Step-by-step Guide For Writing A Research Paper

Don’t know where to start on your research paper? Not sure what kind of research is necessary or how to format your paper? Don’t worry; we’ll help you sort it all out.

The internet is a great resource to help you with your research paper. There are many websites that offer free online tutorials, samples and research papers for sale. Websites such as Essay Shark provide samples, which can help with the entire writing process, from selecting a topic to formatting and citing sources.

This article provides steps to writing a research paper that is sure to impress your professor.

Step 1: Look at the rubric


Always skim the syllabus or rubric for your research paper before starting. This will give you a better understanding of what is expected from the assignment. Answer questions such as:

  • What is the deadline for the research paper? Is there a specific time when you need to submit it?
  • What is the required length of your paper?
  • How many sources do you need to cite?
  • Which citation style is required (e.g., MLA, APA, Chicago)?
  • Do you need to answer a specific question or write about a certain topic in your research paper?

If you find yourself frequently waiting until your paper is perfect before turning it in, then it’s time for a change in mindset. Nobody expects a perfect research paper – not even your professor. Having said that, don’t leave writing it until the last minute, either.

Step 2: Make a schedule

If you want to hand in a well-crafted research paper on time, break the project down into smaller tasks and spread them out over several days or weeks. This will be much less daunting – and, let’s be honest, stressful – than trying to do everything at once. Plus, having a plan gives you a sense of control that can translate into improved writing.

It’s best to schedule several days for every step of the writing process. Completing your research paper efficiently and on time usually takes a few weeks, depending on the length of the paper.

Step 3: Pick a topic

The focus of your research paper may be dictated by your professor, or it may be based on a question to which you need to find an answer.

Before you start, double-check that you understand the expectations for this project. Are you clear on what exactly needs to be done? Have you read over the grading criteria? Go back and review the assignment parameters to make sure everything is clear.

If you’re able to choose your own paper topic, try to opt for something you are already familiar with or that interests you from the class lectures or homework assignments.

Step 4: Outline a research paper


Outlining is an important step in writing a good paper. A paper outline should consist of a general introduction to your topic, a thesis statement, specific details for each main point, and a short conclusion.

Outlining your ideas is crucial for structure and coherency. You can outline in whatever way suits you better; some students use bullet points including sub-bullets to indicate related information, while others prefer flowcharts or some other visual representations.

Step 5: Thoroughly investigate your topic


To start, gather a wide range of resources that touch on your topic. Be sure to find trustworthy sources like textbooks, newspaper articles, documents, and scientific journals.

One of the best places to write research papers is your campus library. You can make an appointment with a librarian to help you use your school’s online databases more efficiently. With search tools like EBSCOhost, you’ll be able to find scientific articles, valuable data, and journals quickly and easily by sorting and filtering content.

Step 6: Get started with writing

To begin writing your research paper, insert content from your outline. Make sure to include citations for where you found your information. Use tools such as Mendeley and Cite This for Me if you need assistance with this step.

Step 7: Edit your work thoroughly

The first step to a great research paper is completing the rough draft, but that’s not where the work ends. In addition to spell-checking, you must also read through your entire paper.

Where to get help with a research paper


There are several online communities dedicated to helping students through their research papers, such as Reddit Academic Writing or the Harvard College Writing Center’s blog. These resources can provide you with valuable information about researching topics, developing an outline, and even giving advice on grammar and style conventions.

If you need more specific guidance for your research paper, you may want to consider hiring a professional tutor or coach to assist you in the writing process. Professional tutors can provide personalized attention and guidance to help you become a more successful writer. They can give advice on topics and structure and even provide editing services to make sure that your paper is of the highest quality. Many universities also offer writing centers where students can receive one-on-one help from trained professionals.

No matter what type of assistance you are looking for, there are plenty of resources available to help you with your research paper. Taking advantage of these tools will make the process easier and result in a better final product. With some dedication and effort, you’ll be able to write an outstanding research paper! Good luck!