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Focus: Education — Career Advice
How to write your first research paper.
Writing a research manuscript is an intimidating process for many novice writers in the sciences. One of the stumbling blocks is the beginning of the process and creating the first draft. This paper presents guidelines on how to initiate the writing process and draft each section of a research manuscript. The paper discusses seven rules that allow the writer to prepare a well-structured and comprehensive manuscript for a publication submission. In addition, the author lists different strategies for successful revision. Each of those strategies represents a step in the revision process and should help the writer improve the quality of the manuscript. The paper could be considered a brief manual for publication.
It is late at night. You have been struggling with your project for a year. You generated an enormous amount of interesting data. Your pipette feels like an extension of your hand, and running western blots has become part of your daily routine, similar to brushing your teeth. Your colleagues think you are ready to write a paper, and your lab mates tease you about your “slow” writing progress. Yet days pass, and you cannot force yourself to sit down to write. You have not written anything for a while (lab reports do not count), and you feel you have lost your stamina. How does the writing process work? How can you fit your writing into a daily schedule packed with experiments? What section should you start with? What distinguishes a good research paper from a bad one? How should you revise your paper? These and many other questions buzz in your head and keep you stressed. As a result, you procrastinate. In this paper, I will discuss the issues related to the writing process of a scientific paper. Specifically, I will focus on the best approaches to start a scientific paper, tips for writing each section, and the best revision strategies.
1. Schedule your writing time in Outlook
Whether you have written 100 papers or you are struggling with your first, starting the process is the most difficult part unless you have a rigid writing schedule. Writing is hard. It is a very difficult process of intense concentration and brain work. As stated in Hayes’ framework for the study of writing: “It is a generative activity requiring motivation, and it is an intellectual activity requiring cognitive processes and memory” [ 1 ]. In his book How to Write a Lot: A Practical Guide to Productive Academic Writing , Paul Silvia says that for some, “it’s easier to embalm the dead than to write an article about it” [ 2 ]. Just as with any type of hard work, you will not succeed unless you practice regularly. If you have not done physical exercises for a year, only regular workouts can get you into good shape again. The same kind of regular exercises, or I call them “writing sessions,” are required to be a productive author. Choose from 1- to 2-hour blocks in your daily work schedule and consider them as non-cancellable appointments. When figuring out which blocks of time will be set for writing, you should select the time that works best for this type of work. For many people, mornings are more productive. One Yale University graduate student spent a semester writing from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. when her lab was empty. At the end of the semester, she was amazed at how much she accomplished without even interrupting her regular lab hours. In addition, doing the hardest task first thing in the morning contributes to the sense of accomplishment during the rest of the day. This positive feeling spills over into our work and life and has a very positive effect on our overall attitude.
Rule 1: Create regular time blocks for writing as appointments in your calendar and keep these appointments.
2. start with an outline.
Now that you have scheduled time, you need to decide how to start writing. The best strategy is to start with an outline. This will not be an outline that you are used to, with Roman numerals for each section and neat parallel listing of topic sentences and supporting points. This outline will be similar to a template for your paper. Initially, the outline will form a structure for your paper; it will help generate ideas and formulate hypotheses. Following the advice of George M. Whitesides, “. . . start with a blank piece of paper, and write down, in any order, all important ideas that occur to you concerning the paper” [ 3 ]. Use Table 1 as a starting point for your outline. Include your visuals (figures, tables, formulas, equations, and algorithms), and list your findings. These will constitute the first level of your outline, which will eventually expand as you elaborate.
The next stage is to add context and structure. Here you will group all your ideas into sections: Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion/Conclusion ( Table 2 ). This step will help add coherence to your work and sift your ideas.
Now that you have expanded your outline, you are ready for the next step: discussing the ideas for your paper with your colleagues and mentor. Many universities have a writing center where graduate students can schedule individual consultations and receive assistance with their paper drafts. Getting feedback during early stages of your draft can save a lot of time. Talking through ideas allows people to conceptualize and organize thoughts to find their direction without wasting time on unnecessary writing. Outlining is the most effective way of communicating your ideas and exchanging thoughts. Moreover, it is also the best stage to decide to which publication you will submit the paper. Many people come up with three choices and discuss them with their mentors and colleagues. Having a list of journal priorities can help you quickly resubmit your paper if your paper is rejected.
Rule 2: Create a detailed outline and discuss it with your mentor and peers.
3. continue with drafts.
After you get enough feedback and decide on the journal you will submit to, the process of real writing begins. Copy your outline into a separate file and expand on each of the points, adding data and elaborating on the details. When you create the first draft, do not succumb to the temptation of editing. Do not slow down to choose a better word or better phrase; do not halt to improve your sentence structure. Pour your ideas into the paper and leave revision and editing for later. As Paul Silvia explains, “Revising while you generate text is like drinking decaffeinated coffee in the early morning: noble idea, wrong time” [ 2 ].
Many students complain that they are not productive writers because they experience writer’s block. Staring at an empty screen is frustrating, but your screen is not really empty: You have a template of your article, and all you need to do is fill in the blanks. Indeed, writer’s block is a logical fallacy for a scientist ― it is just an excuse to procrastinate. When scientists start writing a research paper, they already have their files with data, lab notes with materials and experimental designs, some visuals, and tables with results. All they need to do is scrutinize these pieces and put them together into a comprehensive paper.
3.1. Starting with Materials and Methods
If you still struggle with starting a paper, then write the Materials and Methods section first. Since you have all your notes, it should not be problematic for you to describe the experimental design and procedures. Your most important goal in this section is to be as explicit as possible by providing enough detail and references. In the end, the purpose of this section is to allow other researchers to evaluate and repeat your work. So do not run into the same problems as the writers of the sentences in (1):
1a. Bacteria were pelleted by centrifugation. 1b. To isolate T cells, lymph nodes were collected.
As you can see, crucial pieces of information are missing: the speed of centrifuging your bacteria, the time, and the temperature in (1a); the source of lymph nodes for collection in (b). The sentences can be improved when information is added, as in (2a) and (2b), respectfully:
2a. Bacteria were pelleted by centrifugation at 3000g for 15 min at 25°C. 2b. To isolate T cells, mediastinal and mesenteric lymph nodes from Balb/c mice were collected at day 7 after immunization with ovabumin.
If your method has previously been published and is well-known, then you should provide only the literature reference, as in (3a). If your method is unpublished, then you need to make sure you provide all essential details, as in (3b).
3a. Stem cells were isolated, according to Johnson . 3b. Stem cells were isolated using biotinylated carbon nanotubes coated with anti-CD34 antibodies.
Furthermore, cohesion and fluency are crucial in this section. One of the malpractices resulting in disrupted fluency is switching from passive voice to active and vice versa within the same paragraph, as shown in (4). This switching misleads and distracts the reader.
4. Behavioral computer-based experiments of Study 1 were programmed by using E-Prime. We took ratings of enjoyment, mood, and arousal as the patients listened to preferred pleasant music and unpreferred music by using Visual Analogue Scales (SI Methods). The preferred and unpreferred status of the music was operationalized along a continuum of pleasantness [ 4 ].
The problem with (4) is that the reader has to switch from the point of view of the experiment (passive voice) to the point of view of the experimenter (active voice). This switch causes confusion about the performer of the actions in the first and the third sentences. To improve the coherence and fluency of the paragraph above, you should be consistent in choosing the point of view: first person “we” or passive voice [ 5 ]. Let’s consider two revised examples in (5).
5a. We programmed behavioral computer-based experiments of Study 1 by using E-Prime. We took ratings of enjoyment, mood, and arousal by using Visual Analogue Scales (SI Methods) as the patients listened to preferred pleasant music and unpreferred music. We operationalized the preferred and unpreferred status of the music along a continuum of pleasantness. 5b. Behavioral computer-based experiments of Study 1 were programmed by using E-Prime. Ratings of enjoyment, mood, and arousal were taken as the patients listened to preferred pleasant music and unpreferred music by using Visual Analogue Scales (SI Methods). The preferred and unpreferred status of the music was operationalized along a continuum of pleasantness.
If you choose the point of view of the experimenter, then you may end up with repetitive “we did this” sentences. For many readers, paragraphs with sentences all beginning with “we” may also sound disruptive. So if you choose active sentences, you need to keep the number of “we” subjects to a minimum and vary the beginnings of the sentences [ 6 ].
Interestingly, recent studies have reported that the Materials and Methods section is the only section in research papers in which passive voice predominantly overrides the use of the active voice [ 5 , 7 , 8 , 9 ]. For example, Martínez shows a significant drop in active voice use in the Methods sections based on the corpus of 1 million words of experimental full text research articles in the biological sciences [ 7 ]. According to the author, the active voice patterned with “we” is used only as a tool to reveal personal responsibility for the procedural decisions in designing and performing experimental work. This means that while all other sections of the research paper use active voice, passive voice is still the most predominant in Materials and Methods sections.
Writing Materials and Methods sections is a meticulous and time consuming task requiring extreme accuracy and clarity. This is why when you complete your draft, you should ask for as much feedback from your colleagues as possible. Numerous readers of this section will help you identify the missing links and improve the technical style of this section.
Rule 3: Be meticulous and accurate in describing the Materials and Methods. Do not change the point of view within one paragraph.
3.2. writing results section.
For many authors, writing the Results section is more intimidating than writing the Materials and Methods section . If people are interested in your paper, they are interested in your results. That is why it is vital to use all your writing skills to objectively present your key findings in an orderly and logical sequence using illustrative materials and text.
Your Results should be organized into different segments or subsections where each one presents the purpose of the experiment, your experimental approach, data including text and visuals (tables, figures, schematics, algorithms, and formulas), and data commentary. For most journals, your data commentary will include a meaningful summary of the data presented in the visuals and an explanation of the most significant findings. This data presentation should not repeat the data in the visuals, but rather highlight the most important points. In the “standard” research paper approach, your Results section should exclude data interpretation, leaving it for the Discussion section. However, interpretations gradually and secretly creep into research papers: “Reducing the data, generalizing from the data, and highlighting scientific cases are all highly interpretive processes. It should be clear by now that we do not let the data speak for themselves in research reports; in summarizing our results, we interpret them for the reader” [ 10 ]. As a result, many journals including the Journal of Experimental Medicine and the Journal of Clinical Investigation use joint Results/Discussion sections, where results are immediately followed by interpretations.
Another important aspect of this section is to create a comprehensive and supported argument or a well-researched case. This means that you should be selective in presenting data and choose only those experimental details that are essential for your reader to understand your findings. You might have conducted an experiment 20 times and collected numerous records, but this does not mean that you should present all those records in your paper. You need to distinguish your results from your data and be able to discard excessive experimental details that could distract and confuse the reader. However, creating a picture or an argument should not be confused with data manipulation or falsification, which is a willful distortion of data and results. If some of your findings contradict your ideas, you have to mention this and find a plausible explanation for the contradiction.
In addition, your text should not include irrelevant and peripheral information, including overview sentences, as in (6).
6. To show our results, we first introduce all components of experimental system and then describe the outcome of infections.
Indeed, wordiness convolutes your sentences and conceals your ideas from readers. One common source of wordiness is unnecessary intensifiers. Adverbial intensifiers such as “clearly,” “essential,” “quite,” “basically,” “rather,” “fairly,” “really,” and “virtually” not only add verbosity to your sentences, but also lower your results’ credibility. They appeal to the reader’s emotions but lower objectivity, as in the common examples in (7):
7a. Table 3 clearly shows that … 7b. It is obvious from figure 4 that …
Another source of wordiness is nominalizations, i.e., nouns derived from verbs and adjectives paired with weak verbs including “be,” “have,” “do,” “make,” “cause,” “provide,” and “get” and constructions such as “there is/are.”
8a. We tested the hypothesis that there is a disruption of membrane asymmetry. 8b. In this paper we provide an argument that stem cells repopulate injured organs.
In the sentences above, the abstract nominalizations “disruption” and “argument” do not contribute to the clarity of the sentences, but rather clutter them with useless vocabulary that distracts from the meaning. To improve your sentences, avoid unnecessary nominalizations and change passive verbs and constructions into active and direct sentences.
9a. We tested the hypothesis that the membrane asymmetry is disrupted. 9b. In this paper we argue that stem cells repopulate injured organs.
Your Results section is the heart of your paper, representing a year or more of your daily research. So lead your reader through your story by writing direct, concise, and clear sentences.
Rule 4: Be clear, concise, and objective in describing your Results.
3.3. now it is time for your introduction.
Now that you are almost half through drafting your research paper, it is time to update your outline. While describing your Methods and Results, many of you diverged from the original outline and re-focused your ideas. So before you move on to create your Introduction, re-read your Methods and Results sections and change your outline to match your research focus. The updated outline will help you review the general picture of your paper, the topic, the main idea, and the purpose, which are all important for writing your introduction.
The best way to structure your introduction is to follow the three-move approach shown in Table 3 .
Adapted from Swales and Feak [ 11 ].
The moves and information from your outline can help to create your Introduction efficiently and without missing steps. These moves are traffic signs that lead the reader through the road of your ideas. Each move plays an important role in your paper and should be presented with deep thought and care. When you establish the territory, you place your research in context and highlight the importance of your research topic. By finding the niche, you outline the scope of your research problem and enter the scientific dialogue. The final move, “occupying the niche,” is where you explain your research in a nutshell and highlight your paper’s significance. The three moves allow your readers to evaluate their interest in your paper and play a significant role in the paper review process, determining your paper reviewers.
Some academic writers assume that the reader “should follow the paper” to find the answers about your methodology and your findings. As a result, many novice writers do not present their experimental approach and the major findings, wrongly believing that the reader will locate the necessary information later while reading the subsequent sections [ 5 ]. However, this “suspense” approach is not appropriate for scientific writing. To interest the reader, scientific authors should be direct and straightforward and present informative one-sentence summaries of the results and the approach.
Another problem is that writers understate the significance of the Introduction. Many new researchers mistakenly think that all their readers understand the importance of the research question and omit this part. However, this assumption is faulty because the purpose of the section is not to evaluate the importance of the research question in general. The goal is to present the importance of your research contribution and your findings. Therefore, you should be explicit and clear in describing the benefit of the paper.
The Introduction should not be long. Indeed, for most journals, this is a very brief section of about 250 to 600 words, but it might be the most difficult section due to its importance.
Rule 5: Interest your reader in the Introduction section by signalling all its elements and stating the novelty of the work.
3.4. discussion of the results.
For many scientists, writing a Discussion section is as scary as starting a paper. Most of the fear comes from the variation in the section. Since every paper has its unique results and findings, the Discussion section differs in its length, shape, and structure. However, some general principles of writing this section still exist. Knowing these rules, or “moves,” can change your attitude about this section and help you create a comprehensive interpretation of your results.
The purpose of the Discussion section is to place your findings in the research context and “to explain the meaning of the findings and why they are important, without appearing arrogant, condescending, or patronizing” [ 11 ]. The structure of the first two moves is almost a mirror reflection of the one in the Introduction. In the Introduction, you zoom in from general to specific and from the background to your research question; in the Discussion section, you zoom out from the summary of your findings to the research context, as shown in Table 4 .
Adapted from Swales and Feak and Hess [ 11 , 12 ].
The biggest challenge for many writers is the opening paragraph of the Discussion section. Following the moves in Table 1 , the best choice is to start with the study’s major findings that provide the answer to the research question in your Introduction. The most common starting phrases are “Our findings demonstrate . . .,” or “In this study, we have shown that . . .,” or “Our results suggest . . .” In some cases, however, reminding the reader about the research question or even providing a brief context and then stating the answer would make more sense. This is important in those cases where the researcher presents a number of findings or where more than one research question was presented. Your summary of the study’s major findings should be followed by your presentation of the importance of these findings. One of the most frequent mistakes of the novice writer is to assume the importance of his findings. Even if the importance is clear to you, it may not be obvious to your reader. Digesting the findings and their importance to your reader is as crucial as stating your research question.
Another useful strategy is to be proactive in the first move by predicting and commenting on the alternative explanations of the results. Addressing potential doubts will save you from painful comments about the wrong interpretation of your results and will present you as a thoughtful and considerate researcher. Moreover, the evaluation of the alternative explanations might help you create a logical step to the next move of the discussion section: the research context.
The goal of the research context move is to show how your findings fit into the general picture of the current research and how you contribute to the existing knowledge on the topic. This is also the place to discuss any discrepancies and unexpected findings that may otherwise distort the general picture of your paper. Moreover, outlining the scope of your research by showing the limitations, weaknesses, and assumptions is essential and adds modesty to your image as a scientist. However, make sure that you do not end your paper with the problems that override your findings. Try to suggest feasible explanations and solutions.
If your submission does not require a separate Conclusion section, then adding another paragraph about the “take-home message” is a must. This should be a general statement reiterating your answer to the research question and adding its scientific implications, practical application, or advice.
Just as in all other sections of your paper, the clear and precise language and concise comprehensive sentences are vital. However, in addition to that, your writing should convey confidence and authority. The easiest way to illustrate your tone is to use the active voice and the first person pronouns. Accompanied by clarity and succinctness, these tools are the best to convince your readers of your point and your ideas.
