People have vague ideas about what is a research paper. Some people know that a research paper involves research; therefore, to write a research paper, one must gather enough information about a specific topic. Others understand that a research paper is a written assignment that involves an actual amount of research. If your understanding of writing a research paper confuses you, then this essay clarifies the knowledge about what is a research paper. This essay aims to explain what is a research paper and what is not a research paper.
When we talk about a research paper, we refer to an assignment that involves an in-depth gathering of information and studying a distinct and specific topic. However, a research paper involves a broad group of data from a wide range of sources and interpretations of the writer of that particular research. This interpretation is one of the vital elements indicating an accurate research material. The research paper gives the writer a chance to use different myths or convince them to accept additional or new ideas about a particular or specific issue. However, a research paper must include appropriate backups, and the writer should be able to back up his or her writing with facts to show the reader how he or she reached the conclusions (Marušić, Lana and Ana 45).
Although writing a research paper entails that the writer must cover the topic he or she is writing about completely, the article concentrates on a particular and specific case instead of a broad one. For instance, suppose a writer wants to write about cats. “Cats” is one broad and general topic to cover and complete in the set time. Therefore, a better topic to write about would be, for example, “the proper nutrition that contributes towards cat’s longevity.
A research paper also refers to a culmination and the final product of the entire process of research that involves evaluation of sources, critical thinking, composition, and organization. A research paper is a combination of the above mention elements. Perhaps, it is essential to think of it as a living organism that grows and at the same time changes as the writer interprets, explores, and makes evaluation of the gathered information from sources that are related to a distinct and specific topic. The main elements that contribute to a research paper are secondary and primary sources(Klein 33). Therefore, it is good to acknowledge that without proper interpretation of the information gathered from these two types of sources, the research paper would change to be another writing genre, for example, a complete article. A research writer must have adequate support of these sources and interaction since they provide a research paper’s nourishment. A research paper serves to further the paper’s topic and improve the writer’s understanding and knowledge of that topic.
Lastly, no matter what subject is being researched, a research paper must achieve the following specific goals. The first paper must meet the assignment needs. Most instructors give students particular requirements for a research paper, including references, detailing topics, and documentation procedures. A writer must ensure that he or she fully understands the assignment’s scope. It is also essential to keep in mind the requirements of the research paper. It is advisable that you continuously consult your instructor to keep on the right track(Marušić, Lana, and Ana56). Second, a research paper must have a clear focus statement. The more the focus is narrow, the easier the research paper will be.
Thirdly, a research paper must have a clear thesis statement. The writer must express his or her point of view and not just report other researchers’ ideas. A research paper’s focus should be on the writer’s interpretations and opinions and not other writers’ views. Lastly, research must comment on both the quality and quantity of the used sources. It does not just present and summarize ideas of other writers (Winkler and Jo 67). An excellent research paper is the one that can distinguish between biased and reliable sources, between questionable and authoritative statistics, and between opinions and facts.
Although a research paper is made of facts, it is not merely factual report writing. Nor is a research paper an expression of opinions of the writer or an editorial, although these are also parts of a research paper. A simple gathering of research materials and information does not form a research paper. The writer’s perspective is the one that differentiates a research paper from the other genres of writing—doing research does not merely mean summarizing the research topic using secondary and primary sources. A research paper is neither a piece of opinion nor a book report nor a particular topic’s overview, nor an essay that is solely consisting of the writer’s interpretation of specific text related to the research topic.
Instead, a research paper is a writing genre that needs the writer to spend most of his or her time evaluating and investigating the relevant sources to offer their interpretations of the authorities and documenting insensible regurgitation of the references (Klein 45). A research paper aims to draw on other people’s ideas about the issue being researched and engage the relevant sources to come up with a unique viewpoint about the issue and not inform the readers on what other people say about the subject.
A research paper is not a summary or rearrangement of information gathered from several sources. It is not a written report that one can include in an encyclopedia. Also, a research paper is not a matter of copying information from different texts and pasting them to form one important document. This is known as plagiarism and not a research paper. Lastly, a research paper is not a result of a Google search or quick yahoo search that enables people to gather useless information unless a writer knows how to use information collected from websites well(Marušić, Lana and Ana67).
A research paper writer must be conservative on how he or she builds his or her arguments and analysis. A writer is not supposed to jump to a conclusion which she or he does not have enough evidence to back it up. Therefore, a research paper can be challenging to write than writing essays because it means writing and means that you must have good research skills. However, reading and gathering information from different sources helps a writer build momentum and get enough ideas about the research topic, making the entire writing easy.
Therefore, it is recommended that, before you start writing your paper, you should have a full understanding of what is expected to be included in your form. This is because different instructors have different expectations. Therefore, there is no need to waste your time writing a detailed research paper than it is required. On the other hand, the writer should avoid completing his or her paper only to notice some important things that she or he neglected to include in the form (Winkler and Jo 73). A research paper means an assignment that involves an in-depth gathering of information and studying a distinct and specific topic. This is because the goals and objectives of a research paper are to draw on other people’s ideas about the issue being researched and engage the relevant sources to develop a unique viewpoint about the issue and not inform the readers on what other people say about the subject.
- Klein, Lisl. The Meaning of Work: Papers on Work Organization and the Design of Jobs. London: Karnac, 2008. Print.
- Marušić, Ana, Lana Bošnjak, and Ana Jerončić.”A systematic review of research on the meaning, ethics and practices of authorship across scholarly disciplines.”Plos one 6.9 (2011): e23477.
- Winkler, Anthony C, and Jo R. McCuen.Writing the Research Paper: A Handbook. Boston, MA: Thomson Wadsworth, 2012. Print.