12 steps writing research paper

Research Paper Example – APA and MLA Format

Do you spend time staring at the screen and thinking about how to approach a monstrous research paper?

If yes, you are not alone.

Research papers are no less than a curse for high school and college students.

It takes time, effort, and expertise to craft a striking research paper.

Every other person craves to master the magic of producing impressive research papers.

Continue with the guide to investigate the mysterious nature of different types of research through examples.

Diverse Research Paper Examples

Research papers are not limited to a specific field.

Coping with the diversity in research papers remains a tough nut to crack.

See-through the list where we’ve offered examples on several subjects.

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Many Faces of Generalisimo Fransisco Franco

History Research Paper Example

A Descriptive Statistical Analysis within the State of Virginia

Sociology Research Paper Example

What Do I Need To Do For The Science Fair?

Science Fair Research Paper Sample

The Effects of Food Deprivation on Concentration and Preserverance

Psychology Research Paper Sample

European Art History: A Primer

Art History Research Paper Sample

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College Research Paper Example

An academic paper doesn’t have to be boring. You can use an anecdote, a provocative question, or a quote to begin within the introduction.

Learning from introductions written in professional college papers is the best strategy.

Have a look at the expertise of the writer in the following example.

Social Media and Social Media Marketing: A Literature Review

College Research Paper Example

APA Research Paper Example

While writing research papers, you must pay attention to the required format.

Follow the example when the instructor mentions APA referencing.

Effects of Food Deprivation of Concentration and Preserverance

APA Research Paper Example

Research Paper Example MLA

Once you are done with APA format, let’s practice the art to write quality MLA papers.

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Research Paper Example MLA

We have provided you with a top-notch research paper example in MLA format here.

Example of Research Proposal

What is the first step to start a research paper?

Submitting the research proposal!

It involves several sections that take a toll on beginners.

Here is a detailed guide to help you write a research proposal.

Are you a beginner or a lack of experience? Don’t worry.

The following example of a research paper is the perfect place to get started.

View Research Proposal Example Here

Example of Research Proposal Paper

Example of Abstract

After submitting the research proposal, prepare for writing a seasoned abstract section. The abstract delivers the bigger picture by revealing the purpose of the research.

A common mistake made by students is writing it the same way a summary is written.

It is not merely a summary but an analysis of the whole research project.

Read the abstract mentioned in the following research to get a better idea.

Affirmative Action: What Do We Know? – Abstract Example

Example of Abstract in Research Paper

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Scientific Research Paper Example

We have discussed several elements of research papers through examples.

Introduction in Research Paper!

Read on to move towards advanced versions of information.

Scientific research paper

Let’s have a look at the template and an example to elaborate on concepts.

  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Related Work
  • Methodologies
  • Experiments
  • Results and Discussion
  • Conclusion & Future Work
  • Acknowledgment
  • References

The name itself sounds terrifying to many students. Make no mistake; it sure is dangerous when touched without practice.

Students become afraid and hence aspire to locate an outstanding essay paper writer to get their papers done.

Detailed, high-quality, and credible sources and samples are a must to be shared here.

Science Fair Paper Format

Scientific Research Paper Example

Example of Methodology in Research Paper

The words methodology, procedure, and approach are the same. They indicate the approach pursued by the researcher while conducting research to accomplish the goal through research.

The methodology is the bloodline of the research paper.

A practical or assumed procedure is used to conduct methodology.

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Example of Methodology in Research Paper

See the way the researcher has shared participants and limits in the methodology section of the example.

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Research Paper Outline Example

Before you plan on writing a well-researched paper, make a rough draft.

Brainstorm again and again!

Pour all of your ideas in the basket of the outline.

What will it include?

A standard is not set but follow the research paper outline example below:

View Research Paper Outline Example Here

Research Paper Outline Example

This example outlines the following elements:

  • Introduction
  • Thesis Statement
  • Main Idea
  • Sub Idea
  • Methodology
  • Conclusion

Utilize this standard of outline in your research papers to polish your paper. Here is a step-by-step guide that will help you write a research paper according to this format.

Example of a Literature Review

What if a novice person reads your research paper?

He will never understand the critical elements involved in the research paper.

To enlighten him, focus on the literature review section. This section offers an extensive analysis of the past research conducted on the paper topics.

It is relatively easier than other sections of the paper.

Take a closer look at the paper below to find out.

The Effects of Communication Styles on Martial Satisfaction – Literature Review

Example of a Literature Review in a Research Paper

Methods Section of Research Paper

While writing research papers, excellent papers focus a great deal on the methodology.

Yes, the research sample and methodology define the fate of the papers.

Are you facing the trouble going through the methodology section?

Relax and let comprehensive sample research papers clear your doubts.

View Methods Section of Research Paper Here

Methods Section of Research Papers Example

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Good Research Paper Examples

Theoretically, good research paper examples will meet the objectives of the research.

Always remember! The first goal of the research paper is to explain ideas, goals, and theory as clear as water.

Yes, leave no room for confusion of any sort.

Fiscal Research Center – Action Plan

Good Research Paper Examples

When the professor reads such a professional research paper, he will be delighted.

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Appreciation in Class!

You’ll surely be highly rewarded.

Research Paper Conclusion

The conclusion leaves the last impression on the reader.

“Who cares for the last impression? It’s always the first.”

The conclusion sets the tone of the whole research paper properly.

A key list of elements must be present in the conclusion to make it crisp and remarkable.

The Conclusion: Your Paper’s Final Impression

Research Paper Conclusion Example

View the sample paper and identify the points you thought were never a part of the conclusion.

Critical Research Paper

To write a research paper remarkably, include the following ingredients in it:

  • Justification of the Experimental Design
  • Analysis of Results
  • Validation of the Study

How to Write the Methods Section of a Research Paper

Critical Example of research Paper

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Theoretical Framework Examples

The theoretical framework is the key to establish credibility in research papers.

Read the purpose of the theoretical framework before following it in the research paper.

The researcher offers a guide through a theoretical framework.

  • Philosophical view
  • Conceptual Analysis
  • Benefits of the Research

An in-depth analysis of theoretical framework examples research paper is underlined in the sample below.

View Theoretical Framework Example Here

Theoretical Framework Examples Research Paper

Now that you have explored the research paper examples, you can start working on your research project.

Hopefully, these examples will help you understand the writing process for a research paper. If you still require help writing your paper, you can hire a professional writing service. For high-quality and affordable help, contact MyPerfectWords.com. You can buy well-written yet cheap research papers by contacting our expert and professional writers.

