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Set Specific Goals

Writing a research paper is a lot easier on you, the student, when you set yourself certain goals. All of this takes place before you start the research and the writing. The saying goes that if you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail. So rather than rushing in to begin writing your research paper, stop, take stock of the situation and list your goals. Here are a few possible specific goals.

  • set up a timetable
  • create an ideal topic
  • create an ideal thesis statement
  • become an expert note taker
  • create an outstanding plan
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Don't use easy topics for a research paper


If you are writing a research paper it is important that you avoid incredibly easy topics. Chances are the easy topic you pick has already been done hundreds of times and your teacher or professor has probably read every possible argument. If you write on an easy topic that has been done by many of your classmates or former classmates it will only serve to bore your teacher and will likely result in your inability to craft an articulate and coherent analysis or a presentation that is thorough. This will result in a poor grade.

Instead of picking an easy topic for your research paper write about something that inspires passion in you. Write about something that you care about personally. You can write on any number of topics. If you are composing a narration style paper you can write about:

  • An experience that occurred and left you feeling disillusioned
  • An experience that was frightening
  • An experience that was embarrassing
  • A journey that was memorable
  • A first time visit to a big city
  • A breakup with a friend
  • A time when you were rejected
  • An encounter you had with something of which you were afraid
  • An experience that was dangerous
  • A situation where a significant misunderstanding took place
  • An experience that proved that you need to be careful when you wish for thing

Once you choose your topic it is time to write. If you are struggling with competition with your classmates, try and turn the sense of competitiveness into a sense of cooperation. Try collaborating on some projects or helping each other out during a study group. This can foster a lot of camaraderie. Try and form a writing group with other students and really drive home the idea that you are all there to help one another.

Make sure that the space in which you are writing has all of the tools you need. If you need a highlighter, keep one in the writing space or in a container that you bring to the writing space each time you work. If you need some sticky notes, keep those in supply. If you need certain music or candles or colored motivational posters, bring those too. Find whatever cultivates a creative atmosphere for you and use that each time you write to inspire you creative side.

Paper Structure Guides

Citation Styles

Research Sources

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