Worried about writing your research paper? Don’t be. We are here to help you. In this blog, we will explain the essential and important steps to write an excellent research paper.
Writing a good research paper is essential for your overall grade and performance. A student’s final grade depends on it, and this makes these academic writing assignments very important. A research paper is different from an essay or other kinds of assignment, and when writing it, you will need to follow a set of instructions.
It is based on your research, analysis, and interpretation of the acquired results, and it establishes your position as a researcher.
The step-by-step guide given here will take you through the complete writing process, starting from understanding your paper to proofreading and perfecting it.
Read the blog to learn about the essential steps.
What is a Research Paper?
A research paper is an expanded form of essay that talks about the student’s research and interpretation of the results. It is different from an essay since it is more detailed and requires more sources and research material to prove your point.
Usually, a research paper is based on a single question treated as a research question and is used as a basis for the thesis statement.
A research paper requires the student to research a topic in-depth and propose new ideas and information. On a graduate level, the required amount of research is less than what is needed when you write a Master's or PhD-level research paper.
Writing a research paper requires proper structure, and here you will learn all about it.
How to Write a Research Paper?
“What are the steps of writing a research paper?”
Here are the steps to write a good research paper and earn a straight ‘A’.
1. Understand the Assignment Completely
Writing a research paper can be daunting, but if you follow these steps, it will go much more smoothly.
- Identify the assignment goal and deadline so that you know what your time limit is.
- Make sure to read the instructions carefully. Look for anything that confuses you and ask your professor about it before you begin.
- Create an outline of important points and cross off each item when you are done completing it.
- Consider the time constraints when doing it, and make sure that you complete all the work on time.
Plan realistically and make sure that you have enough time for research, writing, and editing tasks.
2. Choose an Engaging Research Paper Topic
An engaging topic takes your paper a long way. Many students wrongly think that they can write a paper on any topic and earn an ‘A.’ Carefully thought and chosen paper topic delivers better results.
There are a lot of ways to generate ideas for your paper. You can try freewriting and write down all kinds of topics that come to your mind. Once you have enough ideas, choose an engaging and relevant topic for your chosen research field.
3. Begin with the Primary Research
Begin your research and conduct thorough research about the chosen research topic. Do not rely on a single kind of source only and use multiple secondary and primary sources, including books, articles, journals, websites, and other online databases.
For more reliable research, look for evidence that talks against your ideas.
- Is there any criticism about the sources or the information given in the sources?
- Are there any debates surrounding it?
- What is your unique angle for the research?
- Are there any recent developments in the respective research area?
Do not try to formulate a single question at this stage. Write down all the questions that make sense and could be helpful in the research. Choose the one that talks about your research goal more clearly.
4. Develop Your Thesis Statement
Develop and write a thesis statement that is brief and strong. A thesis statement is the central and main statement of a research paper. It establishes the main focus and purpose of the research, and the entire paper would revolve around it.
A good thesis statement is brief, focused, clear, coherent, and in line with the main research question. It is no more than two to three lines in length, and it must not state all the details of the paper.
Usually, a student changes the thesis statement several times during the writing phase.
5. Create the Research Paper Outline
After the thesis statement, it is time to create the outline. A research paper outline is an important part of the research paper writing process. It gives direction to the entire paper and keeps you consistent with it. For better guidance, make a detailed outline and divide the researched details into sections and headings.
Mention the key points in detail that you will add in each section and stick to them throughout the writing process.
Here is a sample of how to write a research paper outline and a downloadable PDF of a research paper outline worksheet.
Topic: Asbestos Poisoning
- Definition of Asbestos Poisoning
- Significance of the Study
- Definition of Terms
- Symptoms of Asbestos Poisoning
- Effects of Asbestos Poisoning
Research Paper Outline Worksheet
6. Write the First Draft
This will not be perfect; in fact, it will be far from it. Your first draft is just the beginning, and you should focus on writing only. Do not think about perfecting anything. Focus on getting everything on the paper at this time.
