What are the important parts of a research paper?  Explain.

Expert Answers
lcassidy eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The important parts of a research paper are as follows:

1) You need to choose a good topic.  Make sure that you thoroughly understand your topic before beginning the writing process.

2)  Research: the next important task is to effectively research your topic in order to bring valid points to your arguments.  Make sure that your sources are credible (meaning that you are getting your information from reliable sources - enotes is an excellent source for materials).

3)  Based on your research, form a simple thesis statement.  The thesis is the sentence which directs the paper.  Here, you will present your topic as well as your arguments.  If it is a literary paper you are writing, you will want to state the name of the author, the work, what you are developing, as well as your arguments (in the order they will appear in the body of your essay).  (For example, In Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, the theme of racial prejudice is developed through the characters of Tom Robinson and Boo Radley.)

4)  Once you've established a solid thesis, you need to write an outline based on your thesis.  Here you will develop your argument (point form) so that they are organized in your rough draft.  Don't forget to add the quotes you would like to incorporate in your paper.

5)  Rough draft: Once your outline is complete, you are to follow that thought process in order to write a well organized and well thought out rough draft.  Remember that your draft must contain an introduction (where your thesis will be found), a body (your developed arguments), and your conclusion.

6) Revise your draft eliminating sentence structure, spelling, and grammar errors.  Also, this is the stage where you want to read your paper out loud to make sure that all of your sentences flow properly.  And, most importantly, make sure that you've properly referenced your sources.

7) Hand in your paper and hope for the best

For more detailed information about how to write a research paper, click the link below.