7 steps in writing a research paper

7 Steps Research Process Outline to Conduct a Research

The research process involves a number of distinct steps in research work. The research process begins when the investigation starts. It ends with the reporting of the research findings. A researcher goes through the entire process while conducting research. In this post, I do describe conspicuously the research process outline and steps in order to provide the complete guidelines on how do you conduct your research work efficiently. It is so significant here that the success of the research study depends on the exact execution of each step seriously.

What is the Research Process?

The Research Process is a process of multiple scientific steps in conducting the research work. Each step is interlinked with other steps. The process starts with the research problem at first. Then it advances in the next steps sequentially. Generally, a researcher conducts research work within seven steps. In research work, primarily, you require a Research Proposal. It is because the proposal approves the research project whether you achieve the ability to conduct research or not. So when you write a research proposal, present the detailed plans and specific objectives of your research correctly.

7 Steps Research Process Outline

The research process outline means the total research process steps of how do you conduct research. Therefore, here is a checklist of the seven research process steps. It normally takes the following 7 steps in a sequential manner. So, look at the research process outline & steps.

Step-1: Defining the Research Problem

All research sets in a research problem definitely. Factual ignorance may be the research problem. We would simply intend to enrich our knowledge of social processes or institutions. A researcher may investigate to answer the questions, for example, “How technology affects the socialization process?” “How do women’s employment improve women’s empowerment?”

However, the research problem comes up with the ongoing phenomenon or issues. One research project may significantly lead to another research work. Because it explores issues that the researcher did not think about previously.

Step-2: Review of Literature

Once the research problem is defined, the next step is to review the existing research evidence. To clarify that to study the available research resources related to the problem. For example, it may be the previous research that has already made a clear statement of the problem. The researcher takes into account how useful the previous research that exists. Did previous researchers investigate the same problem? How do they resolve it? What aspects of the problem have remained unsolved? Go through How to Review the Literature for Your Research to learn more details. Keep in mind that how richer your literature is, the better your research will be.

Step-3: Formulating a Hypothesis

In this step, the researcher makes the problem precise. What the researcher intends to test? What is the relationship between variables? Specify your Independent & Dependent variables.

Then the researcher steps forward to how the problem would be approached? The nature of the research problem can decide to formulate a definite hypothesis. A hypothesis is tested. Effective research work formulates a hypothesis in such a way that collected factual data will provide evidence that either supports or disproves them. Formulation of Hypothesis in Research will make you more expert. In the end, the hypothesis turns into a practical theory.

Step-4: Research Design

The researcher then must find out a research design. Research design decides how the research materials will be collected. One or more research methods, for example, experiment, survey, interview, etc are chosen depending on the research objectives. In some research contexts, a survey may be suitable. In other facts, interviews or case studies or observation might be more appropriate. Find the ways How to Choose a Research Design? Research Design actually provides insights into “how” to conduct research using a particular Research Methodology. Basically, every researcher has a list of research questions that need to be assessed that can be done with research design.

Step-5: Carry out the Research Process

While the research design is decided, then the researcher collects data, records information. The researcher proceeds with the research. Practical difficulties may arise in this stage. For example, the research method may not suit properly. The interviewer might be unwilling to let carry out the research as planned. Moreover, a false interpretation could potentially bias the result of the study. So, when you collect data, you need to know the effective techniques of data collection in order to gather necessary and relevant information with regard to research.

Step-6: Preparing Research Results

Now work out the implications of the data you gathered. Your challenges are not over yet. Rather problems might just begin! It is hardly easy to clear out the implications of the gathered materials. While it is possible to clarify the research questions, some investigations are less conclusive. So, interpret your research results in order to report the findings.

No matter what kind of research you are doing, there comes a moment when your head is full of ideas that originated from your analysis. Ideally, you’ll write them down as they come to you. Now you need to convert the mass of those elements and ideas into a written text that makes sense to the reader and can do justice to your quest.

Step-7: Reporting Research Findings

The final step of the research process outline is to report the research findings. Describe the significance of the research study. Work out how do they relate to the previous research findings. Usually, the research report published as a journal article or book. This is the last stage in terms of the individual research project. Mostly, a research report discusses questions that remained unanswered & suggests further research in the future in general.

This also signifies how do you write your research paper. You must write your research findings in a proper way. So, I do suggest going through Research Report Writing Steps with Format.

What are the 7 steps of writing a research paper?

A research paper is a written document that organizes and analyzes information you have collected to answer a question of yours or your professor’s choosing, and is one of the cornerstones of the university experience. The VIU Writing Centre has helped thousands of students learn how to write research papers and we wanted to know how to break it down into steps. In order to answer that question, you will have to know what kind of information you need.

You can use a general internet browser, but the library gives access to important documents, including academic journals, that may be hidden behind paywalls. If your professor requires peer-reviewed journal articles, you can use the library search to find them.

Try to figure out what the writers’ purpose is, because they have gone through the same process. There is a minimal element in the text with the cited material in APA plus page if useful, and just a superscript number in Chicago.

The reference entry at the end of your paper can be either a numbered footnote at the bottom of the page or an endnote. You should be able to draw conclusions from the information you have presented and explain how it answers your research question after you have gone through this process.

It is a convention of the academic paper that you take a tight, clear statement of the argument, the position the paper is taking, and then drop it in at the end of your introduction. If you want to talk to me or one of the other faculty tutors, you have to come to the Writing Centre.

What are the 7 parts of a research paper?

A complete research paper in APA style that is reporting on experimental research will typically include a Title page, abstract, introduction, methods, results, discussion, and References sections.

What are the steps in writing a research paper?

  • You need to identify and develop your topic.
  • There is a preliminary search for information.
  • The third step is to locate materials.
  • The fourth step is to evaluate your sources.
  • You have to make notes.
  • You need to write your paper.
  • Cite your sources properly.
  • The 8th step is proofread.

The strategy for writing a research paper is outlined in the following steps.

You may need to rearrange these steps depending on your familiarity with the topic and the challenges you face along the way. If you don’t work within the guidelines, your paper will be deemed unacceptable by your instructor. If you pose your subject as a question, you can more easily identify the main concepts in your research. In the library’s reference collection, look for the appropriate titles in encyclopedias and dictionaries, and in other sources such as our catalog of books, periodical databases, and Internet search engines.

