How to write a research paper

| school | writing | psychology |

I have been working on this paper for my biopsychology class for several weeks now and I have come to the realization that I have been doing it all wrong. Well, I should have known better. Today I finally deleted the entire 1,000 some words that I have written previously and started all over.

I am happy to say that my word count (not counting the abstract) currently stands at 0. :)

See this is the problem that I was facing. In high school when you write a “research” paper you write the alloted number of words first, and then re read the paper and find things that you can cite so that your teacher will see that you actually did some research. I am ashamed to say that I attempted this approach in a quick rush to get the project accomplished.

Round two is a different story. I worked on the paper for hours today, and did not write a single word. I could not be happier, or more satisfied, and for the first time I feel like I am actually getting somewhere with this paper.

This is why, instead of writing thousands of words of bullshit, I am doing research. I am rummaging through the stacks at the university library, I am READING all of my resources and taking careful notes, I am forming an outline, making index cards with citations, and molding a vision to where I want this project to go.

Waste of time? Maybe, I mean half of the people at the degree farm I attend could care less about the proper way to write a research paper, they will turn in some generated crap with a few citations and get an A. But that is not my goal. I have set a higher standard for myself, and despite my slight deviation I am determined to stick to it, and write the best damn undergraduate paper this side of the mississippi river.

The reason why I have decided to take a more serious approach to my writing is simple. I am not writing this paper to get an A in the class and move on. I am writing this paper to learn to how to do proper citations, to learn how to do research, and to learn something about the subject matter. I want to get my writing published in the New England Journal of Medicine, or some other Journal one day, and they don’t take crap off the street. This is the time to learn how to do proper work, and this time consuming experience will pay off in the long run, I am sure of it.

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