Posted on

Need research paper written

How to Write a Research Paper

Few things strike more fear in academics than the accursed research paper , a term synonymous with long hours and hard work. Luckily there’s a secret to help you get through them. As long as you know how to write a research paper properly, you’ll find they’re not so bad . . . or at least less painful.

In this guide we concisely explain how to write an academic research paper step by step. We’ll cover areas like how to start a research paper, how to write a research paper outline, how to use citations and evidence, and how to write a conclusion for a research paper.

But before we get into the details, let’s take a look at what a research paper is and how it’s different from other writing.

What is a research paper?

A research paper is a type of academic writing that provides an in-depth analysis, evaluation, or interpretation of a single topic, based on empirical evidence. Research papers are similar to analytical essays, except that research papers emphasize the use of statistical data and preexisting research, along with a strict code for citations.

Research papers are a bedrock of modern science and the most effective way to share information across a wide network. However, most people are familiar with research papers from school; college courses often use them to test a student’s knowledge of a particular area or their research skills in general.

Considering their gravity, research papers favor formal, even bland language that strips the writing of any bias. Researchers state their findings plainly and with corresponding evidence so that other researchers can consequently use the paper in their own research.

Keep in mind that writing a research paper is different from writing a research proposal . Essentially, research proposals are to acquire the funding needed to get the data to write a research paper.

How long should a research paper be?

The length of a research paper depends on the topic or assignment. Typically, research papers run around 4,000–6,000 words, but it’s common to see short papers around 2,000 words or long papers over 10,000 words.

If you’re writing a paper for school, the recommended length should be provided in the assignment. Otherwise, let your topic dictate the length: Complicated topics or extensive research will require more explanation.

How to write a research paper in 9 steps

Below is a step-by-step guide to writing a research paper, catered specifically for students rather than professional researchers. While some steps may not apply to your particular assignment, think of this as more of a general guideline to keep you on track.

1 Understand the assignment

For some of you this goes without saying, but you might be surprised at how many students start a research paper without even reading the assignment guidelines.

So your first step should be to review the assignment and carefully read the writing prompt. Specifically, look for technical requirements such as length , formatting requirements (single- vs. double-spacing, indentations, etc.) and citation style . Also pay attention to the particulars, such as whether or not you need to write an abstract or include a cover page.

Once you understand the assignment, the next steps in how to write a research paper follow the usual writing process , more or less. There are some extra steps involved because research papers have extra rules, but the gist of the writing process is the same.

2 Choose your topic

In open-ended assignments, the student must choose their own topic. While it may seem simple enough, choosing a topic is actually the most important decision you’ll make in writing a research paper, since it determines everything that follows.

Your top priority in how to choose a research paper topic is whether it will provide enough content and substance for an entire research paper. You’ll want to choose a topic with enough data and complexity to enable a rich discussion. However, you also want to avoid general topics and instead stick with topics specific enough that you can cover all the relevant information without cutting too much.

Try not to be robotic about choosing your topic, though; it’s still best to pick something that you’re personally interested in. Ideally, you’ll find a topic that satisfies both requirements, something that provides a suitable amount of content and also keeps you engaged.

3 Gather preliminary research

The sooner you start researching, the better—after all, it’s called a research paper for a reason.

To refine your topic and prepare your thesis statement, find out what research is available for your topic as soon as possible. Early research can help dispel any misconceptions you have about the topic and reveal the best paths and approaches to find more material.

Typically, you can find sources either online or in a library. If you’re searching online, make sure you use credible sources like science journals or academic papers. Some search engines—mentioned below in the Tools and resources section—allow you to browse only accredited sources and academic databases.

Keep in mind the difference between primary and secondary sources as you search. Primary sources are firsthand accounts, like published articles or autobiographies; secondary sources are more removed, like critical reviews or secondhand biographies.

When gathering your research, it’s better to skim sources instead of reading each potential source fully. If a source seems useful, set it aside to give it a full read later. Otherwise, you’ll be stuck poring over sources that you ultimately won’t use, and that time could be better spent finding a worthwhile source.

Sometimes you’re required to submit a literature review , which explains your sources and presents them to an authority for confirmation. Even if no literature review is required, it’s still helpful to compile an early list of potential sources—you’ll be glad you did later.