In your lecture notes, textbooks, and reserve readings there may be additional background information. Magazine and newspaper articles can be found in the electronic periodical databases.

You can find helpful subject links in the Internet Resources section of the NHCC Library website. When creating a bibliography, the author, title, publisher, URL, and other information will be needed.

You get your ideas on paper in an unfinished fashion with the rough draft. The form your final paper will take will be decided by this step.

You will revise the draft many times as you think you need to create a final product to turn in to your instructor. The purpose of citing or documenting the sources used in your research is to give proper credit to the authors of the materials used, and also to allow those who are reading your work to duplicate your research and locate the sources that you have listed as references.

What are the 11 steps to writing a research paper?

  • Prepare the tables.
  • Write the results of the experiment.
  • Write up the results.
  • The discussion should be written. Before writing the introduction, you need to finish the results and discussion.
  • A clear conclusion is what you need to write.
  • It’s important to write a compelling introduction.
  • Write about something.
  • The Title should be concise and descriptive.

The Conclusion, Acknowledgements, References, and Supporting Materials follow the main text. Figures and tables are the most efficient way to present results.

Don’t include long boring tables in lists of species and abundances. You will be charged with expensive fees if you use colors or other exciting effects if you use different line styles.

A knowledgeable reader can reproduce the experiment if your paper includes detailed information. References and supporting materials can be used to indicate previously published procedures. If you have worked with mammals, start from the simplest to the more complex components.

It is a common mistake to add comments, results, and discussion in this section. An ideal length for a manuscript is 25 to 40 pages, double-spaced, with essential data only, according to the journal’s Guide for Authors.

It is possible to add Supporting Materials in most journals and use them for data of secondary importance. Number these sub-sections for the convenience of internal cross-referencing, but always taking into account the publisher’s Guide for Authors. The logical order of the data makes it easy to understand.

A lot of manuscripts are rejected because of the Discussion. You need to compare the published results by your colleagues with your own, using some of the references included in the introduction. You must confront and convince the reader that you are correct or better if you don’t ignore work in disagreement with yours. Unspecific expressions such as “higher temperature” and “at a lower rate” should not be used.

What do these results tell us about the original question or objectives outlined in the introduction section? Sometimes you can’t clarify your idea in words because critical items have not been studied. The work advances the field from the current state of knowledge.

Without a clear conclusion section, reviewers and readers will find it difficult to judge your work and whether it merits publication in the journal. repeating the abstract or just listing experimental results is a common error in this section. If appropriate, you should indicate uses and extensions for your work in this section. It is possible to present global and specific conclusions in relation to the objectives included in the introduction, but editors hate improper citations of too many references irrelevant to the work, or inappropriate judgments on your own achievements. The introduction should be organized from the global to the specific point of view in order to guide the readers to the objectives of the paper.

State the purpose of the paper and research strategy used to answer the question, but don’t mix introduction with results, discussion and conclusion. The purpose and perspective of your paper are described in the abstract. The AMBI was designed to establish the quality of European coasts. The European Water Framework Directive requires the determination of the ecological quality status within it.

There are 38 different applications in this contribution, including six new case studies. The results show the response of the benthic communities to different sources. Readers don’t have time to read all scientific production because we are all flooded by publications.

Editors don’t like titles that don’t represent the subject matter well. The original title was Preliminary observations on benthic community distribution within a estuarine system, in the North Sea. There is an action of antibiotics on bacteria. The original title was Fabrication of carbon/CdS coaxial nanofibers displaying optical and electrical properties via carbon/CdS carbon/CdS carbon/CdS carbon/CdS carbon/CdS carbon/CdS carbon/CdS carbon/ I think there is something special about these properties, otherwise why would you be reporting them?

Only abbreviations firmly established in the field are eligible, avoiding abbreviations that are not broadly used. Look at the number of words admitted, label, definitions, thesaurus, range, and other requests in the Guide for Authors. Technical help and assistance with writing can be provided here. Do not forget to include the grant number in the case of European projects.

Don’t include unpublished observations, manuscripts submitted but not yet accepted for publication, publications that are not peer reviewed, grey literature or articles not published in English. You should be aware of how you include unpublished observations, and minimize personal communications.

It is now possible to download small files with the format of the references and change them automatically. The initial submission of a manuscript is subject to strict formatting requirements if it contains all the essential elements being presented here. The style of the in-text citation should be in line with the Guide for Authors. The editor is not responsible for the presentation of references in the correct format.

I want to thank Dr. Christiane Barranguet for her constant support. Without her assistance, this series would not have been completed.

What are the five 5 steps in writing a research paper?

  • The next step is choosing the subject.
  • Collecting information is step 2.
  • The next step is evaluating materials.
  • The fourth step is organizing ideas.
  • The next step is writing the paper.
  • There were references.
  • There were comments.

The student will feel like they have more control over the way the research is done with every step done.

The teacher wants the students to choose their own topic and write a research paper about it. You can collect data by reading a lot of books, journals and newspapers. It is possible to collect data 888-739-5110 888-739-5110 888-739-5110 888-739-5110 888-739-5110 888-739-5110 888-739-5110 888-739-5110 888-739-5110 888-739-5110 888-739-5110 888-739-5110 888-739-5110 888-739-5110 888-739-5110 888-739-5110 888-739-5110 888-739-5110 888-739-5110 888-739-5110 888-739-5110 888-739-5110 888-739-5110 888-739-5110 888-739-5110 888-739-5110 888-739-5110 888-739-5110 888-739-5110 888-739-5110 888-739-5110 888-739-5110 888-739-5110 888-739-5110 888-739-5110 888-739-5110 888-739-5110 888-739-5110 888-739-5110 888-739-5110 888-739-5110 888-739-5110 888-739-5110 888-739-5110 888-739-5110 888-739-5110 888-739-5110 888-739-5110 Do not indulge in the data collection in such a way that it becomes too long because you only have a limited time to complete this research. You need to critically evaluate the data after it has been collected.

This research paper is not meant to reflect your personality, thinking or judgment. As a result of the collection and evaluation of the data, you are in a position to organize your work in a way that will allow you to write it down. You will write down an introduction and then some reviews that will be followed by your method that you used to conduct this research paper, and finally data collection and your interpretation.

