A research paper is one of the academic papers that students, especially those in college, cannot run away from. It is part of the curriculum and it helps students to sharpen their research and analysis skills. Considering its detailed and intense nature, most students find it almost impossible to do it by themselves. They seek professional assistance and this means parting with some bucks. However, if you decide to handle it by yourself, you need to know how to structure it correctly in the specified style. Below is a 7-step guideline on how to write an APA research paper:
- Choose Your Topic
Every paper must have a topic upon which the rest of the body will be built. For your research paper, choose a topic that will not give you trouble as you build up your work. Make it of reasonable scope. Not too broad that you lose focus and not too narrow that you do not cover enough.
- Formulate a Thesis Statement
This will act as a guide as you work on your research. It will keep you focused so that you do not wander all over the place. A good thesis statement keeps drawing your attention back to your main subject.
- Gather Materials
You will need adequate and relevant materials to support your thesis and give credibility to your study. Gather materials from credible sources, take notes, and make the necessary documentation. Remember to cite all your sources to avoid plagiarism.
- Make an Outline
This is the skeleton that you will use to fill in materials on your paper. Make sure that your outline is well-structured so that it does not mislead when you start building on your study. This way, you will not lose track of your thoughts since you have a guideline.
- Create a Draft
Once you have a clear direction of where your work should go, it is time to create your initial draft. This includes everything that will be in your final paper only that it has to be edited and polished before approval. Make sure that your topic is concise and catchy enough to make the right impression about the rest of the paper.
- Edit Your Paper
A research paper is quite detailed and so you will need to carefully proofread, revise, and edit it to make your final copy. Get all the necessary editing tools to get rid of errors and reconcile the ideas. All typos, grammatical errors, and common inconsistencies should be dealt with at this stage.
- Make the Final Draft
Once you are done with all the editing, you can now write your final draft. Make sure you confirm with your tutor on any specific details that should be on your final paper per your college’s requirements.
Writing a quality research paper is not necessarily difficult but it can be quite a challenge if you do not know how to do it. The guideline above is a standard APA style process that will help you to deliver a high-quality paper.