What is a Research Paper?
Different people experience different images when they hear the words ‘research paper’. To others, it involves tedious work of hunting for important information and perspectives on various issues from piles of books and articles. Whichever the image that comes it mind, it is certain that the idea of utilizing sources of information, such as artworks, people, books, and articles, is basic. However, a research paper comprises of more than just a review of the various literature in a field, more than the gathering of various information concerning the topic under consideration, and more than total collection of sources. A research paper argues a point or analyses a viewpoint/ perspective. Regardless of the nature of the research paper being written, the final research paper must present the writer’s own thoughts on the subject which are supported by the information and ideas obtained from other sources.
For instance, a practicing lawyer can read and research about different cases, and then use such in support of their own case. In like manner, a scientist studies several case studies in order to back up a scientific principle or idea. Similarly, a student of history researching about the Vietnam War can draw information from books, newspaper articles or interviews with veterans in order to confirm and/ or develop a perspective and then back it up with evidence.
A research paper is basically an expanded essay which presents the writer’s argument, evaluation and interpretation. When writing a research paper, the writer uses their thoughts concerning a subject as well as their knowledge on the given issue. When writing a research paper, the writer is basically building on the knowledge that they have on a subject while also making intentional efforts to obtain information from the experts. Research paper writing therefore involves going through different knowledge on a subject, and then selecting the best information possible for the field. The researcher must approach this survey of a sea of information in an orderly and focused way. This way, the writer does not get lost in the numerous sources of data and perspectives.
This guide, in fact, is specifically designed to assist the student to navigate through the research by developing a proper thesis and research question, conducting the research, writing the essay, and accurately documenting the references that have been used in the course of the research.