Writing Research Papers: A Complete Guide, Scott, Foresman and Co. was published in 1967.

What are the 5 parts of research paper?

  • Seeing your paper as a whole is a good way to see it.
  • Chapter 1 the problem and its background, chapter 2 review of related tissue, chapter 3 method and practicality, chapter 4 presentation and analysis of data, chapter 5 conclusion and recommendations.
  • There is a
  • This is the first time this has happened.
  • This is the first time that I’ve heard of this.
  • This is the first time that this has happened.
  • There is a
  • This is the first time that this has happened.

Neal Kaplan Follow I’m a director of technical communications working for a data analysis startup in Redwood City. I started as a technical writer, and since then I’ve also been learning about information architecture, training, content strategy, and even something about customer support. I’m also passionate about cross-team collaboration and user communities.

7 Steps to Help You Write a Research Paper

When writing a research paper, your main responsibility is to discover something new on the basis of the already investigated knowledge. Basically, that’s the main purpose of an academic paper or essay. Although you can conduct a brand new research and have a scientific discovery, you still must present it in the right format. This implies that you must follow some academically accepted steps to write a research paper. Therefore, whether you are the next Nobel or Einstein, these steps will enable you to achieve the best results possible from your research paper.

Step 1: Select a Subject

You must be careful when selecting the subject or topic for your research paper because a topic will have a significant impact on your final grade. Ideally, choose a topic that suits your capability. To write a great research paper, choose a topic that you are interested in and make it as narrow as possible. While selecting a topic, state your objective clearly. What do you intend to achieve by conducting research and writing the paper? Choose a topic that enables you to find sufficient materials for research so that you can complete the paper with ease and accomplish your goals.

Step 2: Craft out an Initial Bibliography

Every research paper must be supported by information from credible and properly referenced sources. Therefore, come up with bibliography cards or even use a computer program to enter sources that you intend to use in your research. This makes referencing sources in the final paper easier. Use bibliography cards to store information about the books, internet sources and journals that you use to write your research paper.

Step 3: Prepare a Working Outline

An outline is a framework or a skeleton of the paper that you intend to write. A good outline makes writing a research paper easier and faster.

Here are some of the things that you should include in your outline:

  • Issue: What does your paper revolves around or what does your paper intend to define?
  • Thesis: What is the central idea of your paper? Your thesis may change as you conduct research and write the paper. However, it’s important that you have a thesis that conveys what you want to prove or propose.
  • Main body: How many paragraphs or sections will your research paper have and what title/content will each paragraph or section have? Evidence, examples and main ideas of a research paper can be indicated using bullet points in the outline.
  • Conclusion: This section gives you the final chance to convince readers of your paper to accept your argument or point of view.

Step 4: Start Taking Down Notes

Use books, journals and credible internet sources to conduct research on your topic and take down notes. Gather all the necessary information in your field. Focus on finding the main ideas, evidence and samples that you will use to support your thesis. Reference every note to make it easier to reference when writing the paper.

Step 5: Outline the Paper

Once you have taken notes, organize your information. Plan how you will use the information or notes to write your research paper. Decide what information will go where in your research paper. Organize your data in a way that maintains logical flow of information. Make sure that your organization makes ideas flow logically and smoothly. This includes where you place your supporting points, evidence and examples in the paper.

Step 6: Write the Rough Draft and Edit it

At this step, just write the paper without paying attention to grammatical and spelling errors. Focus on including the information that you gathered during research in the paper logically. Make sure you write a paper that meets the specified word count. The most important thing at this step is to have the writing done. Therefore, focus on including the topic sentence, elaboration, examples and evidence in the paper. Write a rough draft with the introduction, body and the conclusion.

After writing the rough draft, edit it carefully and thoroughly. Remove all spelling errors, sentence structure issues, typos, and factual errors. Check every sentence and paragraph of the paper to ensure that your message comes out succinctly and accurately.

Step 7: Write the Final Draft

Once you have written and edited the rough draft, compose the final draft of your research paper. Make sure that the final draft maintains a coherent structure and that one part flows to the next smoothly and logically. Make sure that your final draft maintains a clear linkage. Additionally, supporting evidence and examples must come out clearly in the final draft. Check the paper carefully to ensure that it addresses what you set out to address based on the title and thesis of the paper. References should be incorporated in the paper and the conclusion should wrap up your argument in a way that brings the paper to a logical end.

The above-listed steps will only guarantee you an extensively researched and successfully written paper if applied. However, you may not have time to write a research paper on your own. In that case, use a reliable research paper writing service to complete your paper.

Author’s bio:

Amy Wilson is a freelance writer at PaperWritten, her vocation is mentoring, which she does with pleasure. Thanks to Amy’s curiosity she finds everything in the world as a positive experience for a better future living.

7 Steps on How to Write a Research Paper

How to write a research paper easily? Being a successful student requires efficient essay writing skills, as well as the ability to find proper information. Even a freshman will be faced with different types of academic papers and home assignments, such as an argumentative essay, a descriptive essay, a critical review, or a comparative essay. Anyway, writing a research paper involves combining information about a specific topic from different sources. These sources may include books and lecture materials from course study, interviews, and peer-reviewed scholarly articles. Researching for your project may be overwhelming, especially because you have to visit different sites and read a variety of books to come up with a comprehensive report.
Below are some detailed steps that can guide you while carrying out the research for your paper.

✅ Step One: Identify the Research Topic

The first question is: How to get an essay topic? Before starting the research process, the first step is to develop a topic for the essay to have a specific line of thought that will guide you in the right direction. Essay topics may vary significantly but you should choose them on the basis of your academic preferences. Coming up with an interesting topic for the essay might prove to be a challenge, but there are always some guidelines that can lessen your burden.

  • It is crucial to fully comprehend the set parameters of the assignment since the instructions will always guide you in the right direction.
  • If the project requires you to select from several prompts, pick a prompt that you are most comfortable with because it will make your research process easy.
  • Selecting a topic discussed by different writers is a key strategy since you won’t spend much time searching for the necessary information.

✅ Step Two: Develop an Initial Plan

Before diving into the research process, conduct a preliminary academic investigation to ensure that you will not get stuck in the middle of your research for lack of enough information. Read useful information on How To Start Writing an Essay. Failure to get enough material can be frustrating and may be considered an academic suicide mission 😱 because you may not have enough time to start all over again. Ideally, professors ensure to set deadlines to submit the assignment, and failure to do it on time may lead to the cancelation of the paper. Additionally, it is essential to make a rough outline in the process as you may need it later.

