Logo of Peer Recognized

Peer Recognized

Make a name in academia

How to Write a Research Paper: the LEAP approach (+cheat sheet)

In this article I will show you how to write a research paper using the four LEAP writing steps. The LEAP academic writing approach is a step-by-step method for turning research results into a published paper .

The LEAP writing approach has been the cornerstone of the 70 + research papers that I have authored and the 3700+ citations these paper have accumulated within 9 years since the completion of my PhD. I hope the LEAP approach will help you just as much as it has helped me to make an real, tangible impact with my research.

What is the LEAP research paper writing approach?

I designed the LEAP writing approach not only for merely writing the papers. My goal with the writing system was to show young scientists how to first think about research results and then how to efficiently write each section of the research paper.

In other words, you will see how to write a research paper by first analyzing the results and then building a logical, persuasive arguments. In this way, instead of being afraid of writing research paper, you will be able to rely on the paper writing process to help you with what is the most demanding task in getting published – thinking.

The four research paper writing steps according to the LEAP approach:

LEAP research paper writing step 1: L

I will show each of these steps in detail. And you will be able to download the LEAP cheat sheet for using with every paper you write.

But before I tell you how to efficiently write a research paper, I want to show you what is the problem with the way scientists typically write a research paper and why the LEAP approach is more efficient.

How scientists typically write a research paper (and why it isn’t efficient)

Writing a research paper can be tough, especially for a young scientist. Your reasoning needs to be persuasive and thorough enough to convince readers of your arguments. The description has to be derived from research evidence, from prior art, and from your own judgment. This is a tough feat to accomplish.

The figure below shows the sequence of the different parts of a typical research paper. Depending on the scientific journal, some sections might be merged or nonexistent, but the general outline of a research paper will remain very similar.

Outline of a research paper, including Title, Abstract, Keywords, Introduction, Objective, Methods, Results, Discussion, Conclusions, References and Annexes

Here is the problem: Most people make the mistake of writing in this same sequence.

While the structure of scientific articles is designed to help the reader follow the research, it does little to help the scientist write the paper. This is because the layout of research articles starts with the broad (introduction) and narrows down to the specifics (results). See in the figure below how the research paper is structured in terms of the breath of information that each section entails.

How to write a research paper according to the LEAP approach

For a scientist, it is much easier to start writing a research paper with laying out the facts in the narrow sections (i.e. results), step back to describe them (i.e. write the discussion), and step back again to explain the broader picture in the introduction.

For example, it might feel intimidating to start writing a research paper by explaining your research’s global significance in the introduction, while it is easy to plot the figures in the results. When plotting the results, there is not much room for wiggle: the results are what they are.

Starting to write a research papers from the results is also more fun because you finally get to see and understand the complete picture of the research that you have worked on.

Most importantly, following the LEAP approach will help you first make sense of the results yourself and then clearly communicate them to the readers. That is because the sequence of writing allows you to slowly understand the meaning of the results and then develop arguments for presenting to your readers.

I have personally been able to write and submit a research article in three short days using this method.

Step 1: Lay Out the Facts

LEAP research paper writing step 1: Prepare charts and graphics, and describe what you see

You have worked long hours on a research project that has produced results and are no doubt curious to determine what they exactly mean. There is no better way to do this than by preparing figures, graphics and tables. This is what the first LEAP step is focused on – diving into the results.

How to p repare charts and tables for a research paper

Your first task is to try out different ways of visually demonstrating the research results. In many fields, the central items of a journal paper will be charts that are based on the data generated during research. In other fields, these might be conceptual diagrams, microscopy images, schematics and a number of other types of scientific graphics which should visually communicate the research study and its results to the readers. If you have reasonably small number of data points, data tables might be useful as well.

Tips for preparing charts and tables

  • Try multiple chart types but in the finished paper only use the one that best conveys the message you want to present to the readers
  • Follow the eight chart design progressions for selecting and refining a data chart for your paper: https://peerrecognized.com/chart-progressions
  • Prepare scientific graphics and visualizations for your paper using the scientific graphic design cheat sheet: https://peerrecognized.com/tools-for-creating-scientific-illustrations/

How to describe the results of your research

Now that you have your data charts, graphics and tables laid out in front of you – describe what you see in them. Seek to answer the question: What have I found?  Your statements should progress in a logical sequence and be backed by the visual information. Since, at this point, you are simply explaining what everyone should be able to see for themselves, you can use a declarative tone: The figure X demonstrates that…

Tips for describing the research results :

  • Answer the question: “ What have I found? “
  • Use declarative tone since you are simply describing observations

Step 2: Explain the results

LEAP research paper writing step 2: Define the message, discuss the results, write conclusions, refine the objective, and describe methodology

The core aspect of your research paper is not actually the results; it is the explanation of their meaning. In the second LEAP step, you will do some heavy lifting by guiding the readers through the results using logic backed by previous scientific research.

How to define the Message of a research paper

To define the central message of your research paper, imagine how you would explain your research to a colleague in 20 seconds . If you succeed in effectively communicating your paper’s message, a reader should be able to recount your findings in a similarly concise way even a year after reading it. This clarity will increase the chances that someone uses the knowledge you generated, which in turn raises the likelihood of citations to your research paper. 

Tips for defining the paper’s central message :

  • Write the paper’s core message in a single sentence or two bullet points
  • Write the core message in the header of the research paper manuscript

How to write the Discussion section of a research paper

In the discussion section you have to demonstrate why your research paper is worthy of publishing. In other words, you must now answer the all-important So what? question . How well you do so will ultimately define the success of your research paper.

Here are three steps to get started with writing the discussion section:

  • Write bullet points of the things that convey the central message of the research article (these may evolve into subheadings later on).
  • Make a list with the arguments or observations that support each idea.
  • Finally, expand on each point to make full sentences and paragraphs.