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12 Steps in Writing a Research Paper

Writing a Research Paper

Being a college student will sooner or later make you face the assignment of writing research papers. Many students get panic-stricken when they have to write it for the first time. Sadly, you will not be able to avoid this task since it is a part of the education process. What to do if you don’t know how to write a winning research paper? Keep reading this article, and you will find out how.

The research paper is a written task where its author conducts personal research on the given topic, analyzes the findings and their interpretation.

The research paper is something that shows the level of your knowledge. Besides, the grade you get for the research paper will influence the overall grade in the subject. This guide will give you exhaustive inquiries on how to write a persuasive essay.

You will find that the procedure of writing a research paper is rather standard. And the guidelines below will seem very similar to other types of essays. However, it is better to pay attention to all the details. And peculiarities to make your work perfect or close to that.

We have singled out 12 steps that will approach you to your winning research paper. Read each of them carefully and try to use the tips when you proceed to write your essay.

How does a research paper differ from a research proposal?

A research paper is not the only outstanding written assignment students get. There are many of them. And you should keep in mind the peculiarities of each.

When you begin working on your research paper, it is essential to remember how it differs from the research proposal. Generally, the ones are quite similar. But there is one thing that unites them – the somewhat same writing process.

When you write a research paper, you aim at demonstrating your knowledge in the given subject – engineering, psychology, medicine, administration, anything. Writing the research proposal, you will try to convince your readers about the importance of conducting the research and the findings it may give.

How to Write a Research Paper

You need to prepare before you start writing it. If this is your first time, you should find a useful guide, like this one, that will lead you through every stage of the process. You may find several examples online, consult your teacher or a friend who has experience in writing research papers.

The most important is that you should take your time to this, dig into the topic, and carry out quality research. In this case, only you will be able to produce a winning paper.

Step 1: Get Familiar with the Assignment

Make sure you don’t rush and take a close look at every detail. Before you start doing something, you must be confident you know precisely what your teacher wants from you. You should not ignore this step; otherwise, you’ll be wondering why the paper which took a lot of our time and effort, was evaluated with a low grade.

When you receive the task, you should look through it carefully, and if there are questions or unclear issues or you need help with some interpretations, you should ask your teacher for an explanation.

Step 2. Choose a Topic

Usually, when you are given a written assignment, your teacher would give you a particular topic to cover. But there are also situations when students are free to choose the issues on their own.

How to choose a topic that will be interesting to work on and read? First of all, think of something that will be challenging to work with. Sure, it is easier to pick a boring common theme, but it will not bring you the satisfaction you may get once the paper is ready. It will also allow you are learning something new and make exciting findings in the process.

Try to choose a narrow topic. Why is the bread topic not too good for a research paper? Because your research paper will be generalized with no exact results. So, it is advisable to narrow down your topic to a specific aspect.

Example: if your topic is Global Warming, you can narrow it to 3 Top Reasons for Global Warming or How Global Warming Affects Human Health.

Step 3. Write a Working Thesis Statement

It is most likely that your paper will need to contain a thesis statement. If it is not indicated in your assignment, you should ask your teacher about it.

What is it? The thesis is the crucial point of your research. Why is it important? Because all the arguments that will prove your idea should be based on this head point.

The thesis is usually one sentence. It is placed at the beginning of your work. It is best to design this part after you check and analyze the materials you have found. Typically, you will formulate it in the end, once your paper is done because your ideas will develop and change in the writing process.

When you produce a thesis, be specific. Avoid general phrases and unclear ideas. It should reflect the primary sense of your research and its novelty, emphasize the key points. It is not the place for citations; you should express your own opinion.

Step 4. Do Research on Your Topic

It is the most significant part of your paper – doing research. There are no strict rules on how to carry out your research, and everyone will choose their approach to this process. However, there are several main aspects you should stick to:

  1. Skimming
  2. Working with reliable recourse only
  3. Consider all the information you have

Skim. You will probably find a lot of information on your topic, so you will not be able to read all of it. You need to look through materials quickly and define the main points you will use in your research paper.

Only work with reliable resources. Keep in mind that your paper must be based on reliable sources only. You may use such sources like Wikipedia as additional ones to know more about the topic, find keywords, etc. You should study and analyze the info you got from Google search and go deeper to find sources.

Consider all the materials you find. You will probably not be surprised to learn that you can find several different articles saying opposite things on the same topic. And all of them will have proves of the info correctness. You need to analyze and understand that different points of the same thing cannot be valid. Dig deeper and discover the truth information.

You will probably find different opinions of researchers on your theme. In this case, you should study all of them deeper and see which one is closer to you.

Step 5: Organize Your Research

Is your head spinning around from the information and the sources you found? It means that it is time to organize. Making a list of books and articles, you will be using is a good idea. It is called a bibliography.

If it is required to add a bibliography to your research paper, you should organize it by the requirements you were given. If you want to do it for your own good, you are free to arrange it any way comfortable for you.

Step 6: Form a Thesis

Once you’ve got your topic and you understand your task, all the details are settled, the materials are processed, analyzed and arranged, it is time to formulate the main idea of your work – thesis. It is a sentence in which you have to put the key feature you are trying to explain/prove in your work. If your paper is not about arguing some accepted points of view on the subject, it is better to add the thesis anyway.

If you don’t know what to begin with, here is a tip. In your thesis statement, you should answer the following question: What is my paper about?

However, there is one thing you should remember. Answering this question is just the beginning. A working thesis should not be vague or general. You should be more specific. Do not be afraid that your argument might seem too strong.

Example. Not good: My paper if about friendships between humans and gods.

Good: It is not only that dogs serve humans and are their best friends; this friendship has influenced the behavior and even anatomy of modern dogs.

If you still have doubts, or you need a professional opinion, you can show the thesis your teacher or another professional who will tell you if it is strong enough to serve the basis for the entire research paper.

Step 7. Make a Good Outline

If you think you don’t need an outline, you are wrong. It will help you manage the tons of materials you have studies and the ideas you came up with during writing.

Your outline will look like a plan that will be your roadmap when producing your paper. Single out the main points and make them subheadings for your article. Make sure each subtitle contains only relevant info. The structure of the outline should be as follows:

  • Title page
  • Abstract
  • Introductory part
  • Body
  • Conclusion

You can modify the composition according to the volume and content of your work.

Step 8. Create the First Draft

Indeed, you will begin writing your paper with a drat that will be changed in the writing process. First, you will need to formulate your title, choose and arrange citation and reference page.

Title, of course, is significant. It creates the impression of your paper, catches the attention of the reader. The title should be relevant to the content of your essay and contain several keywords.

It is recommended to write your paper in a scientific style. However, you may feel free to keep it less strict.