✅Step Three: Collect the Research Material

At this juncture, you are confident of the research topic, and you are ready to start digging in the information to include in the paper. Identifying a commonplace and putting all your research material is an essential step during the research process. Keeping in mind that the assignment requires you to integrate information from different sources into one single report, it is necessary to develop the keywords that you shall use for the research. This makes the process fast and efficient.

By the way, do you know How to write a critical essay ? Find the most relevant recommendations from our professional team.

✅Step Four: Develop an Outline

Using the information derived from the sources you gathered for the research process, note down what you require to include in your final paper. In the process, write down the sources from which you gathered the information. This includes the title of the source, author, publisher, URL, and any other information that you might need for the references.


✅Step Five: Write the Paper

How to start writing an essay? Use the outline developed earlier to guide you in writing the paper, ensuring that you combine the sources in a way that allows for the flow of thoughts. Every paragraph must connect with the idea from the preceding one to develop continuity and professionalism. Additionally, ensure that your writing is engaging while displaying your proficiency on the subject of discussion.

✅ Step Six: Develop the Work Cited Page

Any scholarly research paper must include a work cited page to make it credible. Failure to cite your work may lead to plagiarism which is an academic crime that may lead to the cancelation of your hard work. Ideally, including the citation is more of giving credit to the other writers who took their time to research the topic. How to cite the sources for the descriptive essay? You will find all the instructions on to cite the article correctly: Purdue University Guides.

✅Step Seven: Revise and Proofread the Paper

The final step before handing in the paper is proofreading to correct any mistake in the essay. Ensure that you go through the paper several times. We recommend you to contact our professional editors with 10+ years of academic writing experience. Just place your order and get the perfect proofread essay. Go through the citations to ensure that you have applied the correct format. After thorough verification, hand over the paper to your professor for marking.

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Writing a research paper: 7 steps to well researched papers

What is a research paper? A research paper is a piece of academic writing based on its author’s original research on a particular topic, and the analysis and interpretation of the research findings. It can be either a term paper, a master’s thesis or a doctoral dissertation. This Chapter outlines the logical steps to writing a good research paper.

To achieve supreme excellence or perfection in anything you do, you need more than just the knowledge. Like the Olympic athlete aiming for the gold medal, you must have a positive attitude and the belief that you have the ability to achieve it. That is the real start to writing an A+ research paper.

How to Write an APA Research Paper

We’ll break down the writing process into easy steps to help you understand how to write a research paper fast no matter how long it must be.

Step 1. Choose a Topic

Sometimes college students are assigned with their research paper topics, but if you are fortunate enough to have such an option, choose your topic wisely. First of all, think about choosing a challenging topic you are interested in. Then, you won’t be bored when doing the research because you are sure to discover something new and you’ll enjoy the writing process. Don’t select subjects that are too technical or general.

If your topic is too broad, your research paper is unlikely to be successful because it will look like a general overview. You should narrow your topic down to a certain aspect, concept or idea and make it specific and manageable. For example, if your topic is “Global Warming”, you should narrow it to “Causes of Global Warming”, “Impact of Global Warming on Human Health” or something like that.

Step 2. Write a Working Thesis Statement

Write a Working Thesis Statement

Prepare a working thesis before you actually organize your research because it will guide your investigation and will help you stay focused on your subject. Your thesis statement should be concise and reflect the type of paper you are writing. All research papers can be divided into 3 categories:

Argumentative or persuasive if you are arguing the conclusion;

Expository when you explain information;

Analytical when you present your analysis of certain information.

You have to devote enough of your precious time to creating a good strong thesis statement so that your project has a clear purpose. Your thesis should be debatable and narrow because your claims should be supported by evidence. If your claim is broad, you will need more evidence to convince your readers that you are right. Here is an example of a debatable thesis statement:

Climate change is the most pressing challenge facing the world today.

Step 3. Do Research on Your Topic

You should find enough secondary and primary credible sources on the subject of your paper, carefully read all of them, and find relevant evidence to support your thesis. At this stage, you should evaluate your sources, take notes, and start documenting your sources according to a citation style specified by your instructor (APA, MLA, Chicago, Harvard, etc.)

Make sure you use the latest edition of a specific style guide. You will use your notes about references later when writing your paper and building your bibliography. It’s crucial to cite all sources that you used for quoting, paraphrasing, and summarizing to avoid plagiarism.

Step 4. Make a Good Outline

Your research has given you tons of great ideas. Now you have to organize them for your impressive presentation. Don’t skip this vital step because without it, your project will lack focus and you will need more time for revising your draft trying to make sense of your jumbled thoughts. That’s why you need an outline. You have to finalize your thesis and create a working outline that you plan to cover and that will serve you as a roadmap and keep you focused.

In your writing a research paper, think about key points that you’ll need to develop to support your thesis statement. You can use them as subheadings for the body of your paper. Look through your notes and organize the information under each sub-heading. Make sure you include only relevant information that fits under your sub-headings and directly supports your thesis.

You should resist the temptation to include any information that doesn’t fit into your outline no matter how interesting it is.

When writing an outline, you should keep in mind a typical research paper structure that commonly includes:

  • A title page;
  • an abstract;
  • An introduction;
  • A methodology section;
  • Findings/results;
  • Discussion;
  • Conclusion.

But if your research paper is not long, its format may include an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. In any case, you should follow specific guidelines provided by your instructor.

Research paper an introduction, body paragraphs and a conclusion

Step 5. Create the First Draft

This is the middle of the process. You have a clear direction and it’s time to create the first draft with a title, in-text citations, and a reference page.

While writing a research paper, the title is very important if you want to make a good impression on your readers because it’s the first thing that they see. It forms their view on what exactly they should expect in your paper. Writing a research paper, you should list the keywords that present the topic of your paper, methods you used, and results that you achieved. Now create a sentence that includes all the keywords that you have listed and delete the unnecessary words. After that, you need to link the remaining ones. Finally, you have to delete non-essential info and organize the remaining words in the logical order. You can also include the subtitle. Make sure that your title is concise.

