If you are a college student, you would have to write at least one research paper at the college level before getting graduated. However, this is something that could really terrify a lot of students since they have never done this before.
Although research papers are pretty similar to academic essays, they are a little extensive with more attention to detail and research. Usually, a research paper is assigned by the end of college to assess students’ skills and academic comprehension. Well, writing a research paper requires a firm understanding of the topic and involves a number of sources from which you acquire the knowledge. These are a few things that make it hard for students to write an academic research paper.
Therefore, in this guide, we will precisely describe how to write a research paper and what steps are required to follow to compose a flawless piece of a research paper.
What is an Academic Research Paper?
A research paper is an extensive form of an essay that demonstrates your own analysis and evaluation of an argument. However, it is slightly different from the essay with regard to the collection of the data and information. While writing a research paper, you need to conduct extensive research and find out what other scholars say about the subject matter, and interpret their investigations to find out the perfect results.
A research paper involves surveys, interviews, or questionnaires, to collect the data you require. Besides, several other sections are engaged within a research paper such as the abstract, introduction, literature review, methodology, analysis, interpretation, results, etc.
Write a Research Paper in 10 Steps
Here are some steps that you need to follow in order to write a perfect research paper. However, while following this procedure, practice a little to enhance your writing skills. Working on your writing skills not only helps you academically but personally and professionally as well.
Step I: Understand the Task
You might be astonished to know that a lot of students begin a research paper before even looking over the instructions.
Reviewing the task and attentively reading the research question should come first. Examine technical specifications like length, format, such as single- vs. double-line spacing, indentations, etc., and reference style in particular, such as MLA, APA, etc. Concentrate on the specifics as well, such as whether a cover page is required or not.
Then, the subsequent steps in how to write a research paper follow the regular writing process. Yet, once you have a basic understanding of the project. The general writing procedure is the same as essay writing, but there are a few additional steps since research papers have different rules.
Step II: Choose a Topic
After you have a clear understanding of the requirements for your research paper, you must choose a topic. Although it may seem overwhelming, try not to get stressed out. Don’t stress out while picking the ideal subject; writing about a subject you’re interested in or passionate about might be quite useful. A contentious subject can often be excellent so that you can practice explaining opposing viewpoints objectively and, if necessary, defending one of them.
When choosing a topic for your paper, follow the instructions provided by your instructor. Choose a different topic if you’re having problems incorporating your favorite subject into the requirements. Writing on a subject that is appropriate for the task will make your life easier in the long run. You don’t have to adore the subject you’re writing about, but it is vital to be interested in it.
Once you realize that you have the chance to learn something new from this research writing project is also a fantastic idea. By the end of this process, you will have gained some expertise in the subject, but you don’t have to be an expert yet.
Step III: Start Conducting Research
It is better to begin the research work earlier; that’s the reason it is called a “research paper.”
Search out as quickly as possible what material is accessible or already published that is relevant to your topic in order to hone your subject and create your thesis statement. Also, preliminary research will help you clear up any misunderstandings you may have about the subject and show you the best avenues to take when looking for additional information.
Usually, you may discover sources in your college library or via online websites. Ensure to use reliable sources when conducting online research, such as academic papers or scientific journals. You can explore only reputable sources and academic publications on several search engines, which are included in the Tools and resources that allow you to browse academic sources.
Furthermore, make sure to identify the difference between primary and secondary sources while researching. Primary sources are those materials or information that are most relevant to the subject. These sources include organic information that is further analyzed by the researcher. Whereas, secondary sources are those closely related to the primary sources through which the primary sources are interpreted.
While acquiring information for your research, it is preferable to skim and scan sources rather than thoroughly reading each source. Put a source away to read it in its entirety later if it sounds beneficial. Or else, you’ll keep reading sources and won’t utilize the time that could be spent locating a reliable source.
A literature review, which explains your sources and submits them to an authority for approval, may occasionally be requested of you. Even if a literature review is not necessary, creating an outline of relevant sources is still beneficial.
Continue comprehending all the various theories and philosophical thoughts surrounding your subject. You can accomplish this by studying a range of articles, books, and other publications that provide an overview of the subject and taking into account various points of view, or by speaking with an expert who can go into greater detail on the subject.
Step IV: Organize the Material
What should you do with all of this collected data now? The objective of step four is organization. Similar to research, everyone has different techniques in this area. Your assignment may also play a role. When it comes to organizing your research, a bibliography is pretty useful.
You should already be aware of the task by this point if your teacher asks you to submit a bibliography with your research paper. Make references that fulfill the paper’s standards. It could be beneficial to add websites to your browser’s favorites list or develop a digital bibliography that enables you to cite the sources you have discovered. You might choose a published list of your materials, or you might wish to organize your research paper and jot down everything you have learned that is essential to your paper.
Step V: Create a Thesis Statement
This is one of the most confusing parts for most people since a lot of them don’t know how to write a research paper thesis statement. Compose a thesis statement that briefly explains the topic of your research paper by using the information you acquired through your initial research. This is typically the opening paragraph of your paper, serving as the reader’s introduction to the subject.
The ideal way to begin your paper is with a thesis statement. It not only prepares your reader but also makes it simpler for other scholars to decide whether or not your article will be helpful to them for their own research. The same goes for other research articles; examine the thesis statements to determine their applicability to you.
A strong thesis statement covers all the key points of the argument without giving away a large number of the specifics. If you experience problems explaining anything, consider posing your subject as a question, then responding to it.
