Research Paper

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General Notes:

Step 1: Understand assignment. Select topic.

Percentage of time on this step: 8%

Step 2: Draft thesis or research question.

Percentage of time on this step: 7%

Step 3: Find and evaluate evidence and sources.

Percentage of time on this step: 20%

Step 4: Critically read and evaluate sources.

Percentage of time on this step: 25%

Step 5: Develop structure. Draft paper with in-text citations.

  • Polish or refine your thesis statement (from University of Wisconsin) as a response to your research question.
  • Organize your thoughts and your paper's structure. Try the following techniques:
    • Outlining strategies (from Walden University)
    • Brainstorming techniques (from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), including free-writing, listing/bulleting, 3 perspectives, cubing, similes, concept mapping, diagramming, and more
    • Talk out your structure. Record yourself talking about your topic and ideas. Transcribe your thoughts to your computer.
  • Continue to flesh out your outline (pdf from Seattle University) with more detail.
  • If you are ready to start writing, begin with segments or chunks, not necessarily the introduction or in sequence. As you write you will discover more of what you want to say.
  • Get online or in-person writing support through UFV's Academic Success Centre.
Percentage of time on this step: 5%

Step 6: Write first draft.

Percentage of time on this step: 20%

Step 7: Revise and rewrite; focus on content.

Percentage of time on this step: 10%

Step 8: Polish and put paper in final form.

Percentage of time on this step: 5%