Rule 6: Present the principles, relationships, and generalizations in a concise and convincing tone.
4. choosing the best working revision strategies.
Now that you have created the first draft, your attitude toward your writing should have improved. Moreover, you should feel more confident that you are able to accomplish your project and submit your paper within a reasonable timeframe. You also have worked out your writing schedule and followed it precisely. Do not stop ― you are only at the midpoint from your destination. Just as the best and most precious diamond is no more than an unattractive stone recognized only by trained professionals, your ideas and your results may go unnoticed if they are not polished and brushed. Despite your attempts to present your ideas in a logical and comprehensive way, first drafts are frequently a mess. Use the advice of Paul Silvia: “Your first drafts should sound like they were hastily translated from Icelandic by a non-native speaker” [ 2 ]. The degree of your success will depend on how you are able to revise and edit your paper.
The revision can be done at the macrostructure and the microstructure levels [ 13 ]. The macrostructure revision includes the revision of the organization, content, and flow. The microstructure level includes individual words, sentence structure, grammar, punctuation, and spelling.
The best way to approach the macrostructure revision is through the outline of the ideas in your paper. The last time you updated your outline was before writing the Introduction and the Discussion. Now that you have the beginning and the conclusion, you can take a bird’s-eye view of the whole paper. The outline will allow you to see if the ideas of your paper are coherently structured, if your results are logically built, and if the discussion is linked to the research question in the Introduction. You will be able to see if something is missing in any of the sections or if you need to rearrange your information to make your point.
The next step is to revise each of the sections starting from the beginning. Ideally, you should limit yourself to working on small sections of about five pages at a time [ 14 ]. After these short sections, your eyes get used to your writing and your efficiency in spotting problems decreases. When reading for content and organization, you should control your urge to edit your paper for sentence structure and grammar and focus only on the flow of your ideas and logic of your presentation. Experienced researchers tend to make almost three times the number of changes to meaning than novice writers [ 15 , 16 ]. Revising is a difficult but useful skill, which academic writers obtain with years of practice.
In contrast to the macrostructure revision, which is a linear process and is done usually through a detailed outline and by sections, microstructure revision is a non-linear process. While the goal of the macrostructure revision is to analyze your ideas and their logic, the goal of the microstructure editing is to scrutinize the form of your ideas: your paragraphs, sentences, and words. You do not need and are not recommended to follow the order of the paper to perform this type of revision. You can start from the end or from different sections. You can even revise by reading sentences backward, sentence by sentence and word by word.
One of the microstructure revision strategies frequently used during writing center consultations is to read the paper aloud [ 17 ]. You may read aloud to yourself, to a tape recorder, or to a colleague or friend. When reading and listening to your paper, you are more likely to notice the places where the fluency is disrupted and where you stumble because of a very long and unclear sentence or a wrong connector.
Another revision strategy is to learn your common errors and to do a targeted search for them [ 13 ]. All writers have a set of problems that are specific to them, i.e., their writing idiosyncrasies. Remembering these problems is as important for an academic writer as remembering your friends’ birthdays. Create a list of these idiosyncrasies and run a search for these problems using your word processor. If your problem is demonstrative pronouns without summary words, then search for “this/these/those” in your text and check if you used the word appropriately. If you have a problem with intensifiers, then search for “really” or “very” and delete them from the text. The same targeted search can be done to eliminate wordiness. Searching for “there is/are” or “and” can help you avoid the bulky sentences.
The final strategy is working with a hard copy and a pencil. Print a double space copy with font size 14 and re-read your paper in several steps. Try reading your paper line by line with the rest of the text covered with a piece of paper. When you are forced to see only a small portion of your writing, you are less likely to get distracted and are more likely to notice problems. You will end up spotting more unnecessary words, wrongly worded phrases, or unparallel constructions.
After you apply all these strategies, you are ready to share your writing with your friends, colleagues, and a writing advisor in the writing center. Get as much feedback as you can, especially from non-specialists in your field. Patiently listen to what others say to you ― you are not expected to defend your writing or explain what you wanted to say. You may decide what you want to change and how after you receive the feedback and sort it in your head. Even though some researchers make the revision an endless process and can hardly stop after a 14th draft; having from five to seven drafts of your paper is a norm in the sciences. If you can’t stop revising, then set a deadline for yourself and stick to it. Deadlines always help.
Rule 7: Revise your paper at the macrostructure and the microstructure level using different strategies and techniques. Receive feedback and revise again.
5. it is time to submit.
It is late at night again. You are still in your lab finishing revisions and getting ready to submit your paper. You feel happy ― you have finally finished a year’s worth of work. You will submit your paper tomorrow, and regardless of the outcome, you know that you can do it. If one journal does not take your paper, you will take advantage of the feedback and resubmit again. You will have a publication, and this is the most important achievement.
What is even more important is that you have your scheduled writing time that you are going to keep for your future publications, for reading and taking notes, for writing grants, and for reviewing papers. You are not going to lose stamina this time, and you will become a productive scientist. But for now, let’s celebrate the end of the paper.
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The Writing Process | 5 Steps with Examples & Tips
Published on April 24, 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on July 23, 2023.
Good academic writing requires effective planning, drafting, and revision.
The writing process looks different for everyone, but there are five basic steps that will help you structure your time when writing any kind of text.
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Table of contents
Step 1: prewriting, step 2: planning and outlining, step 3: writing a first draft, step 4: redrafting and revising, step 5: editing and proofreading, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about the writing process.
Before you start writing, you need to decide exactly what you’ll write about and do the necessary research.
Coming up with a topic
If you have to come up with your own topic for an assignment, think of what you’ve covered in class— is there a particular area that intrigued, interested, or even confused you? Topics that left you with additional questions are perfect, as these are questions you can explore in your writing.
The scope depends on what type of text you’re writing—for example, an essay or a research paper will be less in-depth than a dissertation topic . Don’t pick anything too ambitious to cover within the word count, or too limited for you to find much to say.
Narrow down your idea to a specific argument or question. For example, an appropriate topic for an essay might be narrowed down like this:
Doing the research
Once you know your topic, it’s time to search for relevant sources and gather the information you need. This process varies according to your field of study and the scope of the assignment. It might involve:
- Searching for primary and secondary sources .
- Reading the relevant texts closely (e.g. for literary analysis ).
- Collecting data using relevant research methods (e.g. experiments , interviews or surveys )
From a writing perspective, the important thing is to take plenty of notes while you do the research. Keep track of the titles, authors, publication dates, and relevant quotations from your sources; the data you gathered; and your initial analysis or interpretation of the questions you’re addressing.
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Especially in academic writing , it’s important to use a logical structure to convey information effectively. It’s far better to plan this out in advance than to try to work out your structure once you’ve already begun writing.
Creating an essay outline is a useful way to plan out your structure before you start writing. This should help you work out the main ideas you want to focus on and how you’ll organize them. The outline doesn’t have to be final—it’s okay if your structure changes throughout the writing process.
Use bullet points or numbering to make your structure clear at a glance. Even for a short text that won’t use headings, it’s useful to summarize what you’ll discuss in each paragraph.
An outline for a literary analysis essay might look something like this:
- Describe the theatricality of Austen’s works
- Outline the role theater plays in Mansfield Park
- Introduce the research question: How does Austen use theater to express the characters’ morality in Mansfield Park ?
- Discuss Austen’s depiction of the performance at the end of the first volume
- Discuss how Sir Bertram reacts to the acting scheme
- Introduce Austen’s use of stage direction–like details during dialogue
- Explore how these are deployed to show the characters’ self-absorption
- Discuss Austen’s description of Maria and Julia’s relationship as polite but affectionless
- Compare Mrs. Norris’s self-conceit as charitable despite her idleness
- Summarize the three themes: The acting scheme, stage directions, and the performance of morals
- Answer the research question
- Indicate areas for further study
Once you have a clear idea of your structure, it’s time to produce a full first draft.
This process can be quite non-linear. For example, it’s reasonable to begin writing with the main body of the text, saving the introduction for later once you have a clearer idea of the text you’re introducing.
To give structure to your writing, use your outline as a framework. Make sure that each paragraph has a clear central focus that relates to your overall argument.
Hover over the parts of the example, from a literary analysis essay on Mansfield Park , to see how a paragraph is constructed.
The character of Mrs. Norris provides another example of the performance of morals in Mansfield Park . Early in the novel, she is described in scathing terms as one who knows “how to dictate liberality to others: but her love of money was equal to her love of directing” (p. 7). This hypocrisy does not interfere with her self-conceit as “the most liberal-minded sister and aunt in the world” (p. 7). Mrs. Norris is strongly concerned with appearing charitable, but unwilling to make any personal sacrifices to accomplish this. Instead, she stage-manages the charitable actions of others, never acknowledging that her schemes do not put her own time or money on the line. In this way, Austen again shows us a character whose morally upright behavior is fundamentally a performance—for whom the goal of doing good is less important than the goal of seeming good.
When you move onto a different topic, start a new paragraph. Use appropriate transition words and phrases to show the connections between your ideas.
The goal at this stage is to get a draft completed, not to make everything perfect as you go along. Once you have a full draft in front of you, you’ll have a clearer idea of where improvement is needed.
Give yourself a first draft deadline that leaves you a reasonable length of time to revise, edit, and proofread before the final deadline. For a longer text like a dissertation, you and your supervisor might agree on deadlines for individual chapters.
Now it’s time to look critically at your first draft and find potential areas for improvement. Redrafting means substantially adding or removing content, while revising involves making changes to structure and reformulating arguments.
Evaluating the first draft
It can be difficult to look objectively at your own writing. Your perspective might be positively or negatively biased—especially if you try to assess your work shortly after finishing it.
It’s best to leave your work alone for at least a day or two after completing the first draft. Come back after a break to evaluate it with fresh eyes; you’ll spot things you wouldn’t have otherwise.
When evaluating your writing at this stage, you’re mainly looking for larger issues such as changes to your arguments or structure. Starting with bigger concerns saves you time—there’s no point perfecting the grammar of something you end up cutting out anyway.
Right now, you’re looking for:
- Arguments that are unclear or illogical.
- Areas where information would be better presented in a different order.
- Passages where additional information or explanation is needed.
- Passages that are irrelevant to your overall argument.
For example, in our paper on Mansfield Park , we might realize the argument would be stronger with more direct consideration of the protagonist Fanny Price, and decide to try to find space for this in paragraph IV.
For some assignments, you’ll receive feedback on your first draft from a supervisor or peer. Be sure to pay close attention to what they tell you, as their advice will usually give you a clearer sense of which aspects of your text need improvement.
Redrafting and revising
Once you’ve decided where changes are needed, make the big changes first, as these are likely to have knock-on effects on the rest. Depending on what your text needs, this step might involve:
- Making changes to your overall argument.
- Reordering the text.
- Cutting parts of the text.
- Adding new text.
You can go back and forth between writing, redrafting and revising several times until you have a final draft that you’re happy with.
Think about what changes you can realistically accomplish in the time you have. If you are running low on time, you don’t want to leave your text in a messy state halfway through redrafting, so make sure to prioritize the most important changes.
Prevent plagiarism. Run a free check.
Editing focuses on local concerns like clarity and sentence structure. Proofreading involves reading the text closely to remove typos and ensure stylistic consistency.
Editing for grammar and clarity
When editing, you want to ensure your text is clear, concise, and grammatically correct. You’re looking out for:
- Grammatical errors.
- Ambiguous phrasings.
- Redundancy and repetition .
In your initial draft, it’s common to end up with a lot of sentences that are poorly formulated. Look critically at where your meaning could be conveyed in a more effective way or in fewer words, and watch out for common sentence structure mistakes like run-on sentences and sentence fragments:
- Austen’s style is frequently humorous, her characters are often described as “witty.” Although this is less true of Mansfield Park .
- Austen’s style is frequently humorous. Her characters are often described as “witty,” although this is less true of Mansfield Park .
To make your sentences run smoothly, you can always use a paraphrasing tool to rewrite them in a clearer way.
Proofreading for small mistakes and typos
When proofreading, first look out for typos in your text:
- Spelling errors.
- Missing words.
- Confused word choices .
- Punctuation errors .
- Missing or excess spaces.
Use a grammar checker , but be sure to do another manual check after. Read through your text line by line, watching out for problem areas highlighted by the software but also for any other issues it might have missed.
For example, in the following phrase we notice several errors:
- Mary Crawfords character is a complicate one and her relationships with Fanny and Edmund undergoes several transformations through out the novel.
- Mary Crawford’s character is a complicated one, and her relationships with both Fanny and Edmund undergo several transformations throughout the novel.
Proofreading for stylistic consistency
There are several issues in academic writing where you can choose between multiple different standards. For example:
- Whether you use the serial comma .
- Whether you use American or British spellings and punctuation (you can use a punctuation checker for this).
- Where you use numerals vs. words for numbers.
- How you capitalize your titles and headings.
Unless you’re given specific guidance on these issues, it’s your choice which standards you follow. The important thing is to consistently follow one standard for each issue. For example, don’t use a mixture of American and British spellings in your paper.
Additionally, you will probably be provided with specific guidelines for issues related to format (how your text is presented on the page) and citations (how you acknowledge your sources). Always follow these instructions carefully.
If you want to know more about AI for academic writing, AI tools, or fallacies make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!
- Ad hominem fallacy
- Post hoc fallacy
- Appeal to authority fallacy
- False cause fallacy
- Sunk cost fallacy
- Deep learning
- Generative AI
- Machine learning
- Reinforcement learning
- Supervised vs. unsupervised learning
- Grammar Checker
- Paraphrasing Tool
- Text Summarizer
- AI Detector
- Plagiarism Checker
- Citation Generator
Revising, proofreading, and editing are different stages of the writing process .
- Revising is making structural and logical changes to your text—reformulating arguments and reordering information.
- Editing refers to making more local changes to things like sentence structure and phrasing to make sure your meaning is conveyed clearly and concisely.
- Proofreading involves looking at the text closely, line by line, to spot any typos and issues with consistency and correct them.
Whether you’re publishing a blog, submitting a research paper , or even just writing an important email, there are a few techniques you can use to make sure it’s error-free:
- Take a break : Set your work aside for at least a few hours so that you can look at it with fresh eyes.
- Proofread a printout : Staring at a screen for too long can cause fatigue – sit down with a pen and paper to check the final version.
- Use digital shortcuts : Take note of any recurring mistakes (for example, misspelling a particular word, switching between US and UK English , or inconsistently capitalizing a term), and use Find and Replace to fix it throughout the document.
If you want to be confident that an important text is error-free, it might be worth choosing a professional proofreading service instead.
If you’ve gone over the word limit set for your assignment, shorten your sentences and cut repetition and redundancy during the editing process. If you use a lot of long quotes , consider shortening them to just the essentials.
If you need to remove a lot of words, you may have to cut certain passages. Remember that everything in the text should be there to support your argument; look for any information that’s not essential to your point and remove it.
To make this process easier and faster, you can use a paraphrasing tool . With this tool, you can rewrite your text to make it simpler and shorter. If that’s not enough, you can copy-paste your paraphrased text into the summarizer . This tool will distill your text to its core message.
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Basic Steps in the Research Process
The following steps outline a simple and effective strategy for writing a research paper. Depending on your familiarity with the topic and the challenges you encounter along the way, you may need to rearrange these steps.
Step 1: Identify and develop your topic
Selecting a topic can be the most challenging part of a research assignment. Since this is the very first step in writing a paper, it is vital that it be done correctly. Here are some tips for selecting a topic:
- Select a topic within the parameters set by the assignment. Many times your instructor will give you clear guidelines as to what you can and cannot write about. Failure to work within these guidelines may result in your proposed paper being deemed unacceptable by your instructor.
- Select a topic of personal interest to you and learn more about it. The research for and writing of a paper will be more enjoyable if you are writing about something that you find interesting.
- Select a topic for which you can find a manageable amount of information. Do a preliminary search of information sources to determine whether existing sources will meet your needs. If you find too much information, you may need to narrow your topic; if you find too little, you may need to broaden your topic.
- Be original. Your instructor reads hundreds of research papers every year, and many of them are on the same topics (topics in the news at the time, controversial issues, subjects for which there is ample and easily accessed information). Stand out from your classmates by selecting an interesting and off-the-beaten-path topic.
- Still can't come up with a topic to write about? See your instructor for advice.
Once you have identified your topic, it may help to state it as a question. For example, if you are interested in finding out about the epidemic of obesity in the American population, you might pose the question "What are the causes of obesity in America ?" By posing your subject as a question you can more easily identify the main concepts or keywords to be used in your research.
Step 2 : Do a preliminary search for information
Before beginning your research in earnest, do a preliminary search to determine whether there is enough information out there for your needs and to set the context of your research. Look up your keywords in the appropriate titles in the library's Reference collection (such as encyclopedias and dictionaries) and in other sources such as our catalog of books, periodical databases, and Internet search engines. Additional background information may be found in your lecture notes, textbooks, and reserve readings. You may find it necessary to adjust the focus of your topic in light of the resources available to you.
