Uniqueness and authoritativeness – the two salient qualities of a high-quality research paper.
Actually, both of these are related. When your research paper is unique, it automatically becomes authoritative. And if you strive to make your paper authoritative, you will automatically take care of the uniqueness factor as well.
But how can you make your research paper unique and authoritative? Let’s look at some useful tips that you can follow for that.
- Get your research right
To make your paper authoritative and unique, the first thing that you need to do properly is the research.
Let’s first talk about how proper research can help to make the paper authoritative.
During the research phase, if you are careful about picking the right sources, you can get your hands on some hefty facts and figures, which can later be used to back up the points and arguments in the paper.
And when all the arguments and points are backed up, there will be less conjecture and speculation in the paper. This will automatically increase the authoritativeness.
As an example, if you write a sentence in the following way:
“There are a lot of species of fish on the planet,”
…it would sound a lot weaker and unauthoritative as compared to this version of the same sentence:
“According to World Atlas, there are around 33,600 species of fish in the world.”
Now, just as good research can help in making your paper authoritative, it can also play a role in making it unique. To help you understand this better, we are going to first list some tips about good research that you can follow. And then, we will talk about how each of those tips can help in making the paper unique.
- When researching, gather material from different sources
- Be sure to note down the details of the sources that you use
- Be sure to take ideas from the research material rather than exact words and phrases
So, when you garner material from different sources, you are able to keep your paper from being influenced by a single one. You won’t unknowingly use the same words as a single source, nor will you unintentionally mimic their tone.
Moving on, when you note down the details of the sources, you will be able to cite them properly later on. This will save you from committing source-based plagiarism and compromising the uniqueness of your paper.
And last but not least, when you take ideas rather than content from a source, you automatically reduce the chances of plagiarism. Since you won’t be copying anything verbatim, there won’t be any risk of plagiarizing anything, and this would lead to your paper being unique.
- Add Examples for Your Points
Adding examples is also something that can improve both the uniqueness and authoritativeness of your research paper.
When we say you should add examples in your paper, it basically refers to explanatory things. In other words, when you are explaining some idea or concept in the paper, you can add examples to add some clarity and context to it.
How do examples make your paper authoritative?
Basically, when you add examples in the paper, you make the concepts and the various points in it easy to understand. And when the paper is easy to understand, it automatically becomes more authoritative.
How do examples make your paper unique?
The concepts you discuss in your paper can be somewhat explored beforehand by other writers and authors, but the examples you give will most probably be unique and one-of-a-kind.
In other words, since you’ll be giving the examples according to your own style and knowledge, there won’t be any chances of those same examples already existing elsewhere.
This can add a touch of uniqueness to your paper, and lower the chances of plagiarism.
An Example of an Example
Before we move on, we should give an example of what we mean by giving an example in your paper. (It sounds a little confusing now, but we hope you understand what we mean.)
Suppose you’re discussing the Brownian motion of gas molecules in your paper. You can discuss it like this:
“The Brownian motion of gas molecules is characterized by its random and erratic nature. The molecules in question don’t follow a specific path, instead flying around helter-skelter in the container they’re in as a result of collisions against the walls. An example of a molecule adopting this motion would be that of a pinball in a cabinet without the downward gravitational pull. Just as a pinball decides its course due to the collisions around the walls and objects in the cabinet, the same thing happens with the gas molecules.”
- Organize Your Paper Using Headings and Sub-Headings
This step can make your paper more authoritative. But it does not play too much of a major role in making it unique.
Organizing a paper using headings and sub-headings essentially helps the reader to peruse the content systematically. They can easily find out where everything is being discussed in the paper. If the need arises for them to skip to a particular portion, they can easily do it.
Headings and sub-headings can also give an order and progression to your paper, which can lead to it looking more authoritative. If the same content happens to be written helter-skelter, it will not look as expert and professional if the same content happens is written inside bullets and headings.
Here is how a typical heading and sub-heading progression usually goes:
- Illustrate Your Paper Using Graphs and Visuals
Another way in which you can get your paper to look more authoritative is by illustrating the points you make, not only with examples but by visual representations such as charts and graphs.
Charts and graphs help to convey information in a more easily understandable way. For example, a pie chart or a bar graph showing some statistics can be a lot easy to peruse and understand as compared to the same information in textual form.
Plus, when someone creates a chart out of some information, it shows two things: their own understanding of that information and their skill in conveying it in pictorial form. And both of these things contribute to an increase in the authoritativeness of the whole paper.
To give you an idea of what we mean by the words “graphs and visuals” in the heading, here is an example of some information in textual form followed by its visual representation.
Of all the participants, 10% voted for A, 12% voted for B, 30% voted for C, and 48% voted for D.
Adding visuals can also help in making your paper look more unique. If the visuals you make are your own, they will automatically bring a distinct look to the whole document.
- Always Check for Plagiarism and Remove if Any
Authoritativeness is hard to build, but in its perpetuity, it is delicate. It can be wrecked and destroyed quite easily, and one of the biggest factors that can lead to it is plagiarism.
This entire post is about making your research paper unique and authoritative. When content is unique, it’s not plagiarized. And when content is plagiarized, it’s not unique.
However, for a lot of people, plagiarism can be something not perpetrated deliberately. Rather, owing to the proliferation of online content, it can be something of an accident, albeit with the same consequences.
That is why, even if your content is technically unique, i.e., in the sense that you’ve written it totally on your own, you should still check for plagiarism once you are done writing it. If there is any accidental plagiarism in there, you should remove it.
You see, the person reading your research paper won’t know whether the plagiarism is done deliberately or not. If they happen to run a check on it and find that it contains, say, 10 to 20% plagiarism, they’ll automatically get a bad impression.
This can massively harm the authoritativeness of the entire paper. Shatter, rather.
So, what do you do here?
- Firstly, you check for plagiarism in the paper. This is done quite easily with the aid of an online plagiarism checker. You can find one of these by doing a simple search on the Internet.
- If you take care to pick a reliable tool, it will highlight all the plagiarized parts.
- Once the plagiarized parts are highlighted, the next thing you have to do is alter their wording. By changing the wording, you can eliminate the semblance between the accidentally plagiarized content and the originally published one. Of course, if you don’t want to make these types of changes yourself, you can use an online plagiarism remover instead.
- You can also excise the plagiarized parts from the text completely so that the plagiarism is likewise eliminated.
There is a lot more stuff that you can try doing to make your research paper look authoritative and unique. However, the tips that we have discussed are some of the main ones that you can implement.