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How to Write a College Research Paper

A research paper is an expanded essay in which the author does research on a given topic and then gives a description of the findings from the research. A college research paper is a typescript which every college student will at some point of their school life encounter. Writing a research paper may be overwhelming for starters since they may find it difficult to organize their findings from the research. Therefore, it is important for one to know how to write a college research paper so that it is not a daunting task anymore. A college research paper is, therefore, a collective amount of information collected from the findings of a student.

Some of the benefits of writing a college research paper are one gets a better understanding of their research work doing research is one thing but when one writes about it, they get a better understanding of the work.  Another benefit is a college research helps one have a better presentation of their presentation of their research work.

The following are the steps to How to Write a College Research Paper

STEP 1: Choosing a Topic

Selecting a topic for your college research paper is the first step to writing it. The topic you choose should be about something that interests you. While choosing the topic, however, you should consider a topic that you will have a lot to write about and the number of sources for the same should be from a wide range.

Avoid choosing narrow topics that are too technical for you as this will lower your enthusiasm and efforts during the research. Ensure you can manage the topic you have chosen. At the same time narrow your topic to a manageable topic or field that will allow the writer not to get confused with so much information. 

STEP 2:Finding Information

This entails finding out more about the topic you’ve chosen. You will need to gather both general and/ or background information regarding the topic and therefore relevant URL and other search engines come in handy. You could bookmark your favorite research sites for later reference. Finding relevant books in the libraries has been made easier through the online public access catalog. You can also gather information from encyclopedias, government publications, reports, magazines and pamphlets available in the library. Read and evaluate your sources while noting down the relevant information. You could also put down bibliographical information for later retrieval during citation. Finding information can be also approached through interviews that you do with your information source and also one can approach it through questionnaire and also observations.  These are some of the ways a student can gather their findings on the proposed or given topic.

STEP 3: Making an Outline

After gathering all information for your college research paper, making an outline is the next step. This should help you in getting your thoughts and organizing them carefully before you start writing. Ensure that your outline entails an introduction, the body part, and the conclusion part.

“What is freedom of expression? Without the freedom to offend, it ceases to exist” Salman Rushdie. This quote sums up the debate about freedom of speech and hate speech.

STEP 4: Writing the Introduction

The introduction is the part where you give your thesis statement and make known the purpose of your research. The thesis should appear among the first sentences of the introduction. The thesis could be a known or globally accepted fact, or an anecdote. It is also where you state how you plan to approach your topic. You could also highlight briefly some of the points you will discuss in your college research paper and also why readers should be interested in reading it. Ensure the introduction is as catchy as possible.

Below is an introductory paragraph for a Research Paper about Lewis Carroll and His Works

Lewis Carroll is a renowned poem, short stories and novel writer, which he has written for most part of his life. His most famous short stories was Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and his sequel, Through the Looking Glass.  Both books are intended for a child’s entertainment and are full of hidden critique, not forgetting the symbolism used. His books are however known to have great influence on countless readers. Carroll used wordplay and incredible imagination as his writing trademarks, which most novelists refer to as literary nonsense.

STEP 5: Stating the Thesis

A thesis statement is like a declaration of your belief. To some extent, it advances the original perspective as a result of the research. All information gathered in the paper should reflect in this bit, therefore making it the center of the research paper. While writing the thesis statement, you should ensure it is clear and to the point. Moreover, you should indicate the point of your paper. The thesis statement is one that showcases your main idea concerning your research, the thesis statement should at least show the topic of research and at least your position concerning the topic of research. Another point is that the thesis statement should be written at the beginning of the essay or if extended on the second paragraph. the thesis statement should be clear as well as specific to the point,  and of course, the statement should be revised often I accordance to the argument of the student, The thesis statement should be original belonging to the writer since it is their own perspective towards the topic at hand.

Below is the Thesis for a Research Paper about Lewis Carroll and His Works

To new readers who obviously have little reading experience, literary nonsense seems to perfectly describe Carroll’s style which is quite confusing and rambling. But over time, the readers realize that the ‘nonsense’ has a far deeper meaning.

Body 1 in an Argumentative Essay

At this point, you are expected to put across your first and strongest pro point regarding the topic. Begin with a topic sentence and then reasons and examples to support it.

STEP 6: Writing the body paragraphs

The body part of the research paper is where you present arguments for your thesis statement given in the introduction. You do this by defending each of your main points starting with the strong one and ending with the strongest as your final point. The body enables the reader to understand the position you take in your research.

Below is how body paragraphs are structured in a research paper.

College Research Paper: Body paragraph 1

Here, you give your first point of your research while explaining more about it. Include examples to support your point. You should begin with the topic sentence, followed by your reason supporting your topic sentence.

Topic sentence:

This is the first sentence of your body paragraph. It should introduce the reader to what your paragraph will be about. However, it should be the strongest of your points.

Below is a topic sentence of a Research Paper about Lewis Carroll and His Works

The book Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland focuses on a young girl named Alice, who gets bored of working on multiplication tables and decides to one day follow a white rabbit into a hole.