Step 3: Locate materials
With the direction of your research now clear to you, you can begin locating material on your topic. There are a number of places you can look for information:
If you are looking for books, do a subject search in One Search . A Keyword search can be performed if the subject search doesn't yield enough information. Print or write down the citation information (author, title,etc.) and the location (call number and collection) of the item(s). Note the circulation status. When you locate the book on the shelf, look at the books located nearby; similar items are always shelved in the same area. The Aleph catalog also indexes the library's audio-visual holdings.
Use the library's electronic periodical databases to find magazine and newspaper articles. Choose the databases and formats best suited to your particular topic; ask at the librarian at the Reference Desk if you need help figuring out which database best meets your needs. Many of the articles in the databases are available in full-text format.
Use search engines ( Google , Yahoo , etc.) and subject directories to locate materials on the Internet. Check the Internet Resources section of the NHCC Library web site for helpful subject links.
Step 4: Evaluate your sources
See the CARS Checklist for Information Quality for tips on evaluating the authority and quality of the information you have located. Your instructor expects that you will provide credible, truthful, and reliable information and you have every right to expect that the sources you use are providing the same. This step is especially important when using Internet resources, many of which are regarded as less than reliable.
Step 5: Make notes
Consult the resources you have chosen and note the information that will be useful in your paper. Be sure to document all the sources you consult, even if you there is a chance you may not use that particular source. The author, title, publisher, URL, and other information will be needed later when creating a bibliography.
Step 6: Write your paper
Begin by organizing the information you have collected. The next step is the rough draft, wherein you get your ideas on paper in an unfinished fashion. This step will help you organize your ideas and determine the form your final paper will take. After this, you will revise the draft as many times as you think necessary to create a final product to turn in to your instructor.
Step 7: Cite your sources properly
Give credit where credit is due; cite your sources.
Citing or documenting the sources used in your research serves two purposes: it gives proper credit to the authors of the materials used, and it allows those who are reading your work to duplicate your research and locate the sources that you have listed as references. The MLA and the APA Styles are two popular citation formats.
Failure to cite your sources properly is plagiarism. Plagiarism is avoidable!
Step 8: Proofread
The final step in the process is to proofread the paper you have created. Read through the text and check for any errors in spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Make sure the sources you used are cited properly. Make sure the message that you want to get across to the reader has been thoroughly stated.
Additional research tips:
- Work from the general to the specific -- find background information first, then use more specific sources.
- Don't forget print sources -- many times print materials are more easily accessed and every bit as helpful as online resources.
- The library has books on the topic of writing research papers at call number area LB 2369.
- If you have questions about the assignment, ask your instructor.
- If you have any questions about finding information in the library, ask the librarian.
Librarian 763-424-0733 [email protected] Zoom: myzoom Available by appointment
- Request new password
- Create a new account
Student resources, step 8: writing a research report, writing a research report.
- Checkpoint: Academic writing conventions
- Checkpoint: Research report content
- Checkpoint: Drawing conclusions and maintaining arguments
- Checkpoint: References and citations
Exercise: Writing a Research Proposal
Download the exercise that also appears in your textbook to help you step-by-step in writing a research proposal. You can also use this exercise to contribute to a final research portfoilio or help guide discussions with your supervisor.
Home » Research Report – Example, Writing Guide and Types
Research Report – Example, Writing Guide and Types
Table of Contents
Research Report is a written document that presents the results of a research project or study, including the research question, methodology, results, and conclusions, in a clear and objective manner.
The purpose of a research report is to communicate the findings of the research to the intended audience, which could be other researchers, stakeholders, or the general public.
Components of Research Report
Components of Research Report are as follows:
The introduction sets the stage for the research report and provides a brief overview of the research question or problem being investigated. It should include a clear statement of the purpose of the study and its significance or relevance to the field of research. It may also provide background information or a literature review to help contextualize the research.
The literature review provides a critical analysis and synthesis of the existing research and scholarship relevant to the research question or problem. It should identify the gaps, inconsistencies, and contradictions in the literature and show how the current study addresses these issues. The literature review also establishes the theoretical framework or conceptual model that guides the research.
The methodology section describes the research design, methods, and procedures used to collect and analyze data. It should include information on the sample or participants, data collection instruments, data collection procedures, and data analysis techniques. The methodology should be clear and detailed enough to allow other researchers to replicate the study.
The results section presents the findings of the study in a clear and objective manner. It should provide a detailed description of the data and statistics used to answer the research question or test the hypothesis. Tables, graphs, and figures may be included to help visualize the data and illustrate the key findings.
The discussion section interprets the results of the study and explains their significance or relevance to the research question or problem. It should also compare the current findings with those of previous studies and identify the implications for future research or practice. The discussion should be based on the results presented in the previous section and should avoid speculation or unfounded conclusions.
The conclusion summarizes the key findings of the study and restates the main argument or thesis presented in the introduction. It should also provide a brief overview of the contributions of the study to the field of research and the implications for practice or policy.
The references section lists all the sources cited in the research report, following a specific citation style, such as APA or MLA.
The appendices section includes any additional material, such as data tables, figures, or instruments used in the study, that could not be included in the main text due to space limitations.
Types of Research Report
Types of Research Report are as follows:
Thesis is a type of research report. A thesis is a long-form research document that presents the findings and conclusions of an original research study conducted by a student as part of a graduate or postgraduate program. It is typically written by a student pursuing a higher degree, such as a Master’s or Doctoral degree, although it can also be written by researchers or scholars in other fields.
Research paper is a type of research report. A research paper is a document that presents the results of a research study or investigation. Research papers can be written in a variety of fields, including science, social science, humanities, and business. They typically follow a standard format that includes an introduction, literature review, methodology, results, discussion, and conclusion sections.
A technical report is a detailed report that provides information about a specific technical or scientific problem or project. Technical reports are often used in engineering, science, and other technical fields to document research and development work.
A progress report provides an update on the progress of a research project or program over a specific period of time. Progress reports are typically used to communicate the status of a project to stakeholders, funders, or project managers.
A feasibility report assesses the feasibility of a proposed project or plan, providing an analysis of the potential risks, benefits, and costs associated with the project. Feasibility reports are often used in business, engineering, and other fields to determine the viability of a project before it is undertaken.
A field report documents observations and findings from fieldwork, which is research conducted in the natural environment or setting. Field reports are often used in anthropology, ecology, and other social and natural sciences.
An experimental report documents the results of a scientific experiment, including the hypothesis, methods, results, and conclusions. Experimental reports are often used in biology, chemistry, and other sciences to communicate the results of laboratory experiments.
Case Study Report
A case study report provides an in-depth analysis of a specific case or situation, often used in psychology, social work, and other fields to document and understand complex cases or phenomena.
Literature Review Report
A literature review report synthesizes and summarizes existing research on a specific topic, providing an overview of the current state of knowledge on the subject. Literature review reports are often used in social sciences, education, and other fields to identify gaps in the literature and guide future research.
Research Report Example
Following is a Research Report Example sample for Students:
Title: The Impact of Social Media on Academic Performance among High School Students
This study aims to investigate the relationship between social media use and academic performance among high school students. The study utilized a quantitative research design, which involved a survey questionnaire administered to a sample of 200 high school students. The findings indicate that there is a negative correlation between social media use and academic performance, suggesting that excessive social media use can lead to poor academic performance among high school students. The results of this study have important implications for educators, parents, and policymakers, as they highlight the need for strategies that can help students balance their social media use and academic responsibilities.
Social media has become an integral part of the lives of high school students. With the widespread use of social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat, students can connect with friends, share photos and videos, and engage in discussions on a range of topics. While social media offers many benefits, concerns have been raised about its impact on academic performance. Many studies have found a negative correlation between social media use and academic performance among high school students (Kirschner & Karpinski, 2010; Paul, Baker, & Cochran, 2012).
Given the growing importance of social media in the lives of high school students, it is important to investigate its impact on academic performance. This study aims to address this gap by examining the relationship between social media use and academic performance among high school students.
The study utilized a quantitative research design, which involved a survey questionnaire administered to a sample of 200 high school students. The questionnaire was developed based on previous studies and was designed to measure the frequency and duration of social media use, as well as academic performance.
The participants were selected using a convenience sampling technique, and the survey questionnaire was distributed in the classroom during regular school hours. The data collected were analyzed using descriptive statistics and correlation analysis.
The findings indicate that the majority of high school students use social media platforms on a daily basis, with Facebook being the most popular platform. The results also show a negative correlation between social media use and academic performance, suggesting that excessive social media use can lead to poor academic performance among high school students.
The results of this study have important implications for educators, parents, and policymakers. The negative correlation between social media use and academic performance suggests that strategies should be put in place to help students balance their social media use and academic responsibilities. For example, educators could incorporate social media into their teaching strategies to engage students and enhance learning. Parents could limit their children’s social media use and encourage them to prioritize their academic responsibilities. Policymakers could develop guidelines and policies to regulate social media use among high school students.
In conclusion, this study provides evidence of the negative impact of social media on academic performance among high school students. The findings highlight the need for strategies that can help students balance their social media use and academic responsibilities. Further research is needed to explore the specific mechanisms by which social media use affects academic performance and to develop effective strategies for addressing this issue.
One limitation of this study is the use of convenience sampling, which limits the generalizability of the findings to other populations. Future studies should use random sampling techniques to increase the representativeness of the sample. Another limitation is the use of self-reported measures, which may be subject to social desirability bias. Future studies could use objective measures of social media use and academic performance, such as tracking software and school records.
The findings of this study have important implications for educators, parents, and policymakers. Educators could incorporate social media into their teaching strategies to engage students and enhance learning. For example, teachers could use social media platforms to share relevant educational resources and facilitate online discussions. Parents could limit their children’s social media use and encourage them to prioritize their academic responsibilities. They could also engage in open communication with their children to understand their social media use and its impact on their academic performance. Policymakers could develop guidelines and policies to regulate social media use among high school students. For example, schools could implement social media policies that restrict access during class time and encourage responsible use.
- Kirschner, P. A., & Karpinski, A. C. (2010). Facebook® and academic performance. Computers in Human Behavior, 26(6), 1237-1245.
- Paul, J. A., Baker, H. M., & Cochran, J. D. (2012). Effect of online social networking on student academic performance. Journal of the Research Center for Educational Technology, 8(1), 1-19.
- Pantic, I. (2014). Online social networking and mental health. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 17(10), 652-657.
- Rosen, L. D., Carrier, L. M., & Cheever, N. A. (2013). Facebook and texting made me do it: Media-induced task-switching while studying. Computers in Human Behavior, 29(3), 948-958.
Note*: Above mention, Example is just a sample for the students’ guide. Do not directly copy and paste as your College or University assignment. Kindly do some research and Write your own.
Applications of Research Report
Research reports have many applications, including:
- Communicating research findings: The primary application of a research report is to communicate the results of a study to other researchers, stakeholders, or the general public. The report serves as a way to share new knowledge, insights, and discoveries with others in the field.
- Informing policy and practice : Research reports can inform policy and practice by providing evidence-based recommendations for decision-makers. For example, a research report on the effectiveness of a new drug could inform regulatory agencies in their decision-making process.
- Supporting further research: Research reports can provide a foundation for further research in a particular area. Other researchers may use the findings and methodology of a report to develop new research questions or to build on existing research.
- Evaluating programs and interventions : Research reports can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of programs and interventions in achieving their intended outcomes. For example, a research report on a new educational program could provide evidence of its impact on student performance.
- Demonstrating impact : Research reports can be used to demonstrate the impact of research funding or to evaluate the success of research projects. By presenting the findings and outcomes of a study, research reports can show the value of research to funders and stakeholders.
- Enhancing professional development : Research reports can be used to enhance professional development by providing a source of information and learning for researchers and practitioners in a particular field. For example, a research report on a new teaching methodology could provide insights and ideas for educators to incorporate into their own practice.
How to write Research Report
Here are some steps you can follow to write a research report:
- Identify the research question: The first step in writing a research report is to identify your research question. This will help you focus your research and organize your findings.
- Conduct research : Once you have identified your research question, you will need to conduct research to gather relevant data and information. This can involve conducting experiments, reviewing literature, or analyzing data.
- Organize your findings: Once you have gathered all of your data, you will need to organize your findings in a way that is clear and understandable. This can involve creating tables, graphs, or charts to illustrate your results.
- Write the report: Once you have organized your findings, you can begin writing the report. Start with an introduction that provides background information and explains the purpose of your research. Next, provide a detailed description of your research methods and findings. Finally, summarize your results and draw conclusions based on your findings.
- Proofread and edit: After you have written your report, be sure to proofread and edit it carefully. Check for grammar and spelling errors, and make sure that your report is well-organized and easy to read.
- Include a reference list: Be sure to include a list of references that you used in your research. This will give credit to your sources and allow readers to further explore the topic if they choose.
- Format your report: Finally, format your report according to the guidelines provided by your instructor or organization. This may include formatting requirements for headings, margins, fonts, and spacing.
Purpose of Research Report
The purpose of a research report is to communicate the results of a research study to a specific audience, such as peers in the same field, stakeholders, or the general public. The report provides a detailed description of the research methods, findings, and conclusions.
Some common purposes of a research report include:
- Sharing knowledge: A research report allows researchers to share their findings and knowledge with others in their field. This helps to advance the field and improve the understanding of a particular topic.
- Identifying trends: A research report can identify trends and patterns in data, which can help guide future research and inform decision-making.
- Addressing problems: A research report can provide insights into problems or issues and suggest solutions or recommendations for addressing them.
- Evaluating programs or interventions : A research report can evaluate the effectiveness of programs or interventions, which can inform decision-making about whether to continue, modify, or discontinue them.
- Meeting regulatory requirements: In some fields, research reports are required to meet regulatory requirements, such as in the case of drug trials or environmental impact studies.
When to Write Research Report
A research report should be written after completing the research study. This includes collecting data, analyzing the results, and drawing conclusions based on the findings. Once the research is complete, the report should be written in a timely manner while the information is still fresh in the researcher’s mind.
In academic settings, research reports are often required as part of coursework or as part of a thesis or dissertation. In this case, the report should be written according to the guidelines provided by the instructor or institution.
In other settings, such as in industry or government, research reports may be required to inform decision-making or to comply with regulatory requirements. In these cases, the report should be written as soon as possible after the research is completed in order to inform decision-making in a timely manner.
Overall, the timing of when to write a research report depends on the purpose of the research, the expectations of the audience, and any regulatory requirements that need to be met. However, it is important to complete the report in a timely manner while the information is still fresh in the researcher’s mind.
Characteristics of Research Report
There are several characteristics of a research report that distinguish it from other types of writing. These characteristics include:
- Objective: A research report should be written in an objective and unbiased manner. It should present the facts and findings of the research study without any personal opinions or biases.
- Systematic: A research report should be written in a systematic manner. It should follow a clear and logical structure, and the information should be presented in a way that is easy to understand and follow.
- Detailed: A research report should be detailed and comprehensive. It should provide a thorough description of the research methods, results, and conclusions.
- Accurate : A research report should be accurate and based on sound research methods. The findings and conclusions should be supported by data and evidence.
- Organized: A research report should be well-organized. It should include headings and subheadings to help the reader navigate the report and understand the main points.
- Clear and concise: A research report should be written in clear and concise language. The information should be presented in a way that is easy to understand, and unnecessary jargon should be avoided.
- Citations and references: A research report should include citations and references to support the findings and conclusions. This helps to give credit to other researchers and to provide readers with the opportunity to further explore the topic.
Advantages of Research Report
Research reports have several advantages, including:
- Communicating research findings: Research reports allow researchers to communicate their findings to a wider audience, including other researchers, stakeholders, and the general public. This helps to disseminate knowledge and advance the understanding of a particular topic.
- Providing evidence for decision-making : Research reports can provide evidence to inform decision-making, such as in the case of policy-making, program planning, or product development. The findings and conclusions can help guide decisions and improve outcomes.
- Supporting further research: Research reports can provide a foundation for further research on a particular topic. Other researchers can build on the findings and conclusions of the report, which can lead to further discoveries and advancements in the field.
- Demonstrating expertise: Research reports can demonstrate the expertise of the researchers and their ability to conduct rigorous and high-quality research. This can be important for securing funding, promotions, and other professional opportunities.
- Meeting regulatory requirements: In some fields, research reports are required to meet regulatory requirements, such as in the case of drug trials or environmental impact studies. Producing a high-quality research report can help ensure compliance with these requirements.
Limitations of Research Report
Despite their advantages, research reports also have some limitations, including:
- Time-consuming: Conducting research and writing a report can be a time-consuming process, particularly for large-scale studies. This can limit the frequency and speed of producing research reports.
- Expensive: Conducting research and producing a report can be expensive, particularly for studies that require specialized equipment, personnel, or data. This can limit the scope and feasibility of some research studies.
- Limited generalizability: Research studies often focus on a specific population or context, which can limit the generalizability of the findings to other populations or contexts.
- Potential bias : Researchers may have biases or conflicts of interest that can influence the findings and conclusions of the research study. Additionally, participants may also have biases or may not be representative of the larger population, which can limit the validity and reliability of the findings.
