How do you write a good college research paper?


Quick Answer

To write a quality college research paper, choose an appropriate topic, find and use excellent sources and organize the paper properly. Write at least two drafts, and carefully proofread for errors.

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Full Answer

  1. Choose an appropriate topic

    A research paper typically needs to address a controversial question rather than just summarize settled knowledge. Your professor's requirements are tantamount, however, so follow his instructions on selecting a quality topic. Try to choose a subject that interests you, as this makes doing the research and writing much more enjoyable.

  2. Take careful notes while researching

    Keep track of all the sources used to assist you on both sides of the subject. Be certain to note exactly where each of the ideas presented in your research paper came from. You need this information to create footnotes or endnotes as you write as well as a sources cited page.

  3. Organize the paper in a logical way

    Present the point you wish to prove, then provide evidence supporting that point throughout the paper. By the time the reader finishes your conclusion, he may not agree with you, but he should understand how you came by your opinion.

  4. Start early

    Give yourself plenty to time to write a quality first draft and a finalized copy. Check grammar and spelling carefully in both drafts. Ideally, have someone else read the paper for clarity and typographical errors before you turn it in.

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