How to Write a Research Paper – Practical Guide for Students

While talking about written assignments, research papers are believed to be one of the most intimidating tasks. Writing an impressive research paper not only demands thorough examination of a particular aspect, but you also need to investigate what others think on that. That’s the type of work experienced critics and intellectuals do all the time, thus if you’re keen to explore the scholarly world, research paper writing is for you. This step by step guide can help keep you committed and lead you down the road to an outstanding research paper.

Step: 1 –Plan Well

A research paper is primarily your opinion on a specific topic, abreast of the research you’ve done. First and foremost you need to recognize the tasks and plan a schedule accordingly. Scroll down to unveil the list of steps you should follow to get started.

  • Determine the milestones
  • Recognize your final expected date
  • Invest some time to shape a task in front of you
  • Spend some time to understand the type, pattern and length of your assignment
  • Include dates to each milestone

Step: 2 –Choose a Topic


Selecting a topic can be the toughest element of writing a research paper. A topic basically is the subject of your assignment. Analyze what attracts you respective to your paper. Take inspiration from multiple sources such as books, web, encyclopedias, TV and you can even discuss this with your peers and professors. You’d be amazed where some great topic ideas can hail from.

Step: 3 – Begin Research

Although ranked as a single step here, research is, in fact, a flowing procedure that covers various steps of doing a research paper. First, you’ll be required to conduct an initial investigation to determine your topic and as you begin writing your paper, you may require doing extra research as you proceed.

Tips for Locating Sources

  • Encyclopedias – Can be used to find background information on a subject, but usually not comprehensive enough to be utilized as your initial resources
  • Books – Include detailed material but may be difficult to find current information on present-day issues
  • Academic Journals – These journals are limited, academically-aligned publications that can enhance and distinguish your research paper
  • Magazines/Newspapers – Can be great sources of information on general and contemporary issues, but cannot be acknowledged as intellectual or academic
  • Internet – Websites offer an extensive range of information on your specific topic. However, make sure to double check the credibility and accuracy of the details collected from the web

Step: 4 – Thesis Developement

Once you know the subject matter of your research paper, it’s time now to develop an effective thesis statement.

Ingredients of a Good Thesis Statement

  • Generally consist of one clear, concise sentence
  • Conveys your main concept, belief or position
  • Does not contain your particular arguments or proofs
  • Does not employ first person language (use of ‘I believe’, ‘In my opinion’)
  • Doesn’t only explain your topic
  • Is placed at or near the conclusion of the introduction

Step: 5 –Form an Outline

Forming an outline is the method of arranging your ideas and beliefs. A systemized outline is an assurance of well-crafted, persuasive research paper. You’ll be able to recognize aspects that require more investigation and can make adjustments accordingly.

Forming an Effective Outline – Steps

  • Arrange your notes properly
  • Check your thesis statement and make sure it includes what you want to say
  • Recognize the basic points of your argumentation that endorse your thesis
  • Recognize the points that validate your fundamental ideas
  • Match your exploration to your main points
  • Arrange your ideas in a logic manner
  • Recognize where you require additional research and the areas where your ideas need more refinement

Step: 6 – Compose Draft

Once you’ve your outline, thesis statement and research, it is time now to compose your first draft.

A Research Paper Draft Consists Of:

  • Introduction

Introduction is the opening paragraph of your research paper. It shows the purpose of your assignment. Make sure to write it effectively so that you can persuade your reader to read more.

  • Body

Body is the biggest segment of your research paper. This section includes all the major points along with arguments and evidences that you’ve researched earlier

  • Conclusion

The conclusion restates your main argument without just reiterating what you’ve stated previously in your paper, and joins together your basic points

Step: 7 – Revise

Revising your paper is the method of reviewing your draft and making any required adjustments. Appropriate revising refers to careful examination of all the included arguments, supporting research and overall structure and formation of the paper.

Step: 8 – References and Bibliography


Bestowing suitable credit to all the sources, arguments and references you’ve included in your paper is important to avoiding falsification and plagiarism.

What to Cite

  • Exclusive data and stats
  • Paraphrased quotations
  • Someone else’s ideas, beliefs and sentiments

What Not to Cite

  • Acknowledged wisdom
  • Generally known and accepted facts
  • Brief indication of popular scholarly, creative or theological work

Step: 9- Proofread

Persuasive proofreading is the last step and allows you make a flawless, error-free paper submission. It includes:

  • Fix spelling, punctuation and grammar mistakes
  • Authenticate the formatting of your research paper including all the references and bibliography
  • Recognize areas that are clumsy, redundant or obscure

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