Now the moment of truth has
arrived. It’s time to start writing the research paper.
For teens who may be writing their first big paper, this can be a scary time. But here are some tips to share with your teen that will help:
1. Write a thesis statement. Have your teen boil down everything he wants to say into a single sentence. It should state the position he is taking in his paper. It should also set up the way he will organize the paper. The thesis should also point to his final conclusion.
2. Don’t give up the library card just yet. As your teen begins to write, he may find some gaps. He should give himself enough time in his writing plan for an extra trip to the library, just in case.
3. Make an outline. Your teen might ask the teacher for an example. Or he can check with college online writing labs. Many have samples.
4. Write the rough draft. A research paper is more formal than many types of writing. Again, look at sample papers.
5. Be sure to include sources. The purpose of a research paper is to show the research your teen has done. As he writes, he needs to state where he got his facts. The teacher should have given information on how to cite sources.
6. Read the paper out loud. Then have others read it. These steps can tell your teen where something doesn’t seem to make sense.
7. Revise and rewrite. This may take several drafts.
8. Proofread. Remember, even a spell check doesn’t catch all misspelled words. Some people read their paper backwards to check for misspelled words.
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