research paper tips

How to write a thesis for your college research paper

Writing a college research paper involves the same number of steps that a high school research paper requires, but the steps need to be completed at a faster pace. When you are given the assignment to write a research paper, you will need to develop a thesis statement that will help guide your planning, researching, and organizing. Students of all academic levels do have difficulty crafting a perfect thesis statement. Fortunately, once you learn the steps to writing one thesis, you can apply the process to every thesis you will write.

Find a Topic and Begin to Narrow it Down

The first step is to understand the topic and the direction you want to take with it. The thesis will be based on your topic and then what you want to prove. For example, if you want to tackle an issue about professional athletics, your broad topic will be professional athletics. Since that topic is so large, you will want to narrow the topic to something manageable. Many people choose to argue flaws that should be fixed. If you want to argue a flaw that needs to be fixed, you could narrow your topic to women's professional sports.

Conduct Preliminary Research

The next step is to conduct some preliminary research. During this step, you only need to look at how subtopics and how much research that will be available. The idea behind this step is to find a subtopic that you can argue effectively in a research paper rather than a book.

Use the “I think”

Assuming that you have decided on a narrowed, arguable topic, the next step is to put your thoughts into a sentence. The research paper thesis should be one sentence in length, but when you are writing your first draft, you can write more than a sentence. Many students will begin their first draft of a thesis statement with the phrase, “I think,” then complete the sentence. A sample these about women’s professional sports could begin as “I think women in professional sports should receive pay that it comparable to men’s pay.” The most important part of this step is to remove the “I think” part of the sentence before the final draft is completed.

Revise the Thesis If Necessary

Once you have your thesis statement, then you can begin working on the paper. If you find that you are straying from the original idea of your thesis, you should revise the thesis to fit your research paper because it is significantly easier to revise a single sentence than an entire research paper.

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