- Accessibility: Research reports may be written in technical or academic language, which can limit their accessibility to a wider audience. Additionally, some research may be behind paywalls or require specialized access, which can limit the ability of others to read and use the findings.
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This handout provides detailed information about how to write research papers including discussing research papers as a genre, choosing topics, and finding sources.
The first step of any research paper is for the student to understand the assignment. If this is not done, the student will often travel down many dead-end roads, wasting a great deal of time along the way. Do not hesitate to approach the instructor with questions if there is any confusion. A clear understanding of the assignment will allow you to focus on other aspects of the process, such as choosing a topic and identifying your audience.
A student will often encounter one of two situations when it comes to choosing a topic for a research paper. The first situation occurs when the instructor provides a list of topics from which the student may choose. These topics have been deemed worthy by the instructor; therefore, the student should be confident in the topic he chooses from the list. Many first-time researchers appreciate such an arrangement by the instructor because it eliminates the stress of having to decide upon a topic on their own.
However, the student may also find the topics that have been provided to be limiting; moreover, it is not uncommon for the student to have a topic in mind that does not fit with any of those provided. If this is the case, it is always beneficial to approach the instructor with one's ideas. Be respectful, and ask the instructor if the topic you have in mind would be a possible research option for the assignment. Remember, as a first-time researcher, your knowledge of the process is quite limited; the instructor is experienced, and may have very precise reasons for choosing the topics she has offered to the class. Trust that she has the best interests of the class in mind. If she likes the topic, great! If not, do not take it personally and choose the topic from the list that seems most interesting to you.
The second situation occurs when the instructor simply hands out an assignment sheet that covers the logistics of the research paper, but leaves the choice of topic up to the student. Typically, assignments in which students are given the opportunity to choose the topic require the topic to be relevant to some aspect of the course; so, keep this in mind as you begin a course in which you know there will be a research paper near the end. That way, you can be on the lookout for a topic that may interest you. Do not be anxious on account of a perceived lack of authority or knowledge about the topic chosen. Instead, realize that it takes practice to become an experienced researcher in any field.
For a discussion of Evaluating Sources, see Evaluating Sources of Information .
Methods for choosing a topic
Thinking early leads to starting early. If the student begins thinking about possible topics when the assignment is given, she has already begun the arduous, yet rewarding, task of planning and organization. Once she has made the assignment a priority in her mind, she may begin to have ideas throughout the day. Brainstorming is often a successful way for students to get some of these ideas down on paper. Seeing one's ideas in writing is often an impetus for the writing process. Though brainstorming is particularly effective when a topic has been chosen, it can also benefit the student who is unable to narrow a topic. It consists of a timed writing session during which the student jots down—often in list or bulleted form—any ideas that come to his mind. At the end of the timed period, the student will peruse his list for patterns of consistency. If it appears that something seems to be standing out in his mind more than others, it may be wise to pursue this as a topic possibility.
It is important for the student to keep in mind that an initial topic that you come up with may not be the exact topic about which you end up writing. Research topics are often fluid, and dictated more by the student's ongoing research than by the original chosen topic. Such fluidity is common in research, and should be embraced as one of its many characteristics.
The Purdue OWL also offers a number of other resources on choosing and developing a topic:
- Understanding Writing Assignments
- Starting the Writing Process
- Invention Slide Presentation
How to Start a Research Paper
Now when you know what is a research paper it’s time to know how to start a research paper. Research paper writing begins with a writing assignment the instructor gives you. This assignment may be specific, or it may be general. It may assign you a research topic and point you in the direction the research should take. Or it may offer a great deal of flexibility, allowing you to pick your topic and stage your own research. The assignment serves as a road map to what you must do. It is your first clue to what your professor expects of you. If you have a thorough understanding of the assignment, you will be better able to deliver what is expected of you.
Tackling a research paper is, in many ways, like preparing to run a race.You have no hope of finishing among the leaders if you have no idea where the finishing line is or how to get there. That may sound sophomoric but the vast majority of research papers that end in failure do so because the writer proceeded with no clear understanding of what was expected and delivered something off the mark.
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The first step you take in tackling the paper should point you in the direction of a successful finish. You need to know what is expected of you and how to prepare to deliver it. By understanding where you need to end up, you will spare yourself a lot of trial and error in writing.
First Steps in Writing a Research Paper:
- Interpret the assignment given.
- Identify your instructor’s the expectations and grading criteria.
- Analyze the audience of your paper.
- Choose a topic.
- Write a thesis statement.
- Write a proposal.
Step 1: Interpreting the Assignment
Knowing precisely what you need to produce is the first step to producing a perfect paper. Not only will it spare you the frustration of assembling material that may not be appropriate to the assignment, but it will assure you of a better grade. One of the first questions on an instructor’s mind is: Did this student understand the assignment? A student’s ability to deliver what the assignment requests shows the teacher or professor that the student possesses the skills to properly interpret instructions and identify expectations.
Research papers typically begin with an assignment that identifies your teacher’s expectations and provides the information you need to know to complete the assignment.
What You Should Know before You Start
What is the purpose of the assignment? What does your instructor expect you to learn?
- Is there an assigned topic? Can you choose your own?
- What kinds of sources should you use?
- How many sources should you use?
- Are print and online sources equally acceptable?
- When is the paper due?
- How long should it be?
- How should the paper be formatted?
- How should bibliographic information be presented?
- What are the qualities of a paper that gets an A, B, C, or D?
You cannot produce a good research paper if you do not know what “goodness”means to your professor or instructor who will be evaluating it. More important are those expectations that actually tell you what you are supposed to do. Writing assignments are often written very deliberately to test how well students read, interpret, and respond to the expectations that are outlined. Your professor may want to know how well you can summarize new ideas and complex material, or whether you can present a logical argument to support an opinion or advocate an idea. Another assignment might spell out how you should conduct your research by specifying the types of sources you should consult. Other instructors may use words like analyze, discuss, or investigate to describe what is expected. Students should not take these words lightly because they have specific meanings. You must learn to recognize the goals and expectations in an assignment.
When you receive a research paper assignment, read it thoroughly and be prepared to ask your professor about anything that is unclear to you. Make a list of the stated goals and expectations. Though you already have these on the assignment sheet but writing them down will make them concreted in your mind and help you to remember them. If you receive the criteria for how your research paper will be graded, examine them as closely as you do the assignment to determine what you are expected to do in order to achieve the grade you want. If your instructor does not provide the grading criteria, ask what they are. An example of typical university grading criteria appears below:
Step 2: Identifying Grade Criteria
A Grade: A research paper that merits an A demonstrates a generally high degree of competence and control of language. Typically, such a paper meets all of the following criteria:
- Responds to the assignment thoroughly, thoughtfully, and with insight or originality.
- Demonstrates strong reading comprehension of the assigned texts.
- Is well-developed and supports analysis with effective textual evidence, reasons, examples, and details.
- Is well-focused and well-organized, demonstrating strong control over the conventions of analytical writing.
- Demonstrates facility with language, using effective vocabulary and sentence variety.
- Demonstrates strong control of grammar, the rules of usage, and mechanics of standard English but may have minor errors.
B Grade: A research paper that receives a B is written in a clearly competent manner and displays generally consistent control of language. Typically, such a paper meets all of the following criteria:
- Responds to all elements of the assignment competently and thoughtfully.
- Demonstrates an adequate understanding of the readings.
- Is adequately developed, using appropriate textual evidences, reasons, examples, and details.
- Is focused and effectively organized, demonstrating control of the conventions of analytical writing.
- Demonstrates strong language competence and uses appropriate vocabulary and sentence variety.
- Shows good control of grammar, the rules of usage, and mechanics of standard English, although it may have some errors and minor lapses in quality.
C Grade: A research paper that earns a grade of C demonstrates some competence but is limited in one or more of the following ways:
- Does not address all parts of the writing assignment.
- Does not demonstrate an adequate understanding of the readings.
- Is thinly developed, often relying on assertions with little textual evidence or few relevant reasons, examples, and details.
- Is adequately focused and/or adequately organized, but connections between the parts could be more explicit.
- Demonstrates limited facility with language and minimal sentence variety.
- Demonstrates inconsistent control of grammar, usage, and the mechanics of writing.
Grade of D: A research paper receives a grade of D if it has one or more of the following flaws:
- Is unclear and/or seriously limited in its response to the writing assignment.
- Demonstrates a limited reading or misreading of the texts.
- Is unfocused and/or disorganized, demonstrating little control of the conventions of analytical writing.
- Demonstrates serious errors in the use of language, which may interfere with meaning.
- Demonstrates serious errors in grammar, usage, and mechanics, which may interfere with meaning.
Grade of F: A research paper receives a grade of F when it:
- Demonstrates little or no ability to develop an organized response to the writing assignment.
- Contains severe writing errors that persistently obscure meaning.
Make sure to note any specific information or ideas that the assignment asks you to discuss in your research paper. It helps to ask any questions you may have, and take notes. Any information you receive will help you in your pursuit of the “perfect” research paper.
Make every effort to ensure that you understand what your professor is requesting. That way, you know what to deliver.
Types of Writing Assignments
Writing assignments in schools and universities are not created equal. The approach you take to receive an A in a paper written for one class will not necessary work well for you in another. You should expect that any research paper assignment, whether it is given at the high school or college level, will differ according to the class you are taking and the expectations of your professor. Even within a class, a professor’s expectations are likely to change from one assignment to another. Getting a good grade is not a function of “psyching out” your professor. It is a function of understanding the assignment and what you are being expected to do.
High School Research Paper
On a high school level, research papers are generally assigned to test an ability to look up information and explain it adequately in student’s own words. Here is a list of the kinds of assignments typically given in high school and what they mean:
- Summary : An abbreviated account of a larger article, book, or other work. Examples: Book report,movie review, or a summary of something you read in the news or saw on TV.
- Description : A detailed account of what things look like. Descriptions that help readers “see” what you are talking about are especially useful to clarify events, conditions, or concepts that might be unfamiliar to the reader. Good descriptions make appropriate use of adjectives and adverbs, metaphors, similes, and examples to build readers’ understanding. Examples: A history report about life in another time or a geography report about the culture and industries in another country.
- Explanation : A description that tells why certain conditions exist or certain events occur. Explanations attempt to identify the cause or causes that create an effect. They attempt to answer the question,“Why”? Examples: A science report.
- Process : A description of conditions that must exist and actions that must be taken to produce an outcome. Examples: Instructions someone should follow to do something successfully, such as following the steps in an experiment, or directions to a destination.
- Narrative : A story about something that happened. Narratives are often told in chronological order with a beginning, middle, and end. Examples:“What I Did on My Summer Vacation”
College and University Research Paper
At the college and university levels, a much more is expected from students. Writing assignments become more complex. Instead of simply asking you to summarize or describe something, the assignment typically will present you with a challenge. Often, too, the assignment is not even called an “assignment.” Instead, it is called a “writing prompt,” meaning that the purpose of the assignment is to “prompt” your thinking and elicit a thorough written response from you. Writing prompts usually call upon the writer to use a combination of the approaches learned in high school (those listed above), as well as employ other approaches and strategies to advance new ideas, opinions, and arguments about the topic under discussion.
The path to producing a perfect research paper begins with understanding what those goals are and how to identify them in the assignment. Below is a list of terms that professors often use in writing prompts and what they mean:
- Analyze relationships among facts, trends, theories, and issues. Point out their significant likes and differences and tell why they are meaningful.
- Argue in defense of (or against) a concept, opinion, position, thesis, or point of view. Strong arguments apply logic and point out fallacies, errors, and “fuzzy” thinking.
- Categorize or classify items, concepts, or events by sorting them in sets of predefined qualities or conditions according to their similarities.
- Compare and contrast two or more events, ideas, or opinions by identifying their similarities and/or differences.
- Define the meaning of an unfamiliar term, phrase, or concept by describing the concept behind it.
- Discuss the implications of your research or various points of view on your topic by looking at different sides of the issue and pointing out their merits.
- Examine a topic in minute detail by describing it as if it were under a microscope.
- Illustrate a concept by using many significant details to describe it.
- Interpret a set of facts or events by explaining their significance and importance to your reader, or to other audiences with other needs or interests.
- Give your opinion by telling what you think about the topic and provide an explanation about why you think it.
- Reason (the verb, not the noun) by presenting the logical thought process required to support a specific conclusion.
- Synthesize information from a variety of sources to support a single thesis, opinion, or conclusion.
- Theorize by presenting your own hypothesis, or best guess, about why things are the way they are.
Step 3: Analyzing the Audience
A key test of a good research paper is how well it resonates with your audience. It is useful, before you begin, to create a profile of a theoretical reader.
Rather than focus on your professor as your audience, assume you are writing for intelligent people of the same age and educational level as yourself. Assume that they have not read the material you have researched and that you will need to provide enough background to ensure that your audience will understand and respond to your arguments. You will determine how to present your information and ideas according to the effect you hope they will have on the reader.
What You Should Know about Members of Your Audience
- Approximate age.
- Approximate educational level.
- Experiences they have in common.
- Why they would be interested in your topic.
- How much the average reader should already know about your topic.
- What questions a reader is likely to have.
- How that reader might react to your arguments.
Step 4: Choosing a Topic
Topics for some research papers will be assigned to you by your instructor, along with very specific requirements that you must follow in completing the paper. Others allow you to choose the topic you will research.
Many writing assignments are deliberately open-ended, allowing students to pick their own topics and pursue their own research. If your assignment is open-ended,you will have lots of latitude to research a topic that interests you, based on whatever guidelines or parameters your instructor specifies. The challenge then becomes finding a good research paper topic and devising a thesis and arguments to support it.
Below is an example of an open-ended writing assignment from a freshman English Composition class. It was designed to determine how effectively students can identify a topic, construct their own thesis statements, find sources to support the thesis, and use that research to present arguments their audience would find convincing.
Example open-ended assignment:
Pick an issue that interests you and find at least three newspaper articles or editorials from different sources that express differing points of view on the issue.Produce a five-page paper, including four pages plus a Works Cited page, that analyzes the various points of view.What appears to be the best course of action, based on the merits of the arguments that the articles present? Be sure to use arguments from each of your sources as you explore the issue. Paraphrase, summarize, and quote them accurately and be sure to cite them according to MLA style.
Open-ended writing assignments can be fun. They allow you to pursue your own topics of interest but they can also be frustrating because they require you to make decisions that your instructors make for you in specific assignments. Students often get lost and don’t know what to write about, or they spend a lot of time gathering research on vague topics that do not address their thesis.
The task becomes much easier if you already have a topic, one that is specific and focused and offers something to say. Coming up with one is the challenge but it is not as difficult as it sounds. Most of us know more—a lot more—than we think we know about the world around us and the subjects studied in schools colleges, and universities. At a minimum, people usually hold opinions about what is happening in our world, and, whether they realize it or not, they formed those opinions based on information and experience we gathered somewhere. If you find yourself stuck for a good research paper topic, ask yourself a few questions. You will find you have a lot more to say about those topics that you are involved with or that captured your interest than topics others might suggest, including your instructor.
Here are some things to consider when choosing a research paper topic:
- Your hobbies and special interests.
- Class discussions that caught your attention and aroused your interest.
- Things you have read that caught your attention and aroused your interest.
- True stories you have heard about on the radio or saw on TV that provoked a reaction from you and made you happy, sad, angry, or disgusted.
- Things you have overheard that you would like to know more about.
- Your hopes for the future.
- Your worries about the future.
- Things you dream about.
- Issues you think someone should do something about.
Make a list of everything that comes to mind. You can use this list to begin brainstorming. You can even make games you play a starting point of your research paper: people playing Total War series can be interested in some period in history, like Ancient Rome or Napoleonic Wars, the fans of Fallout games may find it interesting to research technologies, nuclear weapons, or the physics of radioactive materials. Just write whatever comes to you.
When you have finished the list, pick the topic that most interests you—one that you actually want to write about and that you feel you would have a lot to say about. Open-ended writing assignments tend to be large, even massive, projects. They are often assigned weeks ahead of when they are due in order to give you plenty of time to find sources to support your arguments. See our collection of research paper topics, maybe you’ll find something interesting.
After you have picked a research paper topic, begin to focus it by writing down anything you can think about the topic of your choice.Things to consider as you narrow your topic:
- Your opinion about it.
- Interesting things you have heard about it.
- Things you have read about it.
- Others’ observations on it.
- Any facts, assumptions, rumors,myths, and even the misrepresentations you have heard about it.
If you are assigned a research topic, you do not have a lot of flexibility. If the assignment requires you to write about a specific topic, simply write about it. Never stray from an assignment and head off in a direction all your own unless you first get approval from your professor. One of the best ways to ensure a bad grade is to write a research paper on a topic that in no way resembles the one you were assigned. No matter how perfect your research or how brilliant your style, you will most likely receive an F if you fail to produce what the assignment requests.
Instructors usually construct writing assignments with learning goals in mind. A student’s failure to correctly respond to an assignment means that he or she has not met those learning goals. Moreover, it raises a red flag to the instructor who may question whether the student understood the assignment or, worse, whether the student got lazy and desperate and found a well-written essay on the Internet and decided to submit it instead.