4 Write a thesis statement

Using what you found in your preliminary research, write a thesis statement that succinctly summarizes what your research paper will be about. This is usually the first sentence in your paper, making it your reader’s introduction to the topic.

A thesis statement is the best answer for how to start a research paper. Aside from preparing your reader, the thesis statement also makes it easier for other researchers to assess whether or not your paper is useful to them for their own research. Likewise, you should read the thesis statements of other research papers to decide how useful they are to you.

A good thesis statement mentions all the important parts of the discussion without disclosing too many of the details. If you’re having trouble putting it into words, try to phrase your topic as a question and then answer it .

For example, if your research paper topic is about separating students with ADHD from other students, you’d first ask yourself, “Does separating students with ADHD improve their learning?” The answer—based on your preliminary research—is a good basis for your thesis statement.

5 Determine supporting evidence

At this stage of how to write an academic research paper, it’s time to knuckle down and do the actual research. Here’s when you go through all the sources you collected earlier and find the specific information you’d like to use in your paper.

Normally, you find your supporting evidence by reading each source and taking notes. Isolate only the information that’s directly relevant to your topic; don’t bog down your paper with tangents or unnecessary context, however interesting they may be. And always write down page numbers , not only for you to find the information later, but also because you’ll need them for your citations.

Aside from highlighting text and writing notes, another common tactic is to use bibliography cards . These are simple index cards with a fact or direct quotation on one side and the bibliographical information (source citation, page numbers, subtopic category) on the other. While bibliography cards are not necessary, some students find them useful for staying organized, especially when it’s time to write an outline.

6 Write a research paper outline

A lot of students want to know how to write a research paper outline. More than informal essays, research papers require a methodical and systematic structure to make sure all issues are addressed, and that makes outlines especially important.

First make a list of all the important categories and subtopics you need to cover—an outline for your outline! Consider all the information you gathered when compiling your supporting evidence and ask yourself what the best way to separate and categorize everything is.

Once you have a list of what you want to talk about, consider the best order to present the information. Which subtopics are related and should go next to each other? Are there any subtopics that don’t make sense if they’re presented out of sequence? If your information is fairly straightforward, feel free to take a chronological approach and present the information in the order it happened.

Because research papers can get complicated, consider breaking your outline into paragraphs. For starters, this helps you stay organized if you have a lot of information to cover. Moreover, it gives you greater control over the flow and direction of the research paper. It’s always better to fix structural problems in the outline phase than later after everything’s already been written.

Don’t forget to include your supporting evidence in the outline as well. Chances are you’ll have a lot you want to include, so putting it in your outline helps prevent some things from falling through the cracks.

7 Write the first draft

Once your outline is finished, it’s time to start actually writing your research paper. This is by far the longest and most involved step, but if you’ve properly prepared your sources and written a thorough outline, everything should run smoothly.

If you don’t know how to write an introduction for a research paper, the beginning can be difficult. That’s why writing your thesis statement beforehand is crucial. Open with your thesis statement and then fill out the rest of your introduction with the secondary information—save the details for the body of your research paper, which comes next.

The body contains the bulk of your research paper. Unlike essays , research papers usually divide the body into sections with separate headers to facilitate browsing and scanning. Use the divisions in your outline as a guide.

Follow along your outline and go paragraph by paragraph. Because this is just the first draft, don’t worry about getting each word perfect . Later you’ll be able to revise and fine-tune your writing, but for now focus simply on saying everything that needs to be said. In other words, it’s OK to make mistakes since you’ll go back later to correct them.

One of the most common problems with writing long works like research papers is connecting paragraphs to each other. The longer your writing is, the harder it is to tie everything together smoothly. Use transition sentences to improve the flow of your paper, especially for the first and last sentences in a paragraph.

Even after the body is written, you still need to know how to write a conclusion for a research paper. Just like an essay conclusion , your research paper conclusion should restate your thesis , reiterate your main evidence , and summarize your findings in a way that’s easy to understand.

Don’t add any new information in your conclusion, but feel free to say your own personal perspective or interpretation if it helps the reader understand the big picture.

8 Cite your sources correctly

Citations are part of what sets research papers apart from more casual nonfiction like personal essays . Citing your sources both validates your data and also links your research paper to the greater scientific community. Because of their importance, citations must follow precise formatting rules . . . problem is, there’s more than one set of rules!