How to Write an Introduction for a Research Paper

Your writing process will begin with composing an introductory part. It is another crucial part of the work since it has to grab your reader’s interest. This part may not include too much science. To make it catchy, you can add a joke, a short story, interesting facts or statistics, etc.

Here you should also provide your audience with some background info, explain your aims and expectations from the research. The thesis should be also included in the introduction. You may end this part with it.

How to Write Body Paragraphs

When you write the body part, you should follow the outline and stick to your thesis. An overview can be modified in the process.

You should begin each paragraph with the sentence related to your topic. Proceed with presenting arguments and evidence that support your point.

How to Write a Conclusion for a Research Paper

The conclusion is the rewording of your thesis. But remember, that copying your thesis word for word is not acceptable. You can be making a general overview of the critical moments. You may mark your findings, and emphasize the practical significance, give advice on how to apply them.

How to Make Your Paper Perfect

Relax, this is just the first draft. It will need to be changed, added, and revised. If you want everything to be great and get a high grade, you should make a thorough revision of your paper. Sometimes, it takes more than once.

Step 9. Revise, Edit and Proofread for Content

You should begin with checking the content – if everything sounds good, if all the sentences are complete, all ideas are expressed clearly. You need to see whether the material coincides with the outlines if you have provided enough support for your thoughts.

Step 10. Revise, Edit and Proofread for Grammar

Then, you should pay attention to grammar – having grammatical errors in your paper is not acceptable. Also, see if there are no lexical or morphological mistakes. If formatting is correct, let your writing be perfect in all aspects.

Step 11: Re-read and Submit your Research Paper

Now, when you are at the final stage before submitting your paper, we recommend taking a short break and put it away for a day or two. Then, re-read it carefully with a fresh look. If, until now, you saw your paper only on a computer screen, a good idea would be printing its hard copy and read it. It will let you notice mistakes or incorrectness you could not see before.

Always give yourself some time and do not do anything last minute. You ever know whether everything goes smooth or thee are sudden obstacles that may prevent you from submitting in time.

If, in the process of writing, you need help, do not hesitate to turn to your teacher. It is normal. Besides, your teacher will see that you are working on your project.

Step 12. Rely on Our Academic Custom Writing Service

If there is no chance you can write your research paper yourself for any reason, you can always get expert help from a trustworthy writing service. You can entrust this vital assignment to professionals and let your mind rest from the stress connected in addition to that.

Checklist for Revising Your Research Paper Draft

Revising your first draft needs time, and it is much essential than correcting different types of mistakes. Use our checklist to see if your paper is going to be a winning one.

There are two kinds of edits: developmental and line one. Answer the question from each section to see if you are on the right path.

  • Is your paper logically connected from beginning to end?
  • Is your thesis clear?
  • Were you specific in using arguments to support your point?
  • Does your evidence support your thesis?
  • Did you cite your sources properly?
  • Did you check your papers for plagiarism?
  • Did you use a clear, understandable language?
  • Do you not hive filler words/phrases?
  • Did you revise your paper for any mistake?

As you can see, paper writing does not seem that scary. You just need to organize yourself and your materials, carry out a proper research and make a winning presentation. If you still feel that required help, you can always get support from professional writing services.

How to start a research paper: Step-by-Step Guide

Getting started on a research paper is arguably the hardest part. Before you start, you have so many questions, thoughts, and doubts. This causes a lot of students to delay their writing – not willfully, just because they simply don’t know how to start a research paper. This could be down to experience (or lack thereof), writer’s block, or just simply not knowing which topic to choose.

Many students in this predicament seek support from professional writers, even if this is just for help with an introduction to a research paper to get them going. In this article, we’ll discuss how to begin a research paper and how to write a research paper introduction.

7 Steps on How to Begin a Research Paper Easily

Before we go over how to start writing a research paper, you need to know that it all begins before any writing is done at all. It begins with thoughts and ideas and moves on to outlines before the actual writing begins. Here are seven steps on how to begin:

  1. Read through all of the paper guidelines. In general, professors and teachers are very clear about what they want and how they want it to look. They will usually provide you with guidelines. You will, of course, be expected to work hard on the style as well as the content. They might, for example, say you need to write in APA format, but they won’t tell you how to start a research paper APA style.
  2. When you’ve read the guidance, you need to choose your research paper topic. This is where many students struggle because they seek the best topic possible, and it becomes impossible to decide. The topic will be set up in your introduction and is the theme of your thesis statement. There are many resources online to help you decide on a topic. Here are some ideas:
    • Choose something that is interesting both to you and others
    • Make sure it’s a feasible topic
    • Make sure it’s not too broad so that you have lots of sources but are not overwhelmed with too much to write about
    • Seek approval from the professor once you’ve decided. Usually, professors will be more than happy to discuss your topic with you.
  3. Carry out your research – find examples and facts. The most exhausting part of coming up with a thesis statement is finding reliable information. You need to be clear that your thesis statement is relevant and that there are sources out there to support it. You don’t have to have the wording right just yet.
  4. Create an outline for your research paper. With the first steps done, it’s time to do an outline. This is an essential step as it helps you get your ideas down without thinking of the language and style (this comes in the writing part). When you create an outline, you’re planning and organizing your main ideas. You should include what you would reference and think about how the paragraphs flow on from each other.
  5. Finalize your thesis. Make this detailed and strong and something that will keep you on track when writing. Remember everything you write needs to be relevant to this statement.
    Before finalizing your thesis, formulate and brainstorm several different ones and make sure you have a clear hypothesis. Doing this is vital as it allows your audience to understand your work and evaluate it.
  6. Make your introduction brilliant. Writing your opening paragraph is often frustrating and time consuming. So much so that many people go back to it and re-write it after they’ve drafted their entire paper! However, if you have prepared well and written a decent outline, it will be a lot easier. You’ll already have your thesis, background research and research question, so all you need is an attention-grabbing hook to draw in the readers and organize it into a great paragraph.
  7. Write the research paper – it’s surprising to many that our seventh (and final) step is to actually write the research paper. You see, there are so many things to do before you write but if you do them, the writing comes easier and quicker. Don’t forget that all sources must be cited and referenced properly according to the style and format of your guidelines.

What is a Research Paper Introduction?

The introduction is a key component of a research paper. It sets the scene, introduces your topic, and grabs your reader’s attention so that they want to read the whole paper. The research paper writer will introduce their topic, the purpose of the research and their thesis. Having a perfect introduction is crucial. When the opening lines are impressive, the rest of the paper will follow suit.

If you were to not include and introduction – or include a poorly-written one – your readers will be lost. They wouldn’t know why you’re writing the paper, nor its purpose. When writing an academic paper, order is valued. If everyone wrote in their own format, it would be very difficult to distinguish excellence.

