Prompts for Creating an Effective Research Paper

Research papers are the lifeblood of many a college course. They’re a useful tool for teachers to gauge what their students have taken in; additionally, it measures a student’s ability to think critically and put what they’ve used in class to the test. As such, there are a great many different kinds of research papers and, as a result, a lot of very different prompts.

Unfortunately, that can make it hard on students. After all, we as human beings are pattern-seeking creatures. We naturally like to find a pattern and act accordingly. However, given the fact that research paper prompts are as many and varied as the classes that call for them, it’s hard to find a perfect pattern to tie them all together and come up with a perfect formula for creating an effective research paper.

However, there are still a few trends worth sharing:

  1. Focused Prompts Work the Best: Think of a paper like a laser. What’s one of the distinguishing characteristics of a laser? Why, being completely and totally focused, of course! Your paper-writing skills will be much improved—and your professors will appreciate it greatly—if you learn to be totally focused and narrow down your topics.
  2. Collect Data First: Before you even begin to create an effective research paper prompt, you’re going to want to collect data on whatever your topic is. For example, if you’re looking to create an effective research paper prompt for your Physics class, you’re going to want to collect massive amounts of data on the subject. Then, as you go through the different steps of composition for a proper paper, you’ll pare back the data you have to the raw essentials.
  3. Make Yourself Stand Out: Above all, you need to make sure that your paper prompt stands out amongst the rest. Remember—if you’re tired of writing research papers, imagine how your professor must feel reading all of them! Professors literally get hundreds of papers to read. As such, if you want to receive a good grade on yours, you’re going to have to find a way to make your prompt stand out. Take risks, and do what you need to in order to ensure that your paper isn’t just some run of the mill regurgitation of what you used in class. Use outside knowledge and your own personal spin to give your paper prompt a unique, personalized touch.