essay writing guide

Research papers form an important part of a student’s career, the grades scored and the publishing of the paper in a journal determines the path of their further education or profession. However, creating an exemplary research paper is easier said than done. Complete understanding of the research paper requirements, excellent writing skills, and fine editing are some of the basic requirements of a research paper writing process. Most students often feel – “if someone could write my assignment for me,” and ask for help from cousins or friends to get done with the task. But doing so does not improve their research paper writing skill or learn the steps to write the research paper here are the 9 steps every student must follow to build their research papers.

  1. Understand the assignment

This is the first step to any research paper writing – whether a college application essay or thesis writing. In this step students must analyze the assignment carefully by understanding the writing prompt, exploring the technical elements like length, spacing, indentation, citation style, etc., and the chapters that must be included – abstract, etc.

After understanding the research paper requirement, the next step is to follow the writing process.

  1. Choose your topic

Most research paper writing begins with choosing the topic. the topics chosen set the pace and content of the thesis paper, the time consumption for research, and everything that follows. Students must choose a research paper topic that is narrow enough to collect the most available information and facilitate a rich discussion.

However, the topic must never be too generic or one that lacks the reader’s interest. A topic that satisfies the interest of the writer and has justifiable content usually keeps a reader engaged.

  1. Gather preliminary research

The earlier a student begins the research the deeper and more extensive research he can conduct. Early research also facilitates removing the misconceptions related to the topic and reveals the best approaches to search for more information. Most research paper materials are available online and in physical and digital libraries.

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However, one must ensure that the sources of information are credible if using the online source. One may even check the “browse accredited sources and research materials” in the search engine’s tools and resources tab to scan the credible sources only.  Using both primary sources like published articles or autobiographies and secondary sources like critical reviews or secondhand biographies helps develop a better research paper.

  1. Write a thesis statement

A thesis is basically the few lines added at the end of the research paper introduction which summarise what the research paper is about or the topics that the research paper will uncover. Apart from preparing the reader to prepare themselves for the content they are about to read, it also gives them an overview of whether the research paper will be of any use to their research. a thesis statement framed well will hint at all the sections of discussion without disclosing any details. It often becomes easy to pose the statement as a question to stay true to the essence of thesis statement writing without using too many words.

  1. Determine supporting evidence

What information is included in the supporting evidence and how it is structured in the body of the research paper writing decides whether the document is a hit or a miss. sorting out the supporting evidence is a huge task; reading each source of information, taking notes and then tallying whether it elevates the research paper topic and students often succumb to do this task.

However, a simple method can make the work quite easy – scan the sources that contain relevant supporting information and save it in a separate file. Then number each source chronologically to write the paper and cite the sources.

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Creating index cards with quotes and facts on one side and citations and bibliography on the other side of the page also helps in developing the evidence and creating bibliographies simultaneously. Utilizing an online card maker can further streamline the process, providing a convenient platform to organize quotes and facts seamlessly on one side, while allowing easy integration of citations and bibliography details on the flip side of the virtual index cards.

  1. Write a research paper outline

A methodical and systematic research paper outline often helps avoid all structural issues while writing the research paper and prevents straying out from the main theme of the research paper writing.

The outlining process must begin with listing all topics and sub-topics related to the paper. Then writers must decide the best way of presenting the information – which subheading must come first and which heading must follow it.  The chronological approach beginning with an introduction or abstract and ending with a bibliography often works best to present the information more meaningfully.

Some students prefer to segregate the outline into paragraphs or sections as they appear in the final draft since it helps them to cover all the relevant information under each heading.

  1. Write the first draft

The first draft is the longest section of research paper writing and perhaps the most crucial one. It is like putting the wok on the heat and cooking the dish after prepping all the ingredients and before garnishing the food. The way it is presented and what information is used determines the final score of the paper. The best way to create the first draft is to begin with the thesis statement and then move toward preparing the rest of the introduction.

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Each section of the body must have separate headers. A writer must move with the flow of writing and think about corrections later – it helps form a better piece of work.

The conclusion must restate the thesis statement, brush over the primary evidence, and summarise the findings.

Transitional words and phrases help give a feel to the entire document as a whole and not chunks of different information glued together.

  1. Cite your sources correctly

Citation is the other important part of the research paper writing. It validates the writing to the writing community. One must follow the latest citation rules to create exemplary citations. Typically, academic writing follows 3 citation styles:

  • MLA (Modern Language Association)
  • APA (American Psychological Association)
  • Chicago
  • AMA
  • IEEE

The in-text and referencing format for each source is different and the rules for citation change frequently.  A student must conform to the university guidelines, and consider the subject of research, to determine the type of citation style to use for reference.

  1. Edit and proofread

Most students wonder – “Is there any way to easily edit my paper online?”  Editing indeed is a technical and complicated task but it is never an impossible one. It goes hand in hand with proofreading online. The best way to edit a paper is to do it twice but after a break of at least 2 days.

  1. The first edit must be for the structural issues like adding or deleting words, rearranging the paragraphs,
  2. The second edit must scan over the choice of words and errors in spelling and grammar.

To Conclude,

The 9 steps stated above help a writer focus on every detail of the paper and score good grades which help in moving forward his academic career successfully.

Author Bio – Alison is a lecturer at a reputed college in London. She also supervises the College Application Essay service provided by a global academic assistive service. if you need any assistance you may connect with her at


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