How to Write a Research Paper: Tips That Will Impress Even Yourself
It may seem like a pretty straightforward task, but learning how to write a research paper goes beyond simply picking a topic you like and summarizing information about it. There’s a lot more to it, but you don’t need to feel overwhelmed. We’re here to help, and we’re going to walk through everything you need to know to feel confident about your next assignment.
On this episode of the Homework Help Show, we’re going to show you the trick to learning how to write a research paper and turning in a piece of academic writing that will show your professor what you’re really made of. Ready to accept the challenge? Let’s dive in.
What You Need to Know Before You Learn How to Write a Research Paper
You need to know what you’re doing before you can really jump in and write an A-level paper. That all starts with the assignment instructions.
Firstly, what type of research paper are you writing? There are generally three main types of research papers you could write: argumentative, expository, or analytical.
An argumentative essay is an essay in which you are arguing a specific perspective or stance on a topic and using research to back up your opinion or point of view. For example, if you’ve been tasked to write an argumentative research paper about Galileo Galilei, you could make the argument that Galileo’s version of the telescope completely transformed the world of science. In the paper, you’d present research about Galileo’s invention, what he did with it, and how it has allowed others who came after him to make important and revolutionary discoveries.
An expository essay is an essay where you provide objective and factual information about a topic. This is generally the most common type of research paper. Essentially, you’re explaining your topic to someone who may not know much about it. So, going back to the Galileo example, if you had to take this approach, you’d write about his life and work and present some main facts about what he did and why we’re still talking about him today.
An analytical essay takes a deeper approach and examines themes or deeper meanings behind a topic, forming an argument or making a claim about that underlying theme. This is most commonly used in research papers about another person’s work, such as a film or a piece of literature, but it could be applied to many other subjects, such as a specific time period or event in history. For example, you could write an analytical essay about the link between money and power in today’s fight against climate change, or the issue of gender roles in Victorian society in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.
There aren’t many topics that are off-limits when it comes to writing a good research paper, so make sure you double-check your assignment instructions to get a clear idea of what you need to do.
Don’t Skip The Important Stuff: Research & Writing
As the name of this type of paper suggests, you’re going to be doing a fair amount of both research and writing. In this sense, learning how to write a research paper is as much about finding the best sources as it is about utilizing good writing skills.
Like any other academic essay, the key to a good research paper is showing your professor you really know and understand your topic. Your assignment is really about getting down to the core of your subject and exploring more about a topic, no matter what that topic is. In fact, you could just as easily write a good research paper about why cats make the best pets as you could about the terrifying rise to power of Adolf Hitler. What it comes down to is the research you put into it and the writing skills you use to explain the information you’ve found.
Grammarly recommends keeping all of the key points you learn in your research in a spreadsheet you can add to while going through your sources. In the spreadsheet, you can keep sections for the event, the information you learn about it, and the source you got it from. This will be really helpful when it comes time to finalize your bibliography later on, and will help you get a clear idea of what parts of your research you’ll use when you start writing.
Planning a Good Research Paper
Planning is an important step to take, especially when you’re learning how to write a research paper. Don’t just jump in blindly and start writing down everything you know about your subject. Start with a plan.
In some cases, you may have been asked to write a research proposal as part of the first steps of your assignment. This is usually a big component when writing a thesis for a master’s program or doctorate, but it could also be a part of any undergraduate assignment. That research proposal is an excellent building block to give you everything you need to write a good research paper. It tells you exactly where to start and what research you still need to do.
We’ll talk more about planning and drafting your outline in this clip, but it’s important that you understand why you need to organize your paper ahead of time. You can also check out episode 47 of the Homework Help Show, where we give you a detailed breakdown of how to write a structured essay outline. The more you know, the better your paper will be.
An outline helps you gather your thoughts and figure out how your paper is going to flow properly. From the first sentence of the introductory paragraph to the last line of your conclusion, everything should be written in a way that makes sense, and gets the reader from one section to another seamlessly. When you outline your thoughts, you can easily stay on track and make sure that you know exactly what information you need to be including.
Five Secrets to a Good Paper
Before we dig into the details and show you how to write a research paper, here are a few things you should keep in mind before you begin the writing process.
● 1. Consistency: From beginning to end, your research paper should always stay on topic. Just because you find something really interesting in your research doesn’t mean it should be included.
● 2. A Great Thesis Statement: Your thesis statement is the glue that holds your entire research paper together. What is the reason you’re writing this research paper in the first place, or the message you’re trying to convey? Be sure to keep this question in mind and always refer back to the points you established in the introductory paragraph.
