A research paper presents the results of your investigations on a selected topic. Based on your own thoughts and the facts and ideas you have gathered from a variety of sources, a research paper is your own synthesis of these facts and ideas, with complete documentation of where those facts and ideas came from. In this sense a research paper is a new work that you create by consulting several sources to answer a research question.
A research paper is not a summary of an article or book or a collection of summaries of articles or books. You should demonstrate that you understand the problems by interpreting and evaluating the information you present.
The purpose of writing a research paper is two-fold: (i) to broaden your knowledge of a specific topic, and (ii) most importantly to help you gain experience in writing such papers: the experience in gathering, interpreting, and documenting information, developing and organizing ideas and conclusions, and communicating them clearly by itself constitutes an important part of your education.
- Introduction: Statement of the problem by providing background information and outlining what you intend to do in the
body of the paper. The Introduction should end with a paragraph describing what is done in each section of the paper.
- Body: Presenting the results of your research in an organized and consistent manner. It should be clearly seen that you
understand the material well. Use every opportunity to analyze critically different views on the subject you are presenting – this
is the best way to demonstrate understanding. You must avoid writing mere summaries of what other authors have written on
the subject. Give your opinion. The body of the paper should itself be divided into sections – see FORMAT below.
- Conclusion: Summary of the most important results of your research discussed in the body of the paper.
Specific Research Paper Format
Please note the following specific requirements for the research paper. They are to appear in the order that they are listed:
- A Title Page with:
- The paper title
- Your name, the course, and the date
- The professor’s name
- A Research Paper with:
- Begins with an Introduction
- Has a well-organized Body divided into Sections and Subsections
- Ends with a Conclusion or Summary
- A Reference or Bibliography
- Personal Reasons for Attending College
- Reason 1
- Reason 2
- Reason 3
- Reason 4
These additional requirements are geared toward producing the final printed work:
- 1-inch margins only
- 12-point font
- Double spaced lines
- Sections and subsections divided by one blank line
- No blank lines between paragraphs in the same section
- Single spaced references/bibliography
- No one-sentence paragraphs
- Number all pages except the Title Page
- The paper should be well-structured and should demonstrate your ability to analyze the problems you are writing on.
- The paper should contain no typos and no basic grammar mistakes.