A research paper introduce has key elements to it. These form your research paper’s backbone. You have the hypothesis, your ‘hook’ and your thesis statement. Your hypothesis describes the idea you are trying to persuade your audience to believe or not. In your introduction, you can state the hypothesis and show that you support or oppose it. After such an introduction, the rest of your paper will explain the research findings, supported by your evidence.

Introduction Paragraph Outline

A decent research paper introduction will follow a specific structure. You’ll need to mention certain things, which each have their own goal. In general, this is what you should include:

  • Start with a general sentence to introduce your topic and its background.
  • The next two sentences should talk about the related issue and focus in on the exact question and research point of your research paper thesis.
  • The final sentences in the introduction should state your research paper writing these. It should summarize the entire paper in a single sentence.

The thesis needs to highlight the topic as well as the problem to be discussed. Your readers should be kept engaged with this thought in their minds as they’re reading. It shouldn’t be confusing or easy to forget.

The Sunday Papers

The Sunday Papers is our weekly roundup of great writing about (mostly) videogames from across the web.

Sundays are for using those three-step curry kits and feeling like a gourmet chef. Before you add the herbs, let’s read this week’s best writing about games.

Over on Medium, David R. Howard wrote about the super flat design of Michiko Sakurai. At once a celebration of Sakurai’s UI design across Super Smash Bros, and a proper art lesson.

Explorations of the tension between 2D and 3D can be felt most prominently in Super Smash Bros. Melee. The various food items which fighters can consume to heal damage are actually photographed pictures of food, and when pausing and rotating the camera they eerily billboard through the stillness, spinning to always face the camera. Contrarily there are trophies of 2D sprites like Birdo from Super Mario Bros. 2 which simply blink in and out of existence when turned. Then there’s the ability to shift the entire menu to view it from a different angle by tilting the GameCube controller’s C-Stick, revealing its paper-like flatness. But the most explicit example has to be the final unlockable character, Mr. Game & Watch.

For Vice, Joel Golby wrote about how he can’t enjoy the new Grand Theft Auto because he’s old now. A really fun nostalgia trip and an exploration into how time shifts your perspective on things.

The best game I ever played – a world I used to be able to crawl into and live inside for days – is just a load of grey triangles and some 69 jokes. Playing San Andreas now is like reading a masterpiece written in Olde English – clearly still one of the highest forms of art ever made, but in a format that makes experiencing it as much decoding and suffering as it is understanding.

For CBC, Jonathan Ore wrote about how tabletop game Warhammer 40,000 was once a sanctuary during his high school years, but has more recently been embraced by white supremacists. An interesting insight into the political history of Warhammer and it’s growing number of inclusive communities.

Warhammer 40K takes that political satire and stretches it to galaxy-wide stakes. Mankind survives as a fascist Imperium, with its leader, the Emperor, worshipped as a god. He’s the commander of legions of superhuman Space Marines. Oh, and he’s been dead for 10,000 years.

For ArtReview, Lewis Gordon wrote about how Battlefield 2042 is killing the planet. A cool take on the weightlessness of the game’s weather systems.

So the climate war in Battlefield 2042 is undeniably playful, but it takes place within a machine-like structure. The game could, theoretically, never end, because Battlefield 2042 starts a fresh map mere seconds after you’ve finished another. This means that there is never any pause – no quiet moment to reflect on the virtual bodies left to smoulder in the desert, or the climate crisis within which this symbolic violence takes place. Crucially, it lacks a negative image of the kind Anselm Kiefer and John Nash’s conflict-focused paintings offer. War is full of everything – pain, suffering, violence, noise – but their pictures of its aftermath are desolate and empty. Where is that feeling in Battlefield 2042?

Music this week is Slave To The Rhythm (Hot Blooded Version) by Grace Jones. Here’s the YouTube link and Spotify link. Perfect for a long drive.

That’s me. Have a solid Sunday everyone!

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When Ed’s not cracking thugs with bicycles in Yakuza, he’s likely swinging a badminton racket in real life. Any genre goes, but he’s very into shooters and likes a weighty gun, particularly if they have a chainsaw attached to them. Adores orange and mango squash, unsure about olives.

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How to Write a Research Paper: 10 Steps + Resources

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How to Write a Research Paper

If you’re a college student, you will probably have to write at least one college-level research paper before you graduate. Writing a good research paper can be daunting if you have never done it before. We’re here to help.

This guide walks you through everything you need to do to write an effective, impactful research paper . . . and get the good grade you’re after!

Here are the steps and resources you need to write a strong research paper, as well as a checklist to go over to be sure you wrote a good paper. Research writing can be a challenge, but with a little practice, it can become an important part of your academic and professional toolkit.

The Process

The following steps will help you write a research paper, starting with nothing but an assignment or prompt and ending up with a well-crafted essay. The steps are:

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Step 1: Get Familiar with the Assignment

This may sound obvious, but it’s very important to understand what your teacher or professor is asking for before you start writing your research paper. Many students skip this step, and then wonder why they receive a low grade on a paper they worked hard on or were excited about. It’s often because they didn’t read the instructions.

Spend time going over the assignment. Look at everything your instructor has provided you with. Carefully read the writing assignment, prompts, grading rubric, or any other materials you’ve received. It might even be helpful to highlight and take notes on the assignment. Take time to understand exactly what you are being asked to write and how you will be graded on it. And if you aren’t sure, ask! Ask your teacher for clarification before you even pick a topic. That way, you will be sure you are on the right track.

Step 2: Pick a Topic

Once you understand what you’re being asked to write in your research paper, it’s time to decide what to write about. This can be daunting, but don’t get too bent out of shape. It can be very helpful to write about something you’re interested in or passionate about, but don’t worry about choosing the perfect topic. In many cases, a controversial topic can be ideal, so that you can exercise your ability to objectively explain differing positions, and even defend one if the assignment calls for that.

Use the guidelines given by your instructor to help pick your paper topic. If you have a topic that you love, but you’re having trouble fitting it into the guidelines, choose another topic. It will be easier on you in the long run to write about a topic that fits the assignment. It’s important to be engaged in the topic you’re writing about it, but you don’t have to love it. It’s also good to realize that you can use this research writing assignment as an opportunity to learn about something new. You will be somewhat of an expert in the topic by the end of this process, but you don’t have to know everything right now.

Step 3: Research

And now what you have been waiting for — research! This step is pretty flexible; different people will research for a paper in different ways. However, it’s important to stay focused and move pretty quickly. After all, you still have to write your research paper.

Several key things to remember as you research are: 1) skim, 2) find reliable resources, and 3) don’t ignore information.

