Working on a research paper is not just about writing the actual paper. In fact, that’s the easy part. The difficulty lies in the stages you need to accomplish before you even get to the writing process.
The purpose of a research paper is to contribute something new to the pool of knowledge. To start the research process, you need to choose your research paper topic and formulate your thesis sentence. This thesis statement is the key to your paper, and you can’t just pluck it out of the air.
Before you can form a thesis sentence, you need to do the research to find out what is already in the existing body of work. You need to review related literature on the topic and cannot simply duplicate what others have already said, even if it is in your own words. You have to find a new angle to your topic.
Once this is done, you have to organize your research materials and formulate the methodology you will be implementing in the research process in order to prove your arguments. Once you are able to execute your methodology and gather your data, you can start writing your paper. Of course, you have to cite your sources, both in the body of the work and in your reference page, and that is another time buster.
To say that research paper writing is stressful is putting it mildly. Fortunately, modern technology has made it much less so. You can simplify the process by simply using the right tools to help you along the way.
Failing to take advantage of these tools is a foolish, even criminal, waste of a valuable resource: your time. Here are 7 digital tools for stress-free research paper writing.
The first thing you need to do is organize your thoughts as well as your materials. It can be easy to get lost if you don’t write down your plan and to-do list. Todoist is a free online task manager that you can access from any web-capable device and on most platforms. It has a simple and clean interface that anyone can figure out. You can use it to make your systematic plan, organize your research, and build your outline. You can also use it offline. You can make do with the free version. Pay $29 a year for the premium version and you get important features such as notes, file attachments, and automatic backups.
If you are organization-challenged, you will like this online outline maker. Created by Cambridge Rindge and Latin School librarian Holly Samuels in 2003, the site has had 12 million page views. It is not the fanciest tool in the whole world, but it gets the job done if you just need a place to put your hat. Fill in the blanks based on your research and it will generate an outline you can save and print.
Research Paper Writers
When you are all at sea, out of time, or just need a helping hand, this expert writing service can help you at any stage of your research paper writing. Collaborate with professional researchers with MAs and PhDs to their name to help you get your research materials together, brainstorm for ideas, polish what you have written, or format the reference page for you. Their rates range from $1.99 a page to format your paper to $25.99 a page for a research summary (read review of literature).
Wouldn’t it be great if you could find relevant content in any website you visit for research with a click of the mouse? This free downloadable tool can do that for you. It will help you collect research materials online and offsite, organize what you have, cite sources in any of the more popular citation styles (that alone should convince you), and share your sources with others. You can even sync it across PCs so you can switch from one computer to another without missing a beat. It downloads as a plugin and works with Firefox, Chrome, and Safari, and there are even plugins for MSWord and LibreOffice. It is one of the best tools out there for anyone who does research, and not just for research papers, either!
This is another neat online research tool for making your research woes go away. It will find sources, organize and store them, generate footnotes, endnotes, and reference pages, and let you share what you want with others. It will even give you suggestions on what online publications may be appropriate for your magnum opus. The online version, Endnote Basic, is free. If you want it on your laptop you need to shell out a one-time payment of $249.95 ($149 if you are a student and can prove it).
If you have done most of the heavy lifting already, and just need to get your references in order, this free citations creator tool is what can get you past the finish line in record time. Just plug in the ISBN, title of the book, or author, choose the referencing format you need, and it will generate the entry for you.
You can copy and paste it as a reference page entry or in-text citation there and then. Add in other references, and when you are done, download the reference page as a Word document. Presto, instant and properly formatted references! That takes care of at least a couple of hours of tedious work.
You can even get CiteThisForMe to generate topic ideas and references for you based on what other users are doing. If you are a Chrome user, download the plugin to get one-click referencing for websites. The free version is perfectly functional, but if you want to keep your work forever on the CiteThisForMe server, you make a one-time payment of $19.99 or a monthly payment of $6.99.
At the end of the day, you still need to proofread and edit your work, another couple of hours you will never get back. Grammarly is an online spelling and grammar checker that can make it easier for you.
While it is not infallible, it does catch more grammar gaffes and spelling errors than the average built-in spell checker on text editing software. The basic version is free, but if you want it to check for plagiarism, you need the premium account. Plans start from $29.95 a month.
You can get your research paper writing done the hard way, or you can make it easy on yourself with any of these 7 digital tools. If nothing else, use any of the citation checkers to give yourself a break. No one cares how you created your reference pages and citations, anyway, as long as it follows the correct format.