7 Useful Tips on Writing a Great Research Paper

Are you looking for ways on how to write a great research paper?

You’re in luck.

In this article, you’re going to learn seven practical tips on how to write an A+ grade research paper.

College students are required to write at least one high-quality research paper before the semester ends or at the end of each academic year.

The reality is that, writing a great research paper can be daunting and usually means having sleepless nights, too much work, and added stress.

And this happens if you have never written a research paper before.

Actually, writing a great research paper isn’t as terrifying and daunting as people may think.

You just need to break down the writing process into small chunks and easy-to-handle steps.

You can also seek help at research paper writing services online in case you aren’t sure how to write it yourself.

This article shares some useful tips to help you write a good research paper.

But before that, let’s ensure we’re all on the same page.

What Is a Research Paper?

A research paper is similar to an academic essay, but is usually longer and more detailed and is based on in-depth independent research.

Typically, a research paper is designed to assess your writing skills and knowledge about scholarly research.

There are eight major parts of a research paper namely the title page, introduction, literature review, research methodology, data analysis, results, conclusion, and reference page.

Now that you know what a research paper is and its main parts let’s learn how to write a great one.

1. Understand the assignment

This is the foundation of writing a great research paper.

Writing a great research paper doesn’t only mean presenting your in-depth interpretation or argument around a given topic but also means adhering to the requirements of the assignment.

Before anything else, ensure you get familiar with the assignment.

This may sound obvious, but many students fail to get better grades because they don’t take this advice seriously.

Not reading the instructions is a recipe for receiving a low grade on any paper no matter the amount of effort you put in compiling it.

Start by reading the assignment task sheet carefully and get clarification on anything your find confusing from your professor.

Ensure you understand what the assignment aims to achieve, the deadline, length, submission method, formatting, etc.

Write down the key points of the assignment and if you’re unsure, ask your instructor for clarification before you choose a topic.

2. Choose an interesting topic

To write a great research paper you need to choose a topic that has been explored by other scholars.

Choosing an engaging topic that’s already researched by others will help to save you time.

Having understood the assignment, the next thing is to choose an engaging topic.

There are multiple ways of generating ideas for a research paper.

You could start with brainstorming interesting topics with a pen and paper or discuss with other students.

Your instructor could also help you with guidelines on how to choose a research paper topic.

3. Search for reputable sources

Writing a great research paper involves using proven facts and statistics.

This is the reason why students are advised to use reputable sources of information.

Google Scholar, scientific articles, books, and journals are the popular sources of verified information.

Below are some helpful websites to find reliable information for your research paper:

  • Websites with .edu or .gov extensions.
  • Online libraries with high-quality material.
  • Encyclopedias

Note that different sources of information are used for different purposes.

For instance, some websites will help you when providing citations.

4. Develop a precise thesis statement

A thesis statement is your central argument. It tells the reader the purpose and position of your paper.

In other words, it’s the backbone of your research paper.

Basically, your thesis statement needs to answer the following questions:

  • What’s the argument of your research paper?
  • How are you going to actualize the goal of your research paper?
  • What techniques will you use to support your point/claim or argument?
  • What are the expected results?

Keep your thesis statement concise, precise, and coherent.

Summarize your argument in a sentence or two.

You also need to get your thesis statement approved by your instructor.

You might also need to revise and refine the thesis statement as you further your research.

Just make sure every paragraph of your research paper supports and develops the central argument/claim.

5. Create a rough outline

Spending some time to develop a rough outline may sound like a waste of time but can help to simplify the entire process for you.

Remember that there is nothing as frustrating as getting lost in the middle of the writing process.

An outline serves as a map to help you reach your final destination.

You can make a list of key topics or arguments divided into headings and subheadings so that you get an idea of how the paper will look like.

6. Draft your research paper

While there are students who can go straight to writing a great research paper without drafting it, sometimes the results aren’t always good.

So when writing a research paper, start by developing your first draft.

Don’t focus on perfecting it because you’ll polish it later on.

Focus on putting the information you gathered on paper paying attention to clear organization and logical structuring of paragraphs and sentences.

Express your ideas clearly.

You can start with writing the most difficult or easiest sections of the research paper- choose what you prefer.

The good news is that you already have an outline so it’s not easy to get lost no matter the approach you take (difficult sections first or easiest sections first).

Ensure each paragraph focuses on a single idea.

You also need to keep track of citations to avoid accidental plagiarism.

7. Edit and polish your research paper


Now that you have written the first draft, take a moment to congratulate yourself because you have done much of the hard work.

Remember that when writing the first draft, you weren’t supposed to focus on perfection.

Of course, up to this stage, you also don’t need to worry too much. However, you need to keep your paper as perfect as possible.

Start editing and polishing your draft.

Here, you need to refine the structure, organization, wording, and length of the paper.

Because you had organized your paper by creating an outline, does the organization of the first draft make sense?

If the organization and structure make sense, that’s great.

If not, what do you need to reorganize or change?

Pay attention to how your sentences flow.

Do they communicate the information you wanted to get across?

Look carefully at your paper to see whether it includes everything asked in the instructions.

If there are any missing pieces, ensure to add them.

If your paper has exceeded the required length, this is the time to cut it down.

Be careful when cutting down your paper to the required length.

If you need to add content to make it to the required length, don’t just include any information but ensure everything you add is valuable.

After doing the necessary edits, read over your paper again to ensure it all makes sense.

If you’re working on a computer, you may need to print the paper so you can give it to a friend or mentor to read it for you and make suggestions.

Check grammar

As you polish your paper, ensure to edit for grammar as well.

The last mistake you want to make is to submit your paper with grammar and spelling mistakes.

You can use tools like Grammarly to simplify editing.

For grammar, you can take a break after writing your paper so you can come to edit your paper later when your mind is fresh.

Finally, you need to keep your paper formatted according to the rules of the citation style you’re using.

That’s how to write a great research paper.

Good luck!

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