Carefully read the writing assignment, prompts, grading rubric, or any other materials you’ve received.
It might even be helpful to highlight and take notes on the assignment.
Many students skip this step, and then wonder why they receive a low grade on a paper they worked hard on or were excited about.
It’s often because they didn’t read the instructions. Look at everything your instructor has provided you with.
Take what you have learned from a Google search or Wikipedia article and dig deeper.
Check out the sources on the article, use keywords from your internet search to search an academic database, or ask an expert whether or not what you learned is valid and if it is, where you can find a reliable source stating the same thing.So, just to be clear: you can use Wikipedia as a starting point in your research, but you should not cite Wikipedia as one of the primary sources for your research paper. You can find an article that says anything you want it to say.Did researchers recently discover that octopus DNA is made of alien DNA from outer space?Work to understand all of the different viewpoints and schools of thought on your topic.This can be done by reading a variety of articles, reading a book or article that gives an overview of the topic and incorporates different points of view, or talking to an expert who can explain the topic in depth.You can find articles testifying that all three of the previous claims are true; however, when you dig deeper, it’s clear that they’re not.Just because you find one article stating that something is true, that does not necessarily mean it is a proven fact that you can use in your research.Use the guidelines given by your instructor to help pick your paper topic.If you have a topic that you love, but you’re having trouble fitting it into the guidelines, choose another topic.If you’re a college student, you will probably have to write at least one college-level research paper before you graduate.Writing a good research paper can be daunting if you have never done it before. Here are the steps and resources you need to write a strong research paper, as well as a checklist to go over to be sure you wrote a good paper.