Most research papers fall into one of three categories: analytical, expository, or argumentative.
If you’re presenting an analysis of information, then your paper is analytical.
Even if it’s not a requirement, it’s a good idea to write a thesis statement as you begin to organize your research.
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.
Here’s a tip: Although the research paper format is fairly standardized, writing guidelines may vary not only among academic institutions but also among individual professors.
Pay attention to any how-to handouts you’ve received, and don’t forget to check your university’s writing lab for more resources.Explain the purpose of your paper and how you plan to approach the topic. MORE INFO: Starting Your Research Paper: Writing an Introductory Paragraph Here’s where your outline will come in handy.As you’re writing, remember that your outline isn’t meant to be a prison—it’s a guideline to keep you on track.Craft a strong opening sentence that will engage the reader. ) Describe how you’ve organized your approach to the topic.Just because you’re writing an academic research paper doesn’t mean you have to be dry and boring. Conclude the introductory paragraph with your thesis statement.A research paper is different from a research proposal (also known as a prospectus), although the writing process is similar.Research papers are intended to demonstrate a student’s academic knowledge of a subject.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.Once you’ve developed your thesis statement, think about the main points you’ll need to present to support that statement. Now, organize your thoughts and information under each sub-heading.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.—Purdue OWL – Developing a Thesis Most research papers begin with a thesis statement at the end of an introductory paragraph.