Some main things to focus on at this time are given below.
- Start writing and focus on writing only - you can perfect the content later.
- Pay attention to your paper’s organization and logical structuring of your paper, including the paragraphs and the sentences.
- Focus on writing with clarity. Express your ideas clearly and without any jargon.
When preparing the draft, it is not necessary to begin with the introduction. Begin with the main part or any other section of the paper. At this point, do not delete anything. Keep the material saved in another document.
7. Write a Strong Introduction
A good research paper introduction should answer the essential research questions. The reader should know what your paper is about. How to write a research paper introduction? Below are the questions that you MUST answer in your introduction.
- What? - What is the paper about? Give specific information about your paper question, state historical details, and define important terms, words, and phrases used in the paper.
- Why? - Why is this research important? Answering this question could be both difficult and tricky. Answer briefly about the kind of material and value you will add through your research.
- How? How will you address the research question? Tell the readers about the kind of material and evidence they would get in the research paper. Present the answer briefly and clearly.
Do not add all the details here, and be concise and focused.
8. Add a Well-Research Main Body Paragraphs
For many students, organizing and coherently presenting ideas and information is difficult. This is where the outline comes in handy and keeps everything focused and aligned with the paper.
However, the outline could change throughout the writing process. When writing, you must stick to the main essence of the research. You can do this in the following ways.
- Check the topic sentences and make sure it is in line with the thesis statement.
- Are the topic sentences in line with each other? If not, then they should be.
- Are the sentences of the paragraph according to the topic sentence?
Create a smooth and logical transition between the paragraphs, sentences, and sections of the paper. Wrong word choices and improper grammatical and sentence structure could ruin your paper. Be clear and consistent throughout the paper.
9. Add a Targeted Conclusion
A good and strong conclusion closes the research paper appropriately and leaves the reader with a sense of finality. Mention and state some important points here and explain how your research is contributing to the existing research. Do not add or introduce any new ideas and information here and stay close to the researched material only.
10. Edit and Proofread the Paper
The main goal of this step is to make sure that you have followed the guidelines properly and the paper has all the important details and information.
When proofreading the paper, take care of the following things.
- All the sentences are supporting the main topic sentences.
- All the information given in the paper is relevant.
- All the sources are properly cited and added to the references list.
- The paper is free from all kinds of grammatical, formatting, and structural errors.
Make sure that you organize your paper according to the given formatting and citation style. Don’t forget to add page numbers on each page of your paper. Moreover, add properly formatted and designed title page also.
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Research Paper Examples
To help you further, here are some research paper samples.
How to Write a Research Paper in APA Format
How to Write a Research Paper in MLA Format
How to Write a Research Paper in Chicago Format
How to Write an Undergraduate Research Paper
How to Write a Research Paper for a Journal Publication
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Tips to Write an Excellent Research Paper
Here are some tips for writing an excellent research paper.
- Choose the paper topic carefully.
- Make a proper outline of the paper and stick to it.
- Organize your research paper and make sure that you follow the paper outline properly.
- Do thorough and proper research and find credible sources.
- Allot proper time for each section of the research paper, and make sure that you follow it.
- Create a brief thesis statement and, if needed, change and modify it accordingly.
- Cite every source properly and add it to the references and bibliography lists.
- Proofread carefully and use online sources for grammatical errors.
- Use Turnitin to check your paper for plagiarism.
Writing a great research paper is important to earn an ‘A’ on your paper. Writing a research paper is time-consuming, but with organization, you can do it easily. However, if you need help with your research paper, then MyPerfectPaper.net is here to help you. We are a professional ‘write my paper’ service provider, and we work 24/7 to help and assist you.
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Frequently Asked Question
What are the 10 parts of a research paper?
The 10 major parts of a research paper are:
- Literature Review
- Research Methodology
- Future Scope
How many pages should a research paper be?
A research paper should at least be 8 pages and should have at least 5 sources cited. However, the total number of pages and citations depends on your research and problem statement.