How to write a research paper

In this article you will find basic recommendations on how to write an academic research paper. Even those who decided to write an assignment on their own quite often encounter a question “how to start a research paper?”. It is almost impossible to start writing it without a clear and overwhelming understanding of an assigned topic. We recommend clarifying all requirements from your supervisor. The detailed topic analysis is a key factor for creating a top-notch paper. A student has to review and examine a huge amount of information that is related to the selected subject. 

Basic explanations of what is a research paper

Research paper is an assignment that summarizes a period of research. It has to summarize an amount of a student and consist of findings on a certain topic. Quite often students face difficulties related to writing this kind of paper because of lack of free time or scientific materials. There is a structure that all writers have to follow as well as the standard academic requirements. Sometimes a research paper task becomes a barrier for students which leads to problems with academic scores and the following depression. But there is an answer for those who ask questions like “how to write a research paper?”. 

This type of paper should be written according to the strict structure and following specific requirements. Students have to deal with tons of topic-related information before writing a research report. It is important to understand the importance of a problem as well as possible solutions for solving it. They also must follow the standards in terms of paper styling and formatting.

Research paper is a work of a scientific nature related to researching, performing research and experiments in order to expand the existing and gaining new knowledge, testing scientific hypotheses, establishing patterns that are manifested in nature and in society, scientific generalizations and substantiation of projects.

Research activity prepares future specialists for creative implementation of knowledge, skills gained at the university, helps master the methodology of scientific search, and to obtain research experience.

The fundamental difference between the project and the research paper is that a research project  is always aimed at resolving a specific personally significant or socially significant issue, while the research paper is not involved in the creation of any previously planned object. 

Typically, the purposes of the research project are as follows: find out, study, learn, analyze, investigate, determine, propose, identify, measure, compare, find an information source, make conclusions, compose, summarize, describe, establish, develop, etc.

It is known that research work is aimed at deepening the educational process, developing creative and analytical thinking, and expanding the scientific horizons of students. It is noted that future specialists involved in research activity have the best results and quality of knowledge in the disciplines that are studied.

Many people ask themselves “how to start a research paper?”.Before writing this assignment, the detailed research on the given subject must be done. It requires analytic skills and an implementation of certain scientific methods. To do that, a student must have certain experience and knowledge. First of all, it is recommended to receive a consultation from an academic supervisor in terms of the assigned topic and requirements.

Then a student has to find a reliable source, where he/she can read about how to write a research paper outline. It is important to have a clear vision of its structure and create a work plan. This plan should reflect the content and volume of each section. 

Writing your research paper a writer should obtain an overview of the writing process. It helps to structurize a future paper and research works. You may also ask for advice from experienced writers on how to start a research paper. There are also professional writing services that deliver high quality academic texts.

Our experienced authors know how to write an academic research paper that would meet all university staff requirements. They always find a reliable information source that can help make convincing findings on a specific topic.

Brief information of how long should a research paper be

Volume requirements of a research paper: at least fifty pages for courseworks, minimum sixty pages for the final qualification paper, and at least seventy pages for the thesis or the master’s thesis. This recommended volume includes the list of used literature sources. It also should contain a description of the paper structure and the scientific methods that were implemented during research. Ask your supervisor about requirements regarding the length of a research paper.

According to the standard structure, the main section of the research paper may consist of 2-3 chapters. The first chapter usually contains the results of the analysis of theoretical material obtained from a data source related to the studied subject, the methodology and technique of research have to be considered in detail. 

Research paper consists of an introduction section (two or three paragraphs), a research paper conclusion section, and a reference list. If necessary, the work may include applications. It should be written in a scientific style of language. The pronoun “I” is not used in scientific papers.

Requirements related to the formatting of research papers. Margins: upper – 2cm, lower – 2cm, right – 1.5 cm, left – 3cm. The paper has to be written in the MS Word text editor and pages are to be marked in order by Arabic numbers.

Recommendations in terms of how to write a research paper

Before you start a research paper, determine its topic. Here are some recommendations on how to choose a research paper topic. A student may have to work within the boundaries of a clearly specified issue, but even so you need to choose the topic of the research paper. 

This is the first and very important step. Then you should think about whether there is enough available materials on the given topic. Maybe this subject is new and poorly studied, which will allow you to state your personal opinion on it in your research paper. Is it appropriate in the context of the assigned task? If the answer is yes, you can write a research paper outline.

If you have such an opportunity, choose a topic that is interesting for you. If you do studies on a topic that is not indifferent to you, then this will positively influence the quality of a research work.

If you write a paper based on the instructions of the supervisor, think about other students. In theory, they may have the same topic as you. How can you make your paper unique and original in this case?

