8 steps in writing a research paper

How to Write a High School Research Paper in 6 Easy Steps

What is a research paper? It is a piece of writing where its author conducts a study on a certain topic, interprets new facts, based on experiments, or new opinions, based on comparing existing scientific concepts, and makes important conclusions or proves a thesis.

Your writing assignments, such as essays, are very important for your future career. Excellent mastering the language is very important for you if you decide to enter a university or a college. It shows that you read a lot of books and your cultural level is high.

For an excellent paper writing you need to operate facts and concepts, know the subject well enough to see what has not been studied yet, what new sides of the scientific question have to be highlighted. So, the first important condition for writing a remarkable research paper is to have enough knowledge on the topic.

A well-written research paper should be properly structured. The process of writing can be subdivided into six steps:

  • Conducting preliminary research and choosing a topic;
  • Writing a thesis;
  • Writing an outline;
  • Writing the introduction, the body, the conclusion;
  • Creating a reference page;
  • Editing and proofreading the paper.

The length of the paper may be different. You should keep focused on the essence of your arguments. Your style of writing depends on the topic, but you should remember that it is an academic paper and it requires to be specially formatted. Sounds difficult? Not at all! In this article, we’ll teach you how to write an A+ paper the easy way. Each of the steps will be explained in detail so that you could start your work and write your paper with enthusiasm even if you are not a born prolific writer. After all, it is the result that matters. But if you understand your purpose and have a perfect plan of action, top-notch quality is guaranteed! In this article, you will find tips on how to write a research paper in an easy way.

Preparatory Stage – Understand Your Assignment and Research Your Topic

They say a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. It may be true for writing a research paper as well. It may be difficult to start writing a research paper in high school. The first thing you will have to do is to read and understand your assignment. That may be a real problem if you don’t understand it. Anyway, you should know the length of the paper, what types of sources are allowed to be used when you will have to hand in your paper, how will you have to format the paper.

Sometimes a topic for your paper is provided and sometimes you have to choose a topic yourself. Your topic should be interesting for you and the reader. You will have to spend a lot of time researching, looking through different sources in the library, browsing through websites to find good research paper topics. That is why your enthusiasm matters. The paper should answer a certain question, it should point out new information in the given scientific area.

If you choose a topic yourself, you have to find out if there is enough material on the topic. There have to be a lot of different sources to write a research topic, pay attention to trusted sources (books, cited articles, scientific journals). You should have enough information to study the topic from different angles. If there is not enough information you might want to choose a different topic. Choosing an interesting paper topic with a lot of resources is vital for your success. You can use brainstorming to choose a better topic. The more interesting the topic is for you the more interesting the results you may attain. Maybe, you will make a discovery, and we wish you success!

Write Your Research Paper

#1. Define Your Thesis Statement

To write a thesis statement is very important for your high school research paper. It may consist of one or two sentences and express the main idea of the paper or essay, defining your point on the topic. It briefly tells the reader what the paper is about. The thesis statement outlines the contents of the paper you create and conveys important and significant results of your study, it explains why your research paper is valuable and worth reading. A good research paper should always contain a strong and clear thesis statement. Explain your point of view and what position you will support and why. Your thesis will serve as a transition to the body of your paper.

#2. Construct Your Outline

After browsing through resources you find out how much information on the topic is available. Now you can start constructing your outline. The outline is not always required, though. But sometimes your paper structure overview is needed to point out the most important aspects of your writing assignment. An outline is your plan for the research paper and it can be a short one (up to 5 sentences) or a detailed one.

Writing an outline can seem difficult, but if you have enough information, it will be easy to sort your ideas and facts for writing your research papers. It will be helpful if you write an outline for your research paper. It might be helpful for your essay writing.

#3. Write the Body Paragraphs

The body is the central and the longest part of your research paper being of the most important informational value. It may include new arguments supported by experimental facts. You write about new concepts and support them with your practical results. Or it this part you analyze the resources, compare the opinions of different authors and make your conclusions.

Writing your research paper you should pay attention to more credible sources, for example, more cited articles. Scientific journals are a good source of such trusted resources. When you write the body, try to use newer and trusted contemporary materials that will contain more recent scientific data and results of contemporary research. More cited sources are more preferable, because that means they have more value in this field of research and they are more trusted and credible. In the body, the main concepts of your research paper are explained. You express your point of view on the subject and give a detailed and logically proved explanation to that.

As the body is the longest and the most informative part of your work, it will helpful to divide it into body paragraphs. Each paragraph should express a certain idea. The use of headings and subheadings to logically structure this part is a good idea. Each paragraph should express and develop a new idea.

#4. Create Your Introduction and Conclusion

The introduction is the first part of your high school research paper. When you write this part, consider using a compelling first sentence that will grab the reader’s attention. Even if it is research it doesn’t matter what your writing should be dull. You should explain the purpose of your research paper and what scientific methods you used to obtain the desired result. Analysis of existing scientific concepts and comparing facts and opinions don’t require conducting any experiments. Some topics require an experimental part, though. Briefly outline what methods you used. The introductory part may be concluded with a thesis statement, though it is not obligatory in all research papers.

You may start your introductory part writing about the main idea of your paper so that the reader can make ahead or tail of it. Then you should persuasively prove that your idea is scientifically important, that it is new and why the reader should go on reading your paper. A valuable and clear message should be conveyed in the introduction, to stimulate the reader to read further.

The conclusion is the final part of your research paper. How do you write it? It is one of the most important parts of your scientific paper. It contains an overview of the whole paper and also some suppositions about the future of the scientific question.

