The healthcare field is enormously complex and dynamic, and the constantly changing parameters of healthcare make it increasingly difficult to write an excellent healthcare research paper. By the time you finish writing your paper, a new study has already changed everything you thought you knew about your subject. However, there is hope!
While the literature on your topic may always be in flux, there are a few tips that can help you to develop a powerful research paper on any healthcare topic with a minimum of fuss and hassle.
Let’s take a look at a few of the ways you can develop a stronger healthcare research paper:
- Familiarize yourself with the healthcare literature on your topic. This may seem like an obvious first step, but you want to be sure that you have read the latest information about your topic. Healthcare literature changes rapidly, so don’t assume that what you learned last month or last year is still current, or especially what you read in years-old textbooks. Instead, review the most recent publications in your field and try to establish a consensus on the latest information.
- Be critical of the newest information. The very latest studies, however, are also the ones that are least likely to have been critically analyzed, replicated, and integrated into existing bodies of theory. It’s a good idea to remain skeptical of the newest research until there is a body of science that confirms the findings. Be judicious in citing and relying on a single new study that doesn’t yet have additional studies to confirm it.
- Review your research assignment carefully. This might seem like another obvious step, but it’s important that you read the entire research paper assignment carefully to ensure that you understand all of the requirements. If you neglect this step, you run the risk of losing points because you missed a key element or requirement of the assignment.
- Familiarize yourself with word processor functions. In the healthcare field, you often need to deal with lengthy chemical names, chemical formulae, statistical formulae and expressions, and other complexes scientific and mathematical expressions that require special word processing functions to reproduce correctly. Be sure you understand how best to use your word processor to create and display these special characters so you can correctly express your intended meaning and convey your information to your reader clearly.
- Compile your list of sources and key facts and quotes early on. Before you start writing, assemble your final list of sources and document the quotes you’d like to use them to support your research paper. Doing this before you start will save you time so you don’t have to keep going back to your sources to look up quotes. As a bonus, doing this before you write also takes care of many of your in-text citations as well as your reference list before you’ve even started writing the research paper!
- Develop a strong thesis statement. The thesis statement is a single sentence that summarizes your research topic and the conclusions you have drawn from your research. Because the thesis serves as a guide for how you will develop the rest of your paper, it is the most important sentence in the paper and should be written first based on your research and your ideas about where you’d like the paper to end up.
- Outline your research paper before you write. While many students think of outlining as a waste of time, making even a rudimentary outline can keep you on track and help you to write more quickly and clearly. The more effort that you put into your outline, the faster the actual writing process will go.
- Write your paper! At this point, you’re ready to write the paper from scratch. Use your thesis and your outline as a guide. Connect the points of the outline with discussion and analysis, and support key points with facts and quotes drawn from the list you’ve prepared.
- Revise your paper. After you’ve written your first draft, you should carefully review what you’ve written, making changes and improvements to help ensure that your intended message comes through clearly. Check the organization and structure for logic, add transitions where needed, and clarify any unclear sentences or paragraphs.
- Proofread carefully. The last thing to do is to proofread your paper one final time to catch any spelling, grammar, or punctuation errors. Once you’re sure it’s close to perfect, you’re all done!