What are the 11 steps to writing a research paper?

Can you imagine that the first research paper was published more than 350 years ago? Initially, it was correspondence about the scholarly news. Since then, the concept of academic writing has evolved and blended into the educational system so much that essays and research papers have become regular assignments at schools, colleges, and universities in the UK and the USA. It’s not a surprise that students strive for improving their writing and research skills. 

A comprehensive understanding of how to write a quality and original research paper can help students in many ways. You will learn how to:

  • structure your thoughts; 
  • use research techniques that may be useful in your college and thorough your career in almost any company; 
  • expertise the topics of your interest more effectively. 

In this article, we will consider the 11 steps to writing a research paper and guide you on your way to success. 

1. Read your assignment carefully 

This step is highly recommended to start with because it will help you organize your work clearly and concisely. To not get lost in the tons of information, read your assignment, make sure you not only review but understand the instructions, grading rubric, and any other materials from your professor. Pay attention to the timeframe, word count, formatting, and other specific details. It will help you create a personalized plan for your work, always stay on the right track, and don’t miss little technical nuances. 

2. Choose the topic you’re interested in

It’s crucial to be passionate about the topic because you will be driven by the desire to learn more and share this knowledge with your professor and classmates. Some topics may be controversial, and that is the key. It may help you to discuss the topic from different angles or find arguments to support your position. Choosing the topic, always follow the guidelines from your instructor. It will help you decide faster. 

3. Start initial research

To generate central ideas of your paper, its thesis statement, arguments, and main points, you should start your initial research. You may create a document to copy-paste any information that may be useful for your assignment. Pay close attention to the sources you study. It should be scholarly articles, books, journals. Not every website and service meets academic standards. 

4. Create a strong thesis statement

The thesis represents the core idea of your paper; it clarifies its central argument and main goal. It has to be concise and clear. Don’t worry that you may not create a strong thesis statement when you just started writing. You’ll be easily able to rewrite it during your further research. However, formulating your thesis at the very beginning of your writing process will help you use it to guide your further research. 

5. Write an outline 

Now, when you start your research and identify a central idea, you can structure your findings by creating a list of key arguments you would like to discuss in your paper. Some papers may be better to organize using sections and headings. Ultimately, having an outline will help you save much time and organize the process of your work more effectively in order not to get lost on the way. 

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6. Write an introduction 

The introduction part is the first paragraph that your reader will look through, and it’s important whether you write a custom essay, research paper, or article. It has to be clear and catchy to draw the reader’s attention from the first sentence of your paper. It will create an initial interest in your research and get you some points from the get-go. But make sure that the paragraph is also informative and reviews the topic, its main arguments, and key points. 

7. Create the first draft 

To identify the strengths and weaknesses of your content, write the first draft at first. It’ll demonstrate to you the structure of your paragraphs. Does it look visually appealing? Is every argument explained accurately? Are your paragraphs organized in a logical and clear way? All these elements are crucial to make your writing look professional. That’s why the rule of thumb is never to send the first draft to the professor because it usually has many flaws that have to be corrected. 

8. Structure and formatting 

In academic writing, one of the many formats should be used to organize your paper accurately. All of them vary depending on the specific requirements of your assignment as well as all of them have their own specific rules. Every source that you use for your assignment has to be appropriately cited in order to avoid plagiarism and avoid the chances of getting a lower grade than your paper may deserve. You can find companies giving free guides on formatting to every customer, or buy a cheap personalized paper to see how the rules should be applied in your case. For those who face any difficulties with academic writing and need some assistance, there are certain essay writing services, such as CustomWritings.com that may be helpful for newcomers. You may buy a paper online written by expert writers in order to have an example of the structure, vocabulary, and sources. 

9. Make sure that your paper is compelling 

Many writers struggle with organizing the information of their research logically and accurately. That’s why an outline is a helpful hand for everyone who learns the craft of writing. The thesis statement represents the main idea of a paper, and topic sentences formulate the main idea of a paragraph and logically end with a one-two sentence conclusion. Always make sure that your paper is structured in this way, and your text will be written smoothly and accurately. 

10. Write a conclusion paragraph

The conclusion paragraph has to restate all the arguments and emphasize once again how they all prove your thesis statement. Your final paragraph can’t have any new information or citations. It has to give your reader a clear understanding of all the issues you put throughout your research paper and the results you came up with. 

11. Read through your paper before submission

Always read through your paper before you submit the final version. Maybe you notice some grammar or spelling errors, formatting or structure mistakes, or decide to rewrite certain sentences. Sometimes you may miss little details while focusing on the idea, arguments, and the paper in general. So, make sure you’re satisfied with your paper. 

In conclusion, there’s no such student who can write the best papers from the get-go. Everybody has to learn. Some people also have to put in the additional effort because English is their second language, and they might need help writing a paper. Ultimately, even the most significant writers had to learn the craft from scratch, and so can you if you try hard and concentrate. Use our tips to create better research papers on any topic.

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About the Author: Cory Weinberg

Cory Weinberg covers the intersection of tech and cities. That means digging into how startups and big tech companies are trying to reshape real estate, transportation, urban planning, and travel. Previously, he reported on Bay Area housing and commercial real estate for the San Francisco Business Times. He received a "best young journalist" award from the National Association of Real Estate Editors.

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