Afterwards, you need to write an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. These are the main parts of your paper so let us provide you with some details on how to do it right.

How to Write an Introduction for a Research Paper

Start writing an intro. The introductory paragraph should begin with an attention grabber that may be:

  • A provocative question;
  • Statistics;
  • An anecdote;
  • Unusual facts, etc.

You are writing an academic paper but that doesn’t mean you have to be boring. Next, you need to provide the background information, explain your goals, and how you plan to approach your research paper topic. You should finish your introduction with your thesis statement or research question. This section of your paper is not long so you are sure to finish it fast.

How to Write Body Paragraphs

Your outline will help you to complete this part of your paper. But you shouldn’t think that you must strictly follow it. It may evolve and you are free to revise it and make changes. The key thing is to stay on your track and focus on your thesis. You should provide your points and support your main idea.

Start each body paragraph with a topic sentence and provide arguments and relevant evidence to support it. You should write as many body paragraphs as you have the key points.

How to Write a Conclusion for a Research Paper

Most research papers end with restarting their thesis statements. You can also do it but you shouldn’t repeat it word for word. Paraphrase it or summarize the key points of your paper. You may emphasize the significance of your findings as well. A good idea is to provide some recommendations based on the results of your investigation or suggest some directions for further research.

Your rough draft is ready. Wondering what to do next? Go on reading to find some tips on how to revise your research paper.

How to Make Your Paper Perfect

No one can write their first draft perfectly. So, if you want to make a good impression on your professor and earn a high grade, you should revise your draft to make sure that your project is on point. Be ready that you may need to revise your project more than once because it is really worth doing.

Step 6. Revise, Edit and Proofread

Revise, Edit and Proofread

You have to make large-scale changes and check the logic, flow, transitions, make changes in the structure and order of your paragraphs. You should make sure that all your ideas are fully developed and all the claims are supported by credible evidence. You may need to add some section headings.

The next stage is editing. You have to check and eliminate filler words and phrases, improve word choice, and correct mistakes in punctuation and grammar if you find any. You should look for:

  • Incomplete sentences;
  • Dangling modifiers;
  • Easily confused words (such as to, too, and two);
  • Spelling mistakes;
  • Apostrophes for possessives and plurals;
  • Quotation rules obeyed;
  • Comma use;
  • Eliminate contractions.

You will need to re-read your paper several times. A good strategy is to read your paper backwards. In this way, you will feel a little disoriented and will be able to catch more mistakes. You should start reading the last sentence, then check the second to the last one and continue doing it until you get to your first sentence.

You should ask your friends or family members to review your research paper and express their opinion about it. They should evaluate your argument, transitions, and the balance and look for any inconsistencies with usage, grammar or mechanics. Ask your friends to provide their feedback and make suggested changes if you think they make sense. Finally, you may print your paper and proofread it to eliminate minor mistakes or typos and ensure that your amazing research paper is flawless.

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How to Write a Research Paper Outline In 7 Steps

How to Write a Research Paper Outline In 7 Steps

A research paper outline is a supporting document that lists all the topics to include in a paper in the intended order, usually divided by paragraphs. The typical outline of a research paper also consists of other details like subtopics and evidential sources to help the writer stay organized. Some even have individual sentence topics and early ideas for phrasing.

Want to know how to write a research paper outline? This guide explains step by step what to include and how to write one yourself, including research paper outline examples.

What is a research paper outline?

The outline is an integral part of how to write a research paper . The main purpose of a research paper outline is to structure the topics, data, and all other inclusions in the paper (like direct quotes) so you stay organized and don’t forget anything.

Conventionally, writers compose outlines after choosing a thesis statement and sourcing research evidence, but before writing the first draft . Making structural changes is far more efficient in the outlining phase than after you write the first draft; you can remove certain topics early on without wasting time writing them and add new topics before the drafting phase so you can write everything all at once.

The typical outline of a research paper is broken up into sections and paragraphs , listing each paragraph’s topic and the related evidence or data to include therein. The depth of detail can change depending on your writing style or the requirements of the paper, as we explain below.

Are there different kinds of research paper outlines?

In short, you decide what details to include in your research paper outline, although the requirements of the assignment influence what’s necessary. For example, a basic college research paper outline for a one-page assignment might contain only a list of four or five paragraph topics, whereas a formal research paper for a scientific study might outline each sentence in all five parts of a research paper: introduction, review of literature, methods, results, and discussion.

Research paper outlines can be one level, two level, and so on, depending on their intricacy. One-level outlines display just the section headings or main topics, while four-level outlines get very detailed with paragraph and sentence breakdowns.

There are three popular formats for research paper outlines: alphanumeric , full sentence , and decimal . Below, we’ll explain the details of each and illustrate their differences with the research paper outline examples, focused on the same topic: “Michael Jordan vs. LeBron James: Who’s the Best Basketball Player?”

Alphanumeric research paper outline

Alphanumeric is the most common outline format—with main topics listed as Roman numerals, subtopics as capital letters, specific points for each subtopic as Arabic numerals, and further details for individual points as lowercase letters.

You would write the information in quick blurbs—just a few words—instead of complete sentences.

Alphanumeric research paper outline example

I. Michael Jordan

A. Career Highlights

1. Six NBA Championships

a. Six NBA Finals MVP

2. US Olympics Basketball Team

a. 1984 Gold Medalist

b. 1992 Gold Medalist

3. Fourteen NBA All-Star Game selections

a. Three NBA All-Star Game MVP Awards

1. Record-holder scoring average

a. Regular season (30.12 points per game)

b. Playoffs (33.45 points per game)

2. Other accolades

a. 1996 Space Jam

b. Owner of Charlotte Hornets

II. LeBron James

A. Career Highlights

1. Four NBA Championships

a. Four NBA Finals MVP

2. US Olympics Basketball Team

a. 2008 Gold Medalist

b. 2012 Gold Medalist

3. Eighteen NBA All-Star Game selections

a. Three NBA All-Star Game MVP Awards

a. LeBron James Family Foundation

b. Social activism

2. Other accolades

a. 2021 Space Jam

b. First player to accumulate $1 billion as an active player

III. Analysis and Discussion

A. Of course, Michael Jordan is better

Full-sentence research paper outline

Full-sentence research paper outlines have the same organization as alphanumeric outlines—with main topics listed as Roman numerals, subtopics as capital letters, subtopic points as Arabic numerals, and details for each point as lowercase letters.

