Basic Instructions for Composing a High School Research Paper

Composing a research paper is regarded as a general requirement in most high schools. Whatever the subject is, any research paper can be discussed without much difficulty through breaking the process down into easy-to-manage steps.

Here are some basic instructions for writing a high school research paper:

  • Search for a subject.
  • Some research papers topics are assigned or provided by teachers; however, at times, the writing project is very general or completely open and the student is given the freedom to pick what subject to explore. Note that the subject should be extensive enough in order to satisfy the length requirement of the paper, but it should not be so extensive that conducting research and organization becomes an issue.

  • Conducting preliminary research and outlining.
  • In order to figure out the amount of data available on the chosen subject, it is crucial to conduct preliminary research. This is the process where the writer check out various academic websites, books in the library and other documents or material that are available.

    Take note that a preliminary outline refers to a rough plan of the sub-topics that shall be tackled in the research paper. It is worthy of note that this may take the form of queries that shall be answered with analysis. Here, it is imperative to come up with a tentative thesis wherein you state what you prefer to state regarding the subject.

  • Directed Research
  • This process is about conducting research with a clear direction and purpose. You skim or go over the articles, books, documents and some online materials. You can take notes with the help of index cards. In so doing, organizing your paper won’t be a very complicated process anymore later on. Always cite the sources you have used so as not to overlook any of them.

  • Work on the final outline.
  • Many a time, a research task requires the writer to hand in a final outline before submitting the final writing project. Keep in mind that this must be written in a formal outline style.

  • Writing the paper.
  • The actual writing process should not be daunting and time-consuming once the writer has diligently completed all the steps mentioned above. This time, the writer must go through the note cards and place them in proper order as per the final outline. From there, you can start composing the first draft of the paper.

It is required to indicate all the sources you decided to use even if the material is paraphrased. Be sure to strictly adhere to the citation style which your instructor assigned such as APA, MLA or Chicago style.

Take into account that APA is used for scientific research, MLA is used for literary papers while Chicago style is meant for historical research.