Write your own research paper by looking at the below listed research paper example samples and how to write research paper guide…….
Research papers holds a significant & extensive place in academics, as it follows step by step procedure to do complete research on the pre-decided topic, applies statistical methods on collected data and describes the outcomes of the whole process.
How to write a research paper? Research paper writing methodology demands a thorough and pre-determined process to follow, which may vary, according to every author. Here, it is divided for you in 10 different steps i.e. selection of topic, start data collection relevant to your topic, developing an excellent thesis statement, constructing an outline of research paper, developing sections of research paper, prepare your notes, start writing the draft, bibliography, revisit and proofread the entire document and last but not the least compose and print research paper.
Writing a research paper on a topic, which is also done by other authors as well, does not mean that the results of every research paper should match with each other. Results of each and every individual paper (even with the same topic) may vary due to different factors affecting that research.
Categories of a Research Paper
Other than understanding how to write a research paper, it is also important to understand the categories of the research paper before starting the research, so that it must be clear in your mind that what type of research you are doing. Mainly research papers can be divided into three categories:
Steps to Write a Good Research Paper
Step 1: Selection of Topic
The first and foremost step for starting any kind of research is always “selection of the topic”, as it can’t be started without a good topic. Sometimes the researcher doesn’t have the opportunity to choose the topic for their own research. In this situation, the researcher has to do the work on the given topic whether it appeals to them or not. Luckily if you have given the chance to select the topic for doing research, it means you can have a topic of your interest which will surely be helpful for more smooth & excellent research in the future.
While the selection of the topic, a researcher must take good care of the following points:
- You must keep in mind the criteria, general theme or subject under which you have to do your research. Topic chosen must fall under the criteria or guideline given by the instructor so that later on at any time it may not create any difficulty for you.
It will be helpful for you to narrow down while the selection of the topic from more general them to the specific one, so that topic of your choice must match with the general theme given by the instructor.
- The topic selected must be one which you can easily handle and you are interested in doing work on that topic.
- Another important point to keep in mind while choosing the topic for research is that never go for the topic which is very complex and difficult. It will create hindrance for you to work on that topic.
- Moreover, before finalizing the topic, it is also necessary to check that relevant data must be available and in your approach as well. Once you start working on the topic, data and researches of other researchers must be available to work as support & basis for your work.
- While selecting the topic it must be kept in mind that it is really researchable. The topic should be about a questionable issue which must be researched to answer it accurately. It can’t be the statement which itself gives an answer or depicts the relationship between two variables before doing research, or about any universal truth, In these type of cases, whole research will be of no worth & only wastage of time only.
Step 2: Start Data Collection Relevant to your Topic
Immediately after selection of the topic, the next step in the process of how to write a research paper is to start exploring, finding and gathering data about that topic. Before starting writing on that topic, a handsome amount of data must be collected and read, so that a road map for smooth working must be planned in mind.
- This step holds a lot of importance because all the further working will be based on the data you have found out and collected. So it must be taken in mind that the data must be collected from authentic websites. In this regard educational websites, websites of some government institutes, or direct websites of the companies (for genuine & reliable data collection) should be preferred in order to collect information relevant to your research topic.
- Another reliable source for collection of data is relevant academic books which can be accessed from digital libraries, or from the library of your educational institute. As published books of well-known authors serve as a gift for you to take help from.
- Next most popular and authentic source for data collection for your research paper is published in academic journals. Academic journals you approach must be highly ranked and authentic one. The articles published in these journals will of high quality and more worthy to get help from.
- Encyclopaedias are also available online, that is also a useful source of data collection. Britannica.com and encyclopedia.com are online and reliable encyclopaedias. Moreover interviews of experts, magazines, newspapers, atlases, dictionaries all these are also different kind of general sources for data collection and gathering information.
An important point to be taken care of, while data collection is that information collected must be meaningful, relevant and understandable so that you can easily transform it for your further use. More you go for good and deep research before starting working it will help you to get more refined and appropriate data, moreover research will help to refine your thoughts as well for writing down the paper by helping in formulating a good thesis statement, finding more about different& applicable research methods as well.
Step 3: Developing an Excellent Thesis Statement
Before developing a thesis statement, firstly you have to make a clear understanding that what actually the thesis statement is and what kind of information should be conveyed through it. The thesis statement is actually aimed to serve as a proclamation of what you have to demonstrate or prove in the research paper. The thesis statement is usually located at the end of the initial or preliminary paragraph of the research.
