1. Planning a Paper

Discovering what interests you and how to share ideas with your readers is a strong beginning for a research paper that will take you beyond your current level of knowledge.

We hope you enjoy this complimentary research tutorial.
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1.1  Selecting a topic that interests you


Selecting a topic that interests you

Learn different brainstorming practices to help you write a paper you’ll enjoy working on.


Narrow your topic

Ask questions about your subject and work with your assignment to choose an interesting, manageable topic.

1.2  Considering what your readers know about the topic


Considering what your readers know about the topic

Understanding your audience can help you find ways to connect your writing with their knowledge and expectations.


Consider your audience

Pose questions about the readers of your research project to determine what kinds of sources and evidence they will find most persuasive.

1.3  Developing an objective stance


Developing an objective stance

Offer an informed opinion by thinking critically about your topic to strengthen your credibility as a writer.


Consider what you know about your topic

Considering your own attitudes, experience, and stance on your topic will help you develop a reasonable research plan and locate useful evidence later on.

1.4  Composing a thesis


Composing a thesis

Creating the right thesis for your paper can help you focus your research and develop a topic that is interesting for you and your readers.


Move from research question to working thesis

As you preview sources and consider what you already know, aim to draft a statement of your working thesis and what you believe your research will show.

1.5  Organizing your ideas


Organizing your ideas

A well-organized paper with a recognizable structure will be easier to compose and will leave your readers with a clear understanding of your topic.


Organize major ideas in formal or informal outlines

Using your working thesis and major ideas, you can develop an outline to organize your project.

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