Additionally, it’s crucial to avoid being too ambiguous regarding your thesis. Don’t be hesitant to present your case firmly. Ensuring that your argument is debatable is another essential component of writing a powerful thesis statement. That doesn’t necessarily imply that it’s disputed or strongly held, but it does imply that others might disagree.
Once you’ve created a thesis statement, it may be beneficial to consult your supervisor, tutor, another dependable educator, or a teacher at this point to enhance your thesis statement and make it more precise, debatable, and conclusive. Ask them whether they believe your thesis statement is a strong one that will serve as a guide while you construct your essay after presenting it to them.
Step VI: Develop an Outline
If your supervisor requested an overview of your research paper, make sure it complies with the provided example, instructions, or specifications. Even if creating an outline is not compulsory, it can still be a useful tool while you construct your research paper.
Making an outline is essentially just a way to organize your paper. Avoid being overly conventional, but it can be beneficial to adhere to rules and guidelines. If you wrote three to five-paragraph essays in high school, it’s acceptable to utilize those same formats for a research paper in college. If you wrote three to five-paragraph essays in high school, it’s acceptable to utilize those same formats for a research paper in college as well. If you wrote three to five-paragraph essays in high school, it’s acceptable to utilize those same formats for a research paper in college as well.
Three or five primary sections for your research paper could not make sense if your thesis only has two main ideas. Your paper will likely need three main sections, one for each of the objectives listed above, if the assignment requires you to introduce the issue, discuss several points of view on the topic, and then select and explain your own position.
Consider carefully what you are attempting to convey or describe in your research paper when you draft an outline to determine what format would help you do so in a concise, systematic manner. An opening and a conclusion are typically sensible, but what comes in between depends on the subject matter of your essay.
Thinking about weak areas of argumentation that you should avoid is a wonderful idea during the outlining stage of creating your argument. If you’re not familiar with logical fallacies, spend some time reviewing the most prevalent ones—your grade may be on the line!
Step VII: Start Writing your Research Paper
Once your outline is complete, you can begin drafting your research proposal. This is unquestionably the most time-consuming and complicated step, but if your information is adequately organized and your outline is well-written, everything should go according to plan.
The start can be challenging if you don’t know how to write a research paper introduction. You can use your thesis statement first then write secondary relevant information in the rest of the introduction. Save particular information for the rest of the research paper body.
Nonetheless, linking sentences and paragraphs to one another is one of the most common challenges in writing lengthy works like research papers. It gets tougher to make things flow together seamlessly as your writing gets lengthier. Use transitional words to help your writing flow better, especially between the opening and last sentences of each paragraph.
You still need to know how to write a research paper conclusion after the body has been written. This is very similar to an essay conclusion; yet, your research paper conclusion should rephrase your thesis statement, review your primary supporting information, and succinctly explain your results.
Step VIII: Add References
Research papers differ from more informal writing like personal essays in part because of their citations. By referencing your sources, you can relate your research article to the larger scientific community while also having your findings validated. Citations must adhere to specific structural changes due to their relevance, yet there are multiple sets of guidelines!
To find out which formatting style is necessary, check the assignment. Academic research papers usually adhere to one of two reference styles when citing sources: MLA and APA. However, other than these citation styles, you may find several others such as Chicago, Harvard, Turabian, etc.
Yet, with all of their requirements and particular details, references may initially seem complicated. But, once you get an understanding of them, you’ll be able to correctly credit your sources without even thinking about it.
Step IX: Review your Research Paper
It is now time to relax after finishing your research paper. Give your thesis a last go-through over the course of a day or two. If you have just gone read your paper on a screen so far, it may be good to get its printout and read it. However, while reading on your screen, you could catch errors that you might have overlooked.
Other than this, it’s also crucial to proofread for spelling and grammar. Although it may seem difficult, there are many online tools and software available. If you’re confused about how to use commas, semicolons, or run-on sentences, consult tools like Grammarly. Proofreading for grammar may require several iterations, just like editing for content.
Step X: Submit your Paper
Once you’ve completed your research paper by following all nine steps, it’s time to submit your paper. However, before submitting, make sure that you’ve followed all the instructions provided by your supervisor or instructor. Besides, it is suggested not to wait until the last minute. Try to print out your paper 24 hours before submission to avoid any last-minute inconvenience. Other than this, it is also highly appreciated to submit your assignment immediately once you’re done no matter how many days are left.
Do you still wonder, how to write a research paper? Well, we hope that by following these steps, you would be able to compose a flawless piece of research paper. Remember, before you begin, it is extremely important to keep your instructor’s guidelines in mind and set your outline accordingly.
Once you have got to know about the standards of your research paper, follow these guidelines hassle-freely. When you follow these instructions, you will be able to complete your research paper before the deadline.
So, if you are still confused about anything, ask Scholarly Help for further assistance in research paper writing services.
People Also Ask
When is there a need to write a research paper?
A lot of college programs often assign thesis tasks at the end of college. The purpose of the research paper is to evaluate students’ knowledge and skills in a particular field. However, you can expect to write a research paper before you graduate.
How can I pick a topic for my research paper?
Although in many cases, your instructor provides the topic for your research paper. But, if you don’t have a specific topic, you can pick one. Try to find a topic that has plenty of sources available to cover all arguments. Moreover, identify what you are interested in. Writing a research paper on your favorite topic allows you to easily work.
What is the right way to cite the references?
The correct way to cite the sources depends on the reference style you use. First of all, check the assignment guidelines and determine whether you’re supposed to use MLA or APA reference style. However, the format of each style is mentioned below:
APA: (author last name, dd-mm-yyyy)
MLA: (author last name only)