Some students writing a research paper underestimate the meaning of the conclusion but it should not be the case. A good beginning makes a good ending, as they say. A poorly written conclusion may spoil the impression of the reader even from a very well written research paper, while an impressive one may stimulate further research of the subject.

You should very well understand the purpose of the final part of your research paper. Understanding the purpose of your paper is significant because it summarizes all the research you have conducted, it underlines and points out the results of your study. You may not be a scientist yet, but you already try to think over some of the scientific questions. Your conclusion shows the input you’ve made into the contemporary state of the scientific problem and indicates possible directions for further research. A powerfully written conclusion is significant for your academic paper, if it produces a favorable effect on your teacher, you will get a high grade. Don’t forget that it is one of the most important parts of the paper and it should be nicely written.

#5. Cite Your Sources Properly

To give credit to the author when you cite a scientific source in your paper is a must. If you don’t want your academic writing to be considered plagiarized you should always cite the scientific sources you used in your research (books, articles, scientific journals and websites).

Citing the sources doesn’t only give due credit to the authors of the research sources used, it helps your readers to find these sources and later conduct their research.

When you write your research paper, you should remember that you will have to use academic formatting when you cite your scientific sources. There are various citation formats, the APA Style being one of the most widespread.

How to cite a scientific source using the APA Style?

Example: Smith, K., & Browd J., (1989, May 19) The Influence of the Dry Matter on Dairy Cattle, Journal of Diary Science 117, 122-127.

If you need to cite a source in the reference list, write the following:

  • The last name and the initial of the author;
  • The year of publication;
  • The title of the article or book;
  • Additional information (where you got the source from).

If you need to use an in-text citation in the APA Style, you should mention the last names of the authors and the year when their work was published. If you use a direct quotation, the number of the page should be used.

Example: (Smith & Browd, 2014, p. 27)

If you are going to cite main Roman or Greek classical works, in APA it is recommended to use only in-text citations for such sources, where you mention the name of the author and the year of translation.

Example: (Aristotle, 1945)

#6. Proofread and Make the Final Corrections

Your paper should be error-free, original and authentic. What does it take to edit and proofread your paper? You can do it yourself, but there are writing services that offer editing and proofreading at an affordable price. Editing is the first step. You should read your paper several times paying attention to the content. Your paper should be relevant to the topic, it is very important. The structure of an academic paper is usually standard and you have to pay attention to every part.

The introduction briefly outlines the research process, explaining to the reader why your paper is important and why he should read it. Your thesis statement contained in this part is of special importance. In the body, which is the central and the most voluminous part, you give detailed information on the research you conducted, main concepts, prove your arguments by facts or results of your experiments and express what point of view you support and why. In the final part, you draw logical conclusions. Your reference page (bibliography) where you list the sources mentioned should be correctly formatted using one of the standard styles, such as the APA Style. Upon the whole, pay attention to the logical structure of your research paper, the language and how precisely you express your thoughts.

After editing read the paper one more time and make sure everything is correct. Now you should proofread your paper. Read it attentively several times, paying attention to spelling, grammar, punctuation, the structure of sentences and the style. Make sure your academic paper is error-free because errors distract the attention of the reader from the contents. Also, completing any writing assignment remember that your writing is of great importance for your future career. You cannot get a good job if your writing is incorrect or if you cannot express your thoughts correctly. So, make sure your paper is brilliantly written and error-free. Good luck and get the highest grade!

8 Steps In How To Write A Research Paper

First, start by understanding your paper; make sure you know what requirements your instructor is assigning. This is a key step in being able to outline your plan of attack.

Second, focus on your topic. Narrowing your topic before you begin, and again several times as you proceed, will help you write a thorough paper, one that treats its subject accurately. Once you get into the library, you will find dozens of temptations to expand and extend your project. The clearer you are at the beginning about your project, the better off you’ll be. Research writing requires two special kinds of focusing.The first is identifying the descriptors or key words that will guide your search through the library resources.

You will want to spend some time brain-storming possible key words, or subject headings, under which you might find articles and books about your topic. The more precise your de-scriptors, the more likely you will be able to find useful articles. Finding key words or descriptors can be a creative process and it is a vital process to successful research. The second essential focusing activity is to formulate a question or cluster of related questions that will guide your search for information and ideas.Putting your topic into question form can help you locate sources and evaluate them quickly for suit-ability for your paper. Third, make a generalized position on your topic, which support your views. Although you should expect your ideas to change and improve as you continue working, you should begin with a first sense of what you think about your topic.

It is easy to be overwhelmed by the opinions of more experienced writers, and if you enter the project without a preliminary sense of your own position, you may have a difficult time formulating an original position later.Forth, decide on a documentation style you would want to use or ask your instructor for the preferred style he/she is requiring, and pay careful attention to how references are documented in the publications you read. Establishing the proper documentation style from the beginning can save you time from having to reformat your citations, and it will help you to be thorough and organized in gathering the necessary information. Fifth, decide on a research strategy you are going to use, or in what way you are going to gather your information.The college or university library holds a tremendous variety of resources, and you should plan a broad enough search strategy to accommodate for all the possible information and ideas. You need to make a plan for searching books, periodicals, government documents, and other appropriate resources.

A library tour or a talk with one of the librarians or staff can be especially helpful at this stage. Many researchers be-gin in the reference section, reading encyclopedias, disciplinary guides, specialized dictionaries, and other reference works to develop an overview of the topic.Your instructor can help you find the most important information for your topic and a librarian can help you learn how to use them. Many of these research tools are now available in computerized versions and can point you in the direction of a great deal of very specific information.

