How to write a research paper: 8 steps

Academic research papers are written after in-depth research and analysis of results. For many students, such an assignment is a real challenge, and they often look for research paper writing hacks and how to find an essay writing service online there’re always one or two that you could rely on. However, everyone can cope with this task. If you are concerned that a high-quality research paper will require blood, sweat, and tears, we offer you this guide.

Formulate the Research Topic

Do not consider taking a vast question for research. Rely on existing research or the work of other authors and specialists close to it. Using the experience of other predecessors as a support and assistance is a practically necessary rule. It is often someone else's monographs and scientific works that serve as the background for new activities. Before approving a topic, check to see if you can find enough information and materials. First, you choose a vast theme field, then study the information and literature, and it will be easier to specify the topic of the project based on it. It is vital that the chosen theme has practical value and significance, and is relevant in terms of problems in the field under consideration.

If you have chosen a topic, started research, and suddenly realized that you've got stuck — do not get desperate! Even after you have started working on your research, you may change the topic. You will lose some time and materials, but you will have a chance to start everything with a more perspective topic.

Determine the Objective of Writing Your Paper

There are two main types of research work — analytical research paper and discussion research paper. Each involves a different kind of activity. In addition to them, there are other kinds as problem-solution, cause, and effect, survey, experimental, etc. However, the first two types are the most common.

If you choose to do a discussion research paper, then you should argue for or against the issue. In an analytical research paper, you present a new perspective on things and problems that already exist. Your goal is to bring your ideas to the reader and prove their value. Ideally, you should back up your ideas with some research material.

Conduct a Research

The purpose of the research paper is to investigate its main subject. Take advantage of the library's materials, library archive, database, look for information on trusted websites, in encyclopedias and other reference materials, peer-reviewed scientific journals, etc. Find as many materials as possible on the topic of your work. Use at least five sources, never rely only on one or two. Evaluate the relevance of the materials found critically. Websites, blogs, and forums are not the most reliable sources of information.

Use academic search engines if you want to do your research online. Such search engines as refseek, Microsoft Academic, Google Scholar will save you a lot of time. If you have found a book that is perfect for you, do not be lazy to strain your brain and open a reference list. There you can find dozens of other great books on your topic!

Work on a Rough Draft and Study the Material

This stage is crucial for the success of your paper. Once you have collected all the research materials, mark everything you need to write the paper. Check out everything you can use — from statistics to quotes. Write down any thoughts that you may have as you read the material. Make notes and leave comments, so you don't forget to include these in your paper. It is also essential to break down materials into different categories and topics to help you navigate through them in the future. Stickers, allocation to different folders, or highlighting in various colors can help you.

Work with Bibliography

It is crucial to start compiling a list of works cited from the first source you have found. You will be sorry if you don't do it as the work progresses. You should write out the authors, the year of publication, the publisher, the number of pages, and, most importantly, the page where you have found the information.

Write a thesis

The thesis is the heart of your work. Do not waste too much time formulating the ideal thesis. At this stage, it will only be a draft because it may change in the process of research. In general, the thesis is the very question, searching for an answer to which your work is devoted.

Formulate the Main Questions

While working on the article, you will need to provide answers to the questions you consider most important in the research topic. Place your most "killer" conclusions or questions at the beginning of the article, and more controversial questions — at the end.

Prepare a Clean Copy

Start with the main part of your work. Describe everything that stands for your thesis. You can change ideas and comments slightly. For every statement you make, you need to confirm the facts, leaving out any speculation. The transition from point to point should be smooth. Your research paper should be easy to read. Make sure that the transition from paragraph to paragraph is straightforward and smooth for your readers.

Now that you have carefully worked out your work, you can write a conclusion that will briefly describe all the information found, which has a final effect. Start with the initial thesis, then remind the reader of those points described in the course of work. Slowly reveal your topic and explain the results of your research.

The introduction is the opposite of the conclusion. Start with a more general thought, and then move on to your topic. Avoid repeating the phrases you have used in your conclusion.

Now all you have to do is add a list of literature, depending on your university's requirements, read and edit the work and submit it to your professor for review.