However, the significant difference is that you would write the information in incomplete sentences instead of quick blurbs. The advantage is that your outline is more specific and easier to share with colleagues when working as a team. The disadvantage is that it takes a little longer to write.

Full-sentence research paper outline example

I. Michael Jordan is often considered the greatest basketball player of all time.

A. Jordan’s career in basketball is full of accomplishments and accolades.

1. During his career, Jordan won six NBA Championships.

a. Jordan was named NBA Finals MVP all six times he was eligible.

2. Jordan twice played for the US Olympics Basketball Team.

a. Jordan’s first Olympics was in 1984 when he won the gold medal.

b. Jordan won a second gold medal as part of the 1992 “Dream Team.”

3. Jordan was selected to play in the NBA All-Star Game fourteen times.

a. Jordan won the NBA All-Star Game MVP Award three times.

B. Jordan’s legacy encompasses achievements on and off the court.

1. Jordan still holds a couple of significant records in the NBA.

a. Jordan holds the record for the highest average of points per game during the regular season (30.12 points per game).

b. Jordan also holds the record for the highest average of points per game in the playoffs (33.45 points per game).

2. Jordan has notable success even when not playing basketball.

a. Jordan starred in the original 1996 film Space Jam.

b. Today, Jordan owns the Charlotte Hornets.

II. LeBron James is often considered Jordan’s strongest rival for the greatest basketball player.

A. James’s career mimics, and in some cases surpasses, that of Jordan’s career.

1. During his career, James won four NBA Championships.

a. James was named NBA Finals MVP all four times he was eligible.

2. Like Jordan, James twice played for the US Olympics Basketball Team.

a. James won the 2008 gold medal as part of the US basketball team.

b. James won the gold medal again in 2012.

3. James was selected to play in the NBA All-Star Game eighteen times.

a. James won the NBA All-Star Game MVP Award three times.

B. James has a rich life outside of basketball as well.

1. More than Jordan, James is known for his philanthropic work.

a. James started the LeBron James Family Foundation charity.

b. James fearlessly took public stances on controversial social issues.

2. Aside from charity, James has a few other distinctions from his lifetime.

a. James starred in the 2021 Space Jam remake.

b. James is the first NBA player to accumulate $1 billion as a player.

III. Considering the highlights of both athletes’ careers, who is better?

A. Of course, Michael Jordan is better.

Decimal research paper outline

Decimal research paper outlines forgo the alphanumeric system and instead use a system of numbers with increasing decimal points—with main topics listed as whole numbers (1 or 1.0), subtopics with one decimal point (1.1), points under a subtopic with two decimal points (1.1.1), and further details with three decimal points (1.1.1.1).

Each new piece of information uses the subsequent number (1.1.1, 1.1.2, etc.), so you always know where you are in the outline. You would write the content for each line in quick blurbs, just like the original alphanumeric formal.

Decimal research paper outlines are the most thorough but can get complicated. They’re recommended for writers who prefer technical precision or for lengthy outlines with many topics and subtopics.

Decimal research paper outline example

1 Michael Jordan

1.1 Career Highlights

1.1.1. Six NBA Championships

a. Six NBA Finals MVP

1.1.2 US Olympics Basketball Team

a. 1984 Gold Medalist

b. 1992 Gold Medalist

1.1.3 Fourteen NBA All-Star Game selections

a. Three NBA All-Star Game MVP Awards

1.2.1 Record-holder scoring average

a. Regular season (30.12 points per game)

b. Playoffs (33.45 points per game)

1.2.2 Other accolades

a. 1996 Space Jam

b. Owner of Charlotte Hornets

2.1 Career Highlights

2.1.1 Four NBA Championships

a. Four NBA Finals MVP

2.1.2 US Olympics Basketball Team

a. 2008 Gold Medalist

b. 2012 Gold Medalist

2.1.3 Eighteen NBA All-Star Game selection

a. Three NBA All-Star Game MVP Awards

a. LeBron James Family Foundation

b. Social activism

2.2.2 Other accolades

a. 2021 Space Jam

b. First player to accumulate $1 billion as an active player

3 Analysis and Discussion

3.1 Of course, Michael Jordan is better

7 steps to follow when outlining a research paper

1 Choose your thesis and gather sources

Your outline is not the first step in writing a research paper. Before that, you first need to choose a thesis and then gather primary and secondary sources to back it up.

Your thesis is essentially what the research paper is about. Your thesis is given to you in some assignments, but sometimes, as with independent research, you’ll have to develop one on your own.

Once you’ve settled on a thesis, you’ll need evidence to support it. Collect all the relevant sources and data early on so that you know what to write about. Researching often reveals new aspects of your topic that you hadn’t known about before. It may dispel any misinterpretations you have—better to find out you’re wrong sooner rather than later.

Keep in mind that the outline is just one part of writing a research paper. If you want to read more advice, take a look at our full guide on how to write a research paper .

2 Make a list of all the topics, subtopics, and points you want to cover

Go through your research and note each topic, subtopic, and supporting point. Be sure to keep related information together. Remember that everything you discuss in your paper should relate to your thesis, so omit anything that seems tangential.

If you’ve highlighted any specific passages or quotes from your sources, feel free to include them too. They aren’t necessary for all research paper outlines, but they save you time when you’re in the middle of writing your first draft.

3 Choose the best type of research paper outline for the assignment

Choose the type of research paper outline that best matches your topic, the assignment’s length, and the complexity of your paper. Simple papers only require simple outlines, but more advanced topics with lots of research can benefit from more detailed outlines.

Consider whether you’re sharing your outline with other team members or whether you’re writing it solo. Likewise, consider the length and amount of topics. The decimal format can help organize long papers, but feel free to stick with alphanumeric if it makes you comfortable.

4 Consider the structure and sequence of your topics

Before actually writing the research paper outline, think long and hard about the order in which you present your topics. What is the most logical sequence? What structure would communicate most clearly to your readers, who may be unfamiliar with these topics?

Keep in mind that some topics only make sense if they come after other topics. Before presenting new findings or revelations, you may want to add background or contextual information first. All other factors being equal, a chronological sequence is often the most logical structure.