Sixth, ranking your resources or gathered information. As you locate books and articles, you need to assess their usefulness for your project. The ones that seem valuable to you need to be evaluated for their timeliness, relevance, and critical position.Not all-new material is good material, and certainly not all-old material is out of date, but you should try to work with the materials that inform the most accurate information on your subject. Older research studies may be outdated or disproved by more recent work. Recent articles in good journals and in books from major publishers generally represent the current state of knowledge on your topic.

But, in general, confine your search to works published in the last ten or twenty years for humanities projects, the last five or ten years for papers in the social and natural sci-ences.You should also evaluate articles and books for their bias, for the critical position and/or methodology they use. Seventh, you need to take careful and accurate notes.

You will want to do several kinds of writing during this early stage of the research paper. You probably will want to keep some kind of a journal to record your responses and evaluation of your findings. You will also want to take careful notes on the information that you will use in your paper.

If you find sections that you might quote, copy them exactly and record the page numbers. If you rely on photocopies, be sure to copy the bibliographic information too.The passages that you para-phrase need also to be noted carefully. Last but not least you need to make a plan for your paper, a skeletal diagram on how you are going to present your new learned information and views. If your paper will be a long one, an outline will help you to organize your material. Some people will support your point of view, oth-ers will voice contrasting positions, and some will provide forceful views.

Keep an open mind and represent what you learn in an organized manner, and give credit where credit is due. Keep your paper sweet and too the point.

8 steps to help you in writing a good research paper

For those of you who are not familiar with a research paper, here is the definition. A research paper is an academic writing that contains theoretical and substantial information that has undergone the process of in-depth research. The arguments in a research paper are based on a thesis statement that is supported by relevant evidence from different reliable and credible sources.

Writing a research paper might seem too daunting at first, but it is not that complicated. Once you know the proper steps to follow, the process will become easier. The only challenge might stem from the kind of research that this paper needs, but no one has to lose hope of writing a perfect document. It also becomes much easier if you have been practicing in school. The following steps are significant if you are looking toward writing a good research paper.

You can follow these steps to organize your overall paper format:

  • Carefully select your topic
  • Look for sources that are relevant and ensure they are reliable
  • Use index cards to jot down important notes that might e needed throughout the process of writing.
  • Organize your notes based on the topics they come under.
  • Have a well-thought outline
  • Write the first rough draft to give you a gist of what your research paper will look like.
  • Go through the draft once you are done writing and rewrite
  • Edit when necessary

The library is the best place to start looking for relevant information for your research paper. It has reliable and helpful sources that will prove essential in the whole process. The library must contain journals, books and published articles that contain information that might support your thesis and the topic at large.

The library also has free internet, which comes in handy in your research. The best way to do this is to find the best quiet place that you can carry on with your work without distractions. Feel free to ask for help from the librarians. The internet is rich with information, even though one has to be careful not to use unreliable internet sources. There are numerous scholarly articles online, and you can crosscheck their reliability using alternative sites and reference book. For general background information from the internet, you can use URLs, general information online, almanacs or encyclopedias online. You can make use of search engines for your online research.

You also have to pay attention to domain names for instance educational institution (.ed) government (.gov) or non-profit organization (.org). Such sites are more reliable, but you must look out for political bias especially from some of the government sites. You should be careful with commercial (.com) sites since some of them contain adverts and nothing more.
You can use Online Public Access Catalog to find books in the library.

The idea is to have enough material for your topic.

If you have the liberty to choose a topic, settle on the one that you are interested in and are curious about it. This motivates you to do the necessary research for it. Do not make a mistake of choosing a topic that is too general. This can be too problematic since there will be too much information to include in your paper, something that might present a serious challenge. You have to make your very specific. The argument that you are going to include in your paper should revolve around this topic. The major portion of your research paper will have arguments that support this topic

A research paper ought to have a good thesis statement. This should be produced early in the paper, preferably in the introduction or the second paragraph if your paper is going to be lengthy. Creating a thesis statement cannot be done immediately during the preliminary steps of your paper. You should have the materials you need, analyze them together with your ideas. A finally formulated thesis statement comes after you have completed your paper. The change occurs as you proceed with your writing process. You have to ensure that the paper is introducing to the audience something new that no one else has written about it. You cannot include citations in your thesis statement

You have to be organized while taking these notes. You only take the information that is relevant to your topic. You can use highlighters for marking important notes by their topics. This will make it easy to find a specific topic. If possible, photocopy the page or the article that you will need. This saves you time and every time you take note of something, write down its bibliographical information like the author, book title, page number, volume number and publisher’s name and so on. The bibliographical information will be helpful when you are making entries of the sources you have cited in your paper.

Once you have completed your in-depth research, you can formulate an outline for your paper. You can start brainstorming on the information you have and decide which topics they fit best. Brainstorming an outline does not imply that the information has to be structured in sentences. You need to note the part that will start, what will appear in the middle and the end. By now, your research paper has started taking shape.

Writing an outline is an essential step since you can arrange and rearrange information according to what you want. It might take time than the rest of the steps, but it is worth it. It forms the basis of your research paper.

After you are satisfied that your outline meets your expectations, you can now write the first draft of your research paper. Using your framework, get all the ideas written down and formulate sentences and paragraphs with them. This is where you give your research paper the ‘flesh’ it needs. With the information you are writing, endure that you can make sense of everything. At this point, you can add more research if need be. This is the first draft, and it is subject to any change you might deem necessary.

The completion of the rough draft demands you to read it carefully making corrections where necessary. Once you have completed this task, you now sit down and write your final draft. Ensure all the information in your paragraph make sense and flow logically. You have to correct all grammatical errors that are there in the paper and to the same to typographical errors too.