Tips for writing the discussion section:

  • What is the meaning of the results?
  • Was the hypothesis confirmed?
  • Write bullet points that support the core message
  • List logical arguments for each bullet point, group them into sections
  • Instead of repeating research timeline, use a presentation sequence that best supports your logic
  • Convert arguments to full paragraphs; be confident but do not overhype
  • Refer to both supportive and contradicting research papers for maximum credibility

How to write the Conclusions of a research paper

Since some readers might just skim through your research paper and turn directly to the conclusions, it is a good idea to make conclusion a standalone piece. In the first few sentences of the conclusions, briefly summarize the methodology and try to avoid using abbreviations (if you do, explain what they mean).

After this introduction, summarize the findings from the discussion section. Either paragraph style or bullet-point style conclusions can be used. I prefer the bullet-point style because it clearly separates the different conclusions and provides an easy-to-digest overview for the casual browser. It also forces me to be more succinct.

Tips for writing the conclusion section :

  • Summarize the key findings, starting with the most important one
  • Make conclusions standalone (short summary, avoid abbreviations)
  • Add an optional take-home message and suggest future research in the last paragraph

How to refine the Objective of a research paper

The objective is a short, clear statement defining the paper’s research goals. It can be included either in the final paragraph of the introduction, or as a separate subsection after the introduction. Avoid writing long paragraphs with in-depth reasoning, references, and explanation of methodology since these belong in other sections. The paper’s objective can often be written in a single crisp sentence.

Tips for writing the objective section :

  • The objective should ask the question that is answered by the central message of the research paper
  • The research objective should be clear long before writing a paper. At this point, you are simply refining it to make sure it is addressed in the body of the paper.

How to write the Methodology section of your research paper

When writing the methodology section, aim for a depth of explanation that will allow readers to reproduce the study . This means that if you are using a novel method, you will have to describe it thoroughly. If, on the other hand, you applied a standardized method, or used an approach from another paper, it will be enough to briefly describe it with reference to the detailed original source.

Remember to also detail the research population, mention how you ensured representative sampling, and elaborate on what statistical methods you used to analyze the results.

Tips for writing the methodology section :

  • Include enough detail to allow reproducing the research
  • Provide references if the methods are known
  • Create a methodology flow chart to add clarity
  • Describe the research population, sampling methodology, statistical methods for result analysis
  • Describe what methodology, test methods, materials, and sample groups were used in the research.

Step 3: Advertize the research

Step 3 of the LEAP writing approach is designed to entice the casual browser into reading your research paper. This advertising can be done with an informative title, an intriguing abstract, as well as a thorough explanation of the underlying need for doing the research within the introduction.

LEAP research paper writing step 3: Write introduction, prepare the abstract, compose title, and prepare highlights and graphical abstract

How to write the Introduction of a research paper

The introduction section should leave no doubt in the mind of the reader that what you are doing is important and that this work could push scientific knowledge forward. To do this convincingly, you will need to have a good knowledge of what is state-of-the-art in your field. You also need be able to see the bigger picture in order to demonstrate the potential impacts of your research work.

Think of the introduction as a funnel, going from wide to narrow, as shown in the figure below:

  • Start with a brief context to explain what do we already know,
  • Follow with the motivation for the research study and explain why should we care about it,
  • Explain the research gap you are going to bridge within this research paper,
  • Describe the approach you will take to solve the problem.

Context - Motivation - Research gap - Approach funnel for writing the introduction

Tips for writing the introduction section :

  • Follow the Context – Motivation – Research gap – Approach funnel for writing the introduction
  • Explain how others tried and how you plan to solve the research problem
  • Do a thorough literature review before writing the introduction
  • Start writing the introduction by using your own words, then add references from the literature

How to prepare the Abstract of a research paper

The abstract acts as your paper’s elevator pitch and is therefore best written only after the main text is finished. In this one short paragraph you must convince someone to take on the time-consuming task of reading your whole research article. So, make the paper easy to read, intriguing, and self-explanatory; avoid jargon and abbreviations.

How to structure the abstract of a research paper:

  • The abstract is a single paragraph that follows this structure:
  • Problem: why did we research this
  • Methodology: typically starts with the words “Here we…” that signal the start of own contribution.
  • Results: what we found from the research.
  • Conclusions: show why are the findings important

How to compose a research paper Title

The title is the ultimate summary of a research paper. It must therefore entice someone looking for information to click on a link to it and continue reading the article. A title is also used for indexing purposes in scientific databases, so a representative and optimized title will play large role in determining if your research paper appears in search results at all.

Tips for coming up with a research paper title:

  • Capture curiosity of potential readers using a clear and descriptive title
  • Include broad terms that are often searched
  • Add details that uniquely identify the researched subject of your research paper
  • Avoid jargon and abbreviations
  • Use keywords as title extension (instead of duplicating the words) to increase the chance of appearing in search results

How to prepare Highlights and Graphical Abstract

Highlights are three to five short bullet-point style statements that convey the core findings of the research paper. Notice that the focus is on the findings, not on the process of getting there.

A graphical abstract placed next to the textual abstract visually summarizes the entire research paper in a single, easy-to-follow figure. I show how to create a graphical abstract in my book Research Data Visualization and Scientific Graphics.

Tips for preparing highlights and graphical abstract:

  • In highlights show core findings of the research paper (instead of what you did in the study).
  • In graphical abstract show take-home message or methodology of the research paper. Learn more about creating a graphical abstract in this article.

Step 4: Prepare for submission

LEAP research paper writing step 4: Select the journal, fulfill journal requirements, write a cover letter, suggest reviewers, take a break and edit, address review comments.

Sometimes it seems that nuclear fusion will stop on the star closest to us (read: the sun will stop to shine) before a submitted manuscript is published in a scientific journal. The publication process routinely takes a long time, and after submitting the manuscript you have very little control over what happens. To increase the chances of a quick publication, you must do your homework before submitting the manuscript. In the fourth LEAP step, you make sure that your research paper is published in the most appropriate journal as quickly and painlessly as possible.