5 Create the framework for your outline

Rather than writing your research paper outline entirely at once, start with just the framework. Try putting the main topics in order without yet including any subtopics or supporting points.

Starting with the framework gives you a clear look at the backbone of your research paper. Now would be a good time to rearrange the order if there’s a problem or add a new topic if you find something is missing. It’s never too late to go back and conduct more research to flesh out the areas you feel are lacking.

6 Add in more details

After you’re satisfied with the framework, go ahead and add the details. Most research paper outlines benefit from including the paragraph structure , so feel free to add lines about your topic sentence, development/support sentences, and conclusion for each paragraph.

If you want to get meticulous, you can add a few notes about sentence structure . Be careful of getting too detailed, though—otherwise, you’re writing a first draft instead of an outline!

7 Revise to improve structure

Finally, check your completed outline to see if there’s room for improvement. This is your last chance before you begin the first draft.

Double-check that all your topics are presented in the optimal order for your reader. Also, look over your research notes again to see if you’ve forgotten anything. Once your outline is the way you want it, it’s time to begin writing your research paper.

Research paper outline FAQs

What is a research paper outline?

A research paper outline is a supporting document that defines the structure of a research paper. The author creates the outline before the first draft to stay on track when writing .

How is a research paper outline structured?

Research paper outlines are generally divided into sections, paragraphs, and individual sentences or points. The amount of detail in a research paper outline varies depending on the writer’s style, the assignment requirements, and the complexity of the topic.

What are the different formats of research paper outlines?

Three popular formats for research paper outlines are alphanumeric , full sentence , and decimal .

How to Write a Research Paper in 7 Simple Steps!

black twist pen on notebook

The term research engulfs the overall activity of reading, listening and watching from a number of authenticated sources, resources and other relevant supplementary materials to discover facts about a particular subject of interest. This is especially useful to a target group if the subject for research is one with limited information already in reach. Hence the research will attempt to broaden the knowledge base by seeking extensive facts from a number of sources.

What about research papers?

A research paper is an extensive, formal composition giving information authenticated from reading in different sources. The primary purpose of research is to unearth the facts about a selected subject. Research papers may be purely informational, however, there are a few that can go the extra step to draw conclusions from all the facts curated from the various authentic sources. Papers that draw conclusions usually include those that work to discover facts about controversial issues.

The overall research process takes extensive abilities and may span over a period of months, if not weeks, and therefore needs the self-discipline to complete without losing interest halfway through the purported lifespan of the research. To do that, you need to build good study habits, learn to cling to schedules, be someone who is not a procrastinator; yes, one who does not wait until the last minute. These traits will make your research activities less stressful if that is another way to say easy.

Contrastingly, if you are the kind of person who is not a disciplined learner, a procrastinator or simply one who easily gets destructed and swayed off by unfolding events, then doing research can be a hectic task for you (sorry).

That said, what will make your research process easier includes, but is not limited to, buying ample time to complete your project thoroughly and also taking care not to rush things in the entire process or even at any point in time. You should also learn to start your project with an open mind without focusing on a single side notion about topics that may be controversial. That is to say, you should bury your biases. In an attempt to unearth the facts about a particular topic, as in the case of all research projects, it is very necessary to resist the tendency of being opinionated.

Also, you should develop important learning and information literacy skills such as; the appropriate use of referencing resources or tools, accurate note-taking and recordkeeping, good outlining and knowledge organization skills, effective listing and compilation, writing a bibliography, and most importantly, correct use of sentence structures and clear expressions.

The seven (7) steps research process

The entire research process can be summarized in seven (7) steps as outlined below:

  • Selecting and limiting the subject
  • Preparing a working bibliography; a list of available sources
  • Preparing a preliminary outline
  • Reading and taking notes
  • Assembling notes and writing the final outline
  • Writing the first draft
  • Writing the revised final draft with footnotes and bibliography.

It is very important to focus attention on extensive reading from relevant sources and the acknowledgement of the same sources.

How to Write and Publish a Research Paper in 7 Steps

What comes next after you’re done with your research? Publishing the results in a journal of course! We tell you how to present your work in the best way possible.

This post is part of a series, which serves to provide hands-on information and resources for authors and editors.

Things have gotten busy in scholarly publishing: These days, a new article gets published in the 50,000 most important peer-reviewed journals every few seconds, while each one takes on average 40 minutes to read. Hundreds of thousands of papers reach the desks of editors and reviewers worldwide each year and 50% of all submissions end up rejected at some stage.

In a nutshell: there is a lot of competition, and the people who decide upon the fate of your manuscript are short on time and overworked. But there are ways to make their lives a little easier and improve your own chances of getting your work published!

Well, it may seem obvious, but before submitting an academic paper, always make sure that it is an excellent reflection of the research you have done and that you present it in the most professional way possible. Incomplete or poorly presented manuscripts can create a great deal of frustration and annoyance for editors who probably won’t even bother wasting the time of the reviewers!

This post will discuss 7 steps to the successful publication of your research paper:

1. Check Whether Your Research Is Publication-Ready

Should you publish your research at all?

If your work holds academic value – of course – a well-written scholarly article could open doors to your research community. However, if you are not yet sure, whether your research is ready for publication, here are some key questions to ask yourself depending on your field of expertise:

  • Have you done or found something new and interesting? Something unique?
  • Is the work directly related to a current hot topic?
  • Have you checked the latest results or research in the field?
  • Have you provided solutions to any difficult problems?
  • Have the findings been verified?
  • Have the appropriate controls been performed if required?
  • Are your findings comprehensive?

If the answers to all relevant questions are “yes”, you need to prepare a good, strong manuscript. Remember, a research paper is only useful if it is clearly understood, reproducible and if it is read and used.

2. Choose An Article Type

The first step is to determine which type of paper is most appropriate for your work and what you want to achieve. The following list contains the most important, usually peer-reviewed article types in the natural sciences:

Full original research papers disseminate completed research findings. On average this type of paper is 8-10 pages long, contains five figures, and 25-30 references. Full original research papers are an important part of the process when developing your career.

Review papers present a critical synthesis of a specific research topic. These papers are usually much longer than original papers and will contain numerous references. More often than not, they will be commissioned by journal editors. Reviews present an excellent way to solidify your research career.

