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Research Process

Bringing it Together

From this point on, you should start building your paper with the part that you're most comfortable with. Some people will write their articles straight from the introduction to the conclusion. Others will break their papers into pieces with subheadings and jump around to different sections.

Sometimes how you fill out your research paper, so to speak, will depend on the type of paper you're writing. For example, when I used to write textual analysis papers for history courses, I would start with a specific quote from the document and work my way out. I did this because I was excited to break down the primary source and because I had a lot to say. However, when I write papers using quantitative or qualitative methods, I write the "methods" section first because it is the most straight forward part to me. Everyone has their own unique way of getting from start to finish when it comes to writing. As you write more research papers, you'll figure out a method that works great for you.  

Writing Resources

The Writing Resource Center is a great place to go to get assistance with your writing. They offer regular workshops to brush up on all stages of the writing process. You can work with a peer, tutor, or staff instructor. Be sure to take advantage of all the services they offer.

Open Textbook Library offers a free textbook, Writing in College: From Competence to Excellence, that covers the different aspects of academic writing. Because this is an open access resource, you're able to download a PDF copy and keep it for reference. Topics it covers:

  • Theses & arguments
  • Intros & conclusions
  • Integrating sources 

Am I Done?

To help figure out if you're officially done, ask yourself a few questions:

  • Are my thoughts organized logically?
  • Do my conclusions match the materials I utilized?
  • Will someone easily be able to poke a hole in my argument?
  • Am I missing something?
  • Did I overlook an essential piece of information or a relevant scholar's input? 
  • Are my citations all in place?
  • Do I have everything required on my assignment rubric?  

Creating Presentations

Your presentation and accompanying visuals allow you to show off just how much knowledge you have on your topic. The visuals that you use and the format of your presentation can help or detract from your overall message. Here are some tips to help you evaluate your slides:

  • Is the slide overcrowded? Are there too many words or images on the page?
  • Is it hard to read? ‚ÄčAre the words too small or in a hard-to-read font? 
  • Is it aesthetically pleasing? Are the slides nicely balanced? Do the colors work well together?