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Write Your Next Research Paper Without the Stress

Whether you’re in middle school, high school or college, writing a research paper can be a daunting task. Not only are these writing tasks worth a large portion of your grade, they’re also some of the most important and meaningful projects in school.

If you have questions about how to identify research paper ideas (click here for an A-Z list), how to narrow down good research paper topics, or how to write a research paper, this guide is here to help. It’s never too late to adopt new research paper habits that can help you better prepare for the assignment and beat procrastination when writing a research paper. 

No matter what research paper format you’ve chosen, it always pays get a review of your draft. When your writing is done, upload your paper to our grammar and plagiarism checker to further improve your writing. There’s also a separate tool to help cite your sources in MLA format and more styles.

Keep reading to learn how to choose topics for research papers, how to create a research paper outline, and how to write a research paper efficiently and on time. Also included are plenty of tips on how to focus on the work by creating (and sticking to) a timeline so you finish your paper days or even weeks before it’s due—all without pulling an all-nighter!

What is a Research Paper?

Before you learn about what is a research paper or even see a research paper example, first identify the paper type or method you’ll apply. Your approach to research depends on the kind of research paper you’re writing. 

An analytical paper doesn’t seek to necessarily negate an alternate side, at least compared to persuasive ones. Both kinds rely on knowing how to write a research paper efficiently, including what’s covered in this article. You can also check this out for an overview of additional methods, besides persuasive and analytical.

Research paper outline templates (as well as research paper outline examples), examples of research papers, and online writing tools go a long way in writing well. After all, sample research paper research can give you a better understanding of what makes a strong paper. 

Before you begin exploring interesting research paper topics, complete a thorough review of your teacher’s rubric to assess your strengths and weaknesses in each area. This will help you break the project into smaller tasks, including how to write a conclusion for a research paper in your specific course. 

Maybe you struggle with research paper outlines and choosing a good topic in the first place, and you know how to work around this weakness. Or, if your professor mentions research paper topics multiple times, then you should spend more time on exploring research paper ideas before you even start writing!

For grad school hopefuls, the first step is a writing a prospectus. If you’ve reached that point in your studies, this informative reference may be useful. It could help you develop a research paper format for this specific writing task.

How to Start a Research Paper

As you plot out your workflow, be specific. Committing your time to specific milestones will help you to track your progress and stay on task, the first of which is usually to find interesting and easy research paper topics. 

Once you’ve created a specific schedule, you’re ready to begin identifying and narrowing down research paper topics. You’ll be stuck with the research paper topics you’ve chosen for weeks or more while writing, so it’s important to choose them carefully.

If you aren’t sure where to start, online resources are available to help during this pre-search stage, as well as when you’re deciding between a few interesting research paper topics and need to get more info.

Still reviewing research paper topics? Wondering how to start a research paper? Knowing when and exactly how to start a research paper is the hardest part. You’re 

 Click to read more about the process of narrowing down your central idea, or thesis statement, which should guide your entire research paper and its outline. You can also find an example of a research paper or a research paper outline example online for an idea of what your own outline should look like.

Analyze, Organize, and Outline

Before you dive into your search and analysis, there are a few more questions to consider that will save you time later on. After all, knowing how to write a research paper means planning extensively to avoid redoing work and wasting time.

Examples of research papers will provide a framework for how to approach your project. Rather than getting specific ideas from a research paper example or a research paper outline example, use these as references for formatting and style, in order to avoid plagiarism. Sample research papers, research paper outlines, and choosing a good topic go a long way in this academic and work-related process

Do You Need to Submit Your Notes or an Outline as Part of the Assignment?

Adding your notes to a research paper outline template will help put your thoughts in a logical order and identify gaps. It’ll also help you get ready to write a draft.

How do you start your research paper introduction? How are you going to support your thesis? What’s your conclusion? An outline will help you know all of this before you start typing a single word of your paper. 

