12 Steps in Writing a Research Paper

Writing a Research Paper

Being a college student will sooner or later make you face the assignment of writing research papers. Many students get panic-stricken when they have to write it for the first time. Sadly, you will not be able to avoid this task since it is a part of the education process. What to do if you don’t know how to write a winning research paper? Keep reading this article, and you will find out how.

The research paper is a written task where its author conducts personal research on the given topic, analyzes the findings and their interpretation.

The research paper is something that shows the level of your knowledge. Besides, the grade you get for the research paper will influence the overall grade in the subject. This guide will give you exhaustive inquiries on how to write a persuasive essay.

You will find that the procedure of writing a research paper is rather standard. And the guidelines below will seem very similar to other types of essays. However, it is better to pay attention to all the details. And peculiarities to make your work perfect or close to that.

We have singled out 12 steps that will approach you to your winning research paper. Read each of them carefully and try to use the tips when you proceed to write your essay.

How does a research paper differ from a research proposal?

A research paper is not the only outstanding written assignment students get. There are many of them. And you should keep in mind the peculiarities of each.

When you begin working on your research paper, it is essential to remember how it differs from the research proposal. Generally, the ones are quite similar. But there is one thing that unites them – the somewhat same writing process.

When you write a research paper, you aim at demonstrating your knowledge in the given subject – engineering, psychology, medicine, administration, anything. Writing the research proposal, you will try to convince your readers about the importance of conducting the research and the findings it may give.

How to Write a Research Paper

You need to prepare before you start writing it. If this is your first time, you should find a useful guide, like this one, that will lead you through every stage of the process. You may find several examples online, consult your teacher or a friend who has experience in writing research papers.

The most important is that you should take your time to this, dig into the topic, and carry out quality research. In this case, only you will be able to produce a winning paper.

Step 1: Get Familiar with the Assignment

Make sure you don’t rush and take a close look at every detail. Before you start doing something, you must be confident you know precisely what your teacher wants from you. You should not ignore this step; otherwise, you’ll be wondering why the paper which took a lot of our time and effort, was evaluated with a low grade.

When you receive the task, you should look through it carefully, and if there are questions or unclear issues or you need help with some interpretations, you should ask your teacher for an explanation.

Step 2. Choose a Topic

Usually, when you are given a written assignment, your teacher would give you a particular topic to cover. But there are also situations when students are free to choose the issues on their own.

How to choose a topic that will be interesting to work on and read? First of all, think of something that will be challenging to work with. Sure, it is easier to pick a boring common theme, but it will not bring you the satisfaction you may get once the paper is ready. It will also allow you are learning something new and make exciting findings in the process.

Try to choose a narrow topic. Why is the bread topic not too good for a research paper? Because your research paper will be generalized with no exact results. So, it is advisable to narrow down your topic to a specific aspect.

Example: if your topic is Global Warming, you can narrow it to 3 Top Reasons for Global Warming or How Global Warming Affects Human Health.

Step 3. Write a Working Thesis Statement

It is most likely that your paper will need to contain a thesis statement. If it is not indicated in your assignment, you should ask your teacher about it.

What is it? The thesis is the crucial point of your research. Why is it important? Because all the arguments that will prove your idea should be based on this head point.

The thesis is usually one sentence. It is placed at the beginning of your work. It is best to design this part after you check and analyze the materials you have found. Typically, you will formulate it in the end, once your paper is done because your ideas will develop and change in the writing process.

When you produce a thesis, be specific. Avoid general phrases and unclear ideas. It should reflect the primary sense of your research and its novelty, emphasize the key points. It is not the place for citations; you should express your own opinion.

Step 4. Do Research on Your Topic

It is the most significant part of your paper – doing research. There are no strict rules on how to carry out your research, and everyone will choose their approach to this process. However, there are several main aspects you should stick to:

  1. Skimming
  2. Working with reliable recourse only
  3. Consider all the information you have

Skim. You will probably find a lot of information on your topic, so you will not be able to read all of it. You need to look through materials quickly and define the main points you will use in your research paper.

Only work with reliable resources. Keep in mind that your paper must be based on reliable sources only. You may use such sources like Wikipedia as additional ones to know more about the topic, find keywords, etc. You should study and analyze the info you got from Google search and go deeper to find sources.

Consider all the materials you find. You will probably not be surprised to learn that you can find several different articles saying opposite things on the same topic. And all of them will have proves of the info correctness. You need to analyze and understand that different points of the same thing cannot be valid. Dig deeper and discover the truth information.

You will probably find different opinions of researchers on your theme. In this case, you should study all of them deeper and see which one is closer to you.

Step 5: Organize Your Research

Is your head spinning around from the information and the sources you found? It means that it is time to organize. Making a list of books and articles, you will be using is a good idea. It is called a bibliography.

If it is required to add a bibliography to your research paper, you should organize it by the requirements you were given. If you want to do it for your own good, you are free to arrange it any way comfortable for you.