Letters, Rapid or Short Communications are often published for the quick and early communication of significant and original advances. They are much shorter than full articles and usually limited in length by the journal. Journals specifically dedicated to short communications or letters are also published in some fields. In these the authors can present short preliminary findings before developing a full-length paper.

3. Choose a Journal

Submit to journals that you already read, that you have a good feel for. If you do so, you will have a better appreciation of both its culture and the requirements of the editors and reviewers.

Other factors to consider are:

  • The specific subject area
  • The aims and scope of the journal
  • The type of manuscript you have written
  • The significance of your work
  • The reputation of the journal
  • The reputation of the editors within the community
  • The editorial/review and production speeds of the journal
  • The community served by the journal
  • The coverage and distribution

4. Construct Your Paper

Each element of a paper has its purpose, so you should make these sections easy to index and search.

Don’t forget that requirements can differ highly per publication, so always make sure to apply a journal’s specific instructions – or guide – for authors to your manuscript, even to the first draft (text layout, paper citation, nomenclature, figures and table, etc.) It will save you time, and the editor’s.

Also, even in these days of Internet-based publishing, space is still at a premium, so be as concise as possible. As a good journalist would say: “Never use three words when one will do!”

Let’s look at the typical structure of a full research paper, but bear in mind certain subject disciplines may have their own specific requirements so check the instructions for authors on the journal’s home page.

4.1 The Title

It’s important to use the title to tell the reader what your paper is all about! You want to attract their attention, a bit like a newspaper headline does. Be specific and to the point. Keep it informative and concise, and avoid jargon and abbreviations (unless they are universally recognized like DNA, for example).

4.2 The Abstract

This could be termed as the “advertisement” for your article. Make it interesting and easily understood without the reader having to read the whole article. Be accurate and specific, and keep it as brief and concise as possible. Some journals (particularly in the medical fields) will ask you to structure the abstract in distinct, labeled sections, which makes it even more accessible.

A clear abstract will influence whether or not your work is considered and whether an editor should invest more time on it or send it for review.

4.3 Keywords

Keywords are used by abstracting and indexing services, such as PubMed and Web of Science. They are the labels of your manuscript, which make it ‘searchable’ online by other researchers.

Include words or phrases (usually 4-8) that are closely related to your topic but not “too niche” for anyone to find them. Make sure to only use established abbreviations. Think about what scientific terms and its variations your potential readers are likely to use and search for. You can also do a test run of your selected keywords in one of the common academic search engines. Do similar articles to your own appear? Yes? Then that’s a good sign.

4.4 Introduction

This first part of the main text should introduce the problem, as well as any existing solutions you are aware of and the main limitations. Also, state what you hope to achieve with your research.

Do not confuse the introduction with the results, discussion or conclusion.

4.5 Methods

Every research article should include a detailed Methods section (also referred to as “Materials and Methods”) to provide the reader with enough information to be able to judge whether the study is valid and reproducible.

Include detailed information so that a knowledgeable reader can reproduce the experiment. However, use references and supplementary materials to indicate previously published procedures.

4.6 Results

In this section, you will present the essential or primary results of your study. To display them in a comprehensible way, you should use subheadings as well as illustrations such as figures, graphs, tables and photos, as appropriate.

4.7 Discussion

Here you should tell your readers what the results mean.

Do state how the results relate to the study’s aims and hypotheses and how the findings relate to those of other studies. Explain all possible interpretations of your findings and the study’s limitations.

Do not make “grand statements” that are not supported by the data. Also, do not introduce any new results or terms. Moreover, do not ignore work that conflicts or disagrees with your findings. Instead …

Be brave! Address conflicting study results and convince the reader you are the one who is correct.

4.8 Conclusion

Your conclusion isn’t just a summary of what you’ve already written. It should take your paper one step further and answer any unresolved questions.

Sum up what you have shown in your study and indicate possible applications and extensions. The main question your conclusion should answer is: What do my results mean for the research field and my community?

4.9 Acknowledgments and Ethical Statements

It is extremely important to acknowledge anyone who has helped you with your paper, including researchers who supplied materials or reagents (e.g. vectors or antibodies); and anyone who helped with the writing or English, or offered critical comments about the content.

Remember to state why people have been acknowledged and ask their permission. Ensure that you acknowledge sources of funding, including any grant or reference numbers.

Furthermore, if you have worked with animals or humans, you need to include information about the ethical approval of your study and, if applicable, whether informed consent was given. Also, state whether you have any competing interests regarding the study (e.g. because of financial or personal relationships.)

4.10 References

The end is in sight, but don’t relax just yet!

De facto, there are often more mistakes in the references than in any other part of the manuscript. It is also one of the most annoying and time-consuming problems for editors.

Remember to cite the main scientific publications on which your work is based. But do not inflate the manuscript with too many references. Avoid excessive – and especially unnecessary – self-citations. Also, avoid excessive citations of publications from the same institute or region.

5. Decide the Order of Authors

In the sciences, the most common way to order the names of the authors is by relative contribution.

Generally, the first author conducts and/or supervises the data analysis and the proper presentation and interpretation of the results. They put the paper together and usually submit the paper to the journal.

Co-authors make intellectual contributions to the data analysis and contribute to data interpretation. They review each paper draft. All of them must be able to present the paper and its results, as well as to defend the implications and discuss study limitations.

Do not leave out authors who should be included or add “gift authors”, i.e. authors who did not contribute significantly.

6. Check and Double-Check

As a final step before submission, ask colleagues to read your work and be constructively critical.

Make sure that the paper is appropriate for the journal – take a last look at their aims and scope. Check if all of the requirements in the instructions for authors are met.

Ensure that the cited literature is balanced. Are the aims, purpose and significance of the results clear?

Conduct a final check for language, either by a native English speaker or an editing service.

7. Submit Your Paper

When you and your co-authors have double-, triple-, quadruple-checked the manuscript: submit it via e-mail or online submission system. Along with your manuscript, submit a cover letter, which highlights the reasons why your paper would appeal to the journal and which ensures that you have received approval of all authors for submission.

It is up to the editors and the peer-reviewers now to provide you with their (ideally constructive and helpful) comments and feedback. Time to take a breather!

If the paper gets rejected, do not despair – it happens to literally everybody. If the journal suggests major or minor revisions, take the chance to provide a thorough response and make improvements as you see fit. If the paper gets accepted, congrats!

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