How to select a scientific Journal for your research paper

The best way to find a journal for your research paper is it to review which journals you used while preparing your manuscript. This source listing should provide some assurance that your own research paper, once published, will be among similar articles and, thus, among your field’s trusted sources.

steps to the research paper

After this initial selection of hand-full of scientific journals, consider the following six parameters for selecting the most appropriate journal for your research paper (read this article to review each step in detail):

  • Scope and publishing history
  • Ranking and Recognition
  • Publishing time
  • Acceptance rate
  • Content requirements
  • Access and Fees

How to select a journal for your research paper:

  • Use the six parameters to select the most appropriate scientific journal for your research paper
  • Use the following tools for journal selection: https://peerrecognized.com/journals
  • Follow the journal’s “Authors guide” formatting requirements

How to Edit you manuscript

No one can write a finished research paper on their first attempt. Before submitting, make sure to take a break from your work for a couple of days, or even weeks. Try not to think about the manuscript during this time. Once it has faded from your memory, it is time to return and edit. The pause will allow you to read the manuscript from a fresh perspective and make edits as necessary.

I have summarized the most useful research paper editing tools in this article.

Tips for editing a research paper:

  • Take time away from the research paper to forget about it; then returning to edit,
  • Start by editing the content: structure, headings, paragraphs, logic, figures
  • Continue by editing the grammar and language; perform a thorough language check using academic writing tools
  • Read the entire paper out loud and correct what sounds weird

How to write a compelling Cover Letter for your paper

Begin the cover letter by stating the paper’s title and the type of paper you are submitting (review paper, research paper, short communication). Next, concisely explain why your study was performed, what was done, and what the key findings are. State why the results are important and what impact they might have in the field. Make sure you mention how your approach and findings relate to the scope of the journal in order to show why the article would be of interest to the journal’s readers.

I wrote a separate article that explains what to include in a cover letter here. You can also download a cover letter template from the article.

Tips for writing a cover letter:

  • Explain how the findings of your research relate to journal’s scope
  • Tell what impact the research results will have
  • Show why the research paper will interest the journal’s audience
  • Add any legal statements as required in journal’s guide for authors

How to Answer the Reviewers

Reviewers will often ask for new experiments, extended discussion, additional details on the experimental setup, and so forth. In principle, your primary winning tactic will be to agree with the reviewers and follow their suggestions whenever possible. After all, you must earn their blessing in order to get your paper published.

Be sure to answer each review query and stick to the point. In the response to the reviewers document write exactly where in the paper you have made any changes. In the paper itself, highlight the changes using a different color. This way the reviewers are less likely to re-read the entire article and suggest new edits.

In cases when you don’t agree with the reviewers, it makes sense to answer more thoroughly. Reviewers are scientifically minded people and so, with enough logical and supported argument, they will eventually be willing to see things your way.

Tips for answering the reviewers:

  • Agree with most review comments, but if you don’t, thoroughly explain why
  • Highlight changes in the manuscript
  • Do not take the comments personally and cool down before answering

The LEAP research paper writing cheat sheet

Imagine that you are back in grad school and preparing to take an exam on the topic: “How to write a research paper”. As an exemplary student, you would, most naturally, create a cheat sheet summarizing the subject… Well, I did it for you.

This one-page summary of the LEAP research paper writing technique will remind you of the key research paper writing steps. Print it out and stick it to a wall in your office so that you can review it whenever you are writing a new research paper.

The LEAP research paper writing cheat sheet

Now that we have gone through the four LEAP research paper writing steps, I hope you have a good idea of how to write a research paper. It can be an enjoyable process and once you get the hang of it, the four LEAP writing steps should even help you think about and interpret the research results. This process should enable you to write a well-structured, concise, and compelling research paper.

Have fund with writing your next research paper. I hope it will turn out great!

Learn writing papers that get cited

The LEAP writing approach is a blueprint for writing research papers. But to be efficient and write papers that get cited, you need more than that.

My name is Martins Zaumanis and in my interactive course Research Paper Writing Masterclass I will show you how to  visualize  your research results,  frame a message  that convinces your readers, and write  each section  of the paper. Step-by-step.

And of course – you will learn to respond the infamous  Reviewer No.2.

Research Paper Writing Masterclass by Martins Zaumanis

Hey! My name is Martins Zaumanis and I am a materials scientist in Switzerland ( Google Scholar ). As the first person in my family with a PhD, I have first-hand experience of the challenges starting scientists face in academia. With this blog, I want to help young researchers succeed in academia. I call the blog “Peer Recognized”, because peer recognition is what lifts academic careers and pushes science forward.

Besides this blog, I have written the Peer Recognized book series and created the Peer Recognized Academy offering interactive online courses.

Related articles:

Six journal selection steps

One comment

  • Pingback: Research Paper Outline with Key Sentence Skeleton (+Paper Template)

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

I want to join the Peer Recognized newsletter!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed .

Privacy Overview

CookieDurationDescription
cookielawinfo-checkbox-analytics11 monthsThis cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Analytics".
cookielawinfo-checkbox-functional11 monthsThe cookie is set by GDPR cookie consent to record the user consent for the cookies in the category "Functional".
cookielawinfo-checkbox-necessary11 monthsThis cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookies is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Necessary".
cookielawinfo-checkbox-others11 monthsThis cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Other.
cookielawinfo-checkbox-performance11 monthsThis cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Performance".
viewed_cookie_policy11 monthsThe cookie is set by the GDPR Cookie Consent plugin and is used to store whether or not user has consented to the use of cookies. It does not store any personal data.

Copyright © 2024 Martins Zaumanis

Contacts:  [email protected]  

Privacy Policy 

Grad Coach

How To Write A Research Paper

Step-By-Step Tutorial With Examples + FREE Template

By: Derek Jansen (MBA) | Expert Reviewer: Dr Eunice Rautenbach | March 2024

For many students, crafting a strong research paper from scratch can feel like a daunting task – and rightly so! In this post, we’ll unpack what a research paper is, what it needs to do , and how to write one – in three easy steps. 🙂 

Overview: Writing A Research Paper

What (exactly) is a research paper.

  • How to write a research paper
  • Stage 1 : Topic & literature search
  • Stage 2 : Structure & outline
  • Stage 3 : Iterative writing
  • Key takeaways

Let’s start by asking the most important question, “ What is a research paper? ”.