● 3. Knowledge and Sources: Every argument needs credibility. That’s where good peer-reviewed and reliable reference materials come into play. For more help with this, take a look at our blog on how to find credible sources online.
● 4. Good Writing: All of your academic assignments should be well written, so doing this in a research paper should be no different. Organize and structure your sentences properly, use the right tone of voice, and avoid any personal pronouns or first person narrative. Make sure you include an attention-grabbing hook in the introductory paragraph, and a nice thought-provoking summary in the conclusion.
● 5. An Editing Process: It doesn’t look good on your part when you turn in a detailed research paper filled with avoidable grammar mistakes that could have been fixed with a basic spell check. Whenever you can, give your paper to a friend to read over, or use an essay editing service to have a professional go over it for you.
The Next Steps: Learning How to Write a Research Paper and Putting it Into Practice
Now that you have some great background knowledge on what goes into a good paper, let’s dive right in and learn how to write a research paper with the help of our Homework Help Show host and top writer, Cath Anne. We’re going to give you the information you need to make sure you’re completely covered for all of your future research papers.
If you need more help on your assignments, take a look at our ultimate guide to writing a good essay. In this blog, we give you a detailed, step by step breakdown of everything you need to know to write a winning paper. No matter what you’re writing, we’ll help you make sure you’ve got a good paper ready to get you the grade.
After all of this, if you’re still feeling overwhelmed, we’ve got you covered. Life can get stressful, especially if you’re balancing student life, work, and social activities, and that’s why we’re available to take on any of your assignments for you. Homework Help Canada offers a range of academic writing services that can help you out when you’re in a pinch or just not confident enough to get the grade you need. Get a free quote now and start making your life easier.
Watch Episode 66 of The Homework Help Show Now
Are you staring at the blank page on your computer screen and have no idea how to approach your challenging research paper? We can help. In today’s video we break down the steps on how to write a research paper, just in time for back to school!
Looking for study tips, help with essay writing, or advice on how to be a better student? Welcome to The Homework Help Show, a weekly show where we teach, assist, and offer valuable insights for student life. From study hacks to writing tips, discussions about student mental health to step-by-step guides on academic writing and how to write a resume, we’ve got you covered. Want your questions answered? Write them below or join the conversation on social media using the hashtag #askHHG
Cath Anne: [00:00:00] Are you staring at a blank page with no idea how to approach your challenging research paper. We can help. Today on episode 66 of The Homework Help Show we break down the steps to writing a research paper. Hi guys and welcome back to our channel. My name is Cath Anne and this is The Homework Help Show hosted by Homework Help Canada. Here on the show we provide you with valuable content for your academic and student life. Now before we jumped into the contest I wanted to remind you guys that every Thursday at 9 a.m. Eastern Standard Time we are going to be going live on Instagram with you guys. The last couple of weeks we’ve been going live and having chats from people across the world. We hope that you guys will join us on Instagram for those Instagram lives. Remember it’s every Thursday at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time. I also wanted to mention that if you guys could it would be awesome if you could subscribe to our channel and hit that notification bell so that you don’t miss out on any of our upcoming content. We have some really really exciting collaborations and content coming up for the fall season and we’re gearing up for that. And I really don’t want you guys to miss out on any of our awesome content. Make sure to follow us on Instagram and Facebook for all the updates on new content coming your way.
Cath Anne: [00:01:40] Let’s jump in. Research papers are time consuming projects and they take up a bulk of your grade. And many courses even though they are challenging, it is important to learn writing and research skills because this will help you throughout your undergraduate degree, your college degree, your graduate degree or master’s program and even into your career life. That’s why it’s important to master the skills of writing and researching for a research paper. We are here to help. Now let’s talk about the steps involved in writing a research paper.
Cath Anne: [00:02:19] Step number one. Choose a topic. Now there are times that you will be assigned with a topic at the beginning of the course. Perhaps the professor wants you to focus on something specific. However, when this isn’t the case you want to take some time to consider a topic that you are really interested in. Think about your topic and choose something that is really interesting to you and that you’ll feel challenged by. This way you won’t get bored while you’re researching because you’ll be finding out all sorts of new information and in turn this will come through in your research paper. Don’t select topics that are too technical or too general. This will be evidently a little boring for you to write. If your topic is too broad your paper will look like more of a general overview as opposed to a specific research paper. Narrow your topic down to something very specific. So for example if your topic is climate change you’ll want to narrow that into something more specific. For example causes of climate change or the impact of climate change on human health. These are much more specific and narrow topics.
