Writing a Research Paper Step-by-Step

Writing a research paper is one of the most common challenges a student faces in high school and college. A research paper is defined as a piece of academic writing that is based on the author’s research, analysis, and interpretation of a particular topic. Depending on the length of a research paper, it can qualify as a term paper, dissertation, or thesis. It takes more than good research skills to craft a good research paper, as you’ll also need writing expertise, knowledge of popular formats, and a positive approach to writing. Find out how to start a research paper and how to make it perfect right now!

  1. Choose your topic. Unless research paper topics are given out by your instructor, pay special attention to this step. Pick a topic that is narrow enough, but avoid topics that are too complex or specialized.
  2. Do the reading. Use various channels, including the internet and the library, to locate as many sources applicable to your topic as possible. As you read, remember to make notes that will then make it easier for you to do the research and writing.
  3. Make a thesis statement. This part is not a mandatory part of a research paper, but it will give your work a more professional look. A thesis statement should be just one sentence long and should express your main point of the writing.
  4. Create an outline (more on that later).
  5. Organize your notes to prepare for writing. Analyze the information you’ve gathered and determine how it’s relevant to your research. This is the most critical stage of the research paper writing, because it sets the tone for the rest of your work.
  6. Write the first draft of your research paper. Closely follow the outline you’ve created earlier. If you think some parts of the writing will need more work, mark them with any unusual symbol and get back to them later.
  7. Revise your draft. Start from the outline and continue all the way to the final period. Check your work for logical, spelling, or grammar mistakes. Make sure there are no factual mistakes or inconsistent statements, as these things are not welcome in a research paper.
  8. Type your final paper. If you’re absolutely sure that you’ve done your best and that your work is free of any mistakes and other things that can negatively affect your grade, type your paper and have it ready for submission, preferably a day or two before the deadline.

When looking for Given the complexity of the task, there are many things that can go wrong with writing a research paper. One of the most common mistakes is a weak thesis statement that negatively affects the whole work. Another common problem of research paper is the lack of research, which is essentially what the whole assignment is about. Finally, the inability to follow the format and properly cite sources is another potential writing misstep you should be wary about.

Research Paper Examples

When looking for You may already know how to write a research paper in theory, but if you’ve never dealt with this assignment before, doing everything right can be quite a challenge. This is where a research paper example comes in handy! Seeing other people’s samples of research paper can give you a clear idea about every aspect of the writing, from crafting a convincing thesis statement to better understanding of the research paper format. Whether you need to write an MLA format research paper or an APA research paper, a sample research paper is the most foolproof way to do it!

Research Paper Outline

For many students, the research paper outline is actually the most difficult part of the writing. If you’re also not sure what your outline should look like, here is a typical research paper outline template that can be very helpful for your work.

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  1. Title page with the title, author’s name, name of the institution, and date.
  2. Abstract, which is a nearly 250-word-long summary of the whole paper.
  3. Introduction, which is a short opening statement for the work, may contain background information for the writing, and is up to 2 pages long.
  4. Body of the paper, which can further be divided into:
    • Materials and methods
    • Results
    • Discussion
    • Conclusion
  5. Reference.
  6. Figures, tables, and appendix (optional).