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A prospectus is a formal proposal of a research project developed to convince a reader (a professor or research committee, or later in life, a project coordinator, funding agency, or the like) that the research can be carried out and will yield worthwhile results.—Wichita State University Department of English Although we’ll focus more on the organization and writing of a research paper in this article, the research process is an important first step.
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Here are the best elements to a research paper: Here’s where you present the background and context for the rest of your article.
Your paper may evolve, so keep it fluid, but do remember to stay focused on your thesis statement and proving your points. Organize first and use your sources as they become relevant. Find supporting arguments for each point you make, and present a strong point first, followed by an even stronger one, and finish with your strongest point.
MORE INFO: Strong Body Paragraphs Now, it’s time to wrap it up. Take a moment to explain why you believe those points support your case.
Without a well-thought-out thesis statement, your paper is likely to end up jumbled and with an unclear purpose. An outline will help you organize your thoughts before you dig into the writing process.
Once you’ve developed your thesis statement, think about the main points you’ll need to present to support that statement. Now, organize your thoughts and information under each sub-heading.Explain the purpose of your paper and how you plan to approach the topic. MORE INFO: Starting Your Research Paper: Writing an Introductory Paragraph Here’s where your outline will come in handy.As you’re writing, remember that your outline isn’t meant to be a prison—it’s a guideline to keep you on track.If you’re writing to explain information, then your paper is expository.If you’re arguing a conclusion, then it’s argumentative or persuasive.A research paper is different from a research proposal (also known as a prospectus), although the writing process is similar.Research papers are intended to demonstrate a student’s academic knowledge of a subject.Any information that doesn’t fit within the framework of your outline, and doesn’t directly support your thesis statement, no matter how interesting, doesn’t belong in your research paper.Keep your focus narrow and avoid the kitchen sink approach.A proposal is a persuasive piece meant to convince its audience of the value of a research project.Think of the proposal as the pitch and the paper as the finished product.