If it is difficult for you to select a “suitable” topic, then ask for help from supervisors or groupmates. They probably have several ideas which you will find useful and inspiring. Of course, asking the supervisor’s help may seem not the best option, but, in fact, he/she is interested in your academic success. 

If after selecting the topic, a student suddenly realizes that it does not go well, he/she should not fall into despair. You can change the topic of research even after the work is begun. Yes, in this case you lose some amount of time, but you still can write an excellent paper.

Empirical studies

The next step is doing research on the chosen topic. Look through topic-related websites, magazines, books, interviews, individual blog papers, etc. This all can appear as useful materials for research. Use at least five data sources, don’t rely on a single source

Perform an empirical research. If possible, refer to outcomes of previous research. Read articles written by experts on the issue of your study. Such materials, as a rule, are published in scientific journals or websites.

Look for scientific data in online sources. Use a critical approach and do not rush examining sources of information, since blogs and forums are not the most reliable sources after all.

The websites hosted on the domains of .org, .edu,  and .gov are trustworthy, as these are the official pages of universities, government bodies or public organizations related to the topic that a student is studying.

Change the search query to get more results. If nothing is found, then you have to change the initial request. It can help find the headlines of academic articles that would be useful to your research paper topic.

On the Web there are special scientific databases and search engines where students may find thousands of scientific articles, magazines, and even books . Some of them provide free access to all visitors. Try to find databases that contain information related to your topic. 

Use category lists and search filters to obtain the most relevant scientific data. Besides, you can visit the library of your university or college.

Implement your creativity and analytic thinking when writing a research paper. Your findings and propositions should seem convincing for a university staff to get a high score for it.

Writing an annotation of a paper 

Having obtained all research materials, print them and mark the exact fragments that will be used in your research report. This step is crucial, use comments and notes to emphasize the main facts and statements on a printed version. Be attentive at this stage and show your dedication to a desired result.

It is extremely important to organize the materials that you have found. The process of creating an annotation can take a lot of time because it requires the detailed analysis of literature sources and problems that they cover. It may be useful to split your information base into separate categories. If you work in an electronic text editor, you can mark a certain section with color.

Prepare a preliminary version of the reference list section. If the citation is put into a paper, Indicate its author and the information source where it was found. It significantly facilitates the research process.

Determine purposes of your research 

Generally speaking, there are two types of research activity. Each of them requires a specific approach, which should be taken into account at the stage of making the draft version.

The basis of dispute research is a controversial issue that provides arguments related to the different points of view. Of course, the problem should be initially controversial, so that dispute opponents can bring counter arguments based on logic.

Analytical research work offers a fresh look at any important issue. Its topic may not cause any disputes, but a writer must try to convince the professor and the audience that his/her findings and statements are worth their attention. In a research paper you should represent its own unique ideas based on the studied materials. Before writing a research paper, obtain an overview of its structure and select the main information source for studies.

Think about which audience your work is designed for, that is who is going to read it  and where it will be published. It is very important that your research paper reflects issues that are interesting to the potential readers. If you write a research report for a scientific journal, you don’t have to explain the basics. It is better to write more about the findings that you have made. If you need to submit it to your university supervisor, provide examples and detailed comments in each section.

Prepare a provisional thesis based on the goals of research. 

The thesis is a general statement of research on a particular issue. An author has to provide several arguments in favor of the statement that he/she has made. At this stage you have to formulate the preliminary thesis of your paper. It does not have to be longer than two or three sentences. It is important to realize that a thesis can be changed during the research work. 

Since it is the basis of a paper, it is extremely important to indicate the thesis clearly enough.

In general, the thesis is a question that your paper has to provide answers to. In other words, it is a main task of research work. There should be a certain hypothesis that you want to either prove or refute. If the topic of your research paper is as follows: “How social and psychological factors affect medical treatment?”, then writing a thesis you have to specify a couple of statements that are related to a given problem. Examine the main data source to determine the most important aspects of it. 

Revise all materials that you’ve found as well as drafts to see how they can help solve problems that were specified. Try to make sure that your ideas and points of view are confirmed by scientific analysis and objective facts. Type main questions that are arised in your paper, and mark materials that are referred to each of them.

This step of research work requires detailed examination of available data and its structuring. You have to prove to professors and supervisors that this topic has a significant importance for modern science and effective solutions have to be found out as soon as possible.

Create a draft version of the paper 

While doing it, do not forget about the structure of your future paper and indentation. The draft version is a brief representation of a research paper that can be made in the form of a list. By the way, it is a good idea to add all the relevant citations to this list so as not to waste time searching for them later. Use an online source to find the relevant quotations and points of view. 

