writing to that audience.
  • Begin your research on the topic, making sure to record all of your sources accurately as you go along. Pay attention to domain name extensions when doing your research on the Internet. For example, sites that end with .edu (educational institution), .gov (government), or .org (non-profit organization) may be more reliable than .com sites.
  • Create an outline to organize your information before you start the writing process.
  • Write a thesis statement that declares your belief about the topic and write your paper to address that belief.
  • When your paper is complete, proofread it and make necessary edits or revisions.
  • Ask someone else to read your paper. A second pair of eyes may see mistakes that you have missed.
  • Make sure to include a bibliography which cites all of your sources.

To write a research paper in WebspirationPRO:

1. Click the Templates/Examples button on the WebspirationPRO Starter screen to open the Research Process template.
2. Begin brainstorming ideas for your paper in Diagram View, using RapidFire® or the Create button to quickly add ideas.
3. Once you have selected your topic, brainstorm everything you already know about it.
4. Switch to Outline View and begin your research. As you gather information on your subject, add subtopics or notes to document the author, title, place of publication, publisher, date of publication, page numbers, URLs, creation or modification dates of web pages, and your date of access.
5. After the research has been gathered, organize your research by dragging topics and subtopics into categories, such as those related to the questions you are trying to answer.
6. When finished, transfer your document to your favorite word processor to compose the arguments that support and defend your thesis, develop your conclusion, and complete your paper.

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