You do not want to submit a paper that is a haven for the wrong spellings. Ensure that all words are correctly spelled. Every source you have used must be listed on the bibliography page. It is imperative to note that in the bibliography, you are supposed to make entries of the sources you have used in the paper. Do not inflate this page with irrelevant references you did not use, just to make a list look long.

Examiners always check to see if the bibliography list confirms with all the citations used in the paper. Conversely, ensure that you have cited any information, ideas, or direct sentences that are not originally yours. Once you have finished all this do the final adjustments that are required. Read your paper or even ask a friend or a professor to go through it and give you necessary feedback. The paper must meet all the requirements of the instructor.

A good research paper also relies on a good and well-thought title. The title requires careful thought. You will be surprised that most people might have comprehensive details of their paper but are confused on how to title the same paper.

In most cases, researchers have fallen to the trap of judging a book by its cover. This has played majorly where the readers depend on the tile to influence their decision on the paper. Seeking assistance concerning the development of a good title is essential, but it all comes back to the author when setting the tone of the paper.

Different research papers will come up in different databases and reference sections of research papers. The audience will know what the paper is about and how relevant it is to them based on the title. Having this understanding helps in clearing the fact that a research title is a determinant factor of how many people will read the whole paper.

A good research paper title must have the ability to:

  • Condense the research paper contents in a few words.
  • Grab the reader’s attention
  • Enable the paper stand out from the rest of the papers in the same subject field.

Consider the following tips when selecting your research paper title.

The title should be simple, brief and attractive

The principal function of the title is to summarize the contents of the paper. It should be kept concise and clear. Use active verbs instead of noun-based phrases and avoid unnecessary details. A good research title should not go beyond 12 words. A long title may come out as unfocused and might lose the reader’s attention from an important point.

Utilize appropriate descriptive words

An effective research paper title should incorporate keywords used in the manuscript. It should also define the nature of the study. You have to pay attention to the terms that people would use to search for your study and include them the title.

Do not include jargon or abbreviations in your title

You have to leave out jargons and abbreviations in your title. Using abbreviations that are lesser-known will throw off the reader. Abbreviations such as NATO or AIDS can be used since everybody knows them. Using words that are too complex for the readers to understand might makes them abandon your paper altogether. As stressed earlier, keep your title as simple, understandable, and concise as possible.

Once you have finished writing everything, there are several things you have to do to ensure your paper is good.

  • Ensure that your thesis statement is clear enough
  • Ensure that you followed the outline and you did not leave anything out.
  • Find out if your arguments flow in a logical sequence
  • Ensure that you have cited every source you have used to avoid plagiarism
  • Find out if you have proved your thesis with strong and supporting arguments
  • Find out if you have begun every paragraph with a proper topic sentence
  • Identify if you have used relevant examples to support your argument
  • Check for unfinished or run on sentences
  • Is there any unnecessary repetition?
  • Do you have varied sentence length?
  • Find out if there is a flow of ideas from one paragraph to the next.
  • Find out if you have followed the correct format of referencing as prescribed by the instructor.
  • Ascertain if you used the third person frequently
  • Find out if your paper remained objective all through
  • Find out if you left a sense of completion at the end of your paper.

All these aspects help in determining if your paper is effective and to the point. There comes a time in a student’s life when they have to write a research paper. This may create anxiety in the student and bring cases of procrastination. This is a scion of the unfamiliarity that exists among students. Writing a research paper is not a hard task if you think about it.

This could be one of the career objectives of some students and as such, research writing is important. Not only is focused on imparting skills, but it is also aimed at enabling the student to write a perfect research paper that will earn him good grades. It takes practice to become a better research writer, and of course, there are those people who have natural prowess at this. Either way, the above tips will help the student construct an effective research paper and make the process easy. You can achieve more in a good paper.

8 Steps to Write a Research Paper

When you’re assigned a research paper, you can feel quite stressed about the forthcoming task. Skimming through the requirements and imagining the word length, you might wonder why you should go through it. Several students have lived through the process, and we promise you will, too. First thing’s first, do not procrastinate and try and build it little by little. This approach will help you avoid any last-minute writing, which always turns out to be a disaster. To get your research paper done and push the stress aside, follow these 8 steps to get it done on time and with less hassle than you thought possible.

1. Pick a Topic

There is a lot that goes into a research paper before you start writing. One of the first and most important parts is choosing your topic. With research papers, you can’t just pick any topic under the sun and expect to find quality information. That’s why a bit of brainstorming will come a long way. It is recommended to think of things that raise an issue or pose a question. If others have thought about it, there are likely sources out there.

Depending on your subject, you could be required to choose a topic within a particular field. Do a quick search in an academic search engine and see what you can find to start developing ideas. This step will start getting the wheels turning in your brain to get you kicked into gear when the time comes to choose an idea.

2. Pre-Research

Once you have narrowed your list down and honed in on a few topics, it’s time to start the research going. We recommend taking it step by step, doing some digging first to see what is out there. For example, if you want to look into business ideas for college students and compare them with market interests, look for research. Make sure that there are multiple, credible sources out there that you can use and trust.

When you find things that interest you, make notes or bookmark them on the web for future reference. The key is to choose topics backed by a ton of research, which is pretty easy to write.

3. Do Actual Research

Now, it’s time for the real digging. If you did your pre-research right, you’ve likely cut your working time in half. In this part of the process, you’ll want to try and make connections. Think of the impact of your topic on certain people, places, or things. You want to provide detailed and concise research along with the points that you’d like to make in your essay evading the examples of politically incorrect writers.

Your curriculum for your class will likely list the requirements for your research paper to give you a better idea of all that you need. When conducting your research, you may benefit from highlighting particular findings or details of the study to use later on. Once you have your research done, your paper will almost start to come together on its own.

