5 Tips For Prewriting A Research Paper In The Proper Way
- Organized Notes
Perhaps the most important first step to writing the rough draft of a research paper is to ensure that the notes the writer took while researching are well organized. For the best results, they should organize the notes as they research. However, even if they have done so, it’s a good idea to review all notes after concluding research, and organize them again. One thing many writers like to do prior to beginning work on the draft is to put their notes in categories according to each supporting idea topic.
A detailed outline of the entire paper should be constructed prior to beginning the actual writing process. The outline should touch on:
- The thesis statement
- Each paragraph’s main idea, and the major points which will be used to support it
- The sources which will be used in each paragraph
- How each paragraph will transition to the next
- An introduction, body, and conclusion for the paper as a whole
Rather than beginning with the introduction, many seasoned academic writers create the body of their research paper prior to writing the introduction. This is so that they can more easily craft an introduction which adequately lays foundation for the body paragraphs of the essay.
It can be tempting to resort to shorthand when including sources in the rough draft, but the small amount of time this may save during the draft writing process will not be worth it when the writer must go back and try to find all of the places where citations are now required. It’s usually faster, in the long run, if the writer formats and cites the paper as the first draft is being written. It also ensures that they don’t leave out an important citation or unintentionally plagiarize one of the sources they’ve included. It’s helpful to prepare the reference list at this point as well.