First off, skimming. You don’t have to read in-full everything ever written about your topic. In fact, you probably can’t. Get comfortable reading through things quickly. Learn how to identify key points and arguments without getting bogged down and reading every word.

Next, find reliable resources. Although this may run contrary to what you’ve been told, you can use Wikipedia to write a research paper. But, you cannot use that as a final source. You can use general sources like Wikipedia to get familiar with a topic, find keywords that can further drive your research, and quickly understand large amounts of information. But, for the information you use in your paper, you have to find reliable resources.

Take what you have learned from a Google search or Wikipedia article and dig deeper. Check out the sources on the article, use keywords from your internet search to search an academic database, or ask an expert whether or not what you learned is valid and if it is, where you can find a reliable source stating the same thing. So, just to be clear: you can use Wikipedia as a starting point in your research, but you should not cite Wikipedia as one of the primary sources for your research paper.

Finally, don’t ignore information. You can find an article that says anything you want it to say. Did researchers recently discover that octopus DNA is made of alien DNA from outer space? Are the spires on the Cinderella Castle at Disney World removable in case of a hurricane? Did a cook attempt to assassinate George Washington by feeding him poisoned tomatoes? You can find articles testifying that all three of the previous claims are true; however, when you dig deeper, it’s clear that they’re not. Just because you find one article stating that something is true, that does not necessarily mean it is a proven fact that you can use in your research.

Work to understand all of the different viewpoints and schools of thought on your topic. This can be done by reading a variety of articles, reading a book or article that gives an overview of the topic and incorporates different points of view, or talking to an expert who can explain the topic in depth.

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Step 4: Organize Your Research

So you have all of this information, now what to do with it? Step four is all about getting organized. Like research, different people have different preferences here. It can also depend on your assignment. Some sort of bibliography (literally “book writing,” this is a list of the books, articles, and other sources you have used in your research) is helpful when it comes to organizing your research.

If your teacher requires you to turn in a bibliography with your research paper (think back to step #1; you ought to already know exactly what the assignment is by now!), create a bibliography that meets the requirements for the paper. If you are just making one just for yourself, think about how you would like to organize your research. It might make sense to bookmark resources on your web browser or make a digital bibliography that allows you to link the resources you found. You might prefer a printed list of your resources or you might want to write down all you have learned that is relevant to your project on notecards or sticky notes and organize your research paper on a table or the floor.

Step 5: Form a Thesis

Now that you understand what you’ve been asked to do, have chosen a topic that fits the assignment, and have researched and organized that research, you’re ready to articulate your own opinion, argument, or assertion. Even if you aren’t arguing for or against anything, your paper needs a thesis. A thesis is a short statement that you — as researcher and author — put forward for the readers of your paper as what you are trying to explain or prove.

A starting point when writing a thesis might be to write a one-sentence answer to the question: what is your paper about? The answer might be something like the following examples:

  • My paper explains the relationship between dogs and humans.
  • It’s about university policies on freshman living on campus.
  • I wrote about views on marriage in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice .

See, that wasn’t so hard. But, what is important to remember, is that this is just a starting point. Many students stop right there, and then don’t understand why their instructor graded them poorly on their thesis statement. A thesis needs to be definitive, and should not be about you. So, you might change the above answers to statements like:

The relationship between dogs and humans goes both ways; not only are dogs man’s best friend, but human interactions have influenced the way that modern dogs’ behavior and anatomy.

Many universities require freshmen students to live on campus for their first year, which keeps students out of trouble, helps students get better grades, and increases their likelihood of staying in school.

In Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, marriage is seen as a number of things, including as a social mobility tool, as a mistake, and as a beneficial partnership.

Can you see the differences between the first set of sentences and the second set of thesis statements? It might take a few tries, but work to eliminate words and phrases like “I think,” or “My paper is about.”

It is also very important not to be too vague. Don’t be afraid to make a strong statement. If you look at the above examples, each of them makes a specific point about the topic. Another key to crafting a strong thesis statement is making sure that your thesis is arguable. That doesn’t mean it’s controversial or particularly opinionated, but it does mean that someone could disagree.

For example, someone might argue that humans haven’t influenced dogs all that much, that requiring freshman students to live on campus isn’t a good thing, or that marriage in Austen’s Pride and Prejudice is all about romance. (Another way to check whether or not your statement is arguable: Is Pride and Prejudice a book? Yes. So the statement, “Pride and Prejudice is a book written by Jane Austen,” doesn’t work as a thesis because no one could disagree. There is no point in writing an entire essay about that obvious fact.) Checking whether or not someone could argue with your thesis statement is a good way to make sure you have written a strong, specific thesis statement that will guide you as you write your paper and earn a good grade for your efforts.

After you have worked to create a specific, arguable, definitive thesis statement, this is another place that it could be helpful to check in with your professor, a writing center tutor, or another trusted educator or mentor. Show them your thesis statement and ask them if they think itis a powerful thesis that you will guide you as you build your essay.

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Step 6: Create an Outline

Like a bibliography, the way that you create your outline may depend on your assignment. If your teacher asked you to turn in an outline, be sure to make an outline that follows the example, guidelines, or requirements you have been given. If you aren’t required to write an outline, it can still be a helpful tool as you build your research paper.

Creating an outline is really about structuring your paper. Don’t be too formulaic, but it can be helpful to follow patterns and guides. In high school you might have written three- or five-paragraph essays, and it’s okay to use those same patterns for a college research paper, but be sure that whatever format you choose makes sense for your paper. If you have two main points in your thesis, three or five main sections might not work for your research paper. If the assignment asks you to introduce a topic, explain different opinions on the topic, and then choose and explain your opinion, then your paper probably needs three main sections, one for each of those objectives.

As you create an outline, think critically about what you are trying to explain or communicate in your research paper and what structure allows you to do that in a clear, organized way. It usually makes sense to have an introduction and conclusion, but what goes between will vary based on the contents of your essay.

The outlining stage of producing your argument is a great time to think about bad forms of argumentation you should avoid. If you aren’t familiar with logical fallacies, take some time to review the most common fallacies; your grade could depend on it!

Step 7: Write

And then, finally, it’s time to actually write your paper. You might feel like you should have started writing sooner, but, rest assured: the work you have done up to this point is important. It will help you create a strong, clear, interesting research paper.

As you write, don’t be a perfectionist. Don’t worry about finding the perfect words, using the perfect grammar, or crafting the perfect title. There is time to perfect your research paper as you edit. Right now, you just need to write.

It might be helpful to look over your research before you start writing, but don’t write directly from your research. If you’re looking back and forth between your resources and your paper as you begin writing, it’s easy to copy ideas without really creating your own work. You have done a lot of work already, so trust that and work from memory as you write your research paper. It’s okay to look up a specific quote or statistic, but in general your ideas should be your own at this point.

