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Writing The Research Paper (Overview)

Writing a research paper is a process consisting of a number of steps. Students who follow the steps outlined in this guide should find the research process more productive.

Like many projects, it is important to understand clearly your assignment. If you are unclear about the assignment, your first step is to seek further clarification from your instructor.

If your instructor has not given you a schedule as to when certain steps are to be completed, it is essential that you create a schedule for yourself. Counting back from when your research paper is due, determine how much time you will need to complete each of the steps identified in this guide. Remember also to build in some time for revising and rewriting your draft.

A sample schedule might look like this:

1.  Develop a topic and create a thesis October 13, 2014
2.  Locate sources and take notes November 8, 2014
3.  Build an outline November 22, 2014
4.  Write, revise, and rewrite your paper December 5, 2014
5.  Finalize and submit your paper December 12, 2014

For help in creating a schedule, check out online assignment calculators by typing in “assignment calculator” into the search box of a search engine. An example of an assignment calculator is available from the Minnesota Office of Higher Education and the University of Minnesota Libraries.

Students who understand the assignment, create a schedule, and follow the steps in this guide should find the research process more productive.

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