If you want to research a topic that was not assigned, ask your instructor if you can. Often, an instructor will be happy to let you follow your interests and conduct your own research, but always ask permission before you do.
Step 5: Developing a Working Thesis
A thesis statement is a claim that you intend to prove using sound, well-reasoned arguments drawn from careful research. It will be the central statement in your research paper when you actually sit down to write. Usually, your working thesis will not be the one that you actually present in your paper.
A working thesis simply aims to get you started on writing your research paper. You need it as an idea to guide you. Professors and writing instructors often refer to this process of developing an idea into a working thesis as “invention.” When you have finished this “invention” stage, you will find that you have the basis for a thesis statement and a good sense of direction in identifying the research you will need to support it.
The working thesis should be aimed at helping you narrow and manage your paper topic. A working thesis that is phrased in the form of a question can help guide your research. A good working thesis makes the job more manageable. Keep it focused and avoid making it too general. Theses that are too general often ramble and result in research papers that lose focus and therefore earn low grades.
Here are some examples of questions for working theses that are general and not well focused:
- Should more money be spent on education?
- How can the government balance the budget?
- Why should we study art?
- What should we do about global warming?
- How can we eliminate poverty?
- How should we respond to the energy crisis?
The following examples, however, are focused on specific issues that can be more easily researched:
- Should more government-backed student loans be made available?
- Should cuts in military spending be enacted before cutting domestic spending to balance the national budget?
- Should the study of art history or the creative arts receive greater emphasis in America’s high schools?
- Is wind energy a viable alternative to fossil fuels?
- Will the extension of unemployment benefits improve life for the nation’s unemployed?
- Will the sale of electric vehicles reduce American dependence on foreign oil?
Step 6: Writing a Proposal
Research proposals are only occasionally required in high school courses, sometimes in freshman-level college courses, and often in upper-level college business and science courses. However, even if your research paper assignment does not require you to submit a proposal, it is a good idea to develop one for your own purposes. A proposal helps you to organize ideas that can guide the research process. Research proposals allow you to start the thought process needed to focus your ideas. A good research proposal will identify the topic, present a working thesis, and offer a plan to prove it.
Think of your research proposal as an outline for how you will pursue your investigation and structure your research paper.
- Your proposal should:
- Identify your topic.
- Present a working thesis.
- Identify how you will conduct your research.
- Present a hypothesis for what you expect to prove.
Having completed these 6 steps we can proceed to the main part in research paper writing – doing your research .
Back to How To Write A Research Paper .
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How to Write a Research Paper Step by Step [2023 Upd.]
Only two words, but you already feel a chill down your spine. A research paper is no joke. It’s a super detailed piece of academic writing where you analyze a chosen issue in-depth. The main aim of such torture is to show how knowledgeable you are and that your opinion can be a valuable asset for the field.
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However, you should worry too much about it. The secret to a fabulous paper is to break it down into small tasks! Therefore, to successfully finish this task and stay sane, we only need to answer one question: What are the steps to writing a research paper? Continue reading this article by Custom-Writing.org experts, and soon you’ll get the answer!
- 👣 Writing Steps
- 🕵 Choosing Your Topic
- 🔎 Doing Your Research
- ❗ Making a Thesis
- 📑 Making an Outline
- ✒️ Drafting Your Paper
- 🔤 Revising and Formatting
Research papers can be kind of compared to essays since they both share a similar structure. However, the kind of paper we are talking about here is much longer and more detailed.
Moreover, unlike with essays that present your writing skills, the research paper is needed to check your scholarly abilities. It makes sense that you would also need to spend more time looking through various sources and picking only the most credible ones. You need more self-managing skills to finish this assignment on time and with no stressing. But you can find everything you need in this short guide, which explains every step from getting ready to proofreading and editing!
👣 How to Write a Research Paper Step by Step
You’ll find more details on how to write a research paper in the below sections and in another useful article from this blog.
🕵 Step 1. Choosing Your Research Paper Topic
The first step to writing a research paper is to choose a topic . It should be:
How to title a research paper according to your subject? Try rereading – you will find many exciting things in your notes to turn into a research paper title.
It’s also useful to read some works written by previous students. Ask your professor where you can find examples, and investigate their topics . It will inspire you to write a paper on an important issue.
Research Paper Topics
- Research on transportation and logistics management operations.
- Research paper on the importance of USMCA to the regional cooperation and trade between the USA, Canada, and Mexico.
- Write a research paper on the benefits and risks of Public-Private Partnerships projects.
- Research the history of the Ku Klux Klan and its impact on the community.
- Research paper on Hamlet and Gertrude relationship .
- Examine the problem of racism in Minnesota .
- Research the attitude to marriage by different characters in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice .
- Study the positive and negative effects of camaraderie in the workplace.
- Write a research paper on the role of new technologies in criminology .
- Research on target costing and the impact of targeting.
- Investigate the contribution of arts to the economic recovery of the Philippines.
- Research the organizational behavior at Etihad Airlines and its impact on company functioning.
- Examine the importance of strategic innovations to start-up companies.
- Analyze the peculiarities of cultural shifts in the United States.
- Study the specifics of criminal justice in the USA and its impact on the vulnerable population.
- Neighbors by Raymond Carver: research paper.
- Write a research paper on theological history .
- Research the crucial role of ethics in the field of engineering.
- Explore the benefits and risks of individual long-term investments.
- Research paper on the strategic management of Caterpillar Inc.
- Analyze the benefits and drawbacks of different economic development models .
- Write a research paper on technical barriers to trade.
- Examine the causes and outcomes of British abolitionism .
- Research paper on the importance of the Supreme Court decision .
- Research the aspects of social rights in the early 19 th century in the US.
- Investigate the history and beliefs of Hinduism and Buddhism .
- Explore the effectiveness of the grapefruit diet for weight loss .
- Analyze whether keeping domestic animals is beneficial for human health.
- Write a research paper on the specifics of campaign finance reform .
- The theme of bravery in Antigone by Sophocles: research paper .
- Research the macroeconomic structure of Netflix .
- Examine the origin of the “ cancel culture ” phenomenon.
- Investigate the rates and causes of human trafficking .
- Explore the aspects that influence consumer decision-making .
- Conduct research on the role and regulations of retail pharmacy .
- Analyze and compare the most popular religions in America .
- Themes in Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller: research paper .
- Examine the eldercide problem and the need for advanced care of elderly people.
- Research the effectiveness and necessity of pain medications .
- Write a research paper on defining the most suitable country for a comfortable stay.
- Conduct research on the aspects and urgency of white-collar crimes issue.
- Research paper on the feasibility of Helpmewrite.ai software.
- Analyze the problem of maternal mortality and its effect on global health.
- Examine the effectiveness of electronic word-of-mouth marketing.
- Explore the reasons and types of workplace deviance.
- Research the strengths and weaknesses of social welfare policy .
- Study the connection between scheduled sleep behavior and stress level .
- Research paper on the historical context of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen .
- Write a research paper on the role of the abolitionist movement .
- Analyze the purposes and aspects of the darknet .
🔎 Step 2. Doing Preliminary Research
How to start a research paper? By doing research, of course! In the beginning, you should determine where to find information. We have some tips on how to use the sources most effectively.
❗ Step 3. Making a Thesis Statement
While analyzing the sources, try to take some notes and put down any questions that pop up in your head. For instance, if there is something you think is worth mentioning in your research paper, write it in the form of a question. This way, you prepare for the next step, which is creating a thesis statement. And if you already decided on a research question, this statement should be able to answer it.
You need a decent thesis statement because it serves as a central element of your writing. Essentially, it allows your readers to understand the purpose of the paper.
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An effective thesis statement should be short but coherent and comprehensive . You need to describe your main arguments and briefly mention the evidence in only a couple of sentences. Typically, it is written at the end of the introduction.
It doesn’t have to be the final version since you can make changes throughout the whole writing process. As you conduct more research, you may find more ideas for the paper. However, even the version you create right now can serve as a guide later. While you’re working on the research paper’s main body, make sure every paragraph supports the thesis statement. It is vital that all of your arguments relate to it.
📑 Step 4. Making a Research Paper Outline
If it’s your first writing assignment of this type, perhaps, parts of a research paper aren’t familiar to you. Below all the categories that should be present in a research paper outline .
✒️ Step 5. Drafting Your Research Paper
Now it’s the time to start writing your paper. We collected several techniques and tricks that will help you write all of the outline components listed above.
Research Paper Title
Many students face this problem: you have a research paper topic and even some written material but don’t know how to title your work. If you don’t develop a good research title, the pages don’t make any sense. What are you creating? Why is this important? The audience will ask many questions. But it is you who actually should ask yourself first.
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Then combine the answers you get into a clear, informative title for a research paper.
Research Paper Abstract
The abstract isn’t a typical section for students who only write essays. So it may be a challenging task. Let’s look at the main characteristics of a good abstract :
Research Paper Introduction
The introduction to a research paper is your first chance to make a great impression on the audience.
For success writing an introduction to a research paper, make it perfect with the help of:
Methods Part of a Research Paper
Some call the methods section of a research paper the core of the writing. Its importance relates to the fact that all the tools of your investigation are listed here.
What can you include in the methodology of a research paper?
Research Paper Results
The results of a research paper show the outcome of your work. To develop an excellent scientific research paper, you should prepare your surveys and investigations so the results will be effortless to formulate.
Here are the main tips on how to do it:
Discussion Section of a Research Paper
To write the discussion section of a research paper, find some points that will state your ideas. You should talk about:
- Future directions
This is a section where self-criticism takes place—you can’t draw a good conclusion if you don’t evaluate your work with all its advantages and flaws. It would help if you also showed in this paragraph whether your research proved the results of other specialists or not.
Research Paper Conclusion
The question of how to end a research paper is an important one. You may think: We’ve already had a results section; why do we need a conclusion ? A conclusion for a research paper doesn’t only show your achievements. The main function of this section is to leave the reader with a final impression. For example, you can invoke in people the desire to be more conscious of nature by sharing the facts about global warming.
Research Paper References
It’s always essential to write a bibliography , noting every article, book, or lecture that helped develop your project. When writing a reference page for a research paper, make sure you’re following the chosen format, such as APA or MLA style. Incorrect formatting can lead to a lower grade and less value to your paper.
The reference section is a challenging part. Each type of source should be written according to its specific rules. If you have any doubts on how to make the references, take a look at our APA and MLA research paper samples in the corresponding section. And the next one contains useful links that will help you format your research paper.
🔤 Step 6. Revising and Formatting Your Research Paper
The format of a research paper varies depending on the college or university you’re writing for. Be careful to follow the instructions your professor gives. You’ll know what length you should make your writing, what style to use for quotations and references, how to make a title page, and so on. No need to worry if something’s difficult to memorize. For instance, you can use an APA title page generator to at least cross this part of the paper off of your to-do list.
If you want to learn more about paper editing and revising, feel free to read this article . We also developed detailed guides on MLA and APA styles. You can use them for your research paper. The examples of how to properly cite books can be downloaded on your computer to use whenever it’s needed:
How to Cite Books in MLA
How to Cite Books in APA
😸 Research Paper Examples
Below you’ll find two research paper examples. The first one is APA, and the second is MLA. Note that the full versions of the texts are downloadable for free!
Example #1: Child Abuse in Low-Income Families in the US (APA)
Child abuse is more prevalent in low-income families when compared to other populations in the United States. The global prevalence of this issue is at 22.3%, and the people living in poverty experience abuse as children more often when compared to others (Levely et al., 2017). Among the effects of child abuse on a person’s wellbeing, there are mental health problems, including trauma and low resilience to suicidal behavior. Additionally, physical health problems, for instance, chronic inflammation, are also associated with child abuse. However, there is no single intervention strategy that would target child abuse mitigation, which was tested and proven effective by multiple studies because this issue requires more research to define the exact causes. This study examines the different causes of child abuse in low-income families in the United States.
Example #2: Business Ethics (MLA)
Business ethics is a rapidly developing and promising academic field. Although some of its forms can be traced back to the earliest trading practiced in prehistoric human society, as a full-fledged discipline, it emerged in the second half of the last century (Wood 627). The discipline’s main objective is to equip entrepreneurs and managers with instruments allowing them to make more responsible decisions. The notion appeared to replace business philosophy in which the “greed is good” mantra dominated till the 1990s (Wood 632). The discipline will be investigated in the context of its relevance and applicability in the modern business. Business ethics is an indispensable academic field and instrument that prompts a company to reach the desired growth without employing morally dubious methods.
✏️ Research Paper FAQ
It could be useful to describe your personal experience in a research paper if you are considered a recognized expert in the field. Otherwise, you shouldn’t do it since the evidence and facts you use to support the arguments need to be strong. Therefore, it would only be wise to use trustworthy and respectable outside sources.
Writing a criminal justice research paper is easy if you follow our step-by-step guidelines. You only need to concentrate on the chosen field of study to pick the topic, and the rest of the process is explained!
Before you start picking up a topic for your research paper, it would be wise to spend an extra minute and reread the requirements. It could help you set the right objectives and prevent any future mistakes if you misunderstood the task.
The basic structure of any paper consists of an introduction, main body, and conclusion. You should always put your thesis statement, which describes your research paper’s main idea, at the end of the first part.
- 15 Steps to Good Research (Georgetown University Library)
- This Is How to Write an Effective Research | Grammarly
- Writing a Research Paper – The Writing Center – UW–Madison
- Research Papers | KU Writing Center
- What Is a Research Paper? – ThoughtCo
- A guide to writing an academic paper – The Washington Post
- How to write a first-class paper – Nature
- Formatting a Research Paper – Writing for Success
- 11 steps to structuring a science paper editors will take seriously
- Scientific Writing Made Easy: A Step‐by‐Step Guide
- Academic Writing Style – Organizing Your Social Sciences Research Paper
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Research Report Writing Steps with Format
Research report writing in effect regardless of the nature of your research study not only organizes your thoughts and research work but also serves as the template for the entire research process. Actually, the research report writing steps & format acts as a visual reminder so that you can include every detail of your research work. If you are a beginner in research report writing, then it is essential in order to write rightly your invaluable research paper.
Research Report Writing
The purpose of the research report writing is to deliver the results of the research to the interested person as far as possible and publish it in a coherent way so that the reader understands the information. Thus, the reader can determine the rationale of the research study itself. So, while you write down your own research report keep in mind the following factors well. Though, there is no fixed structure or rule for writing a research report.
(A) The report will agree realistically. Its report would be real based on the data obtained in the study.
(B) It will be complete. The researcher should be aware that all the things are included as per the purpose of the research study.
(C) It will be as short as possible. This does not mean that it is necessary to summarize without discussing the necessary issues. In fact, it is big enough to discuss essential issues in detail but short for unnecessary subject matters.
(D) The language of the report would be so clear and understandable. The report should use words that take into account the reader’s interest in reading the report.
(E) The researcher would be intellectually honest.
(F) The report will be readable so that the reader feels interested in reading it.
Research Report Writing Steps
The researcher would write the research report is a step-by-step process. The essential steps in research report writing might be as follows:
Step-1: Organizing the Research Report
Thinking about how the data collected for the study will be structured. Research problems can have different sides. Information can be of different types. All this information should be arranged in a systematic and consistent manner in the light of research questions and assumptions.
Develop an outline for organizing your ideas using the information collected. on note cards. An outline shows your core ideas and what you are about to write about them. Write down all the key concepts. List the subordinate ideas below the core concepts. Avoid repeating any concepts
Step-2: Preparing an Outline
The other important thing about writing a report is to create an outline that gives you an overall outlook on the topic of the study. Adjust the order of the items to be included in the report. Then, understand the title, the most important issues, and its overview. Basically, your outline will form in three main categories: introduction, body, and conclusion. But to make sure your paper is complete, consult with your instructor for the specific outline you want to include in your research. A sample outline for the research paper you might follow. But first, let’s point out the main sections of your paper and what information each should cover.
Step-3: Writing a Draft Report
After creating the report outline, the researcher will start writing the report based on the information received according to that outline. But first, make a draft report. Then, examine the draft report, find out mistakes, edit and make changes. This not only clears things up from the get-go but also regulates the process of writing a research paper. This helps to establish the basic structure of your paper. Prepare a first draft where you examine your outline and expand on ideas to support your thesis.
Step-4: Report Writing as per Objectives
The researcher needs to be very aware of the purpose of the study from the beginning of the report preparation. Writing reports according to the purpose of research reduces the opportunity for discussion of irrelevant issues of course. The goal of the research is your purpose, which is why you are doing research and the signals where you expect the end to come. Objectives are precise steps that you will take to get there. So when you write a report, your purpose should be kept in mind.
Research Report Writing Format
A research report has three basic parts.
Firstly, primary things, for example-research title, introduction, acknowledgments, & table of contents, etc.
Secondly, the main part, the research discussion, or research findings. The main part will necessarily be divided into some chapters.
Then, relevant issues, for example-annexure, bibliography, etc.
An Ideal Research Report Sample
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- A Research Guide
- Research Paper Guide
How to Write a Research Paper
- STEP 1. How to start research topic?
