A research paper is something that everyone in the academic field has to submit at some point. However, the format of a research paper can be difficult to master and even harder to write a really good paper. These papers essentially require one hypothesis, supporting arguments, and then based on data and the arguments: a conclusion. However, a good research paper has a lot more than just following the basic format. In this article, we will be illustrating the format of the paper for teachers and academicians to help their students write a phenomenal research paper.
There are many different steps that a teacher can take to help their students prepare a research paper. These are:
1. The most important thing for a research paper is learning how to select the kind of language that is required for a research paper, which is purposive language. The only way to master purposive language is to practice it repeatedly. So as a teacher, the first thing you can do to help your students write good research papers is to give them several research paper assignments so that they can practice and hone their skills. Prior to the assignments, you should also make sure to not only properly explain the format and the requirements to your students but also hold a question session where you can help your students with any doubts that they have.
Giving them a sample for reference is also helpful. However, even with all of the tips by you, you have to make sure that they write several research papers because it’s one of those things where the only way to get it right is to practice. However, make sure that the assignments that you assign are short, as these ones are only to help the students hone their skills, not to burden them. The most effective way would be to have several short research-paper-like assignments throughout the semester to help students practice their skills so that when it comes to the end of a term, they will be well prepared.
2. The second important aspect when it comes to a research paper is understanding sources. Help and guide students in picking their primary and secondary source material because a student can be confused in the beginning as to what should be the primary source and what should be a secondary source. It’s also difficult for beginners to identify which sources are authentic and which aren't. There are two ways to help with this. One would be to have your students discuss their sources with you beforehand in a one-on-one meeting. Alternatively, you could hold a group question session where you give them examples of what kind of sources are authentic as well as what kind of sources are primary or secondary. The best case would be to utilize both these strategies. It is also extremely important to explain to your students how effective a secondary source or an argument is in comparison to a primary source.
3. The third very important thing when it comes to a research paper is citation. As a teacher, it is essential for you to explain to your students the concept of plagiarism. In any academic field, plagiarism is absolutely unacceptable, and students may not understand the gravity of it. It is your duty to teach them why plagiarism is not okay and then how to cite to ensure there is no plagiarism. Citation can be quite complicated for newbies and require repeated interventions to get it right. You will be required to hold workshops to teach your students how to cite and introduce them to different citation methods. For example, usually, most schools use APA; however, law schools tend to use Harvard Blue book, or OSCOLA. Something that can be helpful in giving your students a sort of quick reference guide for the kind of citation style they need to use.
4. The fourth important thing that students need to be taught by teachers when it comes to research papers is how important it is to have several drafts. Students usually tend to ignore the revision process. However, the revision process is pivotal to having a good research paper. Every paper requires a minimum of 3 revisions, which means they require at least to draft before one can come to a decent research paper. You can help students do this by requiring them to submit drafts to you at specific deadlines. To ensure you don’t burden your students, make sure that the drafts are not very long. For example, you could ask your students to submit a 700-word draft for their entire research paper maybe halfway through the semester. That way, you’ll be able to evaluate if your student is going the right way, has picked a good enough topic and accurate sources, as well as the kind of language they are using. Accordingly, then you can provide your students with the help they need.
5. The final thing that you have to help your students get right as a teacher is how to construct a good argument from the evidence they have. Being able to use your sources once you pick good sources is very important. This is something that many experienced researchers still get wrong because even with the evidence if your argument is not constructed properly, the research paper does not come off as convincing enough. You can help your students hold the skill by having small assignments or workshops where students have to practice writing thesis statements from the given data. Make sure to also explain to your students the importance of writing clear thesis statements utilizing the active voice. Teach them the importance of being able to identify a strong read between the evidence and the argument they are making.
As a teacher, helping your student write a good research paper primarily hinges on how much practice you can give them. As long as you give them a lot of practice and are available to help them through every step of the way, your students will end up churning out great research papers. Good luck!