Recommendations on writing the conclusion part

Now that the research stage is completed, a student can begin writing a conclusion section of a paper. All propositions that are based on studies have to be briefly described and summarized. Remind your initial thesis to readers and prove that findings that you have made make it seem convincing. Reveal the topic of a paper and end it by presenting the results of your research. When writing this section, you will need to give answers to questions that you consider significantly important for modern science (in the context of the subject of studies).

Then an author should make a list of used literature sources, the so-called reference list. In this part of a paper students have to indicate a source of information that were used during the research stage of writing a paper. 

Write the introduction section

Having prepared a sketch, a student can start work on the text of the research paper. It may sound strange, but we recommend writing the introduction part when the whole document is almost completed. There is a certain reason to do like that – you can review research and studies to see if they are good enough to prove statements that will be indicated in the introduction section.

This section should contain the key purposes of a specific academic paper, while in the main part a writer has to list the arguments for and against some hypothesis. Define the main issues of your paper. 

It is recommended to start with extensive thoughts, and then switch to the selected topic. Try to avoid repetitions of phrases that are used in the conclusion section. Try to prove that a data source you use is a trustworthy one.

To win a high grade, convincing confirmations have to be provided for each statement that a writer has made. Research is to be done based only on reliable trustworthy facts with any topic speculations.

If students express opinions without reinforcing them with actual facts, they will not receive a high score for the research paper. It should also contain explanations of why this or the other fact is important for proving a certain hypothesis. These comments help convince readers that your propositions can really be implemented in practice.

What are some tips in revising your research paper?

There are several tips on how to write a research paper. It is better not to include a long citation or an unknown word into your text. Since this assignment is called a research paper, it has to reflect your own ideas and thoughts on the studied topic. If the citation is not very important for proving an initial statement, it is better to use indirect speech with its further scientific analysis.

The transition from section to section must be logical and smooth. Your paper has to be interesting and easy-to-read. You can also visit a special web source to review examples of ready-made research papers. 

Adopt a paper to formatting requirements

Edit your research report in accordance with the required style and formatting standard. Most likely you will require compliance with the following styling standards: Chicago, MLA or APA.

The MLA format compliance, as a rule, is requested in the papers that study artworks, it requires bringing “quoted fragments” at the end of each section. There are also quotes that have to be in your text. Don’t forget to indicate a source of information in a reference list section. 

The APA standard, in turn, is used on research topics which are related to social sciences. Citations in the text are also required in this document format. The reference list here is provided in the ending of a paper and headings of the sections between paragraphs are also acceptable in APA style.

The Chicago standard is for the most part required for research papers on historical topics. It requires the use of footnotes at the bottom of the page, while writers have to avoid using quotations in the main section of a report.

Review and edit the draft version 

Look through your paper carefully and correct possible mistakes and misprints. Before submitting it to a supervisor it is strongly recommended to check the grammar, spelling, and also evaluate the conviction of a paper and examine how easy it is to read.

If you decide to proofread and edit it on your own, it is better to do this day after finishing writing it. 

Give your brain an opportunity to rest, it will help find all mistakes in a text.

It is also good if you can give your research paper to some experienced specialist for editing. This person can tell you which sections should be corrected or rewritten. Review an ultimate version of a paper several times before submitting it to your university staff.

Also make sure that your document corresponds to formatting standards and meets all the academic requirements, including margins, font style and size, distance between the lines, references and footnotes. Create a title sheet, table of contents, and reference list according to your supervisor’s requirements. Specify the source title and an exact page number.

It is recommended to write the conclusion section soon after you have finished writing a main part of a research report. The reason is that all findings that you’ve made are still fresh in your mind so that you are able to make correct conclusions based on research data. Read all chapters of your paper again and check if it is clear and convincing enough.

Benefits of a professional content writing agency

If you don’t have enough free time to write a research paper on your own, you can always ask our research paper writers help you with your task. Our company specializes in writing different types of academic assignments, including research reports, abstracts, essays, etc.

Our experienced writers have a complete understanding of how to write an introduction for a research paper and how to write a conclusion for a research paper. They choose a trustworthy source of information and the relevant research methods. It allows us to deliver high quality papers on time.

Experts that work for our team also provide services of document proofreading and editing. Effective plagiarism checking tools are used to ensure that all papers are unique and 100% original. Another important feature is that a customer’s personal information is protected and is not available to third parties.  

We guarantee that your paper meets all styling and formatting requirements. You don’t have to pay for a project in advance. Before changing an order status to “completed”, a client has an opportunity to review a final version of a paper. If some corrections are to be made, you can request a free revision of a research report. 


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