- STEP 2. Find information
- STEP 3. Make your thesis statement
- STEP 4. Make research paper outline
- STEP 5. Oganize your notes
- STEP 6. Literature review
STEP 7. The research question(s)
Step 8. research methodology.
- STEP 9. Writing the results, analysis, discussion, and conclusion
STEP 10. The process of writing a research paper
- STEP 11. Write your first draft
- Checklist One
- Checklist Two
- STEP 13. Tools for research paper help
- STEP 14. Some words of encouragement
When an average student hears about writing a research paper, apprehension and anxiety always arise. Contrary to popular belief, it’s easier than writing an average college assignment. Essentially, what is a research paper in basic terms? It is a type of academic writing that must follow instructions to the letter and adhere to certain standards. Since writing a research paper is based on the original research already done by another person, your task involves analysis, processing, and interpretation of research outcomes. Since it’s a time-consuming process, it’s only natural to feel stressed without clear knowledge regarding where to start. If you write a research paper for the first time, things can become even more difficult. As students need to learn more about research paper structure peculiarities, they often write hastily and skip through all the essential elements that make research papers accurate.
This helpful guide will provide advice and assistance as you navigate the challenges of research paper writing. The article on how to write a research paper will include all the recommended steps that must be followed to earn the best grades. We shall also provide helpful tips and 14 steps to help you choose a good topic, write without stress and collect all the necessary information. It is precisely what helps to start up research work and achieve success. You will also learn more about citation basics and free online tools that can help you check certain things and achieve clarity in your tone and the writing flow as you write. Read on to learn how to compose an A+ research paper!
STEP 1. How to start research and find a good topic?
The most challenging part is knowing how to start a research paper by narrowing things down. You must start by choosing a subject that interests and motivates you the most. Your motivation and general attitude will always differ when you feel inspired by the research problem. It will also help determine things you might already know regarding the subject. Stay focused on keeping your content narrowed down. If you are talking about social conflicts, specify what types of problems it represents by talking about location and the sample group. When unsure, always talk to your academic advisor and seek topic approval first to ensure you are on the right track. It will always help you to avoid confusion in the future!
Finding a suitable topic problem or how to make your paper stand out!
When you have several research topics that inspire you, focus on those you know better and think about subjects that can be supported with solid argumentative evidence. Invest your time in a preliminary study of the subject and pay attention to detail because it will help you to see the shortcomings and advantages of choosing a particular subject. Once you can achieve this goal for your paper, you will also meet most grading rubric requirements. As you choose your research paper writing topic, try to determine research questions early, as it will help you to see how to work with the methods section, analysis, and discussion, among other vital elements. Make sure you look at similar research paper topics by checking what else is available online.
This type of exploration is always essential because you must make your research paper stand out from the rest by offering something unique. You must do relevant explorations to see what other authors have done so you do not repeat the same work. Outline the objectives you wish to follow and develop the thesis or a hypothesis for your future work. Ask yourself what kind of work has already been done as you focus on your chosen topic. Ask yourself whether some bits and pieces have yet to be explored. This way, you can shed some light on a subject and provide a new research method that has yet to be explored. Moreover, it will help you to publish your work in the future and present it at various academic venues! When your professor sees that you have done your homework correctly, it will become a cornerstone in your academic career!
Narrowing things down!
The most common mistake most college students make is taking a narrow approach when starting with research work. The trick here is to narrow things down and focus on the vital information you have obtained. Consider the statistical data, literature reviews, and facts supporting your main arguments. It means you do not have to choose all the available information and write it down in your work. Such an approach will only make your paper sound generic and take the research part away. Think about choosing another method by focusing on elements that interest you the most! Seek the value in every sentence and add your author’s voice as you process information and present something of your vision. It will also help to explain why your research paper is important as you talk about the significance of your work.
STEP 2. Finding credible sources of information
One of the first elements of proper research work is finding the information required for an outline. Consider finding relevant general information online by visiting libraries or university resources. You may also use search engines and approach online resources such as Britannica . Still, try to implement Google Scholar as well by checking relevant publications. It will be a good starting point to consider! Ensure you look at the domain extensions representing educational institutions, the .edu or .org domains (non-profit organizations). Likewise, you can locate accurate and verified information at .gov extension websites. Just remember that there may be a certain political bias, depending on the government.
Be careful with commercial .com websites as you write research papers. Many such websites can be excellent for research purposes, yet many tend to contain poor quality or advertisements that may make them less relevant. You can look at Network Solutions websites to learn more about what extensions this or that type stand for. Quality sources are not easy to find, so you must learn how to evaluate websites critically and eliminate those sources that are not peer-reviewed. If you are looking for sources in print or seek digital books for your academic paper, consider checking the Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC) library.
Conduct preliminary research based on a chosen subject!
When you are visiting a library online to write a research paper or considering visiting one in person, make sure to check the following as you write and take notes:
- Almanacs, atlases, and scientific catalogs;
- Government publications, guides, and reports;
- Vertical files;
- Encyclopedias and Dictionaries;
- Magazines and Newspapers;
- Yellow Pages.
Speaking of online resources, you can safely consider web-based information as long as you can check the original or consider multimedia sources in audio and/or video format:
- Online reference materials at SIRS, ProQuest, or eLibrary;
- Indexing is done for periodicals and newspapers (onlinenewspapers.com);
- Newspapers and scientific magazines;
- International Public Libraries;
- Wall Street Executive Library;
- Online Encyclopedias like Britannica or Canadian Encyclopedia;
- Google Scholar.
Remember to check public and university libraries, read business press releases related to your subject, or check governmental agencies as you write. You can also talk to people by hosting interviews for the primary sources. Always document your sources, and do not use anything without a solid reason. When collecting your research paper writing resources, take notes of all the citing and/or bibliographical information. It must include the author’s name, full title, place of publication, information about the publisher, publication date, and page numbers. Include the URL, DOI, or ISBN, depending on the publication’s type and the paper type you must write. As a rule, information not providing sufficient bibliographical data is virtually useless for citation purposes. If you are unsure of some source, it’s better to avoid it.
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STEP 3. Make your thesis statement clear
A thesis statement is the heart of every research paper because they deliver the main thesis or an assumption that is made. As a rule, the thesis must be created when you work on your paper’s outline. While some research papers may not require a thesis, the list of objectives must be presented in any case to help your target audience understand what they might expect. A thesis is the main idea of your research and a central point that should be outlined after your introduction part. The arguments must be clear and related to your chosen subject and topic.
In most cases, a thesis statement should present one sentence only. You can approach it as a declaration of your vision and the message that you wish to deliver. This is how you defend your point!
Developing a thesis statement before you do all the rest is recommended. A thesis usually appears at the end of your introduction paragraph and can be placed in italics. Starting with your thesis statement when you already have certain arguments written down is not recommended, as it will require post-adjustment work. Likewise, your thesis statement must be supported by the evidence and literature sources you have obtained. Take your time to analyze available materials and come up with a clearly formulated statement for your research paper. It will help you to develop your ideas further as you move to the body parts of your research.
Do your best to avoid generic or vague statements and always focus on the subject and keywords included in your main subject. Your paper should inspire the audience and reflect the main idea presented in your introduction. Remember to avoid placing citations in the same paragraph with your thesis. It is precisely where your unique ideas and vision must be offered instead!
Your thesis statement should achieve the following as you write:
- Outline and explain how you approach a particular research subject.
- Address the research questions you have been given to write a research paper.
- Explain what to expect from your research work.
- Present various claims and set up a dispute.
Your thesis statement should be valid and possible to achieve. It is recommended to share it with your academic advisor as you may receive brief revision comments and address all the weak points. If it’s impossible, proofread it aloud and check if it can be supported.
Here is a list of questions to consider as you write a scientific paper:
- Does my thesis address the main problem of my research paper?
- Can I support my thesis with sufficient evidence?
- Does my thesis provide interesting and inspiring data?
- Is my statement clear and precise to present academic value?
- Can my thesis position be disputed and challenged? As a rule, the answer should be “yes”.
Remember that changing your thesis’s wording is possible as you work on your assignment. It will help you shape better ideas and increase your precision. Speaking of helpful research paper tips based on writing a powerful paper, you should focus on the credibility of your writing by checking things twice. Your strong and clear thesis shows that you have done your homework correctly and know the subject well!
STEP 4. Creating a research paper outline
Let’s continue with the basic research paper outline template that can be used further for research paper writing purposes. Here is the research paper outline format with universal elements:
a) Provide a brief overview of a problem or issue you plan to research. Include your main assumption or an argument outlined in your thesis statement.
b) Include a justification of your research work. It is basically a reason why your readers should care and follow your research paper. Also known as the study importance, you must write it clearly and explain why your subject is meaningful.
c) Write down a brief outline of the paper’s range and the planned methods you will use to approach your issue or problem.
II. RESEARCH PROBLEM
a) Provide a background history of a problem.
b) How does your issue impact society and/or the academic environment?
c) Critical factors related to your research problem.
d) Possible solutions that will be explored in your paper.
III. LITERATURE REVIEW
a) A list of theories and concepts (textbooks, journal articles, or other relevant publications.
i. Offer a description of how these theories help to explain your problem and represent a solution.
ii. How were these concepts of theories explained by others?
iii. Describe how these theories help to explain your research problem.
b) Empirical research literature (mostly journal articles)
i. Provide an overview of relevant empirical studies based on chronology.
ii. Offer a summary of the methodology.
iii. Talk about major findings.
iv. What were the limitations you faced?
c) Talk about what has been discovered in a literature review
i. Talk about concepts and definitions you plan to use based on other authors.
ii. Describe all the unique concepts you have faced.
iii. Describe what method fits your research best and based on what reading(s).
a. Offer specific research questions that you address.
b. Describe your research method and data collection processes.
c. Justify your method’s rationale and explain why you have chosen it.
V. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
a. Write down your major findings.
b. Write about statistical information and facts to explain your research outcomes.
c. Discuss and write about the relevance of findings based on prior studies.
d. Was there anything unusual or not-so-common? Write about unusual discoveries.
e. The discovered limitations of your study as you wrote a research paper.
VI. CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
a. Provide a brief overview of the issue examined and outline major findings.
b. Remind your readers (briefly) about the goals of your study and write down your accomplishments.
c. Offer recommendations and talk about how other researchers can benefit from your findings.
Depending on the type of research you have to write, you can write a scientific paper with an outline that can be formal or informal. The authors use an informal outline to narrow down and organize their ideas. You can revise, add, edit, or remove certain bits mentioned in your paper without keeping it strictly focused. You can use it as a writer who wants to keep on track.
Now, things are totally different when you are asked to present a formal outline and research paper. A formal outline always uses a clear structure by following numbers, letters, and logic. Every paper heading is essential here, along with sub-headings that must be grouped exactly as they appear in your research paper. The capital Roman numerals are usually used for coordination purposes.
An example of an outline to help you write a research paper:
Paper Title: Open Scouting Movement in Flanders, Belgium. An Analysis of Scouting Branches
a. Importance of Open Scouting Movement in Belgium.
b. Define the major differences between Open Scouting and the National Scouting Movement.
c. A brief history of Open Scouting in Belgium.
d. Examination of statistical data to determine the involvement of scouting branches.
e) Justification of the study’s importance.
II. LITERATURE REVIEW
a. Analysis of popular theories in youth movements in Belgium: Chiro, KSA, and Vrije-school movements.
b. Review of youth studies done based on local coverage and accessibility.
c. Gaps and areas that lack coverage and discussion in literature and the media.
a. Visiting Open Scouting branches in person.
b. Behavior codes across branches to compare the rules.
c. Data collection methods: staff surveys and group interviews.
IV. RESULTS, DISCUSSION, AND ANALYSIS
a. Differences and similarities of scouting branches review.
b. Analysis of practical differences of Open Scouting in Belgium (write a research paper based on observations).
c. Outcomes of surveys.
d. Usefulness and accuracy of relevant methods (write research paper points related to your methodology).
e. Limitations of the implemented methods.
V. CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION
a. Main points mastered by the research.
b. The importance of Open Scouting in practice.
c. Further recommendations for parents, educators, and camp leaders.
As you do a research paper, it is recommended to narrow things down and keep your outline to the point based on what data you have obtained for your paper. When you have an outline, you can avoid being vague and keep your structure relevant to a certain logic. When you have a good outline and write a research paper correctly, it is essential to write an excellent one. Remember to follow our templates and that an outline should include an introduction, body content, and a conclusion.
Writing an introduction and other elements for your research paper structure
- INTRODUCTION: This is where you have to introduce your research problem and include a clear thesis. Ask yourself about the main reason why you are researching something and outline it here. Explain how you plan to approach an issue in your research paper. Depending on the research type, you can focus on the facts, review relevant literature, or offer an analysis of a problem. This is also where you must explain all the major points mentioned in your paper and why they matter!
- BODY CONTENT: Present your strongest to weakest arguments by supporting your thesis statement. This section is also divided into several parts. It will always depend on your academic discipline, requirements issued by your professors, subject, and many other things. To write a good research paper, your body parts usually contain elements like a literature review, methodology or methods section, analysis, research outcomes (results), sample analysis, and a discussion section.
- A CONCLUSION: This is where you must state your thesis and research question in simpler terms. Do not introduce any new ideas. Try your best to summarize existing arguments. Explain why you came up with a specific conclusion. Your paper must represent at least 15% of the final part. Explain again why your research matters and how the results can be replicated or used for future research.
STEP 5. Organize your notes
Keeping your notes organized is essential as you have to ensure that every vital point has been mentioned as it is presented in your outline. As you write a research paper, evaluate your research data critically and check for accuracy. If some information has not been updated in a while and has missing citation data, it’s always better to skip it as you work on your paper. If some beliefs or views oppose your main thesis, write a research essay section that mentions them in a counter-arguments paragraph. It is one of the most important stages to consider when writing a research paper. It is where you must sort, analyze, and evaluate your available data. It will help you to learn new things and determine the main purpose of your objectives. Think about eliminating less important aspects as you take notes of your ideas, thoughts, concepts, and research findings.
As you write a research paper, avoid information that is not relevant to your research issue! Do not include facts that cannot be supported by a clear piece of evidence or a direct citation. At the same time, using only up to three citations per 300 words is recommended to avoid possible plagiarism risks. As you write a research paper, use paraphrasing instead whenever possible! If an idea is not yours, always provide a reference and document it accurately. When you sort and classify your notes as you make a research paper stand out, do your best to provide detailed bibliographic data for each citation before you create a References or Works Cited page. As you work on the notes, you have prepared to write a research paper, use different outline codes or colors to mark the types of sources, depending if they are in print or online, related to the first, second, third argument, and so on.
STEP 6. A literature review or learning of available resources
This part basically stands for knowing what data is available out there. It is precisely where you have to do all the research work and a reason why it differs from most other assignment types you might encounter as a college or university student. The purpose here is not simply to list all the information available on a particular subject but to contribute something based on your vision and thoughts. One of the ways to do that is to go through the literature review process and narrow things down as you look for background information related to a particular subject. As you start with a literature review for your paper, you automatically determine what is already known about an issue you plan to explore. A comprehensive literature review for a professional research paper will help you save time and discover what aspects of a subject have yet to be reviewed. Likewise, you will know what has been done before.
- Internet research based on keywords. It’s one of the easiest methods to start with as you look for information online and use specific keywords that reflect your chosen topic. You can consider the information available on various websites or general publications. Most students who write research papers will turn to academic research and scientific databases. Finding peer-reviewed sources and sorting out unnecessary social media websites or blogs is safe. Remember that places like PubMed or ScienceDirect are more trustworthy for an academic research paper than a post on Twitter, even though the latter may represent a primary source.
- Checking prior research on the topic. The next step worth taking is exploring all the prior work that other researchers have done. You can visit official organizations that work in the field of your research. This way, you can collect statistical information and see what they have found before and what information has been made available. Focus on whether research work is funded publicly or done privately. If the research is affiliated with a certain company, consider checking things twice for possible bias, especially if your paper must be neutral. Always check for credibility and try to locate information about the author(s)
- Visiting the university library. As a rule, if you are enrolled in Automotive Industry at MIT, you will have access to unique materials at the local library. The chances are high that your academic advisor may already provide you with a recommended or even obligatory reading list. As you brainstorm various steps in writing a research paper, take your time to research what’s available at the university or college library. Turn to research databases and look through the online index by entering keywords related to your paper. Most of them will have available citation info to save you valuable time.
- Using academic sources. These include peer-reviewed journals that you can access either in print or online. As a rule, such publications receive the highest level of credibility from most professors and should be considered first. It is partially because of the unbiased review and cross-linked publications. If you are dealing with a citation from someone who knows the subject well, you will increase the credibility of your research paper. Likewise, if your research paper becomes published or you present it publicly, you increase your chances of being cited and quoted by others in the chosen scientific field.
Once you complete a detailed literature review and are ready to pursue the next steps to write a research paper, you will receive sufficient background information to understand your subject’s peculiarities. Much of this work will help you shape your research paper thesis much better because you will automatically address numerous objectives and know all the limitations and research gaps. You will learn what must be done to keep the research accessible and clear based on the chosen topic.
