How to Write an MBA Research Paper

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Studying in library

If you got an assignment to write a research paper and you want to deliver a great one, you have to first understand what a research paper actually is – it is an argument or discussion that is founded on a certain thesis; and it includes collected evidence and quotations from authoritative sources.

When you get your first research paper, it may seem like an overwhelming task, but it’s actually not that complicated if you understand the process and follow it as you should. First of all, make sure you supply yourself with some index cards, highlighters and a lot of note paper.

Step 1: Organize!

The first thing you need to do before starting to write the research paper is organize your time and schedule. Here is a list of your tasks:

  1. Choose an interesting, captivating topic that will be useful for the reader.
  2. Search for authoritative sources associated with your topic.
  3. Collect your initial thoughts by taking notes (using index cards can be useful during the process).
  4. Organize those notes and arrange them by topics.
  5. Prepare your basic outline for the research paper.
  6. Start writing the initial draft version.
  7. Edit and correct the draft version.
  8. Proofread the paper!

The process of researching

Although you may think that the Internet has made the process of library research kind of silly, you mustn’t avoid it. In fact, the library can provide you with the most authoritative resources, which you wouldn’t be able to find online. Go to the library, find a good table, position yourself there and spend most of the day in researching the potential sources.

When you find something useful, sort it and copy it.

Selecting the topic

If you have the freedom to choose your own topic, don’t take it lightly and think of something you are really interested in and you’d like to know more of. Once your choices are narrowed down to a specific area of topics, find a couple of specific questions associated with it. Being specific is a must, as choosing a too general final topic would make your research paper look like a complete mess.

Turn one of those specific questions into the research paper’s thesis, but remember: the thesis should not be a question, but a statement. Answer that question according to your opinion after doing a little preliminary research, and that will be your thesis.

Finding the right sources

If you need to write a really serious research paper that will be strictly evaluated, then the Internet can definitely help, but it won’t be enough. Make sure to use the library in order to locate good books associated with your topic.

You can also use the periodical guide of the library in order to locate relevant sources from newspapers, journals and magazines. You can also find such articles on the Internet, so don’t be afraid to use them as sources.

Take some effective notes

Taking notes throughout the process will make your work much easier; that way you won’t have to remember every idea that pops into your head. Be ready for many ideas to be coming as you go through the sources, so make sure to write them down and take notes from your sources. The library will also allow you to copy some encyclopedia entries and articles, so take them home and highlight the relevant parts.

Don’t forget to add the bibliographical information to every note you write down, because you will have to use references while writing your research paper.

Arranging the notes

Sorting your notes will make your work much more organized and easier. You can use differently-colored cards for each aspect of your research paper and arrange them by relevance. You know how most people make fun of those overly-organized students who write everything down on a different card and use various colors in order to organize themselves? Well, they always get the most effective work done, so their example is actually quite useful.

Outlining the research paper

Use those sorted cards in order to outline the research paper. If you find that some of the cards fit better into another part of the paper, don’t be afraid to rearrange them. This is the part when your research paper will start getting its logical shape.

Get the first draft version done

All previous work was done in order to get you to this point: the actual writing process. Start developing a strong thesis statement and start writing the introduction to your research paper. Make sure to keep the arguments flowing in a natural way through the sub-topics and stay constantly focused on your thesis. During the writing process, you may notice that you need more sources, so don’t stay away from any additional research if necessary.

The reason why we call this a draft version is that your paper may not flow that well at first and you will need to do some rearrangements throughout the paragraphs; so you will do some rewriting, adding and excluding of information during the process. You have to be completely happy with the paper before you hand it over, so make sure to edit it until you reach complete satisfaction with it.

Don’t forget to create a valid bibliography and reference list.

Don’t skip the proofreading!

There is one really common and silly mistake in many research papers: the lack of proofreading. All that serious work would be a waste if you didn’t correct the misspellings and the grammatical errors in it. Check everything well and make sure to check whether you have completed all requirements for the research paper.

Sandra Miller

Sandra Miller

Sandra Miller is a Loyola Law School graduate. Now she is a freelance writer. Always uses editing service Help.Plagtracker to make her writing perfect. Loves creating tips for writers and students. Lives happily with her husband at Brooklyn.
Sandra Miller

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2 Comments

  1. Ranjeet Sawale says:

    above point is very good and i understand this point is simply..

  2. Fadhili Mwakifwange says:

    nice guidelines, i have to show my fellow instructors…

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