Written By - Derick de Souza

Reviewed By OMC Staff

A research paper is a prevalent form of academic writing, requiring students and scholars to delve into a chosen topic, take a stance, and substantiate their position through well-organized evidence. This type of paper may also encompass scholarly articles presenting original research findings or evaluating others’ research, often subject to peer review for publication in academic journals. 

Writing a research paper is standardized, yet specific writing guidelines can vary among academic institutions and individual professors. It’s crucial to be attentive to the provided handouts and explore your university’s writing lab for additional resources. 

This article comprehensively addresses the intricacies of writing a research paper.

Write a Research Paper

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What is a Research Paper

A research paper is an investigative written assignment that goes beyond personal opinion, focusing on factual information. It involves forming a viewpoint, extensive research to gain expert knowledge, and supporting opinions with evidence. The goal is to synthesize diverse perspectives, evidence, and facts about a topic from various sources, presenting the information in the writer’s interpretation. 

A well-crafted research paper demonstrates the writer’s understanding of a subject and integrates the collective knowledge of others. The length is guided by teacher instructions, emphasizing the importance of considering the teacher as the audience during the writing process.

Difference Between a Research Paper and Thesis

The critical distinction between a research paper and a thesis lies in their approach. A research paper synthesizes existing facts, while a thesis begins with a scholarly question, leading to original research and discoveries. In an educational context, a research paper is typically part of a class requirement, contributing to a subject, and not treated as a separate entity. 

Conversely, a thesis is considered a standalone module, necessitating supervision by a professor or academic and receiving a separate grading. The critical difference is that a thesis demands original work and findings in a specific field, whereas a research paper can be completed through extensive existing research.

Expert Tips to Write a Research Paper Easily

In this section, we’ll delve into the process of conducting research, exploring it from the initial idea to its finalization. Throughout this exploration, we’ll highlight the three primary stages involved in crafting a research paper, including

  • Prewriting
  • Writing
  • Revising

While prewriting is the starting point for most individuals, the three stages of the writing process interconnect. Writing is not a linear process that requires completing one step before moving on to the next. Your task is to ensure clarity for the reader, necessitating a fluid back-and-forth between the prewriting, writing, and revising stages before finalizing and submitting the paper.

The further sections delve into these components to help write a research paper quickly.


Prewriting is the initial phase where the writer explores and generates ideas before formally drafting the paper. It involves activities that help brainstorm, organize thoughts, and lay the groundwork for the writing process. Prewriting activities may include:

  1. Choosing a Topic
  • Begin by contemplating potential research paper topics.
  • Opt for an exciting subject that appeals to you and your teacher.
  • Ensure the topic is manageable and has ample research material.
  • Discuss ideas with your teacher and explore various sources for inspiration.
  1. Narrowing Down
  • Reflect on your chosen topic and start reading for insights.
  • Formulate a concise thesis statement reflecting your opinion.
  • Pose essential questions for thesis development.
  • Use techniques like jot lists, outlines, and concept maps.
  • Discuss your topic with friends to gain diverse perspectives.
  1. Organizing Information
  • Revise your thesis after thinking, reading, and note-taking.
  • Employ brainstorming to consolidate your knowledge on paper.
  • Evaluate and revise the thesis if necessary.
  • Review and adjust preliminary maps or outlines.
  • Create a clear outline or concept map aligning with your thesis.
  • Ensure each section supports your thesis, revising as needed.


A research paper adheres to a typical essay format, comprising a title, introduction, body, and conclusion. Approaches to initiating research papers vary; some prefer starting with a title and introduction, while others develop these elements after commencing the body. 

Helpful techniques for writing your paper include:

  • Initiate with the Thesis Statement
    Start your paper by crafting a clear and concise thesis statement.
  • Utilize Free Writing
    Employ a free writing technique to generate ideas and overcome writer’s block.
  • Follow the Outline or Map
    Structure your paper by adhering to the outlined plan or concept map.
  • Write as if Communicating with a Friend
    Imagine writing a letter to a friend, conveying what you know about your topic.
  • Refer to Topic Notecards
    Consult notecards related to your topic for guidance and inspiration.
  • Review Brainstorming Notes
    If you face challenges deciding what to write, revisit your initial brainstorming session notes.


