(1) Rationale
I have been reading your research paper over the last four weeks and I was surprised to note the qualitative differences in the writing samples. Hence, I decided to write my observations as I hope to see an overall improvement in term 2.

(2) Research Questions
The research question is usually the first step in writing a focused research paper.
In this exercise, most students decided to pursue the questions that I provided. This is natural, as this is probably the first time you are embarking on a research paper.
As you become a mature researcher, you must be proposing your own question that you seek to inquire.

(3) The Research Process
The research process is when a researcher aims to find answers to the questions outlined before him.
In this information age, I see most (if not all students) relying on the internet for answers. I have no qualms about this approach.
But what worries me is the observation that students are looking for 'ready made essays' to answer the question. I have seen some samples that were copied wholesale from an website or a blogsite. You need to ask the following questions:

a. Is it ethical to copy? Especially so when this is an academic exercise submitted to an institution that has integrity as one of its core values.

b. Even if you have not copied (i.e. cited the URL, and technically this is not citation) have you learnt anything? Have you questioned the reliability of the source? Or was your objective merely to fulfill the term paper requirements and get on with other aspects of life?

c. Several hours have been spent regarding plagiarism and this was rampant. Note, you are to cite the author whose work that you have consulted. NOT copying the sources from the URL and passing of your research endeavour.

d. In institutions of higher learning, research papers must acknowledge ONLY academic materials. This include, published textbooks, journals, newspapers (including online versions). We DO NOT write a research paper using materials from a sole encyclopedia, hence Wikipedia is not an acceptable source. So students try to get by by quoting i infopedia instead. This is tantamount to not understanding the spirit of research.

e. If you require access to credible/ published papers, you can consult: http://www.osun.org/

(4) Research writing
Writing is an art. It first requires a writing a consolidate his thoughts before articulating them, so that a reader could comprehend his reasoning or academic position.
In this process, drafting is a must! After the drafting, the next step is to present in a manner that is palatable for the eyes. Here are some stipulations when submitting a typed-written work:

a. Font size/ font type: TIMES NEW ROMAN (12)
b. Double-spaced
c. Page numbered
d. Cover page: for name/ question/ title of research paper.
e. Ending with a bibliography

Remember, the research paper is written with an intention for another reader to comprehend. So get a friend/ family member to proof read. If the proof reader cannot understand what you have written, it will come as no surprise that the marker does not understand you either. Worst still. you are not present to clarify your writing, hence you have to accept the grade that was given.


How to write a research paper