You need to check with the assignment to see which formatting style is required. Typically, academic research papers follow one of two formatting styles for citing sources:

    (Modern Language Association) (American Psychological Association)

The links above explain the specific formatting guidelines for each style, along with an automatic citation generator to help you get started.

In addition to MLA and APA styles, you occasionally see requirements for CMOS (The Chicago Manual of Style), AMA (American Medical Association) and IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers).

Citations may seem confusing at first with all their rules and specific information. However, once you get the hang of them, you’ll be able to properly cite your sources without even thinking about it.

9 Edit and proofread

Last but not least, you want to go through your research paper to correct all the mistakes by proofreading. We recommend going over it twice: once for structural issues such as adding/deleting parts or rearranging paragraphs and once for word choice, grammatical, and spelling mistakes. Doing two different editing sessions helps you focus on one area at a time instead of doing them both at once.

To help you catch everything, here’s a quick checklist to keep in mind while you edit:

Structural edit:

  • Is your thesis statement clear and concise?
  • Is your paper well-organized, and does it flow from beginning to end with logical transitions?
  • Do your ideas follow a logical sequence in each paragraph?
  • Have you used concrete details and facts and avoided generalizations?
  • Do your arguments support and prove your thesis?
  • Have you avoided repetition?
  • Are your sources properly cited?
  • Have you checked for accidental plagiarism?

Word choice, grammar, and spelling edit:

  • Is your language clear and specific?
  • Do your sentences flow smoothly and clearly?
  • Have you avoided filler words and phrases ?
  • Have you checked for proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation?

Some people find it useful to read their paper out loud to catch problems they might miss when reading in their head. Another solution is to have someone else read your paper and point out areas for improvement and/or technical mistakes.

Revising is a separate skill from writing, and being good at one doesn’t necessarily make you good at the other. If you want to improve your revision skills, read our guide on self-editing , which includes a more complete checklist and advanced tips on improving your revisions.

Technical issues like grammatical mistakes and misspelled words can be handled effortlessly if you use a spellchecker with your word processor, or even better, a digital writing assistant that also suggests improvements for word choice and tone, like Grammarly (we explain more in the Tools and resources section below).

Tools and resources

If you want to know more about how to write a research paper, or if you want some help with each step, take a look at the tools and resources below.

Google Scholar

This is Google’s own search engine, which is dedicated exclusively to academic papers. It’s a great way to find new research and sources. Plus, it’s free to use.

Zotero

Zotero is a freemium, open-source research manager, a cross between an organizational CMS and a search engine for academic research. With it, you can browse the internet for research sources relevant to your topic and share them easily with colleagues. Also, it automatically generates citations.

FocusWriter

Writing long research papers is always a strain on your attention span. If you have trouble avoiding distractions during those long stretches, FocusWriter might be able to help. FocusWriter is a minimalist word processor that removes all the distracting icons and sticks only to what you type. You’re also free to choose your own customized backgrounds, with other special features like timed alarms, daily goals, and optional typewriter sound effects.

Google Charts

This useful and free tool from Google lets you create simple charts and graphs based on whatever data you input. Charts and graphs are excellent visual aids for expressing numeric data, a perfect complement if you need to explain complicated evidential research.

Grammarly

Grammarly goes way beyond grammar, helping you hone word choice, checking your text for plagiarism, detecting your tone, and more. For foreign-language learners, it can make your English sound more fluent, and even those who speak English as their primary language benefit from Grammarly’s suggestions.

Research paper FAQs

What is a research paper?

A research paper is a piece of academic writing that analyzes, evaluates, or interprets a single topic with empirical evidence and statistical data.

When will I need to write a research paper in college?

Many college courses use research papers to test a student’s knowledge of a particular topic or their research skills in general. While research papers depend on the course or professor, you can expect to write at least a few before graduation.

How do I determine a topic for my research paper?

If the topic is not assigned, try to find a topic that’s general enough to provide ample evidence but specific enough that you’re able to cover all the basics. If possible, choose a topic you’re personally interested in—it makes the work easier.

Where can I conduct research for my paper?

Today most research is conducted either online or in libraries. Some topics might benefit from old periodicals like newspapers or magazines, as well as visual media like documentaries. Museums, parks, and historical monuments can also be useful.

