I've found that the fastest way to get going on your paper is to do the research first, then develop your thesis later. If you develop your thesis too early, you may find that there's not enough to research to support it, it's too specific, it's super lame, etc.
So where's the best place to start? Wikipedia. Despite all the Wikipedia trash talk you've heard from teachers, Wikipedia is the best place to get an outline going. It usually gives a broad overview of the topic, then has an outline with a bunch of different topics that I usually steal for my own body outline. Just make sure that you never plagiarize from Wikipedia. I mean don't ever plagiarize anything, but that is the first place your professor will go to check for plagiarization.
Once you have a rough outline, copy and paste specific quotes, passages, terms etc. from Wikipedia into Google and look at other sources that come up. Professors prefer book/print sources over online sources any day...so if your search comes up with a book or print article that has been made available online, definitely go for that. Even if it's just a sample of the book, try to find the page number, or worst-case scenario - make an educated guess. Your professor probably won't go buy the book and scan every page to check up on your citation. If you find a cheap Kindle book on your topic, you might want to buy it. Just remember to only scan through the relevant sections because you don't have time to read an entire book at this point. If your Google search leads to a sketchy looking website with no author, don't use it. It might have awesome info but your professor will not like it if the website isn't valid. That being said, if you know your professor has 200 papers to read and they aren't going to check all sources...and you're feeling lucky...then go for it.
Copy/Paste all the sentences or paragraphs you wish to paraphrase into a word document and put each section into your own words. This is to make sure you don't accidentally plagiarize...because later on you could think you have an awesome original idea but it actually came from an old source you forgot about. The sections don't need to flow together or have any kind of order, it's just about putting things into your own words. Make sure to cite your source after each section...that will save you some time when you're writing your final draft. After you're finished rewriting, delete the original texts.
By Haley Osborne
12 February 2015
How to Write Research Paper Fast [Guide]
Research paper is considered as a long term assignment, when you have to spend a lot of time on research and then even more time to put the materials together and write a decent research paper.
However, what if you don’t have all that time? What if you’ve procrastinated too much, and the deadline is tomorrow but you have no ideas, no inspiration and no research materials for your paper. And you don’t want to buy research paper online. Fortunately, there is a plan not only to write a research paper fast, but to do it with the kind of style that will nab you a fantastic grade. Here is a minute by minute guide that will lead you to a complete writing assignment withing 2 hours approx.
15 Minutes: Research Paper Thesis
If you’re going to write a paper that works, you need a solid thesis. Remember, a thesis is the thing that explains what your whole paper is going to be about. For a research paper, you need to make an assertion in your thesis – that’s just a fancy way of saying that you’re going to prove something with your research.
Don’t worry too much about whether the thing you say you’re going to prove is actually true. For now, just write a thesis that boldly shows what you think. If in the course of your research you find that you’re dead wrong, you just change a few words and no one is the wiser.
Example: Cheese is the healthiest snack available, and eating it will make you stronger, smarter, and invincible.
Revision: Broccolli is one of the most amazing snacks available, and eating it is proven to make you smarter, healthier, and more attractive to the opposite sex.
30 Minutes: Basic Research
Okay, now you need some research to support your assertion that broccoli is truly amazing. You’ll need to do some Googling to make sure you get the kind of high-quality support that your teacher wants to see.
In order to not waste your time with ads for Broccolli soup, you need to use a few important search rules that will save you time. For example, you could put in “Brocolli Health Benefits” into your search bar.
This will help, but it may not always lead to the kind of high-quality, non-commercial lead you want. Instead, try adding the term “site:.edu”.
Now, you’re getting that deep research that your professor really wants to see, plus you’re adding in lots of juicy proof for your main ideas. You can also choose site:.org for more great information.
Time-Saving Hint: After your Google search, click on the page that you think is awesome. Then, scan the page until you find what you’re looking for that will prove a portion of your main assertion. Instead of writing down the information now, just copy the URL from your browser and paste it into a new window. Then, you can just go to your previous window and back out to see your awesome search results again. You can even save similar information in different search bar windows.
15 Minutes: Writing Paper Outline
Now that you have your main research ideas organized into different search windows, you can go into your document program and create the rest of your outline around your main thesis. It should look something like this:
I. Intro Paragraph
C. Thesis – Broccoli is one of the most amazing snacks available, and eating it is proven to make you smarter, healthier, and more attractive to the opposite sex.
II. Body Paragraph
A. Main Idea
B. Proof from research
III. Body Paragraph (Repeat as needed)
IV. Conclusion Paragraph
C. Restate Thesis
All you have to do now is fill in the blanks. Copy and paste your proof from research into as many paragraphs as you need to be able to complete your assignment. Then, jot down quick ideas about how you can transition from one idea to the next.
Time-Saving Hint: Don’t worry about spending a lot of time on this, just get down a word or two so that you can get your thoughts in order. You’ll spend the bulk of your time actually writing down full sentences based on this rough framework.
30 Minutes: Writing
Now, you have a good idea of what you’re going to say and how to say it. If you really did complete the outline, you can totally finish your whole paper in 30 minutes – as long as you type fast. Basically, you are going to complete the sentences and transitions that you created in your outline and then make sure that they make sense. Also, you are going to make sure that write a great Hook and Clincher.
Hook: This is the first element of your research paper, and it should get your professor’s attention. This can be an interesting quote, a strange fact, or create a picture in the reader’s mind. Even for research papers, it’s okay to be interesting and fun with your hook.
Clincher: This is the final line in your paper. It should also be interesting and provocative. It should give the reader the final impression you want them to take away from your research and look towards the future, based on your research. For example: In fact, broccoli is so incredible, it’s likely that research will continue to show it’s health and social benefits for years to come.
Time-Saving Hint: Avoid spending time on editing and spelling mistakes. Right now, your job is to write for 30 minutes straight so that you can get all the ideas on paper. You can go back and fix mistakes later.
15 Minutes: Editing
Now, you can fix all the mistakes you made during your mad dash to get the words out. But, you don’t want to waste time on minor mistakes if you’ve made a major one that needs more attention. Here’s how to do it fast so that your paper had the best chance of success:
- Go through your paper and ensure that each paragraph can be directly connected to your thesis statement.
- Make sure all the paragraphs flow. If they are in the wrong order, this is the time to change them.
- Include any citations that need to be added for your research by linking with footnotes inserting the URL (for now).
- Read the opening and closing paragraphs back to back. Do they sound similar? That’s a good thing. If they are exactly the same, that is a bad thing.
- Read your paper to yourself quickly (or have a friend do it). Note any grammar or spelling mistakes and fix them now.
15 Minutes: Citation and Essay Check
You’ve almost finished. Now, you need to insert the correct citation page for all those amazing footnotes or citations you included in your paper. Go to Citation Machine and choose the style that your professor expects you to cite in. Follow the directions for the type of resources you’re including and simply copy and paste the results into your paper!
There you have it! An award-winning research paper in two hours. All it takes is a little planning, some good time-saving methods, and quick fingers, and you can save yourself a huge amount of time and hassle stressing over your writing.
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