Working from your own ideas will help you avoid plagiarism. Plagiarism is the uncredited use of someone else’s words or ideas, whether you meant to use them without credit or not. This sounds scary, but it doesn’t have to be. If you follow the steps outlined in this guide, you can be confident that you’ve created your own essay that builds on the ideas, writing, and work of others, without stealing, copying, or plagiarising.

If you quote something word-for-word, you need to cite your source. Use quotation marks and mention the source of the quote. You will also need to include more information about the quote on a Works Cited or References page. If you paraphrase, that is, you don’t use the exact words, but do use someone’s idea, it’s still important to give credit. You don’t need quotation marks here, but it is important to mention where the idea comes from.

If something is a common fact (generally accepted if you can find the fact stated, without credit, in three or more credible sources), you don’t need to mention where the idea comes from. For example, Bill Gates is a billionaire who founded Microsoft. That is a common fact; you can find it stated in numerous trustworthy sources. But if your paper is about the why behind Bill Gates’ wealth, fame, and success, then you’re going to need to credit and cite specific quotes and statistics, as well as theories about why the Microsoft billionaire is so successful.

Step 8: Edit for Content

Now that you’ve got a paper written, take a moment to congratulate yourself. You have done a lot of work to get to this point! And then, get back to work. You still need to edit your paper before it’s ready to turn in. Remember how you weren’t supposed to worry about being perfect? You still don’t need to worry, but it is time to make your paper as perfect as you possibly can.

Start by editing for content. This means thinking about structure, organization, wording, and length. You carefully organized your paper when you created an outline. Now that you have written your paper, does that organization still make sense? If so, great. If not, what do you need to move around? Look carefully at how you’ve worded your sentences. Did you communicate what you meant to get across? Can you make your paper clearer or easier to understand? This is also a good point to think back to Step 1. Does your paper include everything the assignment asked for? If not, where can you include the missing pieces?

If your paper is too long or too short, now is the time to cut it down or build it up to an acceptable length. Don’t just delete your conclusion because your paper is too long. Don’t waste your time playing with the font size and margins to try to make your essay longer. Be careful and thoughtful about these edits. If you need to take something out, what makes sense to cut and how can you re-organize your paper so that it maintains a strong structure? If you need to lengthen your paper, don’t just randomly add words or repeat things you have already said. Think about where you could expand or what you can add that fits in with the rest of your paper, further develops the ideas you are presenting, or adds valuable information to your research paper.

Once you have made all the changes you think necessary, read back through your paper again to be sure it all makes sense. Especially when working on a computer, it is easy to leave or delete a word, sentence, or paragraph that you didn’t mean to. If you are tired of looking at your research paper, give it to a friend, mentor, or teacher and ask them to take a look at your paper and let you know what they think of the content.

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Step 9: Edit for Grammar

It is also important to edit for grammar. This might seem daunting, but there are lots of tools and resources that can help. Check out resources like Grammarly or Strunk and White’s Elements of Style if you’re unsure of what to do with commas, semicolons, or run-on sentences.

Like editing for content, editing for grammar might take a few run-throughs. If you need to take a break, that’s fine. It can even help you come back to your paper feeling more focused, which is key to catching and fixing mistakes.

Step 10: Re-read and Submit your Research Paper

Once you’ve finished Steps 1–9, it’s definitely time to take a break. Give your paper a day or two (or an hour or two, if you are running short on time) and give it a final read-through. It can be helpful to print a copy of your paper and read a hard-copy if you have only read through it on a screen thus far. You might notice mistakes or formatting issues that your eyes missed while reading on your computer. Once you have read your research paper for a final time and double checked that your paper does everything the assignment is asking for, it is time to submit.

Be sure to follow any instructions you have been given about turning in your research paper. Also give yourself time to troubleshoot if things go wrong. If you try to print your paper five minutes before class starts, what are you going to do if your printer is out of toner? If you are supposed to submit your paper online at midnight and the wifi is down when you login to submit your assignment at 11:58 PM, even though that is unfortunate, it is still something you could have avoided by logging on with enough time to solve any problems that arise before the deadline. Your teacher will appreciate and respect your preparedness, and it will likely impact your grades positively.

Don’t be afraid to reach out to your instructor for help, but be reasonable and responsible about it. If you log on the day before and see that the place where you are supposed to turn in your assignment is locked or unavailable, send your teacher an email so that they can help you submit your paper before it is due. Just don’t expect them to help you in the middle of the night, on a weekend, or minutes before an assignment is due. Some instructors might, but you are just lucky at that point. If you prepare and give yourself time to turn in an assignment, you don’t have to count on getting lucky about whether or not your professor is sitting at their computer and available to help you at the very moment you email them.


Your Teacher or Professor

When writing a research paper for a teacher or professor, it is important to step back and think about why they asked you to write this essay in the first place. More than likely, they are giving you an opportunity to learn something. Learning often involves trial-and-error, making mistakes, and asking lots of questions. Don’t be afraid to ask a question; in fact, don’t be afraid to ask your instructor lots of questions! However, do remember to be respectful of them, their time, and efforts. It is important to follow any directions that you have been given by your teacher or professor, to take responsibility and not expect them to do your work for you, and to listen to the answers and advice they share with you. Working with your teacher and asking them for help is an often overlooked resource when it comes to writing research papers. Be sure to take advantage of this help; your paper will be all the better for it.

Research Librarians

Another often-overlooked resource is the research librarian. Did you know that, in addition to tons of books and online materials, college and university libraries often have staff whose job it is to help answer your questions? Research librarians specialize in research (it might sound obvious, but take a second to get excited about how much this could help you and your research paper!). These librarians usually specialize in particular fields and subjects, so you can get specific, expert help that pertains to your topic. They can help you search for resources, connect you with experts in the field your researching, or give you suggestions about the direction of your research and writing.

Writing Centers

In addition to research librarians, many college and university libraries often house writing centers. While research librarians can help you more with your research, writing center staff can help you actually write your research paper. You can usually schedule an online or in-person appointment with a tutor or instructor that will help you through any step of the writing process. You might want to visit a writing center early on as you develop the concept for your paper, in the middle as you struggle to think of how to discuss one of your key points, or right before you turn in your paper to be sure it’s in near-perfect shape before it goes to your professor for a grade. Many professors even give you extra credit for taking advantage of writing center services. Win-win!