How do I cite sources for a research paper?

The correct formatting for citations depends on which style you’re using, so check the assignment guidelines. Most school research reports use either MLA or APA styles, although there are others.

This article was originally written by Karen Hertzberg in 2017. It’s been updated to include new information.

Research Paper Writing Service

Our expert writers will meet all your
requirements and create perfect research
papers with guarantees of Full Confidentiality
24/7 Support and 100% Plagiarism-Free.

Order Research Paper In a Few Clicks

Top Research Paper Writers

These experts are available for hire now! Check out samples, profile info, and reviews to choose the best one!

Completed orders: 587

Social media impact

  • Paper Type: Essay (Any Type)
  • Subject: English
  • Style: APA
  • Sources: 3

Completed orders: 1634

Difference between anxiety and GAD

  • Paper Type: Essay (Any Type)
  • Subject: Psychology
  • Style: APA
  • Sources: 4

Completed orders: 6616

Immigration of Early 20th Century

  • Paper Type: Essay (Any Type)
  • Subject: History
  • Style: APA
  • Sources: 4

Completed orders: 3006

Impact of Information Technology on Business Performance

  • Paper Type: Essay (Any Type)
  • Subject: Business
  • Style: MLA
  • Sources: 1

Completed orders: 943

Should Wealthy Nations Be Required to Share Their Wealth among Poor Nations by Providing Such Things as Food and Education?

  • Paper Type: Essay (Any Type)
  • Subject: English
  • Style: APA
  • Sources: 2

Completed orders: 476

Pros and Cons of Distance Education

  • Paper Type: Essay (Any Type)
  • Subject: Education
  • Style: APA
  • Sources: 2

Completed orders: 999

Amelia Earhart and her impact on history.

  • Paper Type: Essay (Any Type)
  • Subject: English
  • Style: APA
  • Sources: 2

Completed orders: 1053

Conflicts between European Colonists and American Indians

  • Paper Type: Essay (Any Type)
  • Subject: History
  • Style: APA
  • Sources: 4

What our current customers say

Research Paper Features

  • APA
  • MLA
  • Harvard
  • Turabian
  • Chicago
  • Vancouver
  • English
  • MBA and Business
  • Nursing
  • History
  • Psychology
  • Management
  • Sociology
  • Biology
  • Finance
  • Chemistry
  • Philosophy
  • Engineering
  • A title page
  • A reference page
  • In-text citations
  • A running head
  • Page numbers

Why choose us?

Privacy
Policy

We take the utmost care in keeping our customers’ private data safe. Complete and strict confidentiality is our number-one priority.

Professional
Writers

We have 500+ writers with only the highest ratings, great testimonials, and many years of writing experience.

Plagiarism-Free
Policy

We make sure that all papers are double-checked and screened through plagiarism scanners to ensure that you always receive entirely original academic papers.

On-Time
Delivery

We can meet strict deadlines and we guarantee that you get the flawless quality paper on the chosen date.

Prices start at $13.5 for writing . The final price depends on the number of pages and the deadline.

HOW TO PLACE AN ORDER FROM YOUR PHONE

1. Submit Instructions

Submit instructions by filling out the order form and including as many details as possible.

2. Choose Writer

Choose the best writer among those selected by our system to complete your order.

You can check your order’s status or chat with the writer any time you want.

Revise your paper carefully. Release the funds to the writer when you’re satisfied.

ACTIVITY OF OUR WRITING MARKETPLACE SERVICE

Research Paper FAQ

Who provides the research paper writing service?

We hire only the most professional research paper writers with higher education qualifications. These are the writers who help our clients with their paper writing needs. Every academic paper writer we work with has a very good amount of experience creating written academic content and our customers are highly satisfied with the results they get. You can choose the writer you want to work with by checking their qualifications and reading customers’ reviews about their work. In this way, you are always aware of who is working on your paper and there won’t arise any issues in the process.

How do I choose my research paper writer?

Whenever you have to choose a professional research paper writer on our website, you can do so based on the following information. Firstly, you will have all the expertise of the writers mentioned to help you decide which subjects they can work with. On top of that, you are enabled to read prior customers reviews of their work. You can also choose a writer from the best top 10 of all available ones and even ask for samples written by him or her if you wish to check his writing style. If you need your online paper writer to be a native English speaker, you can ask for one who meets your requirements.