4. Collect Sources

One thing you’ll learn throughout each semester is that the web is not always reliable. Your professors are likely to remind you but, if not, we will. When you collect any information, no matter how legitimate it may look, always double-check whether it comes from a credible source. Some professors and universities have powerful software that can sniff out uncredible sources. This could significantly drag down your score so, here is your fair warning.

5. Make Notes as You Go

As you find interesting facts, statistics, or quotes to add to your paper, you’ll want to make notes. When you’re writing a research paper, organization is key. Start by lining up paragraphs and developing ideas with support from your findings. This will save you a ton of time in the end and give you more time for checking the quality of your writing and citing.

6. Start Writing

It is not until you have all of your information collected and your references in hand that you should start writing. Think about this part as putting a puzzle together, fusing your ideas with those in finding credible sources. If you have done steps 1 through 5 correctly and thoroughly, writing your paper will be a piece of cake. Even if you start feeling lonely, it’s best to get the difficult stuff done first so you can get back to being social quickly.

7. Cite

As you’re researching, you should have gathered all the information you need to cite your findings properly. You’ll need to reference materials both in your paper and on a ‘works cited’ page at the end. Check with your professor for the proper format, whether they want an APA of MLA. It’s best to work as you go, adding citations to the proper places and saving yourself the hassle of having to do it all at the end. Remember, incorrect citing can drive your grade into the ground, so make sure not to skip this critical part.

8. Give It a Good Read

We know that you can leave grammar to software in this day and age, but there is nothing like real human reaction. Technology cannot yet feel emotions or sometimes won’t understand a powerful reference in your paper. Before you send it to the easiest universities to get into, take a look over it and read what you have written. If something sounds confusing or needs work, note the fragment and come back to it later.

Only after you’re done reading it over, use a trusted grammar correcting tool to help with the use of English, sentence structure, and proper grammar. Automated tools can determine the error you skipped or didn’t even know about.

Speaking of computers, if you happen to procrastinate or just somehow forgot, you can use the best paper writing service reddit for high-quality and fast delivery. These sources are out there for students, as we all know that things come up. No matter what your reasons are, if you’re short on time or just couldn’t make it happen, outsource the essay writing to the pros and spend your free time wisely to study, sleep, or get your life together.

How to Write a Research Paper: 8 Steps

Academic research papers are written after in-depth research and analysis of results. For many students, such an assignment is a real challenge, and they often look for research paper writing hacks and how to hire an essay writer online there’re always one or two that you could rely on. For instance, students can ask for help by visiting WritingCheap website. However, everyone can cope with this task. If you are concerned that a high-quality research paper will require blood, sweat, and tears, we offer you this guide.

Formulate the Research Topic

Do not consider taking a vast question for research. Rely on existing research or the work of other authors and specialists close to it. Using the experience of other predecessors as a support and assistance is a practically necessary rule. It is often someone else’s monographs and scientific works that serve as the background for new activities. Before approving a topic, check to see if you can find enough information and materials. First, you choose a vast theme field, then study the information and literature, and it will be easier to specify the topic of the project based on it. It is vital that the chosen theme has practical value and significance, and is relevant in terms of problems in the field under consideration.

If you have chosen a topic, started research, and suddenly realized that you’ve got stuck — do not get desperate! Even after you have started working on your research, you may change the topic. You will lose some time and materials, but you will have a chance to start everything with a more perspective topic.

Determine the Objective of Writing Your Paper

There are two main types of research work — analytical research paper and discussion research paper. Each involves a different kind of activity. In addition to them, there are other kinds such as problem-solution, cause, and effect, survey, experimental, etc. However, the first two types are the most common.

If you choose to do a discussion research paper, then you should argue for or against the issue. In an analytical research paper, you present a new perspective on things and problems that already exist. Your goal is to bring your ideas to the reader and prove their value. Ideally, you should back up your ideas with some research material.

Conduct a Research

The purpose of the research paper is to investigate its main subject. Take advantage of the library’s materials, library archive, database, look for information on trusted websites, in encyclopedias and other reference materials, peer-reviewed scientific journals, etc. Find as many materials as possible on the topic of your work. Use at least five sources, never rely only on one or two. Evaluate the relevance of the materials found critically. Websites, blogs, and forums are not the most reliable sources of information.

Use academic search engines if you want to do your research online. Such search engines as refseek, Microsoft Academic, Google Scholar will save you a lot of time. If you have found a book that is perfect for you, do not be lazy to strain your brain and open a reference list. There you can find dozens of other great books on your topic!

Work on a Rough Draft and Study the Material

This stage is crucial for the success of your paper. Once you have collected all the research materials, mark everything you need to write the paper. Check out everything you can use — from statistics to quotes. Write down any thoughts that you may have as you read the material. Make notes and leave comments, so you don’t forget to include these in your paper. It is also essential to break down materials into different categories and topics to help you navigate through them in the future. Stickers, allocation to different folders, or highlighting in various colors can help you.

Work with Bibliography

It is crucial to start compiling a list of works cited from the first source you have found. You will be sorry if you don’t do it as the work progresses. You should write out the authors, the year of publication, the publisher, the number of pages, and, most importantly, the page where you have found the information.

Write a thesis

The thesis is the heart of your work. Do not waste too much time formulating the ideal thesis. At this stage, it will only be a draft because it may change in the process of research. In general, the thesis is the very question, searching for an answer to which your work is devoted.

Formulate the Main Questions

While working on the article, you will need to provide answers to the questions you consider most important in the research topic. Place your most “killer” conclusions or questions at the beginning of the article, and more controversial questions — at the end.