As mentioned earlier in this guide, you can use Wikipedia for introductory research. But, because Wikipedia articles can be edited by anyone and therefore aren’t 100% credible, your professor will likely frown on citing it as a source for your research paper. So, do not use Wikipedia as a primary source for your research paper. When it comes to writing research papers, the references section of a Wikipedia page is one of your best friends. Just like you should be citing your sources at the end of your research paper, Wikipedia articles link to their primary sources. You can use the list of references to find books, articles, and other material that can help you find reliable, relevant primary sources for use in your research.

Academic Databases

Your instructor may require you to use peer-reviewed academic articles as some or all of the sources for your research paper. As a college student, you probably have access to a number of academic databases that you can use to find scholarly articles. If you are unsure of how to search for articles in an academic database, it’s worth asking your professor or a research librarian to help you learn. This skill will be a useful one to have, and you will be easily finding trustworthy, interesting sources in no time.

OWL at Purdue

This is not a nocturnal bird that lives at a university in Indiana, but rather the Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue University. This online resource offers a number of helpful writing materials, including information on how to cite sources, grammar rules, choosing a topic, and even how to write a research paper. You can search for specific help, or browse resources by category. This free website is a must-visit online resource when writing a college research paper.


Grammarly is like a super-powered spell checker. It’s a free Chrome extension that allows you to edit your writing. You can copy and paste your paper into the Grammarly editor and get spelling and grammar advice that is easy to implement. If you’re looking for additional help or want to use the software without leaving Microsoft Office, check out Grammarly Premium or Grammarly for Microsoft Office. However, it’s important to remember when using this software (or any spelling or grammar checker!) that it is a computer and therefore doesn’t always understand your writing. You need to go over each suggestion made by the software and make sure that it is indeed correcting an error or improving a sentence and not changing something that you meant to say. That being said, Grammarly is great at catching errors and provides easy-to-understand explanations of spelling and grammar suggestions so you can knowledgeably make changes to your research paper.

The Elements of Style — William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White

Style guides may be mostly a thing of the past. You have probably used a spell checker or Googled where to put a comma, but you may never have opened a style guide. However, this book, The Elements of Style, has helpful advice and information about writing. If you are looking for guidance when it comes to editing your paper, picking up a copy of this book may be just what you need. The book consists of different sections, some with specific grammar and writing rules and definitions and others with general writing advice. One rule that is worth knowing, even if you don’t read The Elements of Style is Rule #17: “Omit needless words.” Keep that in mind as you edit your paper; it will help you craft a clear, strong, concise research paper that your teacher will enjoy reading (and even grading!).

Style Guides (MLA, APA, Chicago, etc.)

You might feel like we keep saying this (we do . . . ), but it’s for a good reason: know what your research paper assignment is asking for. That is especially important when it comes to formatting your paper. There are several different formatting styles and each has specific rules and guidelines. The main three are MLA, APA, and Chicago. Your instructor likely gave you instructions on which style to use, and if not you can ask which they prefer. Each style has a different name for the list of sources you attach at the end of your paper, different rules about headers and page numbers, etc. Many teachers will deduct points from your grade if you don’t adhere to the style they have asked you to for your research paper; some teachers may not accept the paper at all. You can find more information about whatever style you are working with in a style guide or from OWL at Purdue.


If you are crafting a paper from scratch, start by reading through the above steps to learn how to write a strong research paper. If you have already written a paper, go over this checklist to ensure that it is ready to turn in.

  • Does your paper fulfill all of the requirements that the assignment asked for? (If not, or if you are unsure, look back at Step 1.)
  • Did you stick to a topic that fits the assignment? (Reference Step two as you think through topic selection.)
  • Are your sources credible, reliable, and logical? (Look at Steps three and four for help reflecting on your research.)
  • Do you have a clear, arguable thesis statement? (For help with thesis statements, take a look at Step 5.)
  • Is your paper organized in a logical way that is easy to understand? (When thinking about outline and structure, see Step 6.)
  • Did you plagiarize? (If you have any doubts, check out Step 7.)
  • Did you proofread for content and grammar improvements and errors? (See Steps eight and nine for more information about proofreading and editing.)
  • Is your paper properly formatted? (See Step one and check out the resources section for information about being sure your paper is formatted correctly.)
  • Are you prepared to submit correctly? (Read Step 10 for a few last pieces of advice before you turn in your research paper.)

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What Are The Five Steps In The Research Process

Step 1 – Locating and Defining Issues or Problems. This step focuses on uncovering the nature and boundaries of a situation or question related to marketing strategy or implementation. Step 2 – Designing the Research Project. Step 3 – Collecting Data. Step 4 – Interpreting Research Data. Step 5 – Report Research Findings.

What are the five steps of the research process quizlet?

Terms in this set (5) Analyze the situation and define the problem. Conduct informal or exploratory research (secondary research) Establish research objectives (research objectives, research questions) Conduct formal research (primary research, qualitative, and quantitative).

What are the 5 research process in qualitative research?

Similar to the way you can group usability testing methods, there are also a number of ways to segment qualitative methods. A popular and helpful categorization separate qualitative methods into five groups: ethnography, narrative, phenomenological, grounded theory, and case study.

What are the 5 five major components of the research process?

There are five MAJOR parts of a Research Report: Introduction. Review of Literature. Methods. Results. Discussion.

What are the 5 research methods?

The Five Research Methods Experimental. Correlation. Naturalistic Observation. Survey. Case Study.

What are the 7 steps of the research process?

The Seven Steps of the Research Process Identification of a research problem. Formulation of Hypothesis. Review of Related Literature. Preparation of Research Design. Actual experimentation. Results and Discussion. Formulation of Conclusions and Recommendations.

What is the correct order of the following steps in the research process?

Basic Steps in the Research Process Step 1: Identify and develop your topic. Step 2 : Do a preliminary search for information. Step 3: Locate materials. Step 4: Evaluate your sources. Step 5: Make notes. Step 6: Write your paper. Step 7: Cite your sources properly. Step 8: Proofread.

What are the 10 steps of the research process?

10 Steps in Research Process Selection of Research Problem. Extensive Literature Survey. Making Hypothesis. Preparing the Research Design. Sampling. Data collection. Data Analysis. Hypothesis Testing.

What is the first step in qualitative research process?

Below outlines the collective experience that qualitative researchers undertake to conduct research. Step 1: Determine what to research. Step 2: Identify how to research it. Step 3: Get buy-in and alignment from others. Step 4: Prepare research. Step 5: Execute research. Step 6: Synthesize and find insights.

What are the 12 steps in the research process?

The twelve stages or steps in a marketing research process are: Problem identification, Problem definition, Research design, Determining data needs, Determining data sources, Sampling design, Designing questionnaire, Field staff selection,.

What are the 8 step of research process?