Simply put, a research paper is a scholarly written work where the writer (that’s you!) answers a specific question (this is called a research question ) through evidence-based arguments . Evidence-based is the keyword here. In other words, a research paper is different from an essay or other writing assignments that draw from the writer’s personal opinions or experiences. With a research paper, it’s all about building your arguments based on evidence (we’ll talk more about that evidence a little later).

Now, it’s worth noting that there are many different types of research papers , including analytical papers (the type I just described), argumentative papers, and interpretative papers. Here, we’ll focus on analytical papers , as these are some of the most common – but if you’re keen to learn about other types of research papers, be sure to check out the rest of the blog .

With that basic foundation laid, let’s get down to business and look at how to write a research paper .

Research Paper Template

Overview: The 3-Stage Process

While there are, of course, many potential approaches you can take to write a research paper, there are typically three stages to the writing process. So, in this tutorial, we’ll present a straightforward three-step process that we use when working with students at Grad Coach.

These three steps are:

  • Finding a research topic and reviewing the existing literature
  • Developing a provisional structure and outline for your paper, and
  • Writing up your initial draft and then refining it iteratively

Let’s dig into each of these.

Need a helping hand?

steps to the research paper

Step 1: Find a topic and review the literature

As we mentioned earlier, in a research paper, you, as the researcher, will try to answer a question . More specifically, that’s called a research question , and it sets the direction of your entire paper. What’s important to understand though is that you’ll need to answer that research question with the help of high-quality sources – for example, journal articles, government reports, case studies, and so on. We’ll circle back to this in a minute.

The first stage of the research process is deciding on what your research question will be and then reviewing the existing literature (in other words, past studies and papers) to see what they say about that specific research question. In some cases, your professor may provide you with a predetermined research question (or set of questions). However, in many cases, you’ll need to find your own research question within a certain topic area.

Finding a strong research question hinges on identifying a meaningful research gap – in other words, an area that’s lacking in existing research. There’s a lot to unpack here, so if you wanna learn more, check out the plain-language explainer video below.

Once you’ve figured out which question (or questions) you’ll attempt to answer in your research paper, you’ll need to do a deep dive into the existing literature – this is called a “ literature search ”. Again, there are many ways to go about this, but your most likely starting point will be Google Scholar .

If you’re new to Google Scholar, think of it as Google for the academic world. You can start by simply entering a few different keywords that are relevant to your research question and it will then present a host of articles for you to review. What you want to pay close attention to here is the number of citations for each paper – the more citations a paper has, the more credible it is (generally speaking – there are some exceptions, of course).

how to use google scholar

Ideally, what you’re looking for are well-cited papers that are highly relevant to your topic. That said, keep in mind that citations are a cumulative metric , so older papers will often have more citations than newer papers – just because they’ve been around for longer. So, don’t fixate on this metric in isolation – relevance and recency are also very important.

Beyond Google Scholar, you’ll also definitely want to check out academic databases and aggregators such as Science Direct, PubMed, JStor and so on. These will often overlap with the results that you find in Google Scholar, but they can also reveal some hidden gems – so, be sure to check them out.

Once you’ve worked your way through all the literature, you’ll want to catalogue all this information in some sort of spreadsheet so that you can easily recall who said what, when and within what context. If you’d like, we’ve got a free literature spreadsheet that helps you do exactly that.

Don’t fixate on an article’s citation count in isolation - relevance (to your research question) and recency are also very important.

Step 2: Develop a structure and outline

With your research question pinned down and your literature digested and catalogued, it’s time to move on to planning your actual research paper .

It might sound obvious, but it’s really important to have some sort of rough outline in place before you start writing your paper. So often, we see students eagerly rushing into the writing phase, only to land up with a disjointed research paper that rambles on in multiple

Now, the secret here is to not get caught up in the fine details . Realistically, all you need at this stage is a bullet-point list that describes (in broad strokes) what you’ll discuss and in what order. It’s also useful to remember that you’re not glued to this outline – in all likelihood, you’ll chop and change some sections once you start writing, and that’s perfectly okay. What’s important is that you have some sort of roadmap in place from the start.

You need to have a rough outline in place before you start writing your paper - or you’ll end up with a disjointed research paper that rambles on.

At this stage you might be wondering, “ But how should I structure my research paper? ”. Well, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution here, but in general, a research paper will consist of a few relatively standardised components:

  • Introduction
  • Literature review
  • Methodology

Let’s take a look at each of these.

First up is the introduction section . As the name suggests, the purpose of the introduction is to set the scene for your research paper. There are usually (at least) four ingredients that go into this section – these are the background to the topic, the research problem and resultant research question , and the justification or rationale. If you’re interested, the video below unpacks the introduction section in more detail. 

The next section of your research paper will typically be your literature review . Remember all that literature you worked through earlier? Well, this is where you’ll present your interpretation of all that content . You’ll do this by writing about recent trends, developments, and arguments within the literature – but more specifically, those that are relevant to your research question . The literature review can oftentimes seem a little daunting, even to seasoned researchers, so be sure to check out our extensive collection of literature review content here .

With the introduction and lit review out of the way, the next section of your paper is the research methodology . In a nutshell, the methodology section should describe to your reader what you did (beyond just reviewing the existing literature) to answer your research question. For example, what data did you collect, how did you collect that data, how did you analyse that data and so on? For each choice, you’ll also need to justify why you chose to do it that way, and what the strengths and weaknesses of your approach were.

Now, it’s worth mentioning that for some research papers, this aspect of the project may be a lot simpler . For example, you may only need to draw on secondary sources (in other words, existing data sets). In some cases, you may just be asked to draw your conclusions from the literature search itself (in other words, there may be no data analysis at all). But, if you are required to collect and analyse data, you’ll need to pay a lot of attention to the methodology section. The video below provides an example of what the methodology section might look like.

By this stage of your paper, you will have explained what your research question is, what the existing literature has to say about that question, and how you analysed additional data to try to answer your question. So, the natural next step is to present your analysis of that data . This section is usually called the “results” or “analysis” section and this is where you’ll showcase your findings.