The thesis statement can never be finalized in a single attempt as it will tend to change and your thesis must have the capacity to bear alteration in it after an in-depth study of more & more relevant research articles.
Some of the qualities of good thesis statement are given as under:
- A well-defined thesis statement is one which is clearly stated, the language used should be simple & clear, and concise as well. Preferably it must be of single line but if required it may be longer than one sentence.
- A good thesis statement must state the main theme of the research but it should never be already known verity.
- It should be a statement, which may state the relationship between two or more variables, but it should not give any kind of arguments to prove that relationship. Arguments and support to prove or disprove the given statement must be provided but in the next few steps.
- It must never state your opinion, thinking or idea about something. It must be based on some logical observations supported by some previous and authentic researches but your thesis statement must be presented in some new aspect because it is never ever copied from any other research and it doesn’t need to be cited.
- An excellent and well-developed thesis statement must convey the main theme of your research to the reader. So that by having a look on the statement only he must know about further core discussion points of the thesis and build up expectations accordingly.
Before starting and writing the research in detail, you must consult your instructor to check the thesis statement. Meanwhile, your own observation and analysis about your research statement are also value able as you can have a critical review of the thesis statement developed and judge it to check the following significant points:
- It must have enough space to be challenged by other new researchers as well. If it is not so, it means that it is not a good thesis statement as a good thesis statement must leave room for further research as well.
- It must be precise to get understood by the reader and must have a logical background as well.
Step 4: Constructing an Outline of Research Paper
Before formally starting the writing process, a sketch for the complete document must be drawn that will later serve as a roadmap for smooth working. At this step, you have to design a complete structure of the research paper in the form of outline which can be followed later on to complete the work.
The important sections which must be considered while making the sketch of the paper are:
It must have a title of the research paper, the name of the author, the name of the instructor, the name of school or college and date of publication of the research paper.
Step 5: Developing sections of research paper
At this step of the process how to write a research paper, you are done with your thesis statement and outline for the research paper, now you feel energized by all these things and curious towards covering everything which is still uncovered. You have invested a lot of your time so you are having a clear direction now.
At this step, you must know all the essential elements to write a research paper.
A few people think that they are writing academic research paper so they choose to write boring and dry stuff, which isn’t a right thing. Academic papers need to be interesting enough as well, to grab the attention of readers.
It is the section of research paper where you state the background of your research as well as the remaining context of your paper. The introduction must open with a strong and appealing sentence so that it could engage the reader to study the entire paper.
Here you need to explain everything in detail i.e. the purpose of your research and how you approached the topic of your research. Whether it is a sort of factual report, a persuasive piece or an analysis? Choose to include your thesis statement here in the introductory paragraph.
While writing this section of your research paper, you must keep in mind a few vital questions that must need to be answered here.
- What is this research about?
Here, you are meant to provide the generic information about the main theme of your research paper. You must explain the entire situation in detail so that the reader could understand the main topic and the all the claims you make for this paper.
- What is the purpose of reading this paper?
Here, you are meant to write why the stated main idea is crucial. At this point, you have to make the reader keep reading your paper with interest and curiosity. In this regard, you are suggested to produce compelling, convincing but the simplest sort of essay.
- What am I expected to do?
Here, you are meant to state your claim. Invest a reasonable amount of time in composing sentence(s).
While writing the introduction section, you must keep in your mind that it doesn’t need to be very long for short papers, but for the long ones, you can expand it accordingly.
Write everything keeping in mind that your reader knows nothing and you have to elaborate them everything here. Other than the common knowledge, define every single term here. For instance, you aren’t meant to define what biology is but if you are using some less general or some uncommon terms, you must define them to the users.
This is normally considered as heart of your paper i.e. you must place your main focus here while writing this section of the research paper. The form of body depends on the length and detail of your paper but it must include key arguments, methods you utilized in research, obtained results and last but not the least; your major findings.
- A few details on background information of your research topic might be included here but only if you haven’t included them into your introductory section already.
- This is the basic paper part where proper structure and organization are considered really important. Arrange all the topic and sub-topics logically so that the reader may have exact knowledge of the ideas which are going to be discussed further.
- The ending of the body section might include discussion of your research findings but it entirely depends on detail and length of the paper. It refers to wrapping up your findings but keep in mind that you don’t have to state the conclusion here, which is the separate and final section your paper.
Repetition is something which is highly prohibited here in this section because it may lead the reader to lose interest. Keep each and every sentence concise but it must have enough details to state your objectives.
