To write first-rate research papers, follow the following simple ruleswell, simple to repeat, but too often ignored by most undergraduates.
At the beginning of a course, you will probably not know enough about the major scholarly topics that are of most importance in the field, the topics that are most well-covered in the secondary literature or the topics that have already had the life beaten out of them by successive generations of writers.
Don’t be surprised if you find that they also happen to have some of the best abstracts you’ve seen!
Most university courses involve some sort of extended writing assignment, usually in the form of a research paper. Long after you leave college, you will continue learning about the world and its vast complexities.
Why does a particular pattern exist in social life?
Why does a specific aspect of politics work as it does?
A research question, at least in the social sciences, begins with the word why or how.
Think of it as a puzzle: Why did a particular political or social event turn out as it did and not some other way?
If your abstract doesn’t grab their attention and make a good first impression, there’s a good chance your research paper will be rejected at the outset.
Moreover, even after your research paper is published, your abstract will be the first, and possibly only, thing readers will access through electronic searches.