How To Use A Sample Of A College Research Paper To Your Advantage
When you’re struggling with a research paper, it can sometimes be a huge help to have a sample research paper to work from. Having an example of what your paper should look like will help you write better and work faster, so you can get a great grade in half the time. Here are some tips for how to use a research paper sample to your benefit.
- Track down the sources. One of the major benefits of a sample college paper that is on the same or a similar subject to your paper is that much of the resource-hunting has been done for you. Look at what sort of sources were used in the paper, and see if you can find those same sources online or at your school library. Because someone else has already done the critical work of looking for the sources and picking out the sections that are relevant, you can cut your research time in half – or more!
- Pay attention to how the paper uses quotes. One of the most important parts of a research paper is how well you can integrate quotes and statistics into your sentences. You should never leave a quote or statistic in its own sentence; study how the sample paper uses transitions and introductions for each source, and model your own paper after that.
- Note the analysis of the raw data. Make notes and pay particular attention to how the paper not only uses data and quotes, but also how the paper interprets that information to draw the reader back to the paper’s thesis. A research paper is part research and part analysis; your teacher wants to see not only that you can find relevant evidence, but that you can interpret that evidence and say something meaningful about it. Study the way the sample paper uses and analyses data to prove the thesis.
- Use it as a model for your citations. Citations can be one of the trickiest parts of writing a research paper; not only does your work cited sheet need to be cohesive and correctly formatted, you also need to be able to use in-text citations whenever you use a quote or data, or even if you paraphrase an idea that’s not yours. A sample research paper can help you make sure your citations are done right the first time, and will give you an idea of what types of information in your paper requires citations. If you end up using some of the same sources in your paper, you can even copy and paste the citations directly; it’s not plagiarism to use someone else’s citations!
- Never turn in a sample paper to your class. There is too much risk involved with sample papers, even custom-written sample papers, for you not to take the time to write the paper yourself. If your teacher finds out you turned in a paper that you didn’t write, it could mean big consequences for the rest of your academic career!