Your paper may evolve, so keep it fluid, but do remember to stay focused on your thesis statement and proving your points. Organize first and use your sources as they become relevant. Find supporting arguments for each point you make, and present a strong point first, followed by an even stronger one, and finish with your strongest point.
—Wichita State University Department of English Although we’ll focus more on the organization and writing of a research paper in this article, the research process is an important first step.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.The Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) and other university writing lab websites are excellent resources to help you understand what information you’ll need to collect to properly cite references.Here’s a tip: Try storing your notes in a spreadsheet.Create columns for elements you want to include in your paper as well as information necessary for your citations/bibliography.Columns can include headings such as Title, Author, Reference link, Page number, and Quotes. Don’t skip the organization step—it’s critical to your paper’s success.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.Your thesis statement should match the type of paper you’re writing.Invest time in writing your thesis statement—it’s the main idea of your paper, from which everything else flows.