General style of a research paper
In the world of academic writing, most assignments have a specific way to write. For example, the quick five paragraph essay has a predetermined format that most students learn to use. Unfortunately, students get so caught up in creating an essay exactly to that form, they forget to craft something amazing. It is always a good idea to craft the essay in the assigned style, but it is also very important to include interesting information that will keep readers wanting to read.
Most research papers have a set style. They require many of the same elements that an academic essay requires, but those elements will be determined by the style that the professor sets. Most students in high school will write research papers using MLA or APA styles. Once students get to college and graduate school, they often branch out into Turabian and Chicago style papers. These styles usually dictate the way that sources are documented in the text, how the page numbers are laid out, and what the paragraphing should look like.
Despite the style, most research papers are designed the same way. Most require an introduction that sets up the problem by revealing the thesis and an interesting hook. After the introduction, students usually have to present the problem in more depth by including important terminology and historical events. These pieces of information need to be documented to prove that the sources are accurate and reliable.
The Body and Conclusion
Once you have presented enough background information, then it is time to develop the new ideas that come from the research you have done. This is where you will share more information, but you will begin to analyze or synthesize the information to create something new. This is the challenging part of the research paper, because your opinions need to be based on fact. You often have to show why your idea is good and how it will work. In order to support yourself, you will continue to present your thoughts all the way through the conclusion, where you urge your reader to do something about the idea you created.
Bibliography and Appendix
Finally, you will include your bibliography or works cited page as well as an appendix at the end of the piece. Some research styles require an annotated bibliography, where you write about the validity of the sources that you chose.
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