Research Paper Evaluation: Ensure a Well-Presented Argument

Your rough draft has slowly transformed into an almost-final draft, which means you are ready to do a research paper evaluation in order to examine your argument and the content. A well-presented argument is the crux of what makes your paper effective. From the title to the last word you write, the focus of your paper must stay centered on the thesis statement.

Here are a few ways to evaluate the different aspects of your paper to conduct a research paper evaluation.

Research paper evaluation: content

Ultimately, the content within your research paper is what makes or breaks your argument. You can make any argument you want in theory, but a good research paper backs it up and explores the argument effectively. As you read through your paper, ask questions that help identify any areas of weakness to do an effective research paper evaluation of your content.

  • Are multiple arguments pertaining to your thesis statement introduced?
  • Are arguments for and against your thesis unbiased with a neutral presentation?
  • Are the positions, arguments and points-of-view of source authors and their findings accurate and well represented?

Research paper evaluation: introduction

While every part of a research paper is important, the introduction is what draws people into your paper—what makes them want to continue reading. When doing a research paper evaluation, examine your introduction by asking the following questions:

  • Does your intro show your purpose in a way that invites readers to continue?
  • Does the way you intend to present information stay clearly defined in the first paragraph?
  • Does your very first sentence draw readers in because it is engaging?
  • Does your introduction introduce your thesis or idea well?

Research paper evaluation: body paragraphs

The body paragraphs of your research paper mix your thoughts and ideas with supporting evidence. Information within each paragraph is as important as the flow and transition between them in your research paper evaluation. As you read through your paper to evaluate the argument, ask these questions about your body paragraphs:

  • Does the order in which you present information stay logical?
  • Does each paragraph remain part of the larger argument or tell a story related to your thesis?
  • Does each paragraph show a clear thought pattern?
  • Does the relationship between each paragraph remain clear?
  • Does every paragraph smoothly transition to the next?
  • Does any paragraph not belong or require combining it with another paragraph?
  • Does each sentence in the respective paragraph support the paragraph’s topic sentence?
  • Does any sentence not belong within a certain paragraph or require combining it with other sentences?
  • Does any digression stay directly related to the overall thesis?

Research paper evaluation: conclusion

As you wrap up your research paper evaluation, you want to pay close attention to your conclusion. This is your last chance to leave an impression with readers and to tie everything to your thesis effectively. Evaluate your conclusion by asking these questions:

  • Does the conclusion synthesize, summarize and clarify the information within your paper to tie into and resolve the thesis?
  • Does the conclusion leave readers with something to think about?
  • Does the rest of your research paper support the conclusion?
  • Does the conclusion make it clear that the point of view and ideas are your own?
  • Does what the conclusion build upon and reference the arguments of the paper?
  • Does the conclusion include a discussion about future research, applications and implications?

A research paper evaluation can help you identify weak areas within your paper. If you answer “no” to any of the above questions that relate to each area of your paper, spend the time to make necessary changes before putting together your final draft. Ultimately, you want a well-supported and effective argument, and the only way to get there is by asking the right questions.