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—Wichita State University Department of English Although we’ll focus more on the organization and writing of a research paper in this article, the research process is an important first step.Research will help you in several ways: As you read and evaluate the information you discover, take notes.Research papers are intended to demonstrate a student’s academic knowledge of a subject.
Writing the thesis statement first is helpful because every argument or point you make in your paper should support this central idea you’re putting forward.
Most research papers fall into one of three categories: analytical, expository, or argumentative.
—Purdue OWL – Developing a Thesis Most research papers begin with a thesis statement at the end of an introductory paragraph.
Even if it’s not a requirement, it’s a good idea to write a thesis statement as you begin to organize your research.
Keep track of your reference materials so you can cite them and build your bibliography later.
The Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) and other university writing lab websites are excellent resources to help you understand what information you’ll need to collect to properly cite references.Separate resources analyze visual documents and examine the effects of font and of color choice.Teacher and Tutor Resources has Power Point presentations for instructors and tutors on different types of writing and lesson plans and activities to teach students how to understand and avoid plagiarism.A Resource List collects printable sheets with advice for different kinds of writing assignments from abstracts and academic research papers to Power Point presentations and resumes.Of particular value to students interested in infographics and website development is Visual Rhetoric, which looks at visual and graphic information.The homepage links to other resources, including MLA and APA style guides.The Chicago Manual of Style is found under Research and Citation Resources.Invest time in writing your thesis statement—it’s the main idea of your paper, from which everything else flows.Without a well-thought-out thesis statement, your paper is likely to end up jumbled and with an unclear purpose. An outline will help you organize your thoughts before you dig into the writing process.The thesis statement is a sentence that summarizes the main point of your essay and previews your supporting points.The thesis statement is important because it guides your readers from the beginning of your essay by telling them the main idea and supporting points of your essay.