Research Paper Tips: Reread It If You Aren't Sure
Writing a research paper is an involved process with many stages. And by the time you've reached the end you probably notice feelings of doubt creep into your mind? Did you answer the question? Did you provide enough evidence? Do you understand what you wrote about? Will your audience understand? All of these questions are perfectly natural and happen to the best writers. Great writers know, however, that all of these questions can be satisfactorily answered by rereading one's content with a fresh set of eyes.
If you aren't sure about your research paper, here are some exercises you can do before turning in your paper:
Reread the prompt. Ask yourself whether you have satisfied the assignment's requirements. Is your thesis clear? Does your supportive evidence directly relate to your argument? Be critical with your work but don't get discouraged if you identify areas in your paper that could be made stronger with revision. Remember that this is an exercise intended to improve your research paper so that you get a better grade.
Read creatively. Reading your paper creatively involves harder and more positive thinking. Instead of looking for ways for improvement look for ways you presented your argument well. Have you thoroughly explored your best parts while staying within the limits of the assignment, or can you improve on these highlights with a couple of sentences or a slight rewrite of content. The better your arguments are the more positive response you will have from your audience.
Take notes as you read. Put yourself in your reader's shoes and read your paper while taking notes on its content. Underline all the key points of your paper and mark down the parts that are important to the argument and the parts that seem questionable. Is there anything you can do to remove doubt from your arguments? Would your paper be better off removing the parts that leave doubts in the reader's mind? Look back at the parts you didn't underline - the parts that aren't key points - and see if you can revise some of the content so that it doesn't take up too much of the paper.
Rereading your content is an essential part to the research paper writing process. It's amazing how many students don't budget their time well-enough to allow this step. Rereading isn't about finding mistakes; it's about improving your paper. Take this step seriously and you'll find yourself writing great research papers in no time.