How to Write a Research Paper

There are different kinds of research papers according to the specifications of the particular course one is taking. There is the classical research paper, the dissertation or thesis (depending on whether you are completing your undergraduate or postgraduate degree), and a capstone project, which is sometimes required at certain universities depending on particular courses and curriculum requirements. But no matter what specific kind of research paper you are required to write, there are some general points to consider to make sure your writing is a success.

A research paper is not the kind of writing you would do overnight, or even over a week’s time. It is a daunting task that calls for a great deal of passion and devotion. So be prepared to make plenty of time to dedicate yourself to writing your research paper. As the name suggests, a research paper is always about researching within the area of your expertise. Your research paper normally focuses on the question, or hypothesis, that you have been working on over the last couple of years of your studies. This hypothesis is normally born out of a problem. The problem can be a gap in readily-accepted knowledge, lack of evidence to support or disprove a certain theoretical approach, or the necessity to deepen the findings of a previously done study.

A research paper is not always about doing primary research – collecting data using observation, interviewing, focus-group method, preparing questionnaires and the like. While in subjects like sociology, political science, psychology, and social work, this is normally a must for a research paper. But in other disciplines like economics, marketing, business, finance, literature and many more, it is sometimes enough to work with the secondary data – peer-reviewed articles, journals, study reports, annual financial reports, etc. However, when working with literature, just as much as while working with respondents, one is also required to develop a specific toolset to process the data, group it, analyze and make conclusions, as well as present the findings using graphs, charts, schemes, diagrams, tables and other visually perceptive means.

While it is hard to tell what the single most important part of a research paper is, there are definitely some crucial sections that call for special attention and dedication. One such section is, of course, the research proposal, the purpose of which is to present the problem you are going to develop to the board, or committee, and to outline your whole project, as well as the conclusions. Conclusions to any successful research paper are not just about summing up the results of your work, but also about setting new tasks (for you or other researchers) and deepening the question or problem based on what information the research has given you.

A research paper is about putting in the time and the effort to study the literature, find out what other researchers have already concluded on the subject, properly forming your hypothesis and working your way towards solving it in your research paper. Doing a research paper is a difficult task to cope with on your own. But, it often happens that your supervisor or instructor is of little help, and you are stuck at the beginning of your work. Our professional experts have prepared useful clear-cut guides to follow when writing your research proposal, capstone project, dissertation or thesis. Get acquainted with what your board or committee is looking for, what mistakes to avoid, what sections and requirements to pay special attention to, where to start with your research and what tips to take into consideration when writing about your research. We hope these guides will help you achieve the best results, in your academic research paper writing, just as they have already helped hundreds of other diligent students!

Also see our best research paper samples to link theory with practice.

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