How to Write a Research Paper Effectively

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Many students are at a loss when it comes to how to write a research paper properly. Curiously, the process is quite similar to writing essays – only, much longer essays. The format and style of writing a research paper more or less resembles that of most academic articles. However, it requires a proper understanding of these basic rules to create a perfect research paper.

Types of Research Paper

Research papers are highly important in the academic life of a person. Most students are assigned at least one of these papers in high school and several of them in college. There are two types of research papers:

  1. Argumentative research papers: this takes a stand on some disputed topic and debates the merit of that standpoint through arguments and counter-arguments.
  2. Analytical research papers: this takes a fresh approach towards a vital issue, which may or may not be controversial. The writer has to convince the readers through logical reasoning that their approach has merit.


Before you set down to create a research paper, you must decide which type you want to write. Take an issue and judge whether it is debatable. You must also decide whether you should handle it in an argumentative or an analytical manner.

How to Write a Research Paper That Works

There are certain steps that can be used to create a research paper that is appropriate in form and content. These are not some strict rules that you should adhere to. However, these common guidelines can help you a lot in providing your paper with a neat structure and accurate style.

  • Choose a subject: once you determine the goal of your paper, you should choose a topic that you will have plenty to write on. The topic should be as broad in type as the length of your paper.
  • Write a thesis statement: this refers to the main idea of your paper and the standpoint you wish to take on the topic of discussion.
  • Get reference material: this includes looking for appropriate sources, such as books, magazines, internet or interviews with experts that have unquestionable credibility.
  • Make a research: this refers to the actual research work. Go through your sources thoroughly and take notes of the passages that you wish to use.
  • Make an outline: this includes making a draft of all the contents, including the thesis statement, main facts and primary references that can support your research.
  • Prepare a rough draft: make a rough draft of your research material. This should contain the introduction, the substance, and the conclusion.
  • Revise: go through the paper for at least two to three times. Check whether there is smooth transition between all the points, inclusion of all necessary details and accuracy of information.
  • Prepare the final draft: once you have corrected all errors in spelling, grammar, and punctuation you can make the final draft. Revise once again.
  • Add citation: make a citation page that lists all the resources that you have used.

The techniques, style and format of research differ from one instructor to another. Naturally, it is best that you consult your instructor on how to write a research paper that can get you good grades.

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