Research Paper – MLA Format

When your teachers or professors assign you to write a Research paper do you dread the thought of it? By learning and mastering 4 key to writing successful research papers, you will be able to write thoroughly researched, well written and successful research papers in a short period of time. The 4 key elements are:

• Researching your topic
• Creating an Outline
• Writing a rough draft
• Rewriting and editing final Research Paper

The purpose of this article is to show you how to apply these 4 key elements to writing successful research papers.

Key #1: Researching Your Topic

When your teacher/professor assigns gives you the assignment, be sure that you write down as much information about the topic and verify its accuracy. Today, many have the option to research their papers in the Public/School libraries or the Internet. If you have both options, strive to use both in order to help validate the information you have gathered. If you use the Internet to conduct your research, use verifiable information sources like online: University, City, State or National libraries to help strengthen the accuracy of your information. Remember, your results will only be as strong and successful as the strength of the information that you write in it. Organize your research by using numbered index cards (paper cards or electronic sticky notes on your computer) to record the various pieces of information that you gather and intend to use in writing your research paper. After you finish gathering your research information the next key to writing a successful research paper is to write an outline using that information.

Key #2: Creating an Outline

There are different formats you can use to create your research paper outline. For this article, I am using the format that uses Roman numerals (I, II, III, IV) for major topics and Alphabets (a, b, c…) for minor topics and lower level numbers (1, 2, 3) for sub-topics. If you are using a word processor, e.g. Word, Open Office Writer, etc. you have a choice of several outline formats. An example outline for making a raw vegetable salad might look something like this:

Preparing a Vegetable Salad

I. Select the Vegetables for the Salad

a. Tomatoes
b. Lettuce
c. Onions
d. Cucumbers

II. Wash Vegetables

a. Fill a tub with warm soapy water
i. Use organic vegetable soap
b. Scrub with vegetable brush
c. Rinse vegetables thoroughly

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