Will my research paper writing be plagiarism free?

Yes. All assignments are custom written based on the details you submit in your order. We ensure that our research paper writing service provides 100% unique content and will pass any plagiarism check. All of our writers are highly trained to provide content that is original, and we have a zero-tolerance policy to plagiarism.

Custom Research Paper Writing Service

Are you looking for a trustworthy college paper writing service? Do you struggle with your college assignments and it stresses you out? Whether you are lacking time or skills, you know how painful it is sometimes to complete all written tasks for your college. There are so many scholarly demands and lots of things to keep in mind. It even seems impossible to have a good balance between your education, personal life, and family. Don’t panic, there is a simple and credible solution to this issue, and that is — the help of custom research paper services. It is an excellent opportunity to get professional help with your assignment. A great number of college students have already used our services, and it served them only for the better.

Students writing research papers usually aren’t aware that they can get it done with little effort. This is the reason our college service exists. We help anyone who needs a thesis written for them. We perform the task independently with the best writers on hand.

The best college research paper writing service You need

You have narrowed your choices down to a few professional research paper writing services but are wondering what you should expect. The more benefits the site offers, the higher the chance to be picked. Here are a few benefits you should look for:

  • Time-saving. This cannot be understated. When you decide to buy a paper, this is one of the most important things to consider. Be sure to determine their ability to meet or exceed deadlines and even write your paper in 3 hours if needed.
  • Positive marks and feedback. Are you concerned about the grade you will receive? When you buy a thesis, you shouldn’t need to be. Professional paper writers will provide you with high marks.
  • Plagiarism free. There is some risk of plagiarism when college students use writing services. Using a reputable site will eliminate this risk. Our custom research paper writing service hires only top Ph.D. experts who draft unique work.

There is more to consider when one is thinking to themselves “write my research paper”. Each service offers you different benefits but with our service, you get all of the benefits that you need.

Benefits of research paper writing service from PapersOwl

If you wish to get help from the best research paper writing services from available, you should choose PapersOwl. This is a reliable and proven service with years of experience in the industry. With PapersOwl you will also get:

• Thorough Plagiarism checking
• A team of professional writers
• An individual approach to each client
• 24/7 customer support

PapersOwl Paper Writing Service Main Advantages

500+ top-notch authors

Only original work

Strict deadlines compliance

Secure SSL encryption

❎No Hidden Charges

Without extra fees

These tips will come in handy for any user. If you decide to buy research paper online from our site, you will get a wide range of advantages.

Many services offer good academic writers, but PapersOwl hires only the best! Students are able to leave comments about their writers. You can read feedback about any one of them. We also make special tools available like plagiarism checkers and support services. We understand that you have choices when searching for someone to write your research paper.

Why Choose Our Research Paper Writers?

Selecting online paper writers is one of the most important and often the most difficult decisions you have to make whenever getting some work done. The writers at our site are without doubt the best you could ever find. We have top academic writers working with us who have been involved with custom research paper writing for high school, college, and university students for years. We also have certified professional college paper writers who can take on any kind of task you need to get done.

Each research paper writing professional we work with knows the importance of essays and papers that you need to submit and they give the utmost importance to every single task they work on. Our paper writers care about the customer’s requirements and specifications and ensure that the online paper writing they do for your research project is the best possible version of itself. These are all reasons why you should choose a research paper writer on our website.

Options for Hiring an Academic Paper Writer

To find the right paper writer online who can help you do your work, you need to have access to some options. Luckily, we provide such options that let you browse through all available writers and select the one you think is best for your custom research paper writing. To hire one of our professional college paper writers, you have some choices to filter the results. One of the things you can do is select a writer from the top 10% of professional writers working with us.

This ensures that the writer you select is truly one of the very best. You can also select someone who hasn’t ever produced a poor-quality paper or a native English speaker. Finally, you can request work samples from a writer you are considering hiring. All these options are provided to make sure that you have the chance to work with professional college paper writers who are perfect for your needs.

Professional Research Paper Writers You can trust

Who gives you research paper helper? If a site wishes to be attractive to users, they need to be not only competent but also knowledgeable on the topics and subjects that you bring to them. We only use top-level academic writers with years of experience.

