When it comes down to it, there is one major truth about writing a research paper: only the professor's opinion matters. Each professor is different, so what they expect from the assignment may vary. While one professor may rate highly for extensive bibliographies, another professor may only care about the quality of the student's work. It is extremely important to read through the writing prompt and talk to the professor about any potential questions.
The writing prompt is the basic guide to completing the assignment. In the writing prompt, the professor will detail exactly what they expect and what the student should do in their writing. From narrowing down the topic area to bibliography requirements, the writing prompt is the main tool that students have to make sure that they are completing the assignment correctly.
A research paper is basically an essay that covers current research in the field. In literature, history and arts classes, the paper will often have a thesis statement and an argument. To succeed at this assignment, students must find strong academic sources that support their argument. They may have to look in the library, interview an expert or search online to find sources. Each source can then be used as evidence to support the student's argument.
In middle school and high school, students often find it difficult to motivate themselves to do schoolwork. This is because many of the assignments seem unrelated to the real world and the job positions that the student will one day hold. In comparison, research papers are immensely useful for the real world. As an employee, the student will be expected to think logically and write coherently. Writing assignments in school are designed to help students prepare for their future roles in the workforce. Due to this, every writing assignment should be taken seriously and the student should do their best work. .
In the age of the Internet, it is all to easy to buy a paper online. While many of these services provide non-plagiarized, original documents, there are some companies that sell the same paper to multiple students. If the student uses one of these papers, they could fail their class or even be kicked out of school for plagiarism. Students should be especially careful to quote and source any part of their writing that is not their own.
Fortunately, there is a positive side to online writing companies. Many students find it difficult or impossible to effectively edit their own work. There are writing companies and freelance editors available online that can help with this problem. By hiring a freelance editor, the student can get expert assistance in proofreading their document. As a result, the student can get a higher score in their class and learn new grammar errors to watch out for.
In theory, academic classes build on each other, so there would never be the same assignment handed out twice. In reality, this actually happens quite frequently. Students should always save their past assignments in a secure location. Later on, students may be able to revamp the assignment for a new project or use the exact same paper. At the very least, students can go back to their old assignments to look up previous source materials. These papers can also be used as essay examples for college applications and specific degree programs later on. As a rule, students should always make sure to save every writing assignment that they are given in college.