Prepare a Clean Copy

Start with the main part of your work. Describe everything that stands for your thesis. You can change ideas and comments slightly. For every statement you make, you need to confirm the facts, leaving out any speculation. The transition from point to point should be smooth. Your research paper should be easy to read. Make sure that the transition from paragraph to paragraph is straightforward and smooth for your readers.

Now that you have carefully worked out your work, you can write a conclusion that will briefly describe all the information found, which has a final effect. Start with the initial thesis, then remind the reader of those points described in the course of work. Slowly reveal your topic and explain the results of your research.

The introduction is the opposite of the conclusion. Start with a more general thought, and then move on to your topic. Avoid repeating the phrases you have used in your conclusion.

Now all you have to do is add a list of literature, depending on your university’s requirements, read and edit the work and submit it to your professor for review.

8 sequential steps to write a first rough draft of a research paper from start to finish (relatively quick and easy)

I promised a few weeks ago that I would blog about how I write a paper from start to finish. I was hoping to have screenshots of every stage of my paper writing, but obviously doing my own research, fieldwork and travelling to academic conferences to present papers (and writing those papers in haste!) didn’t allow me to do this in a much more planned manner. So here are 8 tips I use to write a research paper from start to finish.

1. Create an outline

This tip would be kind of obvious, but I am far from being the first one to suggest that writing an outline allows you to put complex ideas on paper in a sequential, articulate, cohererent form. If you’ve already started writing the paper, then Professor Rachael Cayley’s approach is the best – e.g. create a reverse outline. At any rate, you should have a skeleton of what your paper is going to look like. One way in which I do this is I break down my abstract into the sections that I need to fill out and/or the questions I need to answer to have my paper actually show my full argument. So, the outline comes directly from the paper abstract. What I have found is that often times, my outline doesn’t show the same thing that the paper does at the end of it. That’s fine. At least you answered the questions and/or filled the sections you needed to and refined your abstract and paper on the basis of these responses.

#AcWri on the plane (finishing a paper)

2. Write the abstract and introduction first

The one sure way in which I know I am going to make progress on a paper is writing the abstract and the introduction. Normally what I do is I expand the abstract and write the introduction from the abstract. I also make sure that I develop the structure of the paper as I write the introduction. Often times, this will change and I will have to come back and redraft this section, but at least I have a basic structure for the paper.

2. Break down the paper into separate documents.

I am someone who doesn’t react well to word counts. In fact, I loved a recent blog post by Tseen Khoo entitled “Your Word Count Means Nothing to Me“. I am disciplined about writing every day for two hours, but I don’t really like the idea of “I write 3,500 words every 1.5 hours”. Some days I write a lot, some days I write much less. And some days, I just simply can’t write (though I summarize papers and reflect on them during my #AcWri period those days to keep generating text that I might use at some point, particularly research and reading memoranda).

So what I do instead is, I break the paper down into sections for which I then create separate documents. For example, for my recent paper on environmental mobilizations against Nestlé in British Columbia and in California, I created a separate document for the story around Nestlé in British Columbia and another one for the story on Nestlé in California. To avoid getting frustrated, I just focus on writing on one of the sections at a time.

4. Begin drafting some conclusions as you complete the analysis

As I write my paper, I always make sure to include some early conclusions. For example, for my recent paper on the comparative analysis of 6 remunicipalization cases, as I completed each section and the history of each remunicipalization, I started integrating and summarizing my results in the analysis section and immediately after, I wrote a couple of sentences about the implications of my analysis for the conclusions section. By the time I finished the sixth case, I had 6 paragraphs in the conclusions section of my paper. This is particularly important as it helps me see the light at the end of the tunnel. As I was finishing the table that summarized my paper’s findings, I was able to also have a feeling of completion. By the time I had completed 3 case studies, my table looked quasi complete and I began feeling excited about finishing the paper.

Comfort Inn Santa Fe (Bosques, Santa Fe, Ciudad de Mexico)

5. Make sure you’ve told all the stories

As I was trying to finish my MPSA 2016 remunicipalizations paper (with a comparative table of 6 cases – Paris, Grenoble, Berlin, Atlanta, Hamilton and Buenos Aires), I got frustrated that I had assembled the paper too early for my liking and therefore I was not sure if I had completely told all the stories. For me, a story is fully told when there is at least 4-6 paragraphs that outline the overall issue and provide some analysis. That’s why at least 4-6 paragraphs would be necessary (history, the issue at hand, why is this issue relevant, what does my theoretical framework say about this particular issue) to fully outline and sketch the story. So, while I recognize that I had assembled the paper early, I used a summary table to ensure that I had already completely told all the stories. This table also helped me finish the paper because I could use the insights gained from this exercise for the analysis section and the conclusions section (see tip 4).

AcWri in pyjamas

6. Leave text for the next day

This tip sounds counter-intuitive, but this is exactly how I finish papers: I leave myself some room to complete sections, paragraphs and sentences. For example, for my environmental mobilizations paper, I wrote the section on the history of the environmental protest against Nestlé in British Columbia, on the Tuesday, and even though I wasn’t exhausted, I decided to just start the first few sentences of the California case. This tip is particularly important to me because I write in the morning. I start at 4 or 4:30am, wake up, start a pot of coffee, and write from 4-6, 4:30-6:30 or 5-7 am, because those are the hours when I am most productive.