It is the time to wrap up all of your research. The conclusion is really different from the rest of your research as it only entails the conclusions one draws from the entire research. Just keep in your mind that the conclusion and results are totally different. However, you can discuss a few important points here to show how your entire research leads to your goal.
- This section of your research paper needs to be to the point and short. For short research papers, it should be only one or two paragraphs but can be extended, if your paper is long one.
- Your conclusion must be logically connected to every other section of your research and it must proffer enough explanations, where needed.
- In case your topic is too much complex, you must consider adding a short summary of main points (but in totally different words) here in your conclusion so that reader could recall every important detail regarding your research.
Step 6: Prepare Your Notes
At this step of the process how to write a research paper, you have successfully gathered all of the relevant material and formulated an outline as well. This is the time to start taking your notes. The best recommendation for you while taking notes is to make use of index cards. One note must be written on a single index card, labelled with a suitable topic on its top. It will let you write your first draft with the utmost ease as you can organize your cards later.
Whatever content you write on cards must be up-to-date as well as factual and you must verify it twice. Moreover, each index card must have an information source title and page number. The reason is that all the material you utilize in your paper is from a specific source and even if you don’t make use of the exact words, you must cite it. Here, you need to avoid using both sides of the cards because this way, you may overlook a plenty of information. Writing irrelevant information or something you don’t understand is strictly prohibited.
Step 7: Start Writing the Initial Draft of the Research Paper
How to write a research paper draft in a perfect manner? Now it is the time when you are going to start a written draft from all the road maps, outline and sketches you have made up till now. Initially, it will seem somewhat difficult to write the research paper but gradually you will feel the ease which will be provided by prior mapping and planning of the research paper.
Take out your outline and writing should be started straight from the first topic mentioned in it. Then take out all the relevant notes (books, research articles, and newspapers) you have collected for this section, read thoroughly, pick up the relevant portion or you want to quote into your own draft and paraphrase into your own words. Index cards prepared in previous step will help you a lot to develop the draft. It must be remembered that each & every line, quotation, paragraph must be cited immediately. If the citation is not properly given along with paraphrasing, the effort of composing draft will be in vain eventually. Because any quotation doesn’t matter how much worthy it is for you, will tend to devalue your research paper, if given without any citation or reference.
Quotations of other authors may be added to your research paper if needed, but they must be given in inverted commas and properly cited as well otherwise it will directly tend to decrease the worth of your whole research paper as it will be counted as plagiarised work which is of zero value.
While writing the draft, highlighters may be used to highlight some specific areas which you want to revise again or different symbols may be used to mark some places which you think you have to check again or some kind of editing may be required in it afterward. Whenever you revise those places, immediately remove that symbol so that it may not create any confusion later on.
At this step, you only have to focus on collecting good content for your research paper, paraphrasing it in easy and understandable language and coming up with new ideas in your research paper. Grammatical errors, spellings or punctuations don’t hold as much importance at this step, because they can be excluded whenever you proofread the complete paper. Writing the draft by following the outline developed in the initial stage of working will make your work easier so it is recommended to write the whole research paper in sequential order following the outline.
Here are some points which must be taken into consideration while writing your research paper:
- Every written statement should be backed by some evidence, mere ideas and remarks will devalue the research.
- Try your best to explain technical statements so that it will become easy for the reader to focus on your research paper while understanding it.
- Try to avoid long quotations; good paraphrasing of general content is highly appreciated.
- A complete research paper should depict a good continuity and flow throughout the whole document so that the interest of the reader remains at the peak while reading the research paper.
Step 8: Bibliography
While writing a research paper, you must avoid plagiarism and it should be one of your key concerns. In this regard, you are supposed to give proper credit to all the information sources you took help in your entire thesis. So, don’t forget to document all of your sources, which is something very important. It clarifies your thought process and let the readers know the way you adopted to build upon other people’s thoughts.
There are basically two approaches for writing the bibliography.
- The first approach is that you can build a separate portion for it while writing a research paper and keep on adding citations as you continue with your work.
- On the other hand, the second approach is to leave this for the end. The people who adopt the second approach face difficult time because at the end of your writing, finding all information sources becomes a bit challenging for you.
If you are confused about what to credit and what not, here is a brief guide for you.
What to credit?
While writing research papers, crediting information sources is necessary. You must credit the following types of information.
- All the information, which is not in knowledge of everyone out there.
- Direct quotations or excerpt.
- Paraphrased quotations or excerpt.
- Thoughts, ideas or opinions by someone else. Only thoughts, opinions or ideas which are originally stated by you don’t need citation.