The final and crucial step is the revision process. During this phase, carefully review your paper and address weaknesses. Key areas to examine for errors include content (ensuring an appropriate level of detail), organization/structure, grammar, punctuation, capitalization, word choice, and citations.

Revision Guidelines

  • Ensure clarity for the audience.
  • Confirm sentences are clear and complete.
  • Verify that all paragraphs align with the thesis.
  • Clarify the purpose of each paragraph.
  • Avoid repeating large blocks of information across paragraphs.
  • Verify the accuracy of the information presented.
  • Seek feedback from a friend or classmate for suggestions.

Once content and structure satisfaction is achieved, shift focus to common errors such as grammar, spelling, sentence structure, punctuation, capitalization, typos, and word choice.

FAQs about writing a Research Paper

Frequently Asked Questions

How to write an effective abstract for a research paper?

An abstract is a summary of your (published or unpublished) research paper, usually about a paragraph long. Therefore, a well-written abstract should serve multiple purposes, including

  • Concise Work
    A condensed yet comprehensive summary of your research, be it published or in progress, typically spanning a paragraph.
  • Decision-Making Guide
    it should function as a quick guide, offering readers a snapshot of your paper or article, aiding in their decision to delve into the entire content.
  • Navigator for In-Depth Exploration
    Acts as a precursor, guiding readers for deeper exploration by hinting at the detailed information, analyses, and arguments in the complete paper.
  • Memory-Jogging Abstract
    It serves as a post-read memory aid, helping readers retain and recall critical points from your research for future reference.

How to write a good research proposal?

How to write a problem statement for the research paper?

How to structure the outline of the research paper?

How to Write an Introduction for a Research Paper

How to write a thesis statement for a Research Paper?

How to write a literature review for a Research Paper?

How to write the methods section of a Research Paper?

How can one conclude the research paper?

How long does it take to write a Research Paper?

How to write a research paper fast?

How to write references for a research paper?

How to write a bibliography for a Research paper?

 Additional Resources for Writing a Research Paper

In this section, we focus on the critical aspects of setting up an ideal writing space and effective tactics to sidestep procrastination in the context of research paper composition. From choosing the right environment to practical tips on overcoming delays, discover additional resources to enhance your research paper writing experience.

 Find a Good Writing Environment

Before sitting down to get started on your last-minute task, set up an environment conducive to getting your work done. Things you want to consider:

  1. Find a Distraction-Free Environment
    Choose a quiet, distraction-free space to maintain focus during the writing process. Opt for a comfortable setting that allows you to work for extended periods.
  2. Ensure Good Lighting
    Alongside comfort, ensure adequate lighting in your workspace to facilitate reading and writing without straining your eyes.
  3. Select a Studious Setting
    Consider working in an academic environment such as a library or study lounge. These settings can enhance concentration and productivity.
  4. Limit Supplies to Essentials
    Set up your workspace with only the necessary supplies, even working from home. It includes a computer, tablet, pens, paper, highlighters, relevant books, and sticky notes. Remember to stay hydrated with water.
Tips to Combat Procrastination

Writing a last-minute paper, particularly one involving research, can be stressful. To avoid such situations, consider the following tips:

  1. Start Early
    Begin contemplating your topic as soon as you receive the prompt. Jot down initial ideas and explore supporting research for each point.
  2. Outline and Take Breaks
    Initiate the outlining process early for a substantial foundation when you begin writing. Starting ahead also allows for breaks, providing a fresh perspective when revisiting your argument.
  3. Seek Assistance if Needed
    Starting early provides the luxury of time, allowing you to seek help from various sources. Consult friends, peers, professors, teacher assistants, or online communities. Additionally, having ample time permits you to request feedback and edits from others before finalizing your paper.
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