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Research Writing ~ How to Write a Research Paper

Use your notes to write your paper. As you read over your notes, look for main themes and points of interest. These can be the main ideas you read about in your research sources.  Try to support these main ideas with facts and statistics you have collected. If the paper is argumentative, remember to provide an argument for counterpoints to your main ideas. 

Try outlining you ideas. Outlining is a way to organize your information into a series of well-ordered and understandable thoughts. What ideas are your main points and what ideas are supporting information. You may also find gaps in your ideas and reasoning. Use the outline to give yourself a better idea of what structure you paper is going to take. It will create a map for where information should be placed; how the placement of the information will create a flow of ideas. 

Try to state the main theme and supporting points in your own words. See the  Quoting, Paraphrasing, and Summarizing Guidelines from Purdue Owl. Try to explain the major ideas. Begin a new paragraph for each main idea. Remember to integrate the research you have found and acknowledge ideas and information you have learned with in-text citations. A research paper is not an essay, in other words, this is not about your opinions. Do not use first person nouns such as "I" or "my." If you have developed new interpretations or concepts related to your research, great! But, you need to back up these ideas with facts. 

Read the paper out loud. In addition to helping you express ideas in your own words, this exercise may stimulate your own thoughts and viewpoints concerning your topic. Reading out loud also helps with your phrasing and organization of ideas. Even better, read your paper out loud to someone else. You may be more aware of how your words sound when you have an audience, and they may also give you some good feedback.