Cath Anne: [00:03:40] Step number two write a working thesis statement. Prepare a working thesis statement before you begin writing because it will help you to guide the writing and researching process. Your thesis statement should be concise and it should reflect the type of research paper that you are writing. Research papers can be divided into three different types. First, the argumentative essay in which you are trying to argue your conclusion. Second, the expository essay where you are providing information and third, the analytical essay where you are providing an analysis of a certain topic. Devote some time to writing a really strong thesis statement. This in turn will make your paper a bit stronger. This in turn will provide you with the basis and the foundation for an effective research essay. For more on how to write an effective thesis statement check out episode sixty one of The Homework Help Show we give you some tips on how to write a really strong thesis statement. We’ll link it in the description box below. Here is an example of an effective thesis statement. Climate change is one of the most pressing issues facing the world today.
Cath Anne: [00:05:01] Step number three. Do research on your topic. You should find enough secondary and primary credible sources to include in the body of your paper carefully read all of them. And find evidence to support your thesis statement. At this time you should be documenting all of the research that you come across and making note of citations that will eventually be included in your references page. At the end of your essay doing this step now will save you a lot of time in the editing process because you will already have your citations figured out. Make sure to document your citations in APA, MLA, Chicago, or Harvard format. Whichever format your professor is requesting. And remember it is crucial to cite all the sources that you use whether you’re paraphrasing or using a direct quotation. This will help you to avoid plagiarism which is super important.
Cath Anne: [00:06:09] Step number four make a good outline when you complete your research. You probably have some really great ideas. Make sure to begin by writing an outline. Don’t skip this step. Writing an outline will help your writing to be more cohesive and to flow. Your outline will serve as a roadmap for your writing. Think about key points that you’ll need to support your thesis statement. These can serve as subheadings go through all of the research that you’ve done and put some of the key words and information under each subheading. This will help you to organize your essay. You should resist the temptation to include any information that is not relevant to your thesis statement even if it is really interesting. When developing your outline. Keep in mind that a research essay generally follows a specific structure. It usually has a title an abstract, introduction, body paragraphs that are comprised of the methodology, findings, discussion, and conclusion. Perhaps you’re not required to write a very long research essay. In this case you might use it. In this case you might use a different structure. Perhaps you just use an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion. And that’s perfectly fine as well. Just bear in mind to make sure to follow the instructions that your professor provides to you.
Cath Anne: [00:07:48] Step number five. Create the first draft so you have your thesis. You have your outline and you’ve done your research. Now it’s time to craft the first draft of your essay.
Cath Anne: [00:08:02] Create a first draft including all in text citations and references. Like I said this will give you a lot of time to edit and not worry about editing in text citations. At the end of your writing consider the title a title is often forgotten about by students. It is really important to have a strong title because it will allow your reader to know what to expect from your research paper. A good way to develop a strong title is to list all the keywords that you’ve come across throughout your research. Perhaps you include the topic of the paper methods you use and evidence that you’ve come across. Once you have all of these keywords linked them together to form a strong title create a strong title which reflects the body of your paper.
Cath Anne: [00:08:55] Step number six always edit revise and proofread. No matter how good a writer you are you will never come away with a perfect first draft. It is necessary to edit revise and proofread always edit your first draft to make sure that your essay is on point. It is possible that you might need to revise your essay more than once. Just to make sure that it is perfect before you hand it in. Have a friend or colleague review your essay for logic flow and structure. Make sure to edit for grammatical errors spelling errors or typos. You’ll need to reread your essay several times. A good strategy is to read your essay backwards because you won’t be as familiar with it. This will help you to recognize any errors in logic or writing any grammatical errors or typos. I highly recommend printing out your paper and going through with a highlighter and a pen and making notes. It is likely that you’ll come across more errors when you printed out and a hard copy as opposed to simply reading your essay on the computer page.
Cath Anne: [00:10:16] And guys if you do need any help with writing your essays make sure to reach out to Homework Help Global. We are more than happy to help and all of our information is linked and listed in the description box below. We offer a variety of services from editing to proofreading to ghostwriting if you need it. OK guys that’s it for me this week.
Cath Anne: [00:10:40] I hope you enjoyed this video and that it was a benefit to you. Let me know if you have tried any of the techniques in the comments below. Connect with us on social media; Instagram, Facebook and make sure to check out our student influencers podcast as well as some of our other videos here on YouTube. All of our information is linked in listed in the description box below. And as I mentioned stay tuned for some exciting upcoming content. Thank you guys so much for joining me. Talk soon and take care.Share: