When instructors grade research papers, their biggest complaint is about support for the argument that is presented in the claim. Students freely offer their opinions, but they do not give solid support to the main argument as well as to supporting argument they make later in the research paper. The entire idea behind a research paper is to find and share research that will support an opinion. In the world of education, student opinions are not considered valid until those opinions are supported by the knowledge of experts. Without valid support, students fail their research papers, which can be an expensive mistake during your college years.
In order to successfully complete a research paper, it is vital to include supporting arguments for your main argument. In order to do this, you need to have a claim that can be supported by smaller arguments and with researched, proven facts. Your claim should be presented in the introductory section of your paper. Then, each supporting paragraph should contain an arguable topic sentence that is directly related to the claim in the introduction. Those topic sentences are the supporting arguments that are directly used to prove the claim.
While every part of the research paper is important, the supporting paragraphs - or body paragraphs - are vitally important. These paragraphs work like little mini-research papers as each paragraph includes the facts that support the topic sentences which in turn support the claim. The facts you use should be borrowed from legitimate sources. Each source should be properly cited, too. Without proper citations, you are technically plagiarizing, even if you are not trying to copy.
Along with the sharing and citing the facts, you should also be sure to explain the purpose of including those facts in the paragraphs.
Follow the paragraph formatting that includes presenting the point you defend. Make an example and follow it with an explanation.
The paragraph should end with a link that refers back to the topic sentence as well as the original claim - since that is really what you are proving.
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