These 8 stages in the research process are; Identifying the problem. Reviewing literature. Setting research questions, objectives, and hypotheses. Choosing the study design. Deciding on the sample design. Collecting data. Processing and analyzing data. Writing the report.

What are the component of a research process?

research components, introduction, literature review, method, results, discussion, conclusion.

Is the first step of research process?

The first step in the research process is to develop a research question. This can be a problem that needs to be solved, or some piece of information that is missing about a particular topic. Answering this question will be the focus of the research study.

What are the two major types of research?

Types of research methods can be broadly divided into two quantitative and qualitative categories. Quantitative research “describes, infers, and resolves problems using numbers. Qualitative research, on the other hand, is based on words, feelings, emotions, sounds and other non-numerical and unquantifiable elements.

What are the 10 types of research?

List of Types in Research Methodology Quantitative Research. Qualitative Research. Descriptive Research. Analytical Research. Applied Research. Fundamental Research. Exploratory Research. Conclusive Research.

What is research methodology example?

Examples of data collection methods Research method Primary or secondary? Qualitative or quantitative? Interview/focus group Primary Qualitative Observation Primary Either Literature review Secondary Either Case study Either Either.

How many steps are in a basic research process?

These professionals need to understand the eight steps of the research process as they apply to conducting a study.

How many steps are in research?

The six steps of research These include identifying the area of study, choosing the topic, formulating a research plan, collecting and then analysing the data and then finally writing up the study.

What are the 7 steps of experimental design?

The seven steps of the scientific method Ask a question. Perform research. Establish your hypothesis. Test your hypothesis by conducting an experiment. Make an observation. Analyze the results and draw a conclusion. Present the findings.

Which is the correct order of steps in the research process quizlet?

Conduct the study-Collect the data. Conduct the study-Collect the data. Evaluate the data- Use the appropriate descriptive and inferential statistics to summarize and interpret the results. Report the Results.

Which is the correct order of parts in a research report?

Which is the correct order of parts in a research report? Title page, abstract, text, references. The title page of an APA-style research report contains: Title, author name and affiliation, and running head.

What is the most important step in research process?

Without doubt, defining the problem is the most important step in the research process. Defining the problem sets the foundation for the entire project, so it is critically important to take the time to do this well.

What are the steps in data gathering?

6. What is involved in collecting data – six steps to success Step 1: Identify issues and/or opportunities for collecting data. Step 2: Select issue(s) and/or opportunity(ies) and set goals. Step 3: Plan an approach and methods. Step 4: Collect data. Step 5: Analyze and interpret data. Step 6: Act on results.

What are the main steps of a research proposal?

Research Proposal Steps Step 1: The Title. Naming your research is an important part of the research proposal. Step 2: The Abstract. Step 3: Aims and Objectives. Step 4: Background. Step 5: Methodology and Method. Step 6: Schedule and Timeline. Step 7: Ethical Approval. Step 8: Resources.

What are the six steps of research process?

The Research Process Step 1: Exploring Your Research Idea and Constructing Your Search. Step 2: Finding Background Information. Step 3: Gathering More Information. Step 4: Locating Current Research. Step 5: Evaluating Your Sources. Step 6: Cite What You Find in Discipline-Appropriate Format.

What kind of questions should qualitative research start with?

Qualitative Research Questions: Usually start with ‘what’ or ‘how’ (avoid beginning qualitative questions with ‘why’ as this implies cause and effect). Identify the central phenomenon you plan to explore (tell in your question what you are going to describe, explore, generate, discover, understand).

What are the 13 steps in research process?

Terms in this set (13) identify the problem. what do we want to know. research questions. what are you hoping to find. lit review. what do we already know. outline benefits of research. how will we use this information. create hypothesis. describe variables. examine potential ethics issues. choose design and strategy.

What is the first step in formulating a problem?

identify the objective and the constraints.

Which of the following is first step in starting the research process?

Solution(By Examveda Team) Identification of problem is the first step in starting the research process.

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Writing a Research Paper

Research papers are a bit different than other types of papers, like personal essays or lab reports. We’ve put together these step-by-step tips to help you navigate the process:

  1. Select a topic you love (if you’re given an option): Choose something you’re interested in or curious about. Researching your information will be more enjoyable and you’ll write with more enthusiasm.
  1. Consider a form of prewriting: Try writing note cards out with your ideas on them, or mapping your ideas with a web diagram, or just talking your ideas through by yourself or with a friend. These steps will help your organization and creativity, which in turn will help you avoid plagiarism. If you are somewhat uncertain of what the paper’s focus will be, conducting a broad area of research can be beneficial in narrowing a topic and selecting a specific area of preference.
  2. Make an outline: This will give you a “blueprint” for your paper and keep your writing organized. See the Writing Center’s handout on outlining if you need a sample.
  3. Develop a Thesis: A thesis statement introduces the topic and primary focus of the overall paper. While this can seem somewhat daunting, it is imperative to develop at least a rough thesis before endeavoring to write the paper. It should be noted, however, that a thesis can be manipulated throughout the writing process to better suit the purpose of a paper. Prewriting and research are necessary accompaniments when composing a potential thesis statement.
  4. Use transitions: Transitions should be a mix of the last sentences/ideas you wrote and what you’re going to say next. See the Writing Center’s handout on transitions for some ideas and sample phrases.
  5. Balance your use of paraphrases, quotes, and your own sentences: A higher ratio of paraphrases and your own sentences over direct quotations is the academic ideal (an excess of quotes can compromise the quality of the paper and indicate a lack of understanding and/or effort). When using a direct quote, it will be expected that you know why and how it relates to your topic. Remember to avoid plagiarism – you need to cite any ideas that do not come from you. This will include paraphrases, quotes, and even some of your own sentences that are based on ideas in your sources.
  6. Keep a list of your sources: There are few things more frustrating than having to track down a source weeks after you first accessed it. To save yourself time and potential frustration, keep a running bibliography as you write; cite each source as you use it. That way you’ll have all the information you need right in front of you.
  1. Know your style standards: Go into the paper knowing whether you’re writing in MLA, APA, or another style. Check a handbook or another reference for in-text citation styles, works cited/references page styles, and heading or title page formats. Even page number standards change between MLA and APA, so be sure you’re familiar with the style and its conventions. You should also be aware of what style edition is required of the assignment; some professors prefer older editions, whereas others utilize the most recent.
  1. Produce your finalized title last: Titles can be limiting; your writing can stray away from original thoughts. You can only be sure that your title is tailor-made for your paper if you compose it after the paper is complete. Note that some writers feel this approach works best for them concerning introductory paragraphs, concluding paragraphs, and thesis statements as well.

For more information on how to write a successful academic paper, please see our section on The Writing Process.

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