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How to Start a Research Paper Essay for College APA Format

Nothing may sound more tedious than the thought of starting to write a research paper. Sifting through piles of information may seem overwhelming. Each day more and more information is being added to an already large stack.

 Both students and employees are gauged not by what they know, but by their ability to find necessary information when they need it.

Guidelines for starting your research paper in APA format are essential. The following principles are designed to make the experience of starting your research paper as smooth as possible.

1.    Determine the Type of Research Paper

Research papers can take diverse forms. To begin your research paper, you will have to find out what type of research paper you want. These are:

  1. Reports – these are the shortest and purest forms of research papers. They are fact-based and should include; statistics, names, dates, or events. They take a formal tone.
  2. Science research papers – these report the results of an experiment. In these papers, you should include your methods or procedures, the results, and the implications of the data collected described in past tense. It reads like a narrative.
  3. Thesis – these research papers are usually assigned to at the college/postgraduate level as a graduation requirement. These rely on primary or secondary data sources. Includes original theories of the topic considered
  4. Dissertation –these are postgraduate level, for those aiming for a doctorate. These must bring additional information rather than report on what exists and rely on primary data sources.
  5. Business report – employment level. Should be concise

Once you have decided on the type of research paper, you should check on the expected guidelines from your authority figure.

2.    Identify your Broad Subject

The subject refers to what you are writing about. It is a broad area of study from which you can select a more specific area of research.

You can express this in a general sense with fuller terms, then narrow down to a particular specialty.

3.    Choose an Interesting Research Topic

The topic stems from the subject. You should choose a topic that holds interest to you, if you will, one that fascinates you.

Select an item that inspires your passion or at least mildly entertaining. An exciting topic may make the process smoother and aid you in writing faster. You should select a topic such as in psychology, where you can find adequate information.

Consider the difficulty of finding the research material and choose a topic that will give you enough to work with. You do not want to realize your selected subject is a dry well halfway through the process.

4.    Formulate a Thesis for Your Research Paper

A thesis is the main point or idea that your research paper is aiming to prove. It is usually the last sentence in your introductory paragraph. Please don’t confuse it with a hook for an essay or purpose statement.

General surveys and simple reports may not need a thesis. A thesis transforms your paper from a story to an argument that supports a particular view of the collected facts.

Your thesis is like the spine that connects all the sections of your research paper. It may show the relationship between the variables in your research.

A thesis may also lead you to make a recommendation or a prediction on the subject. Try to keep your thesis from becoming too broad or too narrow.

5.    Determine Your Sources

Once you have settled on a topic, the next thing to find is information on the subject.

The amount of information you will need may depend on; the length of your paper, the depth of knowledge required, and what the authority figure you are writing for is expecting.

Sources of information can be either primary or secondary. Primary sources are firsthand accounts, such as eyewitness accounts.

Secondary sources are commentaries for firsthand data. Depending on your subject, evaluate which source is most relevant to the goal of your research. Use authoritative and reliable sources such as data from experts and government

6.    Make an Outline

To create an outline, all you need is a list of the main ideas and facts of your paper. These may act as the raw materials for making your research paper.

The main ideas form the subtopics of your research paper. Sort your data into piles by grouping related thoughts together under the subtopics.

Categorize and number your subtopics. Skim through all the ideas under each subtopic and sort them into smaller subdivisions to an appropriate level.

To ensure that the outline is ready, check your title and subheadings against the content of your paper. Check whether your ideas flow logically and harmoniously.

Evaluate whether your subtopics support your thesis. Identify how you will transition from one subtopic to the next and ensure you have included all your relevant points.

Make sure to remove any points unrelated to the thesis that may lead you off-topic.

7.    Write Your Research Paper

Once you have collected information and organized it in a clear, systematic way, you may now start writing your research paper.

You should be comfortable at this stage because you have the skeleton of your research paper down.

By writing, you are adding meat to the bones of your research paper. The process of writing an introduction, body, and conclusion is not as hectic as it may seem.

When introducing your work, politely invite readers to your topic. Your introduction should serve as a quick orientation for your reader.

It should tell the reader what your paper is about and what arguments you hope to prove in your writing. In addition, it should inform the reader about why they should take the time to read your paper.

You may even briefly touch on the subtopics you will cover. By doing this, you will have persuaded your reader to follow your thread of thought from start to finish.

After the introduction, the body of your research paper is next. Your outline will guide how you write your body.

You can begin with the subtopics that seem easier to handle then proceed to the seemingly threatening ones.

You could rearrange the order when all the topics are written. Ensure each paragraph delivers a cohesive message under their respective subtopic.

Once you finish writing the body, you will have to write a research paper conclusion. In your afterword, you should reveal the implications of the information you have provided.

It should say whether you have proved your thesis. Avoid introducing any new or conflicting arguments.

Concluding Your APA College Research

Writing a research paper should not be an obscure adventure. With the above guidelines, you should be able and confident enough to start tackling a research paper and even more, to finish one.

It is a progressive process with a specific and achievable end. By handling each stage in small chunks, you are sure to start that research paper in no time.

Check on how to write reflective and reflection essays and rhetorical analysis papers.

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