A research paper is an academic written document comprising of analysis, interpretation, and argument that offers in-depth and detailed independent research. An academic essay and a research paper are almost similar, but the paper is lengthy and detailed oriented. However, it evaluates your various skills like scholarly research and writing capabilities. Today, we’ll discuss how to write a research paper in detail.
When it comes to writing a research paper, then it requires you to present your in-depth knowledge of the topic, check it from different sources, and add something original to the topic.
How to Write a Research Paper
It’s time to address the main question of how to write a research paper, some of the main steps are as follows;
Carefully read the assignment
First of all, you should carefully read and understand the assignment task that you have to complete. If you find anything baffling, then you should consult your supervisor or the project manager for clarification. You should keep in mind the goals and objectives of the assignment, submission method, formatting, specification length, and deadline.
You should follow the realistic approach, adjust the timeframe, plan everything, and start writing and editing.
The topic of the Research Paper
You can come up with the topic of the research paper in many ways. Like discussing with your friends and colleagues, brainstorming various ideas and putting them down on paper, and using online tools.
You should start writing freely whatever comes to mind and keep doing it for two or three minutes. Something interesting and relevant ideas would come up. However, you should make sure to check the recommended section of the research paper. It comprises ideas that require further discussion and research.
You may have gathered various broad subjects in the brainstorming. Now, you should narrow it down to the precise topic that is interesting and meets your requirements. Your topic should be precise and original.
For instance, the chronology of World War II is not a precise topic. However, the experience of the Danish people living near the German border is a precise and original topic.
While conducting the research, you should everything that is relevant to your topic and could help you to put focus on your paper. You should include different sources like authentic websites, books, and journals, and make sure that you don’t miss out on anything relevant to your topic. Along with verifying your ideas, you should check out the sources that contradict your point of view.
- You should check the latest developments relevant to your topic
- The uniqueness of your topic and research
- Any relevant heated arguments and debates that you should include
- Things that people are avoiding in the sources of your research area
Here you should create some questions that would guide you in the right direction. Your research questions should address the following questions like what/why/where/when/how/I want to know.
The thesis statement outlines your main argument, and it focuses on the position and purpose of your paper. If you’re starting the paper with a question, then you should answer it in the thesis statement. You should make sure to include all the reasoning arguments and evidence to support your answer.
Your thesis statement should be coherent, contentious, and concise. It means that the summary of your arguments should be brief, make a claim that needs further evidence and discussion, and your points should be coherent throughout the paper.
You should keep on revising and refining the thesis statement with your research, and it would guide your writing in the paper. Every paragraph in the paper should support the central idea.
The outline of the research paper comprises a list of topics, heading, sections, evidence, and arguments that you have added to the paper. An outline makes your writing efficient and structured. Therefore, it’s important that you should allocate some time and create an outline.
The first draft of your paper may comprise a lot of mistakes, but you can upgrade and modify it later. Your main priorities while creating the first draft should be;
- Your focus should be on moving forward with writing and then making corrections
- You should carefully order sentences and organize paragraphs and it would make it easier for you in the second draft
- Most importantly, you should share your ideas as simple and clear as possible, so that you would know and understand your arguments later.
You don’t have to start the paper with the introduction. You can start it however you want, either discuss the difficult portion first or the easiest section. If you don’t like something fitting in a particular section, then you should move it to the next section instead of deleting it. Once you delete it, then you would lose it permanently and can’t use it again.
The paragraph is the basic element in the research paper. The focus of every paragraph should be on a single idea, and it should support the main argument.
You should keep tracking the citation while writing the first draft; it would help you to avoid plagiarism that you could have done unintentionally. Every time you use some source for information, you should make sure to note it down somewhere. You can also use auto citation generating tools to create and save a reference list.
The introduction of your research paper should answer the three most important questions; what, why, and how. By the time when readers finish the introduction, they should know what the research paper is all about, why it’s worth studying it, and how you should build your argument.
- What: you should be precise about the topic of your research paper, discuss the background, and explain other concepts and key terms.
- Why: answering why is difficult and most significant; you should provide short answers to the questions, your new material offers, and the application of your paper in terms of answering the problem.
- How: here you let them know what they should expect from the paper. It offers a map of the writing and presents the main sections of the paper in sequential order.
Many people face the problem of organizing their thoughts and putting them on paper, and that’s why developing the outline is significant. You should remember that outline is just a guide. When you’re writing, you should be flexible in terms of presenting your arguments. Here’s how you can check the topic sentences and the thesis statement;
- You should correlate topic sentences against thesis sentences
- Check the topic sentences against each other for logical order and the similarity
- Checking every sentence against the paragraph and the topic sentence
You should track the paragraphs that discuss the same thing. For instance, if two paragraphs are discussing the same idea, then their approach must be different. There should be a smooth transition among sections, sentences, and paragraphs.
The purpose of the conclusion in the research paper is to make sense of the writing. You should discuss the course of the paper, and how it has come down to prove the thesis statement. The conclusion makes it clear to the reader that how you have solved the problem which you had raised in the introduction.
You can discuss the general consequences of the arguments, the utility of the paper for students and readers, and some questions that you couldn’t discuss. Some of the things that you should avoid are as follows;
- You shouldn’t start it with the concluding statement that would suggest that you’re finishing the research paper.
- Avoid using more spaces
- Adding essential and the new information
Some of the key elements that you should keep in mind while creating the second draft are as follows;
- You should check the first draft of the paper answers the question that you raised, and the vision of the paper aligns with the first draft or not.
- You should keep readers’ points of view in mind and find those assumptions that would require further explanation. If you can’t justify and prove any point, then remove it.
- Make to rearrange and organize your ideas, if it requires further rearrangement, then does it
- If your ideas don’t fit in, then you should cut them out. Some new ideas would come to your mind while reading the first draft. There’s no better time to add it than now.
The focus of proofreading and revision is to make sure that you’ve finished all the necessary steps and the paper is well-written. Some of the global concerns are as follows;
- Make sure that the research completes all the steps required in the assignment
- Good flow of arguments and paragraphs and logical presentation
- You should analyze the paragraphs against the thesis statement and the introduction
Conclusion: How to Write a Research Paper
After an in-depth study of how to write a research paper, we’ve realized that writing a research paper is excellent for presenting and defending your novel idea. If you’re planning to write a research paper, then you should follow and practice the abovementioned steps, and keep writing it.
Ahsan Ali Shaw is an accomplished Business Writer, Analyst, and Public Speaker. Other than that, he’s a fun loving person.