Ten Steps and Resources for Writing a Research Paper

It can be a challenge to write a good research paper if you have no experience. This article discusses the steps and resources for writing a strong and good research paper. The following steps help write a research paper starting from a prompt or an assignment.

  1. Familiarize yourself with the assignment

You must comprehend what your teacher expects you to do before you start writing your research paper. The majority of the students skip this part and end up with low marks. Judiciously read assignment writing, grading rubric, prompts, or other provided materials. 

  1. Choose a topic

Once you have an understanding of your research paper’s assignment requirements, choose your topic. It is good to write on a topic you are passionate about and interested in it. At times selecting controversial topics can be good so that you are objective in explaining different opinions. Make use of the provided guidelines by your teacher in choosing the paper topic.

  1. Research

This step is crucial yet flexible, and people approach it differently. However, you must stay focused as a researcher. As you research, consider the following points: do not ignore information, get reliable sources, and skim. As you skim, do not read everything concerning the topic you have selected. Ensure that the sources you are relying on are reliable. Finally, remember never to ignore the information.

  1. Structure your research

This step is about the general organization. In research, different people have varied preferences in organizing their research. The structure of your research will depend on the requirements of your teacher.

  1. Form a thesis

This step is about articulating your assertion, argument, and your own opinion. A thesis is a short statement that you put forward to your audience regarding what you are attempting to prove or explain. To begin, you can write a one-sentence answer to your research question. Your thesis statement should not be about you but definitive. In the thesis statement, do not be vague and do not be shy to make strong statements.

  1. Develop an outline

Similar to the bibliography, how you develop your outline depends on the assignment requirements. If the requirements need an outline, remember to submit your assignment with one and follow the given guidelines. If it is not part of the requirements, you can have one since it is a useful tool for your research paper. Having an outline is all about having a structure for your paper. 

  1. Write

It is now an opportunity to write your research paper. Writing does not need you to be a perfectionist, so do not worry about getting the perfect words, grammar, or creating a flawless title. It is helpful to gloss over your research before writing and do not write as you are researching. If you look back and forth between your papers and resources, you might copy ideas instead of creating your work.

  1. Edit the content

Before you finally submit your paper, you must edit it. Now make your paper as perfect as possible. Editing content entails thinking about the length, wording, organization, and structure of your research paper. Check to see if your paper’s organization still makes sense after you have fixed every section with appropriate content. 

  1. Edit grammar

As you edit your content, it is equally important that you edit the grammar of your work. Grammar editing is a difficult task, but luckily, there are many tools.  

  1. Re-read before submitting your paper

After editing content and grammar, take a day or 2, or one to two hours depending on the available time before finally submitting your work. If you have done all the other steps on the screen, it might help print and read the hard copy. Doing this way, you can note formatting issues or other mistakes that you did not note previously.


The following are handy resources: Teacher or professor, research librarians, writing centers, Wikipedia, academic databases, and Grammarly.


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