Research paper writing is a task that requires combining several skills. You need to be able to conduct proper research, understand which sources are credible and which aren't, and put it all together to make sense and prove your point. It might sound challenging and even difficult, especially if you don't have a lot of experience with research paper writing. Luckily, we're here to help.
So, this article will cover the basics steps in writing a research paper on sustainable development. You'll learn how to approach this task, and what steps to take. If you're willing to learn, just keep reading.
Here's how to write a research paper on sustainable development.
Understand Your Purpose
Before we dig into writing, let’s take a small step back and think about what a research paper requires you to do. Many students and researchers make the mistake of writing a research paper as a presentation of the information available in literature or other people’s opinions.
But, a research paper needs to:
- argument on the author’s opinion
- prove their point
- show how they reached their conclusions
That means you'll be forming and showing your own opinion on the subject matter.
Truly Understand Your Topic
If you were assigned a topic to cover, you need to spend some time exploring it and thinking about it. Ask yourself this question:
- What am I expected to do?
Different topics will imply different goals, such as:
- comparing and contrasting two notions
- showing the effects of one notion on another
- explaining the changes or processes
Once you're absolutely sure you know exactly what you're supposed to do, it's time to start your research.
Do Proper Research
Sustainable development is an in-demand topic, and you’ll be able to easily access a ton of information, statistics, and facts on your topic. But, that’s not what you’re supposed to do.
Your task is to find credible sources of information that you can fully rely on, cite, and reference in your research paper. We suggest you search for sustainability and sustainable development information through:
- Google Scholar
- JSTOR and other digital libraries
- your college library
- academic papers and dissertations
- credible magazines and journals
- books and publications
Make sure you know who wrote the piece you're reading, when, and why. Try using fresh resources, optimally not older than 10 years.
Develop a Note-Taking System
While doing your research, you'll be going through so many resources. Some will be useful while others won't. Make sure you develop a good note-taking system that will help you keep track of:
- the specific information you want to use
- where you found it
- where’ you’d like to apply it
Write it all down to make it easier on yourself once you start writing your paper.
Develop an Outline
Outlining is the next big step you’ll be taking. The outline will help you:
- think about the main points you want to cover
- create an initial structure of the research paper
- add notes for each subheading
- determine what to include in your paper
So, you'll be creating a skeleton of your paper, making sure all the major ideas, including your thesis statement, are listed. You'll be using the outline to develop an in-depth research paper.
Writing the Introduction
Some researchers like to leave the introduction writing part for the end of the research paper writing. This is because, in the beginning, they're not quite sure what the paper will include and which direction it may go in.
Whenever you decide to write it, make sure to include:
- an overview of your sustainable development topic
- the argument you’ll be proving
- an explanation and overview of the entire paper
The introduction needs to explain to the reader what your paper is about, what sections it'll cover, and what information it'll provide.
Draft the Body
Drafting is an essential part of any type of essay writing, and you’ll need to use it for your research paper. Drafting the body of your paper is the essence of writing your research paper on sustainable development. During this process, you’ll be:
- building your arguments
- supporting them with facts you gathered from your research
- examining, analyzing, explaining, evaluating, and summarizing
- showing data from your empirical research, if there’s any
- explaining your methodology
Each section of the body of your paper needs to be of a similar structure and contain:
- an understandable title
- a goal it’s trying to reach
- an argument it’s built around
As you're drafting, you'll be slowly building your entire research paper and reaching your initial goal.
Edit & Rewrite
Once your first draft is over, you’ll still have a lot of work to do. Now you need to rewrite and edit your paper until you’re completely satisfied. That implies:
- reading it over and over again
- moving sections around
- adding or removing parts of your content
- reconsidering the citations you’ve included
This process takes time and should be done slowly. It would be best to let your paper rest after each major editing or rewriting episode.
Write the Conclusion
Once your paper is complete and you’ve managed to reach your point on sustainable development, you’ll need to write the concluding section. This section should:
- summarize your main conclusions
- briefly explain how you’ve reached them
- explain the value and contribution of your paper to sustainable development research in general
This will be the final stage of your paper writing process.
As you can see, writing a research paper on sustainable development is far from an easy task. There are several stages of preparation and writing you need to go through to truly contribute with your paper and write a quality piece of research.
Use the tips we've shared above to guide you through the process of writing your research paper on sustainable development. Follow each step and you'll be proud of the final result of your work.
Author’s bio. Jessica Fender is a professional writer and educational blogger at GetGoodGrade, an aggregator for useful college resources and websites. Jessica enjoys sharing her ideas to make writing and learning fun.