Astronomy is the branch of science that studies celestial objects such as planets, sun, and moon. It can also be summed up as the study of objects and space beyond the earth’s atmosphere. Writing an astronomy research paper helps expand the knowledge of the writer to the facts surrounding the formation of the earth and the celestial objects. A proper way of writing an astronomy research paper encompasses comprehensive investigation, thorough planning and organization of points to a comprehensive structure.
This step can be considered as the first of the writing process. Selection of topics to cover is very crucial as they have to be interesting to the reader as well as be easy to explain. The topics selected in this section should be straightforward and to the point. The following are a few of the topics one can cover in the essay:
- The Formation of the Solar System. This is the topic that entails the creation of the solar system through various theories. This topic covers a wide area and can significantly improve the writers’ and readers’ knowledge of astronomy.
- Planetary Comparisons. After the formation of the solar system, one can move down to the comparison of the components that form the system, for example, planets and asteroids. This topic requires critical thinking and is mentally engaging as there is a comparison of the differences in planets’ size, distances, and physical, and chemical properties characteristics among others.
- The Universe and How It Relates to the Earth. The topic entails the exploration of space, the matter in it, galaxies, stars, and other celestial bodies. All these components have a direct or indirect relation to the earth and highlighting these leads to a proper understanding of the topic at hand.
- Major Astronomical Milestones in History. This topic can be strategically included to raise the reader’s interest in the essay. There are significant steps that man has made in the astronomical field that are worth highlighting such as the first trip to the moon, deployment of exploration machines and robots among others.
- Effects of Celestial Objects: Asteroids, Moon, and Stars on the Earth. In this astronomy subject, one acquires intriguing facts on how each object can affect the planet directly or indirectly. This topic will introduce you to new information that will lead to a different understanding of the universe in general.
Pre-Writing Tips to Get Ready for Actual Writing
After highlighting the topics and carefully analyzing them, one can choose the most appropriate one in terms of content and interest. At this point, one has to evaluate how to present the content in terms of structure and outlining the points. The following are some of the pre-writing tips to consider while writing the essay:
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- Picking the right structure. Depending on the type of essay you are writing, say informative, descriptive or a persuasive essay, effectively select the proper structure with which to relay the information garnered. When the structure is identified, one has a starting point and the suitable guidelines to use.
- Points of argument. In this part, one should critically think of points to put down while considering the structure and flow. Formulate the prime points to concentrate on as this makes the writing process easy and enjoyable. It is also important to identify the strong and weak points of arguments and preferably use the strongest ones first to ensure the essay has well-substantiated content. Such ensures a streaming flow of ideas.
- The main argument of the essay. The selection of the primary points to be used should be done keenly as they are supposed to fulfill the agenda of the essay. An effective essay is the one that has an argument and sufficient evidence to support the argument. The writer should, therefore, evaluate the prime points selected about how they relate to the main argument, think of how to communicate them, as well as ensure they support the research paper’s claims. It is also important to note the counterpoints or questions that may be raised and to find an effective answer for them.
- Research on the topics. The writer should research on the topics selected adequately to acquire all the information necessary to support your claim in the argument. Conducting effective research will guide one to new critical ideas, gaps in prior studies, and even ideas that were rendered valid or illogical, all of which can help the writer attain clarity when defining her/his research paper. It is in this stage that the writer decides how to approach the topic and whether to widen the research or narrow it to cover her/his idea effectively.
- The flow of points. After thorough research on your topic, organize the points in a flowing and logical manner to create an outline of your essay. Formation of the outline helps narrow down the major ideas to concentrate on when writing the research paper. The outline also helps to determine if the points correlate and support your argument in work.
Creating an Outline as a Guiding Star: Tips from Our Top Experts
An outline is responsible for steering the direction of the research and providing a good sense what it will tackle as it introduces the main argument while stating the key points and claims to be incorporated. The outline guarantees a smooth and enjoyable writing process as well as clear and coherent content. The following are some of the points to consider while creating an outline:
- The introduction. Begin with an introduction when formulating an outline. It should be short and to the point, laying down the topic and the main argument of the essay. It should provide a brief overview of the topic and end with the thesis statement.
- The body paragraphs. Every paragraph should have a different point and its supporting evidence.
- First paragraph (contains the topic sentence). This paragraph should cover the topic sentence, the main argument and what is to be discussed in the essay. It should be clear and easy to understand to evoke interest in the reader.
- Evidence. Jot the evidence that supports your ideas, and properly argue your points.