Depending on your school’s requirements, you may need to present and interpret the data in one section – or you might split the presentation and the interpretation into two sections. In the latter case, your “results” section will just describe the data, and the “discussion” is where you’ll interpret that data and explicitly link your analysis back to your research question. If you’re not sure which approach to take, check in with your professor or take a look at past papers to see what the norms are for your programme.

Alright – once you’ve presented and discussed your results, it’s time to wrap it up . This usually takes the form of the “ conclusion ” section. In the conclusion, you’ll need to highlight the key takeaways from your study and close the loop by explicitly answering your research question. Again, the exact requirements here will vary depending on your programme (and you may not even need a conclusion section at all) – so be sure to check with your professor if you’re unsure.

Step 3: Write and refine

Finally, it’s time to get writing. All too often though, students hit a brick wall right about here… So, how do you avoid this happening to you?

Well, there’s a lot to be said when it comes to writing a research paper (or any sort of academic piece), but we’ll share three practical tips to help you get started.

First and foremost , it’s essential to approach your writing as an iterative process. In other words, you need to start with a really messy first draft and then polish it over multiple rounds of editing. Don’t waste your time trying to write a perfect research paper in one go. Instead, take the pressure off yourself by adopting an iterative approach.

Secondly , it’s important to always lean towards critical writing , rather than descriptive writing. What does this mean? Well, at the simplest level, descriptive writing focuses on the “ what ”, while critical writing digs into the “ so what ” – in other words, the implications . If you’re not familiar with these two types of writing, don’t worry! You can find a plain-language explanation here.

Last but not least, you’ll need to get your referencing right. Specifically, you’ll need to provide credible, correctly formatted citations for the statements you make. We see students making referencing mistakes all the time and it costs them dearly. The good news is that you can easily avoid this by using a simple reference manager . If you don’t have one, check out our video about Mendeley, an easy (and free) reference management tool that you can start using today.

Recap: Key Takeaways

We’ve covered a lot of ground here. To recap, the three steps to writing a high-quality research paper are:

  • To choose a research question and review the literature
  • To plan your paper structure and draft an outline
  • To take an iterative approach to writing, focusing on critical writing and strong referencing

Remember, this is just a b ig-picture overview of the research paper development process and there’s a lot more nuance to unpack. So, be sure to grab a copy of our free research paper template to learn more about how to write a research paper.

You Might Also Like:

Referencing in Word

Can you help me with a full paper template for this Abstract:

Background: Energy and sports drinks have gained popularity among diverse demographic groups, including adolescents, athletes, workers, and college students. While often used interchangeably, these beverages serve distinct purposes, with energy drinks aiming to boost energy and cognitive performance, and sports drinks designed to prevent dehydration and replenish electrolytes and carbohydrates lost during physical exertion.

Objective: To assess the nutritional quality of energy and sports drinks in Egypt.

Material and Methods: A cross-sectional study assessed the nutrient contents, including energy, sugar, electrolytes, vitamins, and caffeine, of sports and energy drinks available in major supermarkets in Cairo, Alexandria, and Giza, Egypt. Data collection involved photographing all relevant product labels and recording nutritional information. Descriptive statistics and appropriate statistical tests were employed to analyze and compare the nutritional values of energy and sports drinks.

Results: The study analyzed 38 sports drinks and 42 energy drinks. Sports drinks were significantly more expensive than energy drinks, with higher net content and elevated magnesium, potassium, and vitamin C. Energy drinks contained higher concentrations of caffeine, sugars, and vitamins B2, B3, and B6.

Conclusion: Significant nutritional differences exist between sports and energy drinks, reflecting their intended uses. However, these beverages’ high sugar content and calorie loads raise health concerns. Proper labeling, public awareness, and responsible marketing are essential to guide safe consumption practices in Egypt.

Submit a Comment Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

  • Print Friendly
  • How to write a research paper

Last updated

11 January 2024

Reviewed by

With proper planning, knowledge, and framework, completing a research paper can be a fulfilling and exciting experience. 

Though it might initially sound slightly intimidating, this guide will help you embrace the challenge. 

By documenting your findings, you can inspire others and make a difference in your field. Here's how you can make your research paper unique and comprehensive.

  • What is a research paper?

Research papers allow you to demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of a particular topic. These papers are usually lengthier and more detailed than typical essays, requiring deeper insight into the chosen topic.

To write a research paper, you must first choose a topic that interests you and is relevant to the field of study. Once you’ve selected your topic, gathering as many relevant resources as possible, including books, scholarly articles, credible websites, and other academic materials, is essential. You must then read and analyze these sources, summarizing their key points and identifying gaps in the current research.

You can formulate your ideas and opinions once you thoroughly understand the existing research. To get there might involve conducting original research, gathering data, or analyzing existing data sets. It could also involve presenting an original argument or interpretation of the existing research.

Writing a successful research paper involves presenting your findings clearly and engagingly, which might involve using charts, graphs, or other visual aids to present your data and using concise language to explain your findings. You must also ensure your paper adheres to relevant academic formatting guidelines, including proper citations and references.

Overall, writing a research paper requires a significant amount of time, effort, and attention to detail. However, it is also an enriching experience that allows you to delve deeply into a subject that interests you and contribute to the existing body of knowledge in your chosen field.

  • How long should a research paper be?

Research papers are deep dives into a topic. Therefore, they tend to be longer pieces of work than essays or opinion pieces. 

However, a suitable length depends on the complexity of the topic and your level of expertise. For instance, are you a first-year college student or an experienced professional? 

Also, remember that the best research papers provide valuable information for the benefit of others. Therefore, the quality of information matters most, not necessarily the length. Being concise is valuable.

Following these best practice steps will help keep your process simple and productive:

1. Gaining a deep understanding of any expectations

Before diving into your intended topic or beginning the research phase, take some time to orient yourself. Suppose there’s a specific topic assigned to you. In that case, it’s essential to deeply understand the question and organize your planning and approach in response. Pay attention to the key requirements and ensure you align your writing accordingly. 

