How to Write a Research Paper

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How to Write a Research Paper

How to Write a Research Paper

Some of us may tend to confuse writing a research paper for writing a research proposal even though they’re quite similar. The former involves one’s demonstration of their academic knowledge for a subject while the latter is a proposal written to convince an audience regarding a research project’s value. Having said that, a research paper usually requires adequate research processes to help one;

-       understand the subject, formulate ideas, develop a thesis statement, and confidently discuss the subject matter.

You can get popular resource materials online from certain sources like Google Scholar, online encyclopedias, newspapers, government publications, etc. Use thePurdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) and other college writing lab sites to help you know the information you need for proper cite references.


Getting Started

After an extensive research, you may now begin the process of organizing your research paper. This initial step is vital because it helps you remain focused and reduces the time you spend on revision.

Thesis statement

This is a sentence that provides a summary of your essay’s main point while previewing supporting points. It enables readers to understand the main idea and supporting points of your essay. A thesis statement is often found in the introduction and allows you to create a reference point that is expounded further in your essay. Your research paper can be analytical, argumentative or expository. Whatever the case is, ensure your thesis matches the appropriate paper type.


This is where you get to organize your thoughts before proceeding further. You now need to cautiously present your main points in connection with your thesis statement. These main points exist in subheadings so organize your information accordingly for each one. All information and thoughts must fit within your outline’s framework otherwise discard them no matter how interesting they might be.


Writing the Paper

Once you’ve established a thesis statement with a well-constructed outline, you can begin writing proper. You probably feel confident at this point because you first took the time to organize your thoughts and information.


Provide the background and context for the rest of your paper here by beginning with a vivid open sentence to impel your readers’ attention. Explain why you have written the paper and mention your approach towards the subject. Fix in your thesis statement at the end of the final introductory paragraph. Ensure your introduction answers the following:

  •         What is this?
  •         Why am I reading this?
  •         What do you want me to do?

To tackle these critical questions:

  •         Describe the main idea, generally as you allow the reader to understand the subject matter, and acknowledge your position.
  •         Explain why the reader should continue reading by stating the importance of the main idea.
  •         Present your thesis/claim in one or two sentences using logos (sound reasoning: induction, deduction), pathos (balanced emotional appeal), and ethos (author credibility).


When writing the body, elaborate your information from the sources you obtained during the research process. Apparently, your body becomes handy here. Organize first then use your sources accordingly as they become relevant. Keep in mind that all information here must connect back to your thesis statement. Provide supporting arguments for each point made and present all your points the strongest at the end.


It is conventional to wrap up your paper here by restating your thesis statement though not verbatim. Add a summary of all the main points you made. You can concisely explain why the points support your argument. In a case where your research is inconclusive, mention why you feel the subject matter requires more research.


Key Revisions for a Research Paper

  •         Determine whether your thesis statement is vivid and concise
  •         Inspect your paper for fluid quality (does it flow comprehensively)
  •         Inspect the paper whether it’s well-organized and has logical transitions
  •         Check it has enough concrete details and facts
  •         Compare the connection between your thesis and argument support7
  •         Inspect for unnecessary reiteration
  •         Inspect for correct citations
  •         Scan through the paper for accidental plagiarism
  •         Peruse the paper for proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation

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