What not to credit?
Despite the fact that crediting information sources is important while writing a research paper, you may skip to indicate the commonly known information sources, which includes:
- Accepted wisdom or any sort of general knowledge, for instance, a plenty of people love the black colour or many people love chocolates etc.
- The facts which are common and are in knowledge of every person, for example, the capital cities of various countries, or the countries having the largest population etc.
Step 9: Revisit and Proofread the Entire Paper
A lot of people skip this step in the process of how to write a research paper but in fact, this is the most important step while writing a research paper. Make sure you have enough time to revisit your paper and edit it for any minor or major errors you made while writing it. As soon as you complete your first draft, assure to make it perfect by editing while proofreading, if required. The chances for major mistakes are relatively low but you will find a plenty of typing or grammatical mistakes here at this step. You can make use of any reliable proofreading editor online, which can help you a lot at this stage for correcting your typing or grammatical mistakes. The best recommendation for you is to use Grammarly here along with proofreading it yourself.
Techniques for Proofreading
Here are a few amazing techniques you must follow while proofreading:
- Read out loud your paper.
- Read keenly and understand one line at a time.
- Don’t just proofread for one time only. Here the best recommendation for you is to proofread the entire paper separately for spelling, punctuation and grammar mistakes.
- You are recommended to use proofreading editors but you don’t have to simply rely on them. Determine each and every highlighted mistake yourself and correct it accordingly.
- Proofreading from the hard copy is the best idea.
Tips for Proofreading
Here are a few tips for you to follow while proofreading:
- Give proper time to proofreading and don’t rush at all as this is the very important step.
- While proofreading longer pages or paragraphs, divide them into sections for your ease.
- Proofreading more than once will let you catch errors more accurately.
- The last but not the least; ask your mate to proofread your paper once because you may be unable to catch some errors, which someone else can do effectively.
When revisiting your paper, you also need to go back to your previously written content and analyse whether your paper accomplishes your goals in a successful manner. A successful research paper must have answers to all the questions posed in the introduction of paper. If your paper fails to state all the objects/goals, you need to fix this too.
When it comes to revisiting your papers, you are also supposed to correct your formatting style here. There are many formatting styles available for you to adopt a single one for you. Usually, the selection for a specific formatting style depends on your field. The best recommendation for you is to ask your instructor to guide you for the best one. Usually, APA and MLA formatting styles are used all over the globe for research purposes. So, at this step, you need to make sure your paper completely follow that specific formatting style suggested by your instructor.
One more suggestion, which is worth mentioning here is that instead of waiting for the end to revisit your entire paper, you might choose to revisit it on a regular basis as you write. This approach will save lots of your time and energy and will also let you keep your content on the right track.
So, the basic purpose of this step is to improve the quality of your research paper and make it worth reading for the readers.
Step 10: Compose and Print Research Paper
You are at the final stage of the process how to write a research paper. At this stage, you are almost done with everything except composing and printing. All papers need to be composed well and printed (Choose to use a high-quality printer).
Just before printing, you are suggested to finally proofread your paper one more time to assure that you are done with everything in an ideal manner. Here, you are suggested to think it of someone else’s paper and then read. In this way, you will be able to access it properly. Make sure the punctuation and spellings are perfectly written in a clear and compelling tone.
You are done with it now. Make sure you tried your best regarding everything. Go to your instructor and ask him/her to approve it before printing.
- The first rule is to keep everything simple. The language used in the research paper must be easily understandable, no technical words and jargons must be used so that it will be helpful in raising the worth of the research paper.
- The objective of the research must be clearly defined at the start of the research so that it will help to assemble the complete focus on the main issue.
- Table of content is an important section of the research paper, which must be designed at the start of the writing your own research paper. It will be really helpful in developing the complete document as well as it will serve as a roadmap for readers. It can be modified as you move on with your working afterward.
- Another important tip while data collection is to keep a proper record of complete reference and bibliographic information of the useful collected data so that it will be really helpful afterward whenever you have to access that data again or to provide the reference of quoted material at the end of the research.
- Never ever think that adding more variables to your research or addressing to something very complex will enhance the worth of your research paper. Just stick to those variables which can be analysed & justified easily. Arguments to support the thesis statement must be simple and logical.
- A good research paper must be concise, complete, and understandable document.
- Last but not the least, never ever think of just organizing the research paper or process of writing a research paper in your thoughts only. The best way is to jot down each and every important point which comes to your mind while exploring the data and start making notes. As you will continue to work on the paper, your document will get its more purified form.