- Second and third paragraph. Guided by the same structure of the first paragraph (highlighted above) list down the claims of the following paragraphs. Formulate a topic sentence that indicates the point that each paragraph will be addressing. One should also use ample and credible evidence to support each claim made in the paragraphs. Ending each paragraph with a critical evaluation of your topic also indicates a proper understanding of the topic at hand.
- Conclusion. In this section, sum up all the claims in the body paragraphs properly and restate the thesis statement. In other words, the conclusion should sum up all the arguments of the essay to form one strong point.
- Other things to consider. An outline should be brief and direct to the point estimated at around one to two pages. It should also be well-organized and neat. Ensure to make use of bullet points to properly list the primary ideas and claims to focus on in each section or paragraph. Simple and clear sentences help highlight the fundamental ideas in an understandable way.
Organization/Writing the Research Paper
After creating an outline, the next step is about writing the research paper. This part consists of the elaboration of the information in the outline in a more organized way while providing evidence. Writing an astronomy research paper should be done in three primary sections which are the introduction, the body, and the conclusion. Information and evidence provided in each section should be well-coordinated to properly support your claim.
This part is the opening of the astronomy research paper that introduces the topic to the readers. The introduction should clearly state the main argument of the essay and focus on stating this claim. Applying the following points is also essential:
- It is advised to start with a catchy phrase that will raise the interest of the reader encouraging her/him to read the entire essay. In this case, one can start with the definition of the term astronomy, use a quote or even share an interesting fact concerning the topic.
- Offering brief background information about the topic will also go a long way to inform the reader of the direction you are taking. Concentrating on the main points ensures that the information does not create confusion or become boring.
- The next step is highlighting the thesis statement or argument. Once the topic is introduced, one should present his claim, which ideally should be brief and to the point. The length of these statements usually varies with the length of the essay. One or two sentences are preferable as they keep the introduction short and precise.
The body is the crucial part of the astronomy essay as it comprises the supporting statements and evidence to the writer’s claim. The ideal number of paragraphs in the body of an astronomy essay should be three or more (depending on the instruction given). They are intended to help you argue your point and, for this reason, should be presented orderly and in a logical manner. The flow from one paragraph to the next should be seamless to guarantee clear understanding, proper evaluation, and defending of the thesis. When writing the body, one should consider the following:
- Using the outline, including paragraphs that support the central theme and further assist your argument. Start each paragraph with a topic sentence that indicates what the paragraph entails.
- Use credible information to support claims introduced in the topic sentences. Also, properly analyze and describe how the evidence provided relates to and strengthens your arguments and the thesis in general. When writing an astronomy research paper, one can provide several examples to indicate or support your argument clearly. Furthermore, one should ensure that the paragraphs are full (approximately six to seven sentences) and well-written to articulate the points.
- Using the previously made outline, make sure there is a streaming flow of ideas in the essay. Avoid repetition of points to properly distinguish the paragraphs.
- Ensure that the arguments are presented in a logical order. Paying attention to chronological order, emphatic order and spatial order when presenting arguments indicates a good understanding of the information being presented. This will greatly assist you when you make compelling claims in your thesis.
This is the point in the research where the writer sums up all the claims and points made in the body section. Usually, the conclusion brings together all arguments in one paragraph and restates the thesis statement to clearly indicate that your thesis is valid and logical. The following steps are hugely used in this section:
- Summarizing the argument by pinpointing the major ideas in the essay while at the same time indicating how they connect to the thesis.
- Avoid introducing new ideas at this point as it creates confusion. Instead, concentrate on what was analyzed previously.
- One may choose to elaborate on the argument they made though it is not a mandatory procedure. Explaining the significance of your thesis may be in defense of your stand as the writer or as a call to the reader to take a certain action or stand.
After the conclusion, the astronomy research paper writing part is done, and all that remains is to through the work to verify that the paper has nil errors and flows accordingly.
The following are some of the activities you should focus on:
- Proofreading/editing. This stage is used to eliminate any errors that may have come up due to negligence, misuse of words, typos and incorrect use of tenses. After completing the writing process, you can take a break before going through your paper and editing the paper accordingly.
- Referencing. Usually, academic essays require a reference page that lists all the sources utilized in writing the essay. Ensure that you include all the credible books, articles or journals that you have used for the essay research on the reference page.
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- Janelle M. Bailey, Doug Lombard. Blazing the trail for astronomy education research. Journal of Astronomy and Earth Sciences Education; Littleton (2015): 77-88.
- Pena, B. M., & Gil Quilez, M. J. (2001). The importance of images in astronomy education. International Journal of Science Education, 23(11), 1125-1135.