Writing and Revising a Research Paper
So, you have made it to the final step of your research paper and it is time to revise and edit before turning it in. There's only one problem, you don't know where to begin. What is your teacher looking for in terms of revising and does your research paper fit that criteria? I think many students do not take the time out to revise their research paper, because they are already tired of the assignment and also, they think it will be too much effort. It turns out, revising your paper is not that difficult. In this article, I have listed some small things you can do to make your paper extraordinarily better.
- Highlight the first sentence of your research paper or essay.
- Does it catch the reader's attention?
- Make sure it does not begin with things like: "this story is about," or "this paper will prove."
- Highlight the last sentence of your introductory paragraph and the first sentence of your first supporting paragraph.
- Does the introduction transition well into the first paragraph?
- Draw a line at the end of every sentence.
- Are most of your sentences three to four words long? Or two to three words long?
- Is there variety in your sentence structures?
- This is also a good way to look for fragments and/or punctuation errors.
- Scan your research paper or essay for RIP words: (for example) different, really, a lot, great, awesome, very, get, amazing, incredible, just.
- cross them out.
- Alternatives to different: unique, startling, surprising, remarkable, curious, etc.
- Use a thesaurus to find synonyms for these types of words.
- Highlight all adverbs (ends in -ly).
- Try to replace them with stronger verbs and more powerful adjectives.
- Underline your verbs (a verb is what you do).
- Are you maintaining the same verb tense throughout the paper?
- Check sentence openings.
- Circle sentences that begin with "There is/are/were".
- Scan to see if you have a series of sentences that all begin with "He, She, or I".
- Make a note to rewrite these sentences.
- Circle all contractions.
- Examine your conclusion.
- Do not begin with "Finally," "In conclusion," or "Thus."
- Does your conclusion explore the significance of your thesis?
- Ask yourself, "Why does what I have written matter?"
None of these revisions are too difficult to undertake, and, actually, revising your research paper by following this guide, should not take you more than an hour. I hope this guide helped you. Happy revising!