Well, you have only one day left before the deadline. This means that now you can either sit down and cry about your failed assignment or get yourself together and write your paper with our help. Let’s get right to it!
- Read your prompt
Do it even before you select a topic. Make sure that you are perfectly familiar with all requirements and didn’t miss a thing.
- Brainstorm topics
First, write a list of possible topics that fit your prompt. You may already have some ideas, for example, you may have heard about some topics from class, or you may read some books or articles on this subject.
- Google each topic from your list
If you see only a few results on some topic, cross it off your list. This topic may be difficult and you will need too much time to find enough sources.
- Make sure that your search includes results from credible websites. It’s good if you see many .gov or .edu websites.
- Search for some books on your subject. if you find a book online, you can use it later. Reviews are also useful.
- Choose your topic
Select a topic that shows the highest number of credible results and looks most interesting to you.
- Write an outline
You need an outline to draw up the structure of subtopics. This will help you conduct a research faster. This also will help you understand your subject deeper so you will know what information is crucial for this topic, and what information is unnecessary but useful.
- You need about one subtopic for every two or three pages, so if your paper must be 10 pages long, you have to determine 3-4 subtopics. Check your prompt or ask your instructor to know how long your research must be.
- Organize your research
If you don’t have much time, it’s especially important for you to prepare for a research and decide how you will collect information. You have to make sure that you won’t waste a couple hours on searching for some website that you closed accidentally. We suggest choosing one of three methods:
- Copy and pasting into a text document (you can use it later to write a bibliography);
- Special tools like Zotero (there are some websites that track sources and plan bibliographies).
- Do a research on subtopics
Start by googling the first subtopic. Try to rephrase it in different ways to get more search results. Save the most relevant results. Don’t read each page in detail now, just identify the most relevant pages. Check each page quickly, and if it seems to be useful, save it.
We also suggest using Amazon previews or Google Books. Search for the subtopic and look at digital versions of books. Search for keywords that are related to your subtopic. If any book isn’t available online, save the link and find this book in the library later.
- Use Google Scholar. This service allows you to find sources that were reviewed by other students.
- Check online databases, such as LexisNexis, Proquest, or JSTOR.
Once you’ve found enough sources for the first subtopic, repeat all the actions above for each next subtopic. Don’t forget that you don’t need to carefully read these sources now. At this stage, you just have to collect as much data as you can. It’s easier to get rid of unnecessary sources further than face the lack of information when you’ve written a huge part of your paper.
- Revise the outline
Now take a look at what you’ve got and decide what subtopics you will address for sure. Let us remind you that subtopics must take a few pages of your paper, so if you don’t have enough information about something from your list, cross this subtopic off. Make sure that one of your subtopics doesn’t include another because you don’t need to repeat yourself. Sometimes some subtopic may give you an idea about other questions to discuss. In this case, don’t be afraid to add a new subtopic to your outline.
- Draft your research paper
Select the subtopic that looks most familiar to you and start writing. Keep a window with the list of your sources open during the whole writing process. You will save a lot of time if you don’t switch between windows.
Read sources carefully and write about what you’ve just learned in your own words. Don’t edit your text now, and don’t try to make it beautiful. You will have a chance to do it all later. If you don’t know how to express a certain idea now, just make a note and think about it when you’ll edit your paper.
- Don’t start with an introduction. This section of the paper must summarize key points from the body part, so we suggest writing it at the end.
- Include citations
Check instructions that you’ve been given to determine what citation style is required. However, at this stage, you don’t have to write full citations. Just make sure to save links of cited sources on the go, and don’t plagiarize your content.
- Write your introduction and conclusion
…But first — take a break! Maybe it sounds a little crazy given that you have the deadline coming tomorrow, but once you’ve written your draft, take a little break. Your brain is unable to stay productive non-stop. Eat something, do a quick workout, or take a walk.
After that, write a strong thesis statement. It must reflect your opinion on the subject, being concise and clear. It must be written at the end of your introduction.
- Polish your research paper
Finally, when your paper is almost ready, it’s time to read everything that you wrote carefully and edit it. Get rid of all sentences or paragraphs that are not related to your thesis statement. Make sure to fix all spelling and grammar mistakes. Pay special attention to punctuation marks. You may need to read your paper out loud to understand whether your punctuation marks are used correctly.
Arrange your footnotes according to the required citation format (MLA, Chicago, APA). Check manuals of style if necessary. After that, write your Bibliography section. Make sure that it contains only sources that you actually used.
Congratulations! Your research paper is done. However, we suggest giving it to somebody who can help you with proofreading. You can also order professional proofreading online.