Including Your Own Views

Always remember that the key element of a research paper is that it includes your own views on the topic. It is important that this element make up a major portion of your paper all the way through. Some people find it easiest to first write the paper with just the data and facts they researched, returning to it afterward to add their own views wherever they are applicable. You might find this a cumbersome way to write, preferring instead to include your views the first time you put it all down on paper.

Whichever way you write it, remember that this is just a first draft. The idea is to get everything written down. Don't make the mistake of trying to correct errors and perfect your prose as you write this draft. Nobody ever writes a perfect first draft. There will be time enough for revisions and editing later.

New Ideas

If you think of new ideas that are related to your topic, include them in the draft. Make sure that these ideas are based on your research, and fully back them up with sound reasoning. Because you are just writing your first draft, your ideas aren't likely to be completely formed. You may not be able to describe them in great detail the first time you write them down. This is fine.

Resist the urge to leave them out until you have fully thought them through; you may forget even a great idea if you don't write it down. It is better to include what you have for now, and then edit and change and rewrite later. Those first fresh ideas can be the strongest aspect of your paper.

If you find it difficult to think and type or write at the same time, you can dictate your paper into a tape recorder. Later, you can transcribe what you dictated. Some people find that their ideas flow easier through speech than they do through writing.

Personal Perceptions

You may also have your own perceptions to include in this research paper. Perceptions differ from ideas in that they are not something you form in your mind based on facts, but rather something you discern based on what you see or hear. Interviews that you conduct are a common source for your own perceptions. You may perceive something new because of the interviewees’ body language or because something about their surroundings contradicts other facts you have uncovered.

Arguments

If you are writing a persuasive research paper, you need to include your own arguments. Develop these arguments fully, presenting your position and explaining your reasons for that position using facts you discovered during your research. It is not enough to just state your opinion. You need to explain the reasons why you feel the way you do, which includes discussing the possible consequences of that opinion and defending it against possible arguments.

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