Most research papers fall into one of three categories: analytical, expository, or argumentative. If you’re presenting an analysis of information, then your paper is analytical. If you’re writing to explain information, then your paper is expository. If you’re arguing a conclusion, then it’s argumentative or persuasive. Your thesis statement should match the type of paper you’re writing.
A research paper is different from a research proposal (also known as a prospectus), although the writing process is similar. Research papers are intended to demonstrate a student’s academic knowledge of a subject.
Choose a comfortable place in your local library where you are away from distractions and you can focus on the work that needs to be done. Try using the card catalog and computers available to make your search easier.
You can find articles testifying that all three of the previous claims are true; however, when you dig deeper, it’s clear that they’re not. Just because you find one article stating that something is true, that does not necessarily mean it is a proven fact that you can use in your research.
Even if you aren’t arguing for or against anything, your paper needs a thesis. A thesis is a short statement that you — as researcher and author output forward for the readers of your paper as what you are trying to explain or prove.