How to Write an Argumentative Research Paper
Argumentative research papers share some common features with argumentative essays. Both types of papers put stress on their thesis which sheds light upon a problematic issue, and also argue with an opponent, whether real or imaginable. Argumentation, thus, involves not only presenting the author’s thesis (or opinion), but also aims at repudiating the thesis of the opponent in question.
There is no need to say that a research paper is such kind of paper which turns around a definite piece of research. An interesting topic has been assigned to you and now you need to research on in. Research papers can cover various academic fields ranging from history of art to molecular biology. It is very important to know very well the methodology used in your academic field as well as have comprehensive knowledge of different theories and hypotheses related not only to your topic, but the field in general. Since not every college student knows how to write an argumentative research paper properly, the present paper will attempt to elucidate the essential part of the writing process.
Writing an argumentative research paper – 6 essential tips
1. Understand your assignment
Your task by writing an argumentative research paper is not merely to carry out your own piece of research. You need to emphasize a definite thesis which should be contrasted to its counter-thesis and proved as more reliable from scientific point of view. Thus, you cannot simply describe the experiment or observation (if there were such) done by you. You should rather point out that your thesis, or the point you adhere to, is reliable and corresponds to the facts.
2. Elaborate the theoretical framework
This stage includes: comprehensive reading on the topic (particularly some of the most renowned scholars in your field), setting forth a hypothesis, clarification of the methodology you will use during your research. In brief, you need to know what are you going to do step by step, and also to be sure that the research procedure performed by you is done according to scientific standards. This, of course, depends on the particular field of research. History of art, for example, does not require carrying out experiments or observations, but rather work with symbols and skills for interpretation.
3. Carry out the empirical research
This stage is required only when you have empirical sources of information needed to conduct the research. Your experiment or observation must be conducted according to the theoretical framework which has been already elucidated. Make sure to keep track of all the processes you observe, and that all unexpected processes or results are singled out.
4. Summarize the results of the research
Here you need to recapitulate the main steps of the research procedure, and especially to present the most important results. On one hand, they will prove your initial hypothesis (completely or partially); on the other hand, they will serve as the basis for repudiating the counter-thesis.
5. Dispute the opponent’s theory
Now you have been provided with the data necessary to show that the opponent’s theory or conception is wrong. Your experiment, observation or other research have proved that the counter-thesis proves to be wrong in the following aspects: (here you should describe them).
Remember: your opponent’s thesis will be repudiated only partially, according to the data which you have gathered from your research. The dispute will not be solved thus.
6. Attach bibliography and supporting documents
All these things are a must. Without bibliography your theoretical framework will be a failure. Attach additional documents related to the research (particularly if you have done an experiment, survey, observation, etc.).
Writing an argumentative research paper is a painstaking process which at the end could prove to be useful to you and may even help you make an academic career.
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