If required by your teacher, you’ll need to get your outline submission-ready before turning them in. Our grammar and spell check can help you get them into shape to help your research paper ideas truly shine.

Click here for further reading on choosing your topic, as well as to see a research paper outline example, and guidance on how to write a conclusion for a research paper. Each of these steps is essential in learning how to do a research paper without any major mistakes, stress or worry.

What Format Will You Be Writing and Citing in?

Save yourself future stress and improve the efficiency of your writing process by identifying the research paper format and reviewing an example of a research paper beforehand. It’ll help you determine the best style to take notes on as you write and edit. 

Take care to carefully track your sources as you research—it will help minimize the time you’ll need later to create a bibliography. To make this process even simpler, try Citation Machine Plus. It comes with citation tools for popular styles like APA format and a plagiarism and grammar checker.

How Many and What Kind of Sources Do You Need?

Most research papers rely on peer-reviewed journal articles, especially in college, as sources. Your assignment rubric will help you determine the types of sources to include, as well as the balance of primary vs. secondary, and print vs. digital sources to incorporate. You can also review examples of research paper examples online or at your writing center to see how to organize various sources in your paper.

No matter what sources you use, take the time to evaluate their credibility. It’s important to only include sources that are accurate and come from reliable sources. 

Draft, Revise, and Edit

Are all your research paper ideas connected effectively? Are you sticking to an outline? If you chose an easy research paper topic, then you’ll know as you’re writing and in the final editing, if it feels like you’re writing about multiple easy research paper topics in one.

To succeed in the research paper, create milestones, stick to them, and choose a topic that resonates with you and the class you’re taking. Above all, good research paper topics and choosing those of interest to the professor, are going to win you the best answer to your own topics for research papers.

These are substantial assignments, and their deadlines can sneak up on even the most well-prepared students. From choosing research paper topics, to developing a research paper outline, each step in the process is important and requiring skills and practice. Luckily, Citation Machine has organized all of this information into this article, which is all about how to write one that will earn you an excellent grade.

Revising vs Editing

Revising and editing are not the same, and doing them in the right order will save you time. In revising, you’re free to change whole sections, such as your preferred model sample research paper or the entire conclusion paragraph. Edits, on the other hand, are more minor changes, such as spelling and grammar throughout the document.

Your research paper introduction should be clear about your paper’s purpose. Each heading and subheading should serve to support your thesis, and your conclusion should tie each point back to your central point. Revising is the process of reviewing your content, changing the order, deleting redundancies, and filling in gaps, as necessary, to ensure you have accomplished this.

Editing occurs only once revisions are complete. When you edit, you review each sentence to make sure it uses the language expected of the format and appropriate for the audience. You should also correct spelling and punctuation errors as you encounter them.

If you’re still wondering exactly what is a research paper, the best sample research paper will be different depending on the type of research paper assigned. Research paper topics, too, should be dependent upon the prompt. As mentioned before, two main types of research papers are argumentative and persuasive. Once you’ve followed these steps, beginning on your choice of research paper topics will be another writing accomplishment as a student and professional.

The Final Draft

These assignments require an additional level of editing to ensure they are correctly formatted and all sources are properly cited. In addition to the citations included in the body of your paper, you’ll need to create your bibliography for your final product. 

When you create your assignment calendar, plan to have your final draft completed several days or even a week before the research paper due date. With this buffer in place, you can schedule a last visit to the writing center or swap papers with a classmate for feedback. 

In the end, you’ve unlocked the secret of how to write a research paper, and know how to start and end one without all the stressors. Lesson learned: before beginning a research paper, assess yourself and the assignment, and stick with your plan!

Looking for further information? Ask your writing center for guides or resources on how to do a research paper. They may even have a research paper example or template you can use. They can also offer targeted help. For example, that might include a paper outline template, sharing a research paper introduction example, or giving feedback on your first draft. They are a good resource for any writer.

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