Step 6: Form a Thesis

Once you’ve got your topic and you understand your task, all the details are settled, the materials are processed, analyzed and arranged, it is time to formulate the main idea of your work – thesis. It is a sentence in which you have to put the key feature you are trying to explain/prove in your work. If your paper is not about arguing some accepted points of view on the subject, it is better to add the thesis anyway.

If you don’t know what to begin with, here is a tip. In your thesis statement, you should answer the following question: What is my paper about?

However, there is one thing you should remember. Answering this question is just the beginning. A working thesis should not be vague or general. You should be more specific. Do not be afraid that your argument might seem too strong.

Example. Not good: My paper if about friendships between humans and gods.

Good: It is not only that dogs serve humans and are their best friends; this friendship has influenced the behavior and even anatomy of modern dogs.

If you still have doubts, or you need a professional opinion, you can show the thesis your teacher or another professional who will tell you if it is strong enough to serve the basis for the entire research paper.

Step 7. Make a Good Outline

If you think you don’t need an outline, you are wrong. It will help you manage the tons of materials you have studies and the ideas you came up with during writing.

Your outline will look like a plan that will be your roadmap when producing your paper. Single out the main points and make them subheadings for your article. Make sure each subtitle contains only relevant info. The structure of the outline should be as follows:

  • Title page
  • Abstract
  • Introductory part
  • Body
  • Conclusion

You can modify the composition according to the volume and content of your work.

Step 8. Create the First Draft

Indeed, you will begin writing your paper with a drat that will be changed in the writing process. First, you will need to formulate your title, choose and arrange citation and reference page.

Title, of course, is significant. It creates the impression of your paper, catches the attention of the reader. The title should be relevant to the content of your essay and contain several keywords.

It is recommended to write your paper in a scientific style. However, you may feel free to keep it less strict.

How to Write an Introduction for a Research Paper

Your writing process will begin with composing an introductory part. It is another crucial part of the work since it has to grab your reader’s interest. This part may not include too much science. To make it catchy, you can add a joke, a short story, interesting facts or statistics, etc.

Here you should also provide your audience with some background info, explain your aims and expectations from the research. The thesis should be also included in the introduction. You may end this part with it.

How to Write Body Paragraphs

When you write the body part, you should follow the outline and stick to your thesis. An overview can be modified in the process.

You should begin each paragraph with the sentence related to your topic. Proceed with presenting arguments and evidence that support your point.

How to Write a Conclusion for a Research Paper

The conclusion is the rewording of your thesis. But remember, that copying your thesis word for word is not acceptable. You can be making a general overview of the critical moments. You may mark your findings, and emphasize the practical significance, give advice on how to apply them.

How to Make Your Paper Perfect

Relax, this is just the first draft. It will need to be changed, added, and revised. If you want everything to be great and get a high grade, you should make a thorough revision of your paper. Sometimes, it takes more than once.

Step 9. Revise, Edit and Proofread for Content

You should begin with checking the content – if everything sounds good, if all the sentences are complete, all ideas are expressed clearly. You need to see whether the material coincides with the outlines if you have provided enough support for your thoughts.

Step 10. Revise, Edit and Proofread for Grammar

Then, you should pay attention to grammar – having grammatical errors in your paper is not acceptable. Also, see if there are no lexical or morphological mistakes. If formatting is correct, let your writing be perfect in all aspects.

Step 11: Re-read and Submit your Research Paper

Now, when you are at the final stage before submitting your paper, we recommend taking a short break and put it away for a day or two. Then, re-read it carefully with a fresh look. If, until now, you saw your paper only on a computer screen, a good idea would be printing its hard copy and read it. It will let you notice mistakes or incorrectness you could not see before.

Always give yourself some time and do not do anything last minute. You ever know whether everything goes smooth or thee are sudden obstacles that may prevent you from submitting in time.

If, in the process of writing, you need help, do not hesitate to turn to your teacher. It is normal. Besides, your teacher will see that you are working on your project.

Step 12. Rely on Our Academic Custom Writing Service

If there is no chance you can write your research paper yourself for any reason, you can always get expert help from a trustworthy writing service. You can entrust this vital assignment to professionals and let your mind rest from the stress connected in addition to that.

Checklist for Revising Your Research Paper Draft

Revising your first draft needs time, and it is much essential than correcting different types of mistakes. Use our checklist to see if your paper is going to be a winning one.

There are two kinds of edits: developmental and line one. Answer the question from each section to see if you are on the right path.


  • Is your paper logically connected from beginning to end?
  • Is your thesis clear?
  • Were you specific in using arguments to support your point?
  • Does your evidence support your thesis?
  • Did you cite your sources properly?
  • Did you check your papers for plagiarism?


  • Did you use a clear, understandable language?
  • Do you not hive filler words/phrases?
  • Did you revise your paper for any mistake?

As you can see, paper writing does not seem that scary. You just need to organize yourself and your materials, carry out a proper research and make a winning presentation. If you still feel that required help, you can always get support from professional writing services.