College Research Paper Reason 1

This entails your first argument. It explains further the topic sentence that you had earlier on stated. You should give all evidence and examples possible to support your argument

College Research Paper: Below is Reason 1 of a Research Paper

Alice ends up falling into Wonderland through the hole. Wonderland is a place where there are foods that can change the Drinker’s size. There is also a tea party which is thrown by a March hare. During Alice’s journey, she meets stranger characters such as a caterpillar sitting on a mushroom and one that is a hookah smoker. Alice also saw a grinning cat which wasn’t there all the time which she found quite strange. She had never seen a grin without a cat all her life. Alice then runs into three gardeners who are painting the Queen of Hearts roses red so that she will not cut their heads off. The book however ends with Alice discovering that the whole Wonderland experience was a dream from falling asleep while doing her multiplication. This story  became so popular upon the release of Disney animated version.

Body 2 paragraph in a Research Paper

It is at this point that you give your second strongest point to support your argument. This is the second body paragraph in your research paper.

Topic sentence:

At this point, you introduce the reader to your second paragraph. It shows what your second paragraph will be about.

Below is a paragraph 2 Topic Sentence of a Research Paper about Lewis Carroll and His Works

The Looking Glass is similar to Alice’s journey to Wonderland only that this time Alice steps through her mirror (looking glass). She finds herself on a Giant chessboard that has the red and white chess pieces as those of the set in her room.

College Research Paper: Reason 2

This is a further explanation of your topic sentence. It should include facts and evidence to support your second argument, clearly showing your position. Examples would come in very handy in supporting and elaborating further on your second point

Below is Reason 2 of a Research Paper about Lewis Carroll and His Works

Alice asks the Queen if she can play and she is told to take the place of a white pawn, start on the second square, and will become queen if she reaches the eighth. Alice meets Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum who tell her the poem “The Walrus and the Carpenter.” She then later meets Humpty Dumpty who tells her that he can make words mean whatever he wants and also explains to her the meaning of the poem “Jabberwocky.” Alice is then taken prisoner by a Red Knight and later rescued by a White Knight, both of whom keep falling off their horses, and she is guided safely to the eighth square where she is made a queen and is invited to the Queen’s dinner party. Once again, Alice wakes up and realizes that everything was just a dream.

Argumentative Essay Writing: Reason 3

At this point, you elaborate further on what you have highlighted in the topic sentence and give relevant examples and evidence. You could counter the con with a refutation at this point.

Below is Reason 3 of an Argumentative Essay about Freedom of Speech and Hate Speech.

A famous poem from Through the Looking Glass is ‘Jabberwocky’.  The poem contains a number of characteristics that earned Carroll the ‘literary nonsense’ title. Alice first reads this poem while holding the book containing it up to her mirror. The first stanza is then told to her by Humpty Dumpty who claims to be in a position to explain every poem sthat wasever invented and even those that have not yet been invented. Jabberwocky is therefore about a boy that is warned by his father to beware that a great beast with jaws that bite and claws that clutch, and so the boy takes his vorpal sword and seeks the huge beast. The boy slays down the monster and carries its head back to his father so that he receives his praise. Humpty Dumpty explains to Alice that most of the words that are used in the poem are words with two meanings packed into them. For instance, “slithy” means both “lithe” and “slimy,” while “mimsy” is “flimsy” and “miserable” at the same time. He also clears up the rest of the nonsense words in this poem such as “outgribing,” which he says is something between bellowing and whistling with a sneeze in the middle.

STEP 7: Writing the conclusion

The conclusion bit of your research paper is where you reword your thesis statement. Aim at explaining why you have come to the particular conclusion you have come up with during your research. Provide your final thoughts and transition to the end of the paper in a very well structured paragraph. Consider giving a summary of the points you have discussed in the body of the research paper.

Below is the Conclusion for a Research Paper about Lewis Carroll and His Works

The writing style used by Lewis Carroll is unique unlike any other style seen during his time. The ‘literary nonsense’ quality has attracted and provided entertainment to a number of children, and has stimulated the minds of many adults at the same time.Most characters and events in the two books both known and debated references to something else but their true meanings are only known to Carroll.

STEP 8: Writing a Reference Page

A research is considered incomplete if there are no references at the end of it. Make sure to include a reference page with your references listed in an alphabetical order by the last name in the APA format.

Below is a Reference Page for a Research Paper about Lewis Carroll and His Works

Works Cited

Carroll, Lewis. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. New York, New York: Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, Inc, 1992.

Carroll, Lewis. Through the Looking Glass. New York, New York: Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, Inc, 1992.

Goldfarb, Nancy. “Carroll’s ‘Jabberwocky.'” The Explicator 57.2 (Wntr 1999): 86(3). Expanded Academic ASAP. Gale. UMass Dartmouth. 6 Feb. 2013

STEP 9: Proofreading your Research Paper

Ensure you go through your Research Paper to correct errors that you may have made. You could use a grammar checker to correct grammatical errors.

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