As is the case of all writing assignments, even short research papers have its own specific aim. It is different from the usual type of research papers. Even though the objective of the assignment is similar to that of other research papers, the method isn’t. Understanding the difference is the key to being able to fulfill the specific requirements of this type of research paper.
Research papers are usually very long documents. It is so due to the need of elaborating on the research process and the findings. There is an equal amount of research involved in a short research paper as well. But unlike other research papers, you will have very limited space to elaborate on, in this type of assignment. The length of this type of research paper usually varies from three to six pages. But the challenge remains in the fact that the contents will be expected to fulfill all the requirements of a research paper.
So how do you accomplish the task of compressing so much information into just a few sheets? It is not easy but it is not impossible either. But in order to be able to successfully write a research paper which fits into the given number of sheets, you must aim at it from the very beginning.
• Choosing the topic: The topic you choose for the short research paper assignment must be interesting yet less complicated. Complex issues will necessitate elaborate and lengthy explanations. Avoid the situation by choosing an original but simple topic.
• Writing style: Writing is not easy but precise writing is even more difficult than writing normally. It is a skill to explain a lot through limited number of words. It is a skill that students are made to practice from very low levels of education. But most students do not take it seriously enough. For writing assignments with tight limitations on the length of the document, precise writing skills are most necessary. While writing a short research paper, omit all the unnecessary descriptions. Remove all those words which can be removed. It might help to imagine that you are writing an abstract. If there is more space left you can always elaborate on the important points. Remember that elaborating is much easier than cutting down on words.
• The structure: A perfectly structured research paper will convey the matter much easily to the reader. Hence it is important for you to pay attention to the structure if you are writing a short research paper. Poorly organized paragraphs will confuse the readers especially when there is minimum explanation.
• The sources: Choose the most credible sources as it will help by reducing the necessity of elaborate explanation. A credible source would be explanatory within itself.
Writing a short research paper will be a challenge, also due to the fact that the time allotted for the project would be comparatively lesser. If you are not good with words, you might find it even more difficult to convey what you actually wish to say, in such a short space. Checking out research paper samples would be helpful to a certain extent. But it all comes down to your proficiency in writing.