How to Write a Research Paper

Few things strike more fear in academics than the accursed research paper, a term synonymous with long hours and hard work. Luckily there’s a secret to help you get through them.

What is a research paper?

A research paper is a type of academic writing that provides an in-depth analysis, evaluation, or interpretation of a single topic, based on empirical evidence.

What is a research paper?

Research papers are a bedrock of modern science and the most effective way to share information across a wide network.

What is a research paper?

Considering their gravity, research papers favor formal, even bland language that strips the writing of any bias.

How long should a research paper be?

The length of a research paper depends on the topic or assignment. Typically, research papers run around 4,000–6,000 words

How to write a research paper in 9 steps

Below is a step-by-step guide to writing a research paper, catered specifically for students rather than professional researchers.

Understand the assignment

For some of you this goes without saying, but you might be surprised at how many students start a research paper without even reading the assignment guidelines.

Choose your topic

In open-ended assignments, the student must choose their own topic. While it may seem simple enough,

Gather preliminary research

The sooner you start researching, the better—after all, it’s called a research paper for a reason.

Determine supporting evidence

At this stage of how to write an academic research paper, it’s time to knuckle down and do the actual research.

Write a research paper outline

A lot of students want to know how to write a research paper outline. More than informal essays

Write the first draft

Once your outline is finished, it’s time to start actually writing your research paper. This is by far the longest and most involved step.

Cite your sources correctly

Citations are part of what sets research papers apart from more casual nonfiction like personal essays.

– MLA (Modern Language Association) – APA (American Psychological Association)

Edit and proofread

Last but not least, you want to go through your research paper to correct all the mistakes by proofreading.

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