7. Don’t write beyond your physical limits

Recently, I finished a book chapter by inserting 3,500 words that I wrote in the first 1.5 hours of the day into a draft that had 3,400 words. So I finished an 8,000 word paper in about 2 or 3 days. Obviously this only works if you’ve already simmered and thought about the paper for a very long time. I had been spinning my wheels for the past few days when I knew that I had made no progress on this paper in the past 4.75 months. This week, I just decided that I needed sleep and I stopped trying to write (yes, I too try to push my limits and do some “spree-writing”) so I went to sleep early. I woke up on Wednesday at 5 am, and by 6:30pm, I had finished the book chapter.

The reality is that academia has this toxic culture of overworking as though it were a badge of honor. But I can’t do that anymore. I used to work 24 hours in a row, sometimes even 36. Right now I can’t push my physical limits and I will not endorse overwork. So I know for a fact that I improved my writing since I started sleeping at a decent hour and at least 6 hours a day. And that’s exactly why I never write beyond my physical limits even if I am not done with the paper and I have a deadline. I prefer to ask for an extension or simply say “No, I can’t write your book chapter/paper/article” because I will no longer push myself beyond my physical limits.

8. Assemble the paper 80%-90% into the process

When I assemble a paper too early into the process, I end up seeing all the gaps in the paper and this demoralizes me. So now what I do, is I assemble the paper about 80-90% into the process. I assemble the introduction, conclusion, body of the paper and I collect my handwritten notes of what needs to be improved and corrected. And then I go over the paper and figure out if I am missing something. That way, whenever I sit down and work on this paper again, I feel that I am about to be done.


Applying this process helped me complete 3 draft papers (2 for MPSA, 1 book chapter, and two I’m working on) in about 5 weeks, all the while travelling every week and teaching one class every week. This is not to brag, but it’s just to show that if I follow a systematic process, I can move forward even under conditions of relative duress (e.g. when I am travelling). So, every single day I was able to work on research and write for a few hours because I was working every day on a different, single component of my paper and research project. As I have often said, I follow Aunty Acid’s advice: I take life one panic attack at a time.

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How to Write a Capstone Project With Ease

A capstone project is an academic paper that serves as a summary of a student’s experience. This type of paper is written in the last year of middle or high school or as a part of a college or university course. It can be assigned for nursing, engineering, IT, business, and other courses.

how to write a capstone project

How to Do a Capstone Project: What’s So Special About It?

A capstone project is another way to sum up skills and competencies the student has gained during the course. This kind of paper may be presented in various forms: case studies, research papers, surveys, outcome-based evaluation, focus groups, and more. The type and complexity will depend on the tutor’s requirements and course. The student needs to pick one of capstone project ideas related to the course or specialization and write a paper. Typically, a capstone project will be connected with the future specialization and require strong skills in teamwork, public speaking, and critical and analytical thinking.

How long is a capstone project? This will depend on the tutor’s requirements and usually is approximately forty pages long or more. You will be given plenty of time to write it.

Along with the writing process, students are frequently required to make a presentation (also known as a defense) of their project. The aim of such presentation is to improve public speaking skills and help students clearly express their thoughts. Along with a presentation, you will need to create a portfolio of your project that will accompany your presentation with additional materials and help the listener understand how you have come to your conclusions.

How to Write a Capstone Research Paper: Step by Step

1. Think of the topic. It is advisable to think about the topic from the very beginning of the program. Take notes and write down the ideas that come up during the classes. Think about the topics that interested you the most and seem manageable. Talk with your classmates or faculty members who have faced the topic before.

Focus on topics connected with your own experience and life. Think about situations where your knowledge from the course can be applied. Your capstone project should highlight the knowledge and skills you obtained during the course and how you can apply this in a prospective workplace. For example, it may be a business plan including a market investigation in a particular area, or the development of a new product or program aimed at a certain need.

2. Create a capstone project proposal. Before you start writing your paper, you will need to submit a proposal to your tutor. Usually it is a paper of 200 words or more. How to write a capstone proposal? Include the following points in your proposal:

  • Tell about the topic you want to choose and why you want to write about this particular topic.
  • Write about your experience or background in the particular topic.
  • Highlight the scope of information available and sources.
  • Tell about the research that you plan to do in your project and what methods you plan to use: analyze a certain process, pick certain products, etc.
  • List the required workplace and human subject approvals.
  • Set the aims that you wish to achieve with this project.

If you are required to write a broader proposal, you will need to develop a literature review and methodology that you plan to use in your writing. Make sure that you have included everything that will assure the tutor that you are interested in the topic and he or she will accept your proposal.

3. Gather information. Identify the sources and search for information related to your topic. Look through textbooks from your course; you can find a list of recommended literature and use it as a basis for your project. Create a folder on your computer and save all references and helpful links in one single place. Structure information in various files, name them appropriately, and add tags to ease the navigation. Highlight the key articles related to your topic that you will be discussing in the literature review section. Group the articles by categories.

4. Come up with a structure. The structure of every capstone project may vary. A clear structure will help you logically divide your work and concentrate on each part. Here you can see the typical structure of a capstone project:

  • Title page.
  • Introduction.
  • Literature review.
  • Methods.
  • Results and Discussion.
  • Conclusion and Recommendations.
  • References list.

5. Make a timetable. As a capstone is quite a voluminous paper, you will need to involve your time-planning skills. The best decision will be creating a calendar with tasks and deadlines. Correct the schedule over time, as one task you can complete faster, while the other one may take more time than you have planned. Use organizers in your phone or computer to keep track of your progress any time.

6. Get to the writing. The basis of your capstone project is the thesis statement. Come up with a strong thesis statement that is specific and narrow enough. If your thesis will be too broad, you won’t be able to cover all of the detail. You can write your project from any point you like; the only thing you need to remember is that the introduction is written last. You won’t be able to create a good introduction when you are not deep in the matter of the issue. Don’t forget to state the major problem (or issue) and list the limitations of the study.

