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Usually, research papers written by high school students consist of four main parts: an introduction, body, conclusion, and reference page. However, it is possible to split each of these parts into smaller steps. Everything depends on the established requirements for a particular paper.
The first paragraph is in fact the introduction. It should contain a thesis statement—a sentence which raises a question to be answered. In other words, it explains what your paper will be about and defines the main point to be proved. You can present it as a specific detail followed by a commentary (your argument). Remember, the thesis should always be an affirmative sentence, not a question.
The body consists of paragraphs to prove your thesis. Each paragraph should contain a topic sentence, a concrete detail, and commentary. The point you’ll dispute or support in the paragraph is presented in a topic sentence (usually an opening sentence). A concrete detail can be described as specific information revealed during the research (for example, a direct quotation from a literary work if you write a paper on literature). Commentary is the most important part because you provide your analysis and assessment of the detail you’ve given. This is the feature that distinguishes a research paper from a report.
The conclusion should restate the thesis and summarize the main points presented in the preceding body paragraphs. On the whole, the research paper is based on the diverse views of different scholars and experts, but in this part you should give your opinion. If it isn’t a lengthy piece of writing the conclusion should be one or two paragraphs.
This is the part where you place the information from your source cards. This makes it easier for the reader to follow the citations you’ve inserted throughout the paper. This page can also be called the “Works Cited” page or “Bibliography”. All sources (books, periodicals, newspapers, internet, etc.) referred to in a particular work should be listed alphabetically. Research sources must be cited even if the material is paraphrased. First of all, this way you’ll make your ideas more credible. Secondly, references will testify that your writing is plagiarism-free. Prior to writing, draft an outline to create a more detailed plan of the paper. Review your notes and select the most appropriate supporting details for your thesis. Arrange them in a parallel structure of headings and subtopics. This will help you organize your thoughts and visualize what extra arguments you need to add to prove your ideas.