This preparation step entails

Deeply understanding the task or assignment

Being clear about the expected format and length

Familiarizing yourself with the citation and referencing requirements 

Understanding any defined limits for your research contribution

Where applicable, speaking to your professor or research supervisor for further clarification

2. Choose your research topic

Select a research topic that aligns with both your interests and available resources. Ideally, focus on a field where you possess significant experience and analytical skills. In crafting your research paper, it's crucial to go beyond summarizing existing data and contribute fresh insights to the chosen area.

Consider narrowing your focus to a specific aspect of the topic. For example, if exploring the link between technology and mental health, delve into how social media use during the pandemic impacts the well-being of college students. Conducting interviews and surveys with students could provide firsthand data and unique perspectives, adding substantial value to the existing knowledge.

When finalizing your topic, adhere to legal and ethical norms in the relevant area (this ensures the integrity of your research, protects participants' rights, upholds intellectual property standards, and ensures transparency and accountability). Following these principles not only maintains the credibility of your work but also builds trust within your academic or professional community.

For instance, in writing about medical research, consider legal and ethical norms , including patient confidentiality laws and informed consent requirements. Similarly, if analyzing user data on social media platforms, be mindful of data privacy regulations, ensuring compliance with laws governing personal information collection and use. Aligning with legal and ethical standards not only avoids potential issues but also underscores the responsible conduct of your research.

3. Gather preliminary research

Once you’ve landed on your topic, it’s time to explore it further. You’ll want to discover more about available resources and existing research relevant to your assignment at this stage. 

This exploratory phase is vital as you may discover issues with your original idea or realize you have insufficient resources to explore the topic effectively. This key bit of groundwork allows you to redirect your research topic in a different, more feasible, or more relevant direction if necessary. 

Spending ample time at this stage ensures you gather everything you need, learn as much as you can about the topic, and discover gaps where the topic has yet to be sufficiently covered, offering an opportunity to research it further. 

4. Define your research question

To produce a well-structured and focused paper, it is imperative to formulate a clear and precise research question that will guide your work. Your research question must be informed by the existing literature and tailored to the scope and objectives of your project. By refining your focus, you can produce a thoughtful and engaging paper that effectively communicates your ideas to your readers.

5. Write a thesis statement

A thesis statement is a one-to-two-sentence summary of your research paper's main argument or direction. It serves as an overall guide to summarize the overall intent of the research paper for you and anyone wanting to know more about the research.

A strong thesis statement is:

Concise and clear: Explain your case in simple sentences (avoid covering multiple ideas). It might help to think of this section as an elevator pitch.

Specific: Ensure that there is no ambiguity in your statement and that your summary covers the points argued in the paper.

Debatable: A thesis statement puts forward a specific argument––it is not merely a statement but a debatable point that can be analyzed and discussed.

Here are three thesis statement examples from different disciplines:

Psychology thesis example: "We're studying adults aged 25-40 to see if taking short breaks for mindfulness can help with stress. Our goal is to find practical ways to manage anxiety better."

Environmental science thesis example: "This research paper looks into how having more city parks might make the air cleaner and keep people healthier. I want to find out if more green spaces means breathing fewer carcinogens in big cities."

UX research thesis example: "This study focuses on improving mobile banking for older adults using ethnographic research, eye-tracking analysis, and interactive prototyping. We investigate the usefulness of eye-tracking analysis with older individuals, aiming to spark debate and offer fresh perspectives on UX design and digital inclusivity for the aging population."

6. Conduct in-depth research

A research paper doesn’t just include research that you’ve uncovered from other papers and studies but your fresh insights, too. You will seek to become an expert on your topic––understanding the nuances in the current leading theories. You will analyze existing research and add your thinking and discoveries.  It's crucial to conduct well-designed research that is rigorous, robust, and based on reliable sources. Suppose a research paper lacks evidence or is biased. In that case, it won't benefit the academic community or the general public. Therefore, examining the topic thoroughly and furthering its understanding through high-quality research is essential. That usually means conducting new research. Depending on the area under investigation, you may conduct surveys, interviews, diary studies , or observational research to uncover new insights or bolster current claims.

7. Determine supporting evidence

Not every piece of research you’ve discovered will be relevant to your research paper. It’s important to categorize the most meaningful evidence to include alongside your discoveries. It's important to include evidence that doesn't support your claims to avoid exclusion bias and ensure a fair research paper.

8. Write a research paper outline

Before diving in and writing the whole paper, start with an outline. It will help you to see if more research is needed, and it will provide a framework by which to write a more compelling paper. Your supervisor may even request an outline to approve before beginning to write the first draft of the full paper. An outline will include your topic, thesis statement, key headings, short summaries of the research, and your arguments.

9. Write your first draft

Once you feel confident about your outline and sources, it’s time to write your first draft. While penning a long piece of content can be intimidating, if you’ve laid the groundwork, you will have a structure to help you move steadily through each section. To keep up motivation and inspiration, it’s often best to keep the pace quick. Stopping for long periods can interrupt your flow and make jumping back in harder than writing when things are fresh in your mind.

10. Cite your sources correctly

It's always a good practice to give credit where it's due, and the same goes for citing any works that have influenced your paper. Building your arguments on credible references adds value and authenticity to your research. In the formatting guidelines section, you’ll find an overview of different citation styles (MLA, CMOS, or APA), which will help you meet any publishing or academic requirements and strengthen your paper's credibility. It is essential to follow the guidelines provided by your school or the publication you are submitting to ensure the accuracy and relevance of your citations.

11. Ensure your work is original

It is crucial to ensure the originality of your paper, as plagiarism can lead to serious consequences. To avoid plagiarism, you should use proper paraphrasing and quoting techniques. Paraphrasing is rewriting a text in your own words while maintaining the original meaning. Quoting involves directly citing the source. Giving credit to the original author or source is essential whenever you borrow their ideas or words. You can also use plagiarism detection tools such as Scribbr or Grammarly to check the originality of your paper. These tools compare your draft writing to a vast database of online sources. If you find any accidental plagiarism, you should correct it immediately by rephrasing or citing the source.