Before moving to the Methodology section, exploring the answers that address your research objectives is crucial. Most importantly, you must keep your research paper data within the scope and timeframe of the issue. When dealing with scientific research, you must keep information clear to a certain point. It must be possible to replicate and measure your actions. Whether using quantitative or qualitative methods (or both), it should be trustworthy and possible to replicate.
Always consider what methods to use and what sources to put forward, depending on your subject. If you are talking about the violence of video games and their effect on teenagers, the best solution to write such a paper would be to use surveys or other methods in your research paper guidelines to determine your sampling method and avoid bias. Likewise, you may use various means and technical tools to receive answers to your research questions , depending on the strengths and weaknesses of each.
It’s one of the most challenging steps to consider as you have to choose a particular research method based on your research paper subject, the type of research, and the sources you have obtained. Here are the most popular research methods that you may consider:
- Focus group. It can be a suitable method if the author’s goal is to obtain information from a small group of people. It might be a safe choice for your research paper if you cannot invest time and funds. It usually comes to asking questions and taking notes as you determine a limited sample group. While it can be convenient, findings from a focus group method might not fit those cases where you need to be more careful with a selection. It means that you must avoid it for legal or medical studies. After all, as you write a research paper based on that, a fellow researcher can make a limited conclusion regarding the findings because of the limited sampling approach.
- Survey. It’s another popular method that can be used for a large sample group where participants are chosen randomly. Such a method is often recommended when dealing with peer-reviewed research sources. When writing a scientific paper, remember that most paper surveys you can write down also have weaknesses since participants may not provide honest opinions or politically correct answers. Numerous factors also influence them, so a certain bias is always possible.
- Field experiments . These are also helpful when you wish to experience information in practice and explore a certain community. The methods used here include field analysis, lab experiments, direct observation, participant control, case study replication, and many non-conventional methods that researchers can use to address their research objectives. The same is true for the technical equipment tools you can use to determine the strengths and weaknesses of each approach.
- A word on replication: It must be noted that writing down the methods section for your research paper must be precise and accurate. Other researchers should be able to replicate your method and come up with the same findings and outcomes. Replication is critical in the research process, as your results must be valid!
STEP 9. Addressing a research paper’s results, analysis, discussion, and conclusion sections
Once you finish the data collection and methods section for your research assignment, it’s high time to move to the results part of your paper and do analysis work. You must use this space as a researcher when dealing with results, analysis, discussion, and conclusion. The main purpose is to interpret your findings and explain what you could achieve. You can compare your research paper results to prior findings and discuss potential limitations and implications for other researchers.
- Results . Start this section by discussing the findings you could obtain from your research work. Address what research paper questions have been addressed. If you created a series of hypothesis statements or made certain educated guesses in your research paper, state if they have been supported or rejected. It will help if you include tables, graphs, statistical data, and other visual elements to help your readers understand the results.
- Analysis. As a researcher and analyst, you must interpret and explain your findings based on the thesis statement. You have to state whether your research is significant and showcase if your findings support (or reject) prior research findings. Remember to provide a piece of evidence for every fact that you have obtained. Talking in context, explain by comparing and contrasting the facts. It’s also necessary to explain how your findings hold up against other findings conducted by researchers in your field.
- Discussion . Once done with the analytical part, this section should outline and discuss your findings in an accessible way. Remember to mention your research work’s main benefits and limitations. Focus on transparency and allow your readers to determine the weaknesses and specifics of your research. Speaking of tips for writing a research paper analysis part, try to be self-critical but do not overdo it! This part must not introduce any new ideas as you write but help future researchers come up with new methods and try out other things to address the shortcomings of your study.
- Conclusion . This section allows you to summarize and state your thesis again, with a brief overview of the research findings. A conclusion should discuss the main points, starting with the main research questions, the list of methods you have used, the results, and your findings. A research paper’s conclusion should be sufficient to understand the type of work done. Imagine that a reader has no time to read the entire paper and include all the important bits in your conclusion. The key is to write and help everyone understand your content well by reading the conclusion alone!
We are finally ready to write it all down, which will be easier since we already have all the necessary information. As you write a paper for college, the most important thing is to keep the flow and remember to look into your outline. Your research paper must be structured per every section mentioned in your grading rubric and the outline (if you have one!). Consider starting with an introduction and thinking about starting with the background information bit to present your thesis statement. As you proceed with your writing, a thesis statement should be the last sentence of the introduction part that will help to proceed with the further sections.
Remember the importance of having an outline? If you have been listening and creating one, supporting your thesis with relevant arguments and organizing your content from strong to weak will be easier. Just follow your writing with the sections already mentioned in your outline! Using topic sentences at the beginning that instantly explain your research and include bullet point structures to guide your readers will be helpful. It also helps to narrow things down and outline the most important ideas and/or facts. A good paper outline will also help you work in chunks and save time, as you only have to grasp some research work simultaneously. It is recommended to allocate at least 2-3 hours to write a research paper to ensure you do not exhaust yourself by spending more as you deal with a lengthy research paper!
A good research paper can be finished, so taking one step at a time for each section will help you see what is left and what is already done. Do your best to avoid procrastination! Meanwhile, as you create a research paper, do not try to reach perfection, as it’s barely possible! Keep yourself disciplined and have a writing schedule, as it will help you to overcome the usual writer’s block issue. It is the best way to meet your deadline and stay on topic! See below for the essential 9 steps that are worth knowing:
STEP 11. The importance of writing your first draft
It must start with the first aspect of your research paper outline. It means that background information and the relevance of your topic must come first. Make sure to include all your notes and avoid citations unless it’s statistical information that you need to explain the importance of your research. Try to summarize the available information and alternate between paraphrasing and direct quotes as you write a research paper to decrease plagiarism risks. An ideal scenario would be introducing an issue and continuing with the direct quote, followed by your analysis. Alternatively, writing a science research paper can use various techniques that fit you, like summaries, quotes, tables, or comparisons. Since it’s your first draft, do not spend too much time editing things yet!
Once you are ready with the first draft, remember that it does not have to be perfect because it is not meant for submission. As a rule, most students go through at least three different revisions until they submit the final paper version. Always follow your thesis statement to guarantee that you do not touch upon other subjects. If you have an opportunity, ask a good friend or even a professional researcher to listen to your draft and help you identify the weaknesses or entire passages to change and improve. It has to be accessible and easy to understand. Always give your first draft enough time, and remember to take a break from your paper and get outside before you get back to it and continue with the revision.
STEP 12. Editing your paper
We are finally at the stage where it is necessary to review the research paper draft and ensure that everything is correct, adheres to the writing standards, and follows existing instructions and/or grading rubrics. To simplify things for any research project, we have created several checklists for you. These include helpful tips and tricks for writing research papers well. They allow you to save time and impress even the most demanding professors.
The main purpose of reviewing your work is to check your paper for any content and logical mistakes. Double-check all the facts and figures. Check your outline and arrange or rearrange ideas based on your notes. You must keep things logical and clear as you edit your paper for repetitions but remember to include all the necessary bibliography and additional notes when and if necessary.
First checklist for writing an excellent paper:
- Is my thesis statement clear and concise for the audience?
- Is the outline followed? Has anything been missed?
- Are arguments presented from strong to weak in a logical way?
- Are all in-text citations corresponding with the Bibliography page?
- Is the thesis supported with strong statements?
- Are intentions and methodology parts clear as to research objectives?
Note: Remember the importance of editing your paper for grammar and spelling mistakes. You can use a dictionary to check spelling and consult a thesaurus if necessary. MS Word and Google Docs allow you to check your spelling for typos and punctuation issues. Take your time to correct the mistakes and proofread your content aloud to ensure it is accessible. If possible, have another person proofread and check your paper, as you may have missed certain weak points. It’s only natural as you write a research paper and edit it repeatedly!
Second checklist for writing:
- Does every body’s paragraph start with a relevant topic sentence?
- Are my arguments supported with evidence and practical examples?
- Have run-on or odd sentences been eliminated?
- Have repetition issues been removed?
- Is the length of sentences normal?
- Is there an easy flow of ideas?
- Has the content been checked for grammar and spelling?
- Are citations accurate and in the correct citation style?
- Is my research paper unbiased and objective?
- Does the paper provide a strong sense of completion?
Note: It is recommended to use “cannot” instead of “can’t” as you write a research paper, as well as “do not” instead of “don’t”. A research paper must be written in the third person unless specified otherwise.
Keeping your writing in style
If you wish to improve your English composition skills, check out “The Elements of Style” by William Strunk for an example of a classic book that addresses style issues in writing. The book’s contents focus on the main grammar rules, elementary principles of composition, useful words and expressions that are usually misused, and important reminders. The book teaches how to revise and rewrite the odd parts. It helps to learn how to avoid all the fancy words. See details of the book by checking The Elements of Style by William Strunk, Jr. , which is partially available online free of charge.
Correct citation and formatting issues
As you might already know, every research paper is written in an academic style like APA , MLA , Chicago , or Harvard. Students majoring in Healthcare will likely use AMA (American Medical Association) citation style. It will depend on your discipline or the style specified in your grading rubric. The most common styles are APA and MLA. The research paper styles that are uncommon are Harvard, Chicago Manual of Style, APSA (American Political Science Association), and the IEEE, which stands for the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. You can check style guides before you check your formatting aspect.
- APA (American Psychological Association) style is mostly used for social sciences subjects. Make sure to check your grading rubric and university templates for more information.
- MLA (Modern Language Association) style is the most common for Liberal Arts and Humanities. The most recent is MLA 8th Handbook style. Remember to check information on parenthetical citations in MLA to ensure that your research paper follows all the rules. If you are new to this style, check relevant examples for printed books, online sources, etc.
STEP 13. Tools for research paper writing help and accuracy
Once you are done with the editing part and review your draft more than once, it’s time to apply another evaluation method, also known as copy-editing. Thanks to AI-based tools, copy editing is now a more expensive and demanding task. Of course, it will work differently than professional editing because you should still check all the false corrections. Still, since it’s possible free of charge, there is little to complain about when you can write a research paper correctly. You can easily find These types of tools online:
- Grammar checkers. They mostly correct issues like grammar, spelling, typos, and punctuation. It will also address lexical issues, a saving grace for most ESL learners. Remember that poor grammar may seriously ruin your paper, so check grammar checkers and enable them in Google Docs and MS Word.
- Plagiarism checkers . It provides excellent help because you can scan your paper for similarities and balance direct citations and paraphrasing. It does not take more than five minutes to check things, so do yourself a favor and check one of the free or commercial ones. As a researcher, remember to cite your paper completely and give credit where it’s due.
- Citation generators. These are helpful for cases when you cannot find ready-made citation information. When you compose your Works Cited or Bibliography pages, you must double-check the accuracy of citations with all the spaces, punctuation, and indents. The most common research paper styles such tools support are APA, Harvard citations, MLA, Chicago, Vancouver, and more. Free research paper tools also make it possible to convert your sources from one style to another automatically. It is helpful when you have found a complete citation in Chicago but need it in MLA or Vancouver.
- Title page generators. These are useful when brainstorming ideas for a good and inspiring title. After all, a title is what your professor will see first as you submit your paper. Many college students feel challenged as they work with all the indents and ideas, title case problems, and other formatting issues. Title generators help with this problem and will follow the relevant style.
Note: if you plan to get your research paper ready for publishing, read the eligibility rules twice and submit it for peer review. It is also necessary when you plan to attend a scientific conference. As a researcher, you must read and follow all the editorial guidelines before you submit a publication. If you fail to follow the guidelines, you may get rejected even if your paper is an excellent example of academic research.
STEP 14. Final words of encouragement
As we have reached the end of our guide to writing a research paper in 14 easy steps, we sincerely hope that you do not see it as a daunting and frustrating task any longer. Follow every section of our guide and take one step at a time to make things easier. The most important is choosing an inspiring topic you know well, as it’s already half of the task done. Take your time and research the subject that motivates you the most, as it will help you develop a message that makes a difference.
Once again, always pay attention to the literature review part and online research! It will help you to learn what subjects are popular and which need more effort and additional research. It always helps to narrow things down and find something you know well to occupy a research niche. If you want to contribute something special, consider choosing something not widely researched. Once you are set on a topic for your research paper, think of a strong thesis statement and create an outline. It will help you see the entire picture and clearly understand what steps to take and in what order. It will eventually lead you to an excellent research paper!
If you face any challenges or feel lost when writing a research paper, our trained writers and editors are always ready to help you 24/7!
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- AMA Style Research Paper
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Tips for Online Students , Tips for Students
How to Write a Research Paper Fast
As a student, you knew it was inevitable. The day has come where you have to write a research paper, but you’ve put it off until the last minute. Now the pressure is sinking in to get it done quickly and you want to know how to write a research paper fast.
The good news is that it’s doable. The better news is that there are ways to avoid waiting until the last minute. We will tackle those after we give you everything you need to know to get it done.
Photo by Russ Ward
A research paper is what it sounds like — a paper that requires a thesis (or argument) along with the research to back it up. Research papers involve citing a variety of sources, analyzing arguments, and pulling different academic pieces together to prove a point.
1. Understand the Assignment:
The first thing you have to make sure you do before you get to outlining and writing is to understand the assignment. You will need to organize different pieces of information, from books, essays, interviews, articles and more.
2. Choose a Topic:
Depending on the assignment provided, you will either have a topic in front of you or you will have to decide on one yourself. If your professor did not provide you with a topic, here are some helpful ways to choose one that will work for your needs:
- Choose something you understand enough so that you will be able to interpret the research about it
- Before you get started, check that there is a lot of content about that topic by performing a simple online search to see what turns up
- Write out your topic as a research question that you plan to answer
- Research more about your topic and find evidence to back up what you want to answer
- Make a list of keywords that you continue to see pop up about the topic
- Create your thesis
3. Perform Research:
While performing research is as easy as conducting an online search for sources, the more important element is evaluating the validity of a source. Don’t use Wikipedia as a source, because it is crowdsourced and can be edited by anyone. Instead, rely on digital encyclopedias, scholarly databases, trustworthy publications like TIME magazine and the New York Times, and the like. Since you’re writing this research paper at the last minute, the library may not be a possible option. However, for the next time you write a research paper and plan in advance, definitely utilize books from the library.
4. Write Your Thesis:
A thesis statement is the gist of your entire paper. It is what you will spend your writing proving; therefore, it has to be strong and to the point. A thesis statement appears in the introduction of your research paper, following the strong hook statement that draws your readers in. There is a formulaic way to write a strong thesis statement, and it looks something like this:
“By examining (argument 1), (argument 2), and (argument 3), it is clear that (statement you will prove).”
A thesis statement is typically one sentence and it is clearly written so that the reader knows exactly what they will read about in your paper.
To check that you’ve written a strong thesis statement, ask yourself if it achieves the following:
- Is it in the introduction?
- Does it answer the question from the prompt?
- Can others argue against my thesis?
- Is it going to prove a single claim?
- Does it answer something meaningful?
5. Outline Your Paper:
Now that you have the main ingredients for your research paper, namely your thesis and supporting research, you can start outlining. Everyone has their own way they like to create an outline for papers. Here’s one good example of how it can be done — this is called a flat outline:
- List the topics you will discuss
- Under each topic, write your sources
- If you are lacking sources, revisit and research more to give more meat to your paper
- Move your topics and their information onto your paper in an organized flow
- Write your thesis at the top so you can ensure that you are answering/proving your thesis throughout the paper’s argument
6. The Body/Intro and Conclusion:
So, do you start with your introduction and conclusion and then fill in the body? Or, do you do it the other way around? Really, there is no right or wrong way. It ultimately depends on your preference. Some people like to write their introduction and use it to serve as an outline of their paper and then flow from there. Others like to write their points in the body of their paper and then extrapolate the introduction and conclusion from what they wrote.
Regardless of how you perform your work, there is a structure that the paper must follow, which looks like this:
- Introduction – includes a hook sentence (grabs the reader), your thesis and a menu sentence (a list of what you will discuss).
- Body paragraphs – each body paragraph comes from what you mentioned in your introduction’s menu sentence. Each body paragraph has a topic sentence, or a first sentence that clearly states what it will be about. Each body paragraph includes support and sources that prove the topic sentence or argument.
- Conclusion – here, you restate your introduction and thesis in different words. You want to end with a strong and memorable sentence. Just like your introduction began with a hook statement, your conclusion should end with something that will be remembered.
7. Cite Sources:
One of the major differences between a research paper and any other academic paper is that you must cite your sources. The end of your paper will have a list of sources, or a bibliography. Depending on your professor’s preferences, they will either be listed in APA format , MLA , Chicago , etc. This is an imperative step because your entire research paper’s evidence is based on and backed up by these sources, so you must give them credit where credit is due.
While this is not in the cards for all paper writing, it is very important for a last minute research paper. You’ve likely spent hours crunching the information and regurgitating it in your own words to fill up the once blank pages. As such, it’s a good idea to step away from your paper, get some sleep, and then revisit it with fresh eyes in the morning.
9. Proofread Revise and Editing:
As with any paper, you want to make sure you read it over to catch any mistakes. Not only should you use the Word processing tool that checks spelling and grammar for you, but you must also read it out loud to find any mistakes.
