How to Write a Research Paper

How to Write a Research Paper

A research paper is an academic work that provides in-deep analysis, interpretation, and argumentation of academic research. The research paper format is similar to the academic essay. However, a research paper tests not only the writing skills but also the knowledge of a topic, orientation in the material, and the academic research provision. 

You may look for a research paper example to have a grasp of what parts a research paper consists of. The vital parts to consider are a research topic, the thesis statement, and the materials to use in your research paper. 

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Difference Between a Research Proposal and a Research Paper

Besides the common question of what is a research paper, there is another nuance to the issue. A student must understand the difference between a research paper and a research proposal. They have similarities in the writing structure but pursue different aims. A research paper tests knowledge of a subject, while a research proposal aims to persuade the audience of the value of the research. 

You may consider writing a research proposal as writing a pitch for your research paper. The research proposal and the research paper may share one topic and thesis statement.. Make sure to do a profound research and make an outline before digging in writing. 

Before writing the Research Paper 

Answering the question on how to start a research paper, the answer comes naturally- with the research. Pick a topic that suits you, gather materials and study them carefully. It is advised that you take notes during the process to use them further in the paper. 

Сhoose a Topic for the Research Paper 

There is a wide variety of research paper topics available. It may be challenging to pinpoint the exact research you want to pursue. The main criteria for the research topic are: it should be original and specific enough. For example, the causes and triggers of World War I may be too broad, while the role of Franz Ferdinand’s assassination in the global conflict may fit well. 

There are a few exercises that may help you to generate research papers topics ideas. One of them is free writing - you start to write anything you come up with for the topic for two or three minutes straight, slowly narrowing the topic. You may also brainstorm with pain and paper, consult with fellow students or professors. 

Another great source of inspiration for research paper ideas is other research on the topic. Usually, they include a recommendations section that may provide ideas for your specific subject. 

Write a Thesis Statement for the Research Paper 

A paper thesis is the core of your writing. You may start with the thesis statement or end your writing with it. A thesis statement is the final sentence of the introduction that sums up the research and highlights its main idea. You may need a research report to define clearly what is your thesis statement about and how to disclose it properly.  

It may be tough to start with a clear and coherent thesis statement because, during your research and drafting, you will find additional pieces of information that will contribute to the thesis. Therefore, don’t restrict yourself with the single vision of the thesis statement as it will be refined during your writing. 

If your research paper starts with a research question, the thesis statement has to answer it. Answering the question of how to write a thesis for a research paper, one should be contentious, coherent, and concise. Each paragraph of your essay will serve as  argumentation for your thesis statement and its grounding. 

A good research paper thesis is a difficult task. You may apply for an essay helper to refine the thesis of your research and to make it as clear as possible. A thesis statement is a solid guide for the whole of your research. Therefore, pay close attention to it and check it at the different steps of your writing. 

Create an Outline for the Research Paper 

A research paper outline is a great helping tool that will ease the process of actual writing. An outline is a plan that divides your research paper into segments and helps you to establish the order in which you will enclose your thesis.

The structure of a research paper is similar to academic writing: introduction, several body paragraphs, which enclose the topic and provide arguments, conclusion. The same structure is fair for an outline for research paper

You may sketch the arguments that will be disclosed in each of the outline’s sections and embed the quotes from the academic materials to base your argumentation. After all preparations are done, you may start writing the research paper. 

Writing the Research Paper 

Writing a research article requires patience and perseverance. The actual difficulty depends on the research you conducted and the preparations you made. Of course, there’s always an easy way when you may just ask: “do my essay” and hope for the best. However, the answer for the “how to do a research paper” is like the rest of the academic writing. 

You start to fill up your outline and follow the regular rules of academic writing: topic sentences, argumentation, and transition to the next paragraph. 

Introduction of the Research Paper 

A research paper introduction is your research in miniature. The introduction answers the three major questions of the article: what? why, and how? When a reader finishes with your introduction, they should know what topic you are disclosing, why they should read further, and how you apply the arguments. 

The question “what?” defines the background of your research. Introduce the research question, provide basic concepts and key terms. The introduction should include a map of your essay; introduce the topics that will be discussed, briefly present key sections of the paper as they go chronologically. 

Finally, highlight the reason why the reader shall invest their time in your research. It may be the most difficult and, at the same time, the most important part of your introduction. No matter which one of the types of the research papers you choose, your introduction should give insight into your research and the new materials it provides. 

A research paper may be centered around an important issue or question. Try to explain why the issue has value and shall be introduced in the research. If you have a research question, it must be answered at the ending of the introduction. 

The introduction should not be too long and exceed a few hundred words. You may write the introduction at the end of your writing when you see all the argumentation and conclusions that you have concerning your research topic. 

Body of the Research Paper 

The body part of your article is the biggest chunk in your research paper structure. The body of the article provides the necessary argumentation, discloses the research question, and applies the arguments. 

The amount of paragraphs in the body section depends on the necessary word count of the article and how thoroughly you want to disclose the topic. Usually, the body section requires three to five paragraphs. However, if your research topic is broad and needs a solid amount of argumentation, the body section may be expanded. There could be sub-sections of the body part, where you will disclose each of the arguments profoundly. 

The paragraph structure of a research essay is similar to the regular one. It goes with an introductory sentence, then argumentation that supports the introduction, quotes that support the arguments if necessary, and closing a paragraph with a transition sentence to the next topic. 

Conclusion of the Research Paper 

The aim of your research paper conclusion is to provide a sense of finality to a reader. Trace back the argumentation that you used in your body section and make sure that your reader understands what resolution the raised issue has. You may discuss more general consequences of the raised topic. The conclusion may outline questions and topics that were raised in the article but were not fully disclosed and offer new questions for future research papers. 

You should not include the following information in your conclusion: 

  • The conclusion shall not introduce new information or essential terms. 
  • The conclusion shall not be longer than an introduction. 
  • Do not use stock phrases that denote the ending of the paper (e.g., “In conclusion”). 

Resources of the Research Paper 

Your Teacher or Professor 

The first person you should ask about how to write research paper is your professor or scientific director. They will give you the proper guideline on where to start the research or what literature you shall apply to disclose the topic. However, do not rely on your teacher fully. The aim of the research paper is to test student’s ability to navigate the topic. Therefore, your professor won’t do the hard work for you.

Still, you may consult with your teacher when you conduct the research writing in terms of argumentation evaluation and the source application. 

Writing Centers

A perfect opportunity and time to write research articles are not always available. If that’s your case, you may apply to a writing center.  You may order essay or ask for the research paper help. Writing centers have a wide range of specialists that will devote themselves to conducting a top-notch essay. However, such a service is not free obviously. Writing a research paper is not only doing the actual research and conducting an essay. It is about learning how to distribute your time and energy in the long run.

 Writing centers may be a great help in this task if you have enough resources. 

Academic Databases 

The last but not least source for your research paper write is academic databases. Such resources as JSTOR or the Google Scholar search engine are a perfect helping hand for doing research. You may narrow the filters of the search and pinpoint the exact requirements for your research paper, such as the type of academic source, year of publishing, or author. Besides, academic databases have a fair amount of research essay examples. You cannot plagiarise them, of course, but they can give you a grasp on the subject and necessary inspiration for the starting point of your research.