Custom research writing requires that the writer be a native speaker. To provide you with the best service they must be proficient in the language that you speak and ensures the best work with no mistakes.

Our team includes only professional writers that have an excellent level of expertise. They are native English speakers that have successfully graduated from the best universities in the world with Masters or Ph.D. degrees. That’s why their research paper writing skills are of top-notch quality, and they are ready to complete an assignment of any difficulty in time. They do only well-grounded studies and refer to the most relevant and recent science sources.

Our professional research paper writers strictly follow the specific demands of each client and when you ask: “Write my paper”, you get 100% plagiarism-free. And the amazing thing is that you choose your writer yourself! This way you are always in control of the writing process, and you can communicate directly to the person who works on your paper.

To pick the most suitable research paper writer, we encourage you to review their profiles on our website where you can find all the relevant information regarding the number of works done, rating, and their credentials. You can also check out the reviews of the previous customer to be confident in your choice.

We also work with a great variety of subjects, such as:

  • Law
  • Nursing
  • Literature
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Psychology
  • Biology
  • Geology
  • MBA
  • Philosophy
  • Sociology
  • History and many others

This list is just a small part of the subjects we deal with on a daily basis. Another benefit of PapersOwl is that we work with any academic citation style and are happy to help you with research paper format.

PapersOwl ensures the best research paper writing service on the market at low, thus affordable prices. We deeply care for our clients who buy research papers for sale online and provide only the best customer experience. Our service is ready to do any college term papers for sale on time with no stress or anxiety.

Let PapersOwl.com take the burden off of your hands and deliver a custom research paper for sale online that you can be proud of!

Writing a Research Paper

Although this list suggests that there is a simple, linear process to writing such a paper, the actual process of writing a research paper is often a messy and recursive one, so please use this outline as a flexible guide.

Discovering, Narrowing, and Focusing a Researchable Topic

  • Try to find a topic that truly interests you
  • Try writing your way to a topic
  • Talk with your course instructor and classmates about your topic
  • Pose your topic as a question to be answered or a problem to be solved

Finding, Selecting, and Reading Sources

You will need to look at the following types of sources:

  • library catalog, periodical indexes, bibliographies, suggestions from your instructor
  • primary vs. secondary sources
  • journals, books, other documents

Grouping, Sequencing, and Documenting Information

The following systems will help keep you organized:

  • a system for noting sources on bibliography cards
  • a system for organizing material according to its relative importance
  • a system for taking notes

Writing an Outline and a Prospectus for Yourself

Consider the following questions:

  • What is the topic?
  • Why is it significant?
  • What background material is relevant?
  • What is my thesis or purpose statement?
  • What organizational plan will best support my purpose?

Writing the Introduction

In the introduction you will need to do the following things:

  • present relevant background or contextual material
  • define terms or concepts when necessary
  • explain the focus of the paper and your specific purpose
  • reveal your plan of organization

Writing the Body

  • Use your outline and prospectus as flexible guides
  • Build your essay around points you want to make (i.e., don’t let your sources organize your paper)
  • Integrate your sources into your discussion
  • Summarize, analyze, explain, and evaluate published work rather than merely reporting it
  • Move up and down the “ladder of abstraction” from generalization to varying levels of detail back to generalization

Writing the Conclusion

  • If the argument or point of your paper is complex, you may need to summarize the argument for your reader.
  • If prior to your conclusion you have not yet explained the significance of your findings or if you are proceeding inductively, use the end of your paper to add your points up, to explain their significance.
  • Move from a detailed to a general level of consideration that returns the topic to the context provided by the introduction.
  • Perhaps suggest what about this topic needs further research.

Revising the Final Draft

  • Check overall organization: logical flow of introduction, coherence and depth of discussion in body, effectiveness of conclusion.
  • Paragraph level concerns: topic sentences, sequence of ideas within paragraphs, use of details to support generalizations, summary sentences where necessary, use of transitions within and between paragraphs.
  • Sentence level concerns: sentence structure, word choices, punctuation, spelling.
  • Documentation: consistent use of one system, citation of all material not considered common knowledge, appropriate use of endnotes or footnotes, accuracy of list of works cited.

Academic and Professional Writing

This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.