The process of research starts with the selection of a topic which is suitable for your course or purpose. The selected topic should let you formulate theories or answer questions through the generation of new ideas. The research paper also needs to have to have a clear thesis statement, purpose and a defined audience. As is the norm, you will start the writing process with your first draft; this draft is likely to be revised more than once so the writer shouldn’t panic if he/she finds errors in it the first time it is read again.
After you have chosen your topic, you need to decide the resources that will be needed to provide you with the information you are looking for. Most of the research papers written in colleges depend on secondary data and topics on which research has already been done; however some may be based on your experiences, responses, and impressions. Writing advanced research papers will probably need you to accumulate, analyze, and take help from the work of other people. It is also very important to give credit for the ideas that you have taken from someone’s research, and to cite these sources a documentation style should be chosen which is according to your requirements. It doesn’t matter whatever documentation style you select, what is important is that you completely understand the format, and then use it consistently in the research paper.
Since there is an abundance of information available from various sources to aid in the research paper writing process, we should however be careful that all the sources are not equally reliable, accurate, and verifiable. This is a problem faced quite often by writers who use sources from the internet. Consequently, it is the responsibility of the writer to make sure that the sources are authentic and of high quality, and if they serve the purpose of your research. The primary sources you use are basically your imagination, knowledge and experiences you have had over your entire life, even though they might have been influenced by perceptions of the people who came before us, still it is a valuable resource in the process of writing a research paper. However, if you use the sources which are created by others, then you need to give proper references and credit to the source from where you got the information. The very last page of the research paper is called the bibliography, and it lists the sources used in the paper for research purposes.