Write a Guide on How to Write a Research Paper

How to Write a Research Paper

As the name suggests, it is based on original research and it features the analysis of the writer. Some people struggle with writing this kind of paper. First of all, conducting original research is a complicated process. 

Hopefully, this guide can make the whole process easier.

Genres of Research Papers 

There are two main genres of research paper and those are:

  • Analytical research paper
  • Argumentative research paper

Let’s take a closer look at each of these two genres.

Analytical Research Paper

In an analytical research paper, the writer has no stance at the start of the paper. The writer opens the piece by stating a question. The aim of the paper is to determine an answer to that question throughout the paper. 

In other words, an analytical research paper is more of an exploration of a writer on the question that was posted at the beginning of the article. It’s like the writer is exploring with the reader the possibilities at the beginning of the paper.

Argumentative Research Paper

With an argumentative research paper, the writer informs the readers right away from what his opinion is. That opinion is stated at the beginning of the paper and is known as the thesis statement. The whole paper is an argument to convince the readers regarding the validity of the thesis statement.

Since the paper is meant to convince the readers regarding the validity of the statement, the thesis should be controversial and should be debatable for the paper to be interesting.

Choosing the Right Topic 

How does one go about in choosing the right topics for a research paper?

There are plenty of ways that you can generate interesting topics for a research paper. One way is by taking on a broad topic and then writing down anything that might interest you about it.

A more direct method is by taking cues from other research. Some papers would have recommendations for possible research that others can try. That’s a convenient shortcut which might work for you.

Whatever you use for finding a topic, just remember that it should be:

  • Original
  • Something that interests you
  • Is apt for the assignment
  • Can be researched

Once you have a topic that meets all four of those points, then you can start writing your paper.

Conducting the Preliminary Research

Now, it’s time for you to read up on the topic that you have chosen. You need to find authoritative sources that can give you the information that you need.

Since you have your position regarding the topic, it is natural that you will seek sources that can support that position. But you should not stop there. You also need to look for sources that go in the opposite direction. 

For your argument to be a strong one, you must be familiar with the possible points that will be raised by those who oppose your view. To help you in doing your research, write down a list of questions that you want to answer, so your reading will have a direction.

Creating a Thesis Statement

You will have to create a thesis statement for your paper. The thesis statement sums up what the paper is all about. The statement can be one or two sentences long and must appear at the end of the introduction.

Another way to look at the thesis statement is that it is the answer to the research questions that you have created when doing your research.

Outlining Your Paper

You are writing an academic paper so it is crucial that it follows a clear structure.

Your research outline is a list of the key subtopics that fall under your main topic. You must give those subtopics the right types of headings. Having an outline will make things easier for you when you are writing your research paper.

Writing Your Draft

After you have created your outline, you can proceed with writing your draft.

Keep in mind that when you’re writing that you will still revise it. There should be several drafts to ensure the quality of the writing is going to be topnotch. 

When you’re writing the first draft, you have to be conscious of the way you construct your paragraphs. Each paragraph should be focused on a single idea that moves your thesis forward. Do not jump from one idea to another within a paragraph.

A Strong Conclusion

When writing your draft, you have to pay special attention to the conclusion of the paper. That is where all of the points you have raised throughout the body of the paper must come together. The conclusions should sum up all the ideas and give the readers a sense that you have closed your arguments.

Revising Your Paper

Most writers will tell you to give it some time before you start revising. Depending on when your deadline is, maybe you can wait for a few days before you start revising. Why is that so important?

Waiting for a few days before you start your revision will help to give you a new perspective. That can give you an insight into things that you might have missed when you first wrote it. This is also the time to ensure that your paper is properly formatted depending on the requirements of your assignment.

By following this guide, you can have an easier time writing your research paper. It’s a great writing exercise that can help you in organizing your thoughts and in presenting them. 

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