12. Revise, edit, and proofread

One of the essential qualities of excellent writers is their ability to understand the importance of editing and proofreading. Even though it's tempting to call it a day once you've finished your writing, editing your work can significantly improve its quality. It's natural to overlook the weaker areas when you've just finished writing a paper. Therefore, it's best to take a break of a day or two, or even up to a week, to refresh your mind. This way, you can return to your work with a new perspective. After some breathing room, you can spot any inconsistencies, spelling and grammar errors, typos, or missing citations and correct them. 

  • The best research paper format 

The format of your research paper should align with the requirements set forth by your college, school, or target publication. 

There is no one “best” format, per se. Depending on the stated requirements, you may need to include the following elements:

Title page: The title page of a research paper typically includes the title, author's name, and institutional affiliation and may include additional information such as a course name or instructor's name. 

Table of contents: Include a table of contents to make it easy for readers to find specific sections of your paper.

Abstract: The abstract is a summary of the purpose of the paper.

Methods : In this section, describe the research methods used. This may include collecting data , conducting interviews, or doing field research .

Results: Summarize the conclusions you drew from your research in this section.

Discussion: In this section, discuss the implications of your research . Be sure to mention any significant limitations to your approach and suggest areas for further research.

Tables, charts, and illustrations: Use tables, charts, and illustrations to help convey your research findings and make them easier to understand.

Works cited or reference page: Include a works cited or reference page to give credit to the sources that you used to conduct your research.

Bibliography: Provide a list of all the sources you consulted while conducting your research.

Dedication and acknowledgments : Optionally, you may include a dedication and acknowledgments section to thank individuals who helped you with your research.

  • General style and formatting guidelines

Formatting your research paper means you can submit it to your college, journal, or other publications in compliance with their criteria.

Research papers tend to follow the American Psychological Association (APA), Modern Language Association (MLA), or Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS) guidelines.

Here’s how each style guide is typically used:

Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS):

CMOS is a versatile style guide used for various types of writing. It's known for its flexibility and use in the humanities. CMOS provides guidelines for citations, formatting, and overall writing style. It allows for both footnotes and in-text citations, giving writers options based on their preferences or publication requirements.

American Psychological Association (APA):

APA is common in the social sciences. It’s hailed for its clarity and emphasis on precision. It has specific rules for citing sources, creating references, and formatting papers. APA style uses in-text citations with an accompanying reference list. It's designed to convey information efficiently and is widely used in academic and scientific writing.

Modern Language Association (MLA):

MLA is widely used in the humanities, especially literature and language studies. It emphasizes the author-page format for in-text citations and provides guidelines for creating a "Works Cited" page. MLA is known for its focus on the author's name and the literary works cited. It’s frequently used in disciplines that prioritize literary analysis and critical thinking.

To confirm you're using the latest style guide, check the official website or publisher's site for updates, consult academic resources, and verify the guide's publication date. Online platforms and educational resources may also provide summaries and alerts about any revisions or additions to the style guide.

Citing sources

When working on your research paper, it's important to cite the sources you used properly. Your citation style will guide you through this process. Generally, there are three parts to citing sources in your research paper: 

First, provide a brief citation in the body of your essay. This is also known as a parenthetical or in-text citation. 

Second, include a full citation in the Reference list at the end of your paper. Different types of citations include in-text citations, footnotes, and reference lists. 

In-text citations include the author's surname and the date of the citation. 

Footnotes appear at the bottom of each page of your research paper. They may also be summarized within a reference list at the end of the paper. 

A reference list includes all of the research used within the paper at the end of the document. It should include the author, date, paper title, and publisher listed in the order that aligns with your citation style.

10 research paper writing tips:

Following some best practices is essential to writing a research paper that contributes to your field of study and creates a positive impact.

These tactics will help you structure your argument effectively and ensure your work benefits others:

Clear and precise language:  Ensure your language is unambiguous. Use academic language appropriately, but keep it simple. Also, provide clear takeaways for your audience.

Effective idea separation:  Organize the vast amount of information and sources in your paper with paragraphs and titles. Create easily digestible sections for your readers to navigate through.

Compelling intro:  Craft an engaging introduction that captures your reader's interest. Hook your audience and motivate them to continue reading.

Thorough revision and editing:  Take the time to review and edit your paper comprehensively. Use tools like Grammarly to detect and correct small, overlooked errors.

Thesis precision:  Develop a clear and concise thesis statement that guides your paper. Ensure that your thesis aligns with your research's overall purpose and contribution.

Logical flow of ideas:  Maintain a logical progression throughout the paper. Use transitions effectively to connect different sections and maintain coherence.

Critical evaluation of sources:  Evaluate and critically assess the relevance and reliability of your sources. Ensure that your research is based on credible and up-to-date information.

Thematic consistency:  Maintain a consistent theme throughout the paper. Ensure that all sections contribute cohesively to the overall argument.

Relevant supporting evidence:  Provide concise and relevant evidence to support your arguments. Avoid unnecessary details that may distract from the main points.

Embrace counterarguments:  Acknowledge and address opposing views to strengthen your position. Show that you have considered alternative arguments in your field.

7 research tips 

If you want your paper to not only be well-written but also contribute to the progress of human knowledge, consider these tips to take your paper to the next level:

Selecting the appropriate topic: The topic you select should align with your area of expertise, comply with the requirements of your project, and have sufficient resources for a comprehensive investigation.

Use academic databases: Academic databases such as PubMed, Google Scholar, and JSTOR offer a wealth of research papers that can help you discover everything you need to know about your chosen topic.

Critically evaluate sources: It is important not to accept research findings at face value. Instead, it is crucial to critically analyze the information to avoid jumping to conclusions or overlooking important details. A well-written research paper requires a critical analysis with thorough reasoning to support claims.

Diversify your sources: Expand your research horizons by exploring a variety of sources beyond the standard databases. Utilize books, conference proceedings, and interviews to gather diverse perspectives and enrich your understanding of the topic.

Take detailed notes: Detailed note-taking is crucial during research and can help you form the outline and body of your paper.

Stay up on trends: Keep abreast of the latest developments in your field by regularly checking for recent publications. Subscribe to newsletters, follow relevant journals, and attend conferences to stay informed about emerging trends and advancements. 

Engage in peer review: Seek feedback from peers or mentors to ensure the rigor and validity of your research . Peer review helps identify potential weaknesses in your methodology and strengthens the overall credibility of your findings.