In the literature review summarize your findings of the existing information on the topic. Make general conclusions and a brief analysis of each source that is valuable for your research. Keep being critical of the sources and note the gaps in the information. Add quotes to add value to your review, but don’t overuse it.

In the methods paragraph, analyze the process of your research. The reader should understand what you have done and how: collecting data, analysis, evaluation, etc. Justify the methods you chose and discuss the positive and negative sides of the chosen method.

In the results section, describe the data you received during the research. If you have statistics or other data, visualize it in tables and charts. Add descriptions and an interpretation of the data.
In the conclusion, sum up your findings and make recommendations for further researches and applications. Find the connection of your results with the initial issue.

7. Proofread the text. Reread the first draft and make corrections. Firstly, look through all sections and make sure that they are complete and logically right. Cut sentences without meaning, and add important sentences so the text will be complete. When you will be done with the context, look through for incorrect grammar, typos, and other mistakes. Make sure that the tone of your work is totally academic. And at last, format the text in accordance with the requirements to make it look neat and well structured. Ask someone experienced in academic writing to look through your writing and ask for feedback.

8. Prepare for the defense. Most of the project should be defended before the project committee. The quality of your presentation will influence the evaluation of the whole project. Initially you will need to reveal the essence of your topic, discuss the project research, and tell about your findings. Along with your presentation, the committee usually asks questions connected with your research and findings. Usually, committee members are familiar with the text of your project, as they have already looked through your proposal and drafts, so keep in mind that your defense will look more like a discussion than a presentation itself.

Capstone Project Sample

Here you can read one of our capstone project examples for nursing. We have commented on this paper with essential notes that you need to consider while writing. The paper was written in APA style and can serve as a great example to follow, especially if you are writing a capstone project for the first time. Please, note that the capstone project sample may differ from your requirements; we are giving you only a general view on how a written capstone project looks. Also, check out other capstone paper examples on our website.

Click the images to see their full size.

how to write a capstone

how to write a capstone project proposal

how to write a capstone research paper

how to write a capstone paper sample

Tips to Write a Capstone Paper

  • Strictly follow the given instructions. If the tutor requires you to use a particular structure or to organize text using bullets – do it. All these recommendations are given to make your text readable.
  • Make sure that you have applied the right structure. Capstone projects are usually voluminous and require a clear structure.
  • Create a powerful thesis statement that will show you potential.
  • Plan your time wisely. Create a time schedule for completing your paper.
  • Pick reliable sources only. The quality of your work will depend on the sources you use.
  • Pay attention to the layout. Follow the required style and format, as the presentation is vital.
  • Stick to one single style of writing and tone. The paper should be written using an academic style of writing – avoid a narrative or personal style.
  • Constantly contact your supervisor to make sure that you are going the right way.

Mistakes to Avoid in a Capstone Project

  • Don’t pick the topic that requires tons of calculations or complex concepts. If you will need to make a presentation of your project, the listeners will get bored from the numbers.
  • Avoid repetitions and self-plagiarism (copying parts of text from your previous researches).
  • Don’t underestimate the meaning of a capstone project – it may be as important as a thesis or dissertation.
  • Don’t use long sentences. Make your writing laconic and to the point. A capstone project doesn’t require narrative skills, only academic writing skills, and involves accurate sentences which present a certain idea.
  • Don’t skip doing proper proofreading and editing. Even a single grammatical or punctuation error may spoil the impression from a good capstone project.

how to write a capstone paper

How to Choose Capstone Project Topics

Choosing a topic is crucial for your capstone project—it has to be interesting, engaging and at least be somehow connected with your interests or hobbies. If you are wondering why, just imagine you need to write 45 pages on a topic you feel deadly bored about. Is that convincing enough?

1) The difficulty with choosing a topic for your capstone project is that it actually can be related to two or even more disciplines, not only one. So take your time and think what has fascinated you during your studies the most. If you have some notes left from previous years, you can look them through (of course, if you have a habit of writing questions that come to your head during a lecture). This is still not a topic, but at least you will find the direction to move in.

2) Now it’s time to actually choose the topic. You have the field of studies – let’s lay, literature and language. What do you need to do here is have a quick look at what you have been studying the whole course and form a related topic. To make the task easier, ask your counselor to give you a list of topics or review the works written previously in your department. You can base your topic on those you’ve found or come up with a completely unique one, but remember that you need it to be confirmed by your project counselor.

3) Don’t be afraid of changes. In the process of the research, most students find that their topic doesn’t quite suit the scientific reality they encounter. For example, if your topic was “symbols in Celtic love poetry,” you initially find out that the Celts weren’t very fond of writing love poetry, and most of their poems were about battles, power and might. But don’t be afraid, as this doesn’t mean you have to conduct new research or something—simply adjust the topic. If you have found reasons why the Celts didn’t write about love, then your topic should include this important discovery. It will read like this “Main reasons for avoiding the love topic.”

Do you have a better idea on how to write a capstone project? Share your opinion in the comment section below. The best and most useful secrets will be added to the article.

We hope that our guide and tips have given you a basic understanding of how to write a capstone project. All of this information is general, as every capstone project depends on your department requirements and program. We wish you to write a capstone project with ease!

8 steps for writing an effective research paper


A research paper gives a perspective or make an argument that is important to the chosen area of research, and summarizes the answers to your research questions. Research paper all about stating long lists of facts or explaining the topic.

A research paper gives a perspective or make an argument that is important to the chosen area of research, and summarizes the answers to your research questions. Research paper all about stating long lists of facts or explaining the topic.



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