How To Write A Research Paper Without Quoting Everything
With the amount of research required for a successful paper, many students make the mistake of composing their paper full of quotes and data from their sources, instead of adding their own input. They mistake the goal of a research paper for just citing information and not implementing their own views and analysis. Ironically, the main goal of a paper of this kind is to reinforce your own analysis and opinions through relevant sources, and not to just cite them.
The structure is the first important thing we shall analyze. The structure of your paper should as follows:
- Introduction: This should be a brief paragraph telling your audience about what you will be talking about. You do not need to quote anything here, since it is only the introduction, although it is acceptable to include some of your research points if you wish.
- Main Body: This is where the bulk, if not all, of your sources will go. This is where you will analyze the question you are supposed to be answering, backed up with the evidence you have found.
- Conclusion: This is a brief summarization of everything you have discussed during your essay. It is best to repeat your main talking points and to bring up the best evidence you used, although you should not quote here in the conclusion of your essay.
A big aspect of this type of paper isn’t just to dump all the information you have gathered, but to also analyze it and give your own input about it. This is a huge aspect of this type of writing that many students overlook and, unfortunately, get marked down due to. You should ensure that for every source you quote that it is followed by a lengthy discussion and analysis.
Another aspect that students grossly overlook is the fact that they need to analyze viewpoints pertaining to their topic that is different from their own. This means not just quoting a different opinion, but to also analyze it and explain why you do not agree with it.
It is easy to see why many students fall for the trap and have their whole research paper composed of just quotes but, as we have explained, there is much more to your paper than just citing sources. A huge deal of analysis is expected of you to achieve great success in your paper.