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How to write a research essay paper: what needs to be included?

As you start researching you’re the topic for your research paper, you will be tapping into work by other authors.

As a top tip for things to include in your paper you need to include and acknowledge any work that you cite or reference. (Do check what format you should be using for your paper, as this will have an impact on how you lay out your reference section; how you use footnotes and how you use any quotations).

The best way to make sure that you include all work that others have produced and you have cited in any way it to keep track of everything you read and research for your paper. Keep a diary, make meticulous notes as this will save you time later on and also save you from making mistakes that may result in unintentional plagiarism.

Make sure that you also include documents that you have found on the internet as well as websites in your lists.

What else needs to be included?

  • Your Thesis – thesis is your title and also your statement of intention. In practice you thesis will take a while to formulate, you will go through many versions, all of which will mean the same but as you move forward with your project you will start changing some of the words so they become more meaningful. You may have started out with 3 or 4 sentences to describe you thesis, but by the time you are ready to write you will have got it down to one sentence.
  • An Introduction – you need to state very clearly what your intention is and why you are writing about your topic, what makes it interesting and why other people need to be interested or concerned about the contents. Give some evidence that you have thought about your approach, is it through a critical review? Analysis?
  • The Body of the paper – this is governed by the rule of 3. Remember that your argument needs to be balanced; you need to have three supporting arguments and three opposing arguments. Don’t skimp on this it is very important. Use your weakest argument first and lead up to your strongest one.
  • Conclusion – use this section to sum up, and bring your arguments to the point where the reader really understands how you came to the conclusions that you did - restate your thesis.

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