10. Find and Remove Plagiarism:
Once you are done with the entire proofreading and checking phase, the last thing that you have to do is find and remove plagiarism in your research paper. Plagiarism has a lot of consequences, and you have to make sure that your research paper is completely free of it. To do this, you first have to use a plagiarism checker to find all the plagiarized parts. Once found, you can either remove them or give the required accreditations.
If there is time to ask a friend or peer to read over your paper one time, that will be a good idea, too.
Photo by Dan Dimmock on Unsplash
How to write a research paper in a day.
Granted, all the steps above can help you write a research paper fast. Here’s a brief look at how you can do this in a day:
1. Brainstorm Quickly
- Use the prompt
- Outline possible options
- Perform a simple Google search and find what has the most information
- Choose your topic
- Create an outline
- Find research to support each point in your outline
3. Write Quickly
- Put it all on paper as you think of it
- Take time to edit, condense, and rewrite
Photo by Nick Morrison on Unsplash
Find a good writing environment.
Before sitting down to get started on your last-minute task, make sure you set up an environment that is conducive to getting your work done. Things you want to consider:
Choose somewhere quiet and distraction-free. You will have to stay focused for a few hours, so you’ll want to choose a comfortable setting.
2. Good lighting:
Along with comfort, make sure you have adequate lighting to read and write.
3. Go somewhere studious:
Perhaps, if time permits, you can choose to work in somewhere like a library or a study lounge.
4. Bring just your supplies needed:
Even if you work at home, make sure you set up a table with only the supplies you need, as to limit distractions. This could include: a computer, tablet, pen, paper, highlighter, books, and sticky notes. Plus, don’t forget water!
Tips to Avoid Procrastination
Writing a last-minute paper, especially that involves research, is stressful and less than optimal . Instead of finding yourself in this position, you can follow this advice to avoid such a situation.
1. Start early:
Once you’re given the prompt, start thinking about what you want to write about. You can write down ideas on paper and look into the research that supports each point.
2. Outline first and take breaks:
Begin outlining your paper so that when you sit to write, you already have the bulk of it prepared. If you start early, you will have the advantage and ability to take breaks. This helps to revisit your argument with a clear head and potentially see things that you may have otherwise missed.
3. Ask for help if you need it:
Starting early means that you are not crunched for time. So, you have the added benefit of asking for help. You can solicit advice from friends, peers, family, your professors, teacher assistants, the online community, and more. Plus, when you finish writing your paper, you have time to ask for help from someone other than you to read it over and edit it.
The Bottom Line
While knowing how to write a paper fast is useful and at times necessary, it is not the optimal way to approach assignments. However, sometimes being in a bind is out of your control. Therefore, the best way to write a research paper fast is to follow the aforementioned steps and remember to stay calm.
While a research paper involves a lot of work, from creating a strong thesis to finding supporting research, it can be made into an enjoyable activity when you choose to write about something you are interested in. It gives you a chance to digest other people’s findings and make your own inferences about what they mean.
By following the typical structure of a research paper, creating an outline and finding good sources, you can get your research paper done in a night. Good luck!
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How to Write a Research Paper – A Complete Guide
You must have heard about Research Paper , right? But do you ever think about to write one? If yes, then you must come across various questions like, “What are the approaches for writing a Research Paper” or “What is the format of a Research Paper?” or many more. No worries!! In this article we will guide you about all the aspects of writing a Research Paper.
Firstly, let us understand what exactly a research paper is. A research paper is a piece of document written by students, professionals or others on a particular topic with a deep and genuine research study. However, writing a research paper is not a kind of task that has to be done in a few days. It takes a lot of research work and study. But you must note that the skills that you develop while writing a research paper will be very helpful to you in achieving your career goals. The approaches for Writing an Effective Research paper are listed below:
1. Choose the Topic
The first step while writing a research paper is to decide the topic. You can pen down various topics and can choose one of them as per your relevancy. While looking for a topic, you can ask several questions to yourself as – “Am I comfortable with this domain?” or “Will I be able to do deep research study of this topic?” or “What innovative stuff I can provide in this particular field?” , etc. And if you find a positive response from your side, go for that topic. Also, discuss the topic with your mentors and guides to know the worthiness of the topic.
2. Narrowing the Topic
After choosing the topic, you must check whether it is quite specific or general. If the topic is very broad, then you have to explore more to narrow down the topic as the research paper should be more topic-specific rather than being generic. You can consult with your mentor and guide regarding this.
3. Gather the Information
Here the most important part comes! You must have to dive into the world of research study. In today’s era, the Internet is the best source to get any information. Although, all the information provided on the Internet is not reliable so you have to explore more and more from various sources. It must be remembered that the research strategy should be in specific directions and meet the required objectives. There are various other sources from where you can get the relevant information as you can discuss it with your mentors, study the journals, etc.
4. Filtration and Drafting of Information
Once you have done with the information gathering process, now you have a lot of information about the topic. So what you have to do is deeply analyze the information and filter it down. You have to avoid all the unnecessary stuff for a genuine research paper. After filtration, there is a need to draft all the information in a structured way for final writing (it can be formal or informal) . In the drafting process, all the aspects are covered like information accuracy, no spelling error, no unnecessary information, etc. Also, proofread it once to check the relevancy of the content with the topic.
Now, you have to write all this gathered information in the Research Paper Outline which consists of:
Apart from the Research Paper, for any type of content, the title is the primary thing that grabs the attention of the readers. In numerous instances, the readers decide whether to read your article or not just by looking at the title. The title of the research paper should be very catchy and expressive. It must signify the main objective of the research paper in just a few words. A research paper generally has a title length of around 15-20 words. Also, try to avoid unnecessary phrases from the title such as ‘Research based on…’ or ‘Paper for…’ , etc.
The abstract is like a summary of your research paper. It helps the reader to understand what the research paper is all about by briefly explaining the key findings documented in the research paper. The word length of it should be around 200-250 words.
The ‘Introduction’ section must have adequate information about the topic which thoroughly depicts the purpose of your study. The topic should be clearly explained and the reason for the study of that particular topic can be described in this section. Also, try to explain the points that why your research paper is worth to study for your readers. Keep an eye on spelling and grammar mistakes and maintain the simplicity and accuracy of sentences and phrases.
4. Procedures and Methods
This section is the core of the Research Paper as your actual study work, research findings, methodologies, approaches and all are stated here. Be specific about your topic and try to avoid unnecessary information. You can use tables, flowcharts, pie charts, etc. for showing the statistics.
The ‘Result’ section consists of all the outcomes of your research. Here, all the outcomes of the research procedure are stated and noted down for further process. Analyze and filter the data obtained after performing research procedures and make it presentable in the form of tables, graphs or charts. The word length of this section can be varied as per the rest of the sections.
The ‘Conclusion’ section leads back to the introduction section as whatever you stated there, now you have to describe it evidently that how you achieved it. It will be based on the outcomes of the research study and methodologies (which you have already mentioned in the ‘Result’ section) . It is a summarization of the outcomes of your research work.
The ‘Recommendation’ section is not mandatory and it is created as per the requirement and relevancy with your research paper. But keep in mind that whatever you mention in this section, it must be logical and based on your research analysis. You just can’t throw random things, that you think might be useful, in this section.
In context of Research Paper , it will be beneficial to understand the scenario of ‘Scholarly Articles’ . Scholarly Articles refers to those journal articles which are written by scholars or someone who is an expert in a particular field. If you are looking for a research document for a specific topic, these articles prove to be very helpful and much more relevant. You can find these articles on Google Scholar .
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FACT SHEET: President Biden Issues Executive Order on Safe, Secure, and Trustworthy Artificial Intelligence
Today, President Biden is issuing a landmark Executive Order to ensure that America leads the way in seizing the promise and managing the risks of artificial intelligence (AI). The Executive Order establishes new standards for AI safety and security, protects Americans’ privacy, advances equity and civil rights, stands up for consumers and workers, promotes innovation and competition, advances American leadership around the world, and more. As part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s comprehensive strategy for responsible innovation, the Executive Order builds on previous actions the President has taken, including work that led to voluntary commitments from 15 leading companies to drive safe, secure, and trustworthy development of AI. The Executive Order directs the following actions: New Standards for AI Safety and Security
As AI’s capabilities grow, so do its implications for Americans’ safety and security. With this Executive Order, the President directs the most sweeping actions ever taken to protect Americans from the potential risks of AI systems :
- Require that developers of the most powerful AI systems share their safety test results and other critical information with the U.S. government. In accordance with the Defense Production Act, the Order will require that companies developing any foundation model that poses a serious risk to national security, national economic security, or national public health and safety must notify the federal government when training the model, and must share the results of all red-team safety tests. These measures will ensure AI systems are safe, secure, and trustworthy before companies make them public.
- Develop standards, tools, and tests to help ensure that AI systems are safe, secure, and trustworthy. The National Institute of Standards and Technology will set the rigorous standards for extensive red-team testing to ensure safety before public release. The Department of Homeland Security will apply those standards to critical infrastructure sectors and establish the AI Safety and Security Board. The Departments of Energy and Homeland Security will also address AI systems’ threats to critical infrastructure, as well as chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and cybersecurity risks. Together, these are the most significant actions ever taken by any government to advance the field of AI safety.
- Protect against the risks of using AI to engineer dangerous biological materials by developing strong new standards for biological synthesis screening. Agencies that fund life-science projects will establish these standards as a condition of federal funding, creating powerful incentives to ensure appropriate screening and manage risks potentially made worse by AI.
- Protect Americans from AI-enabled fraud and deception by establishing standards and best practices for detecting AI-generated content and authenticating official content . The Department of Commerce will develop guidance for content authentication and watermarking to clearly label AI-generated content. Federal agencies will use these tools to make it easy for Americans to know that the communications they receive from their government are authentic—and set an example for the private sector and governments around the world.
- Establish an advanced cybersecurity program to develop AI tools to find and fix vulnerabilities in critical software, building on the Biden-Harris Administration’s ongoing AI Cyber Challenge. Together, these efforts will harness AI’s potentially game-changing cyber capabilities to make software and networks more secure.
- Order the development of a National Security Memorandum that directs further actions on AI and security, to be developed by the National Security Council and White House Chief of Staff. This document will ensure that the United States military and intelligence community use AI safely, ethically, and effectively in their missions, and will direct actions to counter adversaries’ military use of AI.
Protecting Americans’ Privacy
Without safeguards, AI can put Americans’ privacy further at risk. AI not only makes it easier to extract, identify, and exploit personal data, but it also heightens incentives to do so because companies use data to train AI systems. To better protect Americans’ privacy, including from the risks posed by AI, the President calls on Congress to pass bipartisan data privacy legislation to protect all Americans, especially kids, and directs the following actions:
- Protect Americans’ privacy by prioritizing federal support for accelerating the development and use of privacy-preserving techniques— including ones that use cutting-edge AI and that let AI systems be trained while preserving the privacy of the training data.
- Strengthen privacy-preserving research and technologies, such as cryptographic tools that preserve individuals’ privacy, by funding a Research Coordination Network to advance rapid breakthroughs and development. The National Science Foundation will also work with this network to promote the adoption of leading-edge privacy-preserving technologies by federal agencies.
- Evaluate how agencies collect and use commercially available information —including information they procure from data brokers—and strengthen privacy guidance for federal agencies to account for AI risks. This work will focus in particular on commercially available information containing personally identifiable data.
- Develop guidelines for federal agencies to evaluate the effectiveness of privacy-preserving techniques, including those used in AI systems. These guidelines will advance agency efforts to protect Americans’ data.
Advancing Equity and Civil Rights
Irresponsible uses of AI can lead to and deepen discrimination, bias, and other abuses in justice, healthcare, and housing. The Biden-Harris Administration has already taken action by publishing the Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights and issuing an Executive Order directing agencies to combat algorithmic discrimination , while enforcing existing authorities to protect people’s rights and safety. To ensure that AI advances equity and civil rights, the President directs the following additional actions:
- Provide clear guidance to landlords, Federal benefits programs, and federal contractors to keep AI algorithms from being used to exacerbate discrimination.
- Address algorithmic discrimination through training, technical assistance, and coordination between the Department of Justice and Federal civil rights offices on best practices for investigating and prosecuting civil rights violations related to AI.
- Ensure fairness throughout the criminal justice system by developing best practices on the use of AI in sentencing, parole and probation, pretrial release and detention, risk assessments, surveillance, crime forecasting and predictive policing, and forensic analysis.
Standing Up for Consumers, Patients, and Students
AI can bring real benefits to consumers—for example, by making products better, cheaper, and more widely available. But AI also raises the risk of injuring, misleading, or otherwise harming Americans. To protect consumers while ensuring that AI can make Americans better off, the President directs the following actions:
- Advance the responsible use of AI in healthcare and the development of affordable and life-saving drugs. The Department of Health and Human Services will also establish a safety program to receive reports of—and act to remedy – harms or unsafe healthcare practices involving AI.
- Shape AI’s potential to transform education by creating resources to support educators deploying AI-enabled educational tools, such as personalized tutoring in schools.
AI is changing America’s jobs and workplaces, offering both the promise of improved productivity but also the dangers of increased workplace surveillance, bias, and job displacement. To mitigate these risks, support workers’ ability to bargain collectively, and invest in workforce training and development that is accessible to all, the President directs the following actions:
- Develop principles and best practices to mitigate the harms and maximize the benefits of AI for workers by addressing job displacement; labor standards; workplace equity, health, and safety; and data collection. These principles and best practices will benefit workers by providing guidance to prevent employers from undercompensating workers, evaluating job applications unfairly, or impinging on workers’ ability to organize.
- Produce a report on AI’s potential labor-market impacts , and study and identify options for strengthening federal support for workers facing labor disruptions , including from AI.
Promoting Innovation and Competition
America already leads in AI innovation—more AI startups raised first-time capital in the United States last year than in the next seven countries combined. The Executive Order ensures that we continue to lead the way in innovation and competition through the following actions:
- Catalyze AI research across the United States through a pilot of the National AI Research Resource—a tool that will provide AI researchers and students access to key AI resources and data—and expanded grants for AI research in vital areas like healthcare and climate change.
- Promote a fair, open, and competitive AI ecosystem by providing small developers and entrepreneurs access to technical assistance and resources, helping small businesses commercialize AI breakthroughs, and encouraging the Federal Trade Commission to exercise its authorities.
- Use existing authorities to expand the ability of highly skilled immigrants and nonimmigrants with expertise in critical areas to study, stay, and work in the United States by modernizing and streamlining visa criteria, interviews, and reviews.
Advancing American Leadership Abroad
AI’s challenges and opportunities are global. The Biden-Harris Administration will continue working with other nations to support safe, secure, and trustworthy deployment and use of AI worldwide. To that end, the President directs the following actions:
- Expand bilateral, multilateral, and multistakeholder engagements to collaborate on AI . The State Department, in collaboration, with the Commerce Department will lead an effort to establish robust international frameworks for harnessing AI’s benefits and managing its risks and ensuring safety. In addition, this week, Vice President Harris will speak at the UK Summit on AI Safety, hosted by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.
- Accelerate development and implementation of vital AI standards with international partners and in standards organizations, ensuring that the technology is safe, secure, trustworthy, and interoperable.
- Promote the safe, responsible, and rights-affirming development and deployment of AI abroad to solve global challenges, such as advancing sustainable development and mitigating dangers to critical infrastructure.
Ensuring Responsible and Effective Government Use of AI
AI can help government deliver better results for the American people. It can expand agencies’ capacity to regulate, govern, and disburse benefits, and it can cut costs and enhance the security of government systems. However, use of AI can pose risks, such as discrimination and unsafe decisions. To ensure the responsible government deployment of AI and modernize federal AI infrastructure, the President directs the following actions:
- Issue guidance for agencies’ use of AI, including clear standards to protect rights and safety, improve AI procurement, and strengthen AI deployment.
- Help agencies acquire specified AI products and services faster, more cheaply, and more effectively through more rapid and efficient contracting.
- Accelerate the rapid hiring of AI professionals as part of a government-wide AI talent surge led by the Office of Personnel Management, U.S. Digital Service, U.S. Digital Corps, and Presidential Innovation Fellowship. Agencies will provide AI training for employees at all levels in relevant fields.
As we advance this agenda at home, the Administration will work with allies and partners abroad on a strong international framework to govern the development and use of AI. The Administration has already consulted widely on AI governance frameworks over the past several months—engaging with Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, the European Union, France, Germany, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, the UAE, and the UK. The actions taken today support and complement Japan’s leadership of the G-7 Hiroshima Process, the UK Summit on AI Safety, India’s leadership as Chair of the Global Partnership on AI, and ongoing discussions at the United Nations. The actions that President Biden directed today are vital steps forward in the U.S.’s approach on safe, secure, and trustworthy AI. More action will be required, and the Administration will continue to work with Congress to pursue bipartisan legislation to help America lead the way in responsible innovation. For more on the Biden-Harris Administration’s work to advance AI, and for opportunities to join the Federal AI workforce, visit AI.gov .
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