Skilled teachers will allow their students to use the “I thesis statement as undergraduates and all graduate teachers do because they assume that you are writing more original scholarship. Either way, “I” thesis statements are easier to write with and you can edit those out later. For example, let’s say you begin with an I thesis like “In this paper, I will argue that there should be more funding for homeless shelters available in every state in the U.S.” You can later amend this to “There needs to be more funding for the homeless—especially the construction of homeless shelters—in every state in this nation. “
Use strong topic sentences that tie your topic consistently to your thesis statement, and reinforce it. You can actually use these topic sentences to move you, step by step through your research paper. However, rather than doing something predictable like saying “The first reason why” or “Firstly” – tried to avoid such predictability. It creates a very dull paper for your reader. Experiment with better topic sentence writing or look up help with topic sentence creation tutorials online. If you have to use the First, Second, third phrasing to get you started – fine. However, you can edit it out later with more imaginative phrasing.
The most essential part of a research paper is the way you weave in your research. Learning to introduce your quotes is a wonderful way to take your writing up ten notches. For example, don’t just say, Smith says that “quote.” But try introductory phrases such as
As Smith asserts, “Every school should begin teaching students how to get the most out of the web educationally” (cite).
As Smith contends, “Today’s YouTube, for example, can teach students everything from how to load line on a Weed Eater, to how to master Quantum Physics” (cite).
Also, using quotes from high caliber writings will take the tone and scholarship of your essay up as well. Also, featuring these in your research shows that you know how to discern the wheat from the chaff—In other words, how to distinguish quality scholarship from the not-so-quality internet research available to students everywhere today. The key to using good resources is to get your journal articles from highly respected journals and books. In general, you can find out the most respected journals on the Internet—but the best way is to ask your professors or reference librarians to help you locate these. If you are going to use a book in a research paper—use respected presses, such as university presses: University of Illinois, University of Chicago, Harvard University Press, and Yale University Press, just to name a few.