  • The real-world impact of research papers

Writing a research paper is more than an academic or business exercise. The experience provides an opportunity to explore a subject in-depth, broaden one's understanding, and arrive at meaningful conclusions. With careful planning, dedication, and hard work, writing a research paper can be a fulfilling and enriching experience contributing to advancing knowledge.

How do I publish my research paper? 

Many academics wish to publish their research papers. While challenging, your paper might get traction if it covers new and well-written information. To publish your research paper, find a target publication, thoroughly read their guidelines, format your paper accordingly, and send it to them per their instructions. You may need to include a cover letter, too. After submission, your paper may be peer-reviewed by experts to assess its legitimacy, quality, originality, and methodology. Following review, you will be informed by the publication whether they have accepted or rejected your paper. 

What is a good opening sentence for a research paper? 

Beginning your research paper with a compelling introduction can ensure readers are interested in going further. A relevant quote, a compelling statistic, or a bold argument can start the paper and hook your reader. Remember, though, that the most important aspect of a research paper is the quality of the information––not necessarily your ability to storytell, so ensure anything you write aligns with your goals.

Research paper vs. a research proposal—what’s the difference?

While some may confuse research papers and proposals, they are different documents. 

A research proposal comes before a research paper. It is a detailed document that outlines an intended area of exploration. It includes the research topic, methodology, timeline, sources, and potential conclusions. Research proposals are often required when seeking approval to conduct research. 

A research paper is a summary of research findings. A research paper follows a structured format to present those findings and construct an argument or conclusion.

Should you be using a customer insights hub?

Do you want to discover previous research faster?

Do you share your research findings with others?

Do you analyze research data?

Start for free today, add your research, and get to key insights faster

Editor’s picks

Last updated: 18 April 2023

Last updated: 27 February 2023

Last updated: 6 February 2023

Last updated: 6 October 2023

Last updated: 5 February 2023

Last updated: 16 April 2023

Last updated: 7 March 2023

Last updated: 9 March 2023

Last updated: 12 December 2023

Last updated: 11 March 2024

Last updated: 6 March 2024

Last updated: 5 March 2024

Last updated: 13 May 2024

Latest articles

Related topics, .css-je19u9{-webkit-align-items:flex-end;-webkit-box-align:flex-end;-ms-flex-align:flex-end;align-items:flex-end;display:-webkit-box;display:-webkit-flex;display:-ms-flexbox;display:flex;-webkit-flex-direction:row;-ms-flex-direction:row;flex-direction:row;-webkit-box-flex-wrap:wrap;-webkit-flex-wrap:wrap;-ms-flex-wrap:wrap;flex-wrap:wrap;-webkit-box-pack:center;-ms-flex-pack:center;-webkit-justify-content:center;justify-content:center;row-gap:0;text-align:center;max-width:671px;}@media (max-width: 1079px){.css-je19u9{max-width:400px;}.css-je19u9>span{white-space:pre;}}@media (max-width: 799px){.css-je19u9{max-width:400px;}.css-je19u9>span{white-space:pre;}} decide what to .css-1kiodld{max-height:56px;display:-webkit-box;display:-webkit-flex;display:-ms-flexbox;display:flex;-webkit-align-items:center;-webkit-box-align:center;-ms-flex-align:center;align-items:center;}@media (max-width: 1079px){.css-1kiodld{display:none;}} build next, decide what to build next.

steps to the research paper

Users report unexpectedly high data usage, especially during streaming sessions.

steps to the research paper

Users find it hard to navigate from the home page to relevant playlists in the app.

steps to the research paper

It would be great to have a sleep timer feature, especially for bedtime listening.

steps to the research paper

I need better filters to find the songs or artists I’m looking for.

  • 10 research paper

Log in or sign up

Get started for free

Reference management. Clean and simple.

Writing your research paper

steps to the research paper

How to start your research paper [step-by-step guide]

All research papers have pretty much the same structure. If you can write one type of research paper, you can write another. Learn the steps to start and complete your research paper in our guide.

steps to the research paper

How to write a problem statement

What is a problem statement and how do you write one? This guide answers all your questions and includes an example of a problem statement.

steps to the research paper

How to write a research paper outline

Structuring the outline of your research paper early on is important. Read on to learn how to structure a research paper outline and to see examples, including an outline template.

steps to the research paper

How to write a research proposal

What is a research proposal and what should you use it for? This step-by-step guide teaches you how to structure and write a research proposal.

steps to the research paper

How to write an abstract

Not sure how to write an abstract for your paper? Clear your doubts with this guide, follow our tips, and start writing your abstract!

steps to the research paper

What are the different types of research papers?

Learn all you need to know about research papers, what differentiates a research paper from a thesis, and what types of research papers there are.

steps to the research paper

What is a research paper?

Are you confused about what a research paper actually is and what differentiates it from a thesis? Clarify it once and for all with our guide.

steps to the research paper

What is an appendix in a paper

Not sure what an appendix in a paper is? This guides defines what an appendix is and how to format one.

steps to the research paper

What is the abstract of a paper?

Not sure what the abstract of a paper is? Learn the definition of an abstract and how to format one in this guide with resources.

steps to the research paper

How to Write a Research Paper

Use the links below to jump directly to any section of this guide:

Research Paper Fundamentals

How to choose a topic or question, how to create a working hypothesis or thesis, common research paper methodologies, how to gather and organize evidence , how to write an outline for your research paper, how to write a rough draft, how to revise your draft, how to produce a final draft, resources for teachers .

It is not fair to say that no one writes anymore. Just about everyone writes text messages, brief emails, or social media posts every single day. Yet, most people don't have a lot of practice with the formal, organized writing required for a good academic research paper. This guide contains links to a variety of resources that can help demystify the process. Some of these resources are intended for teachers; they contain exercises, activities, and teaching strategies. Other resources are intended for direct use by students who are struggling to write papers, or are looking for tips to make the process go more smoothly.

The resources in this section are designed to help students understand the different types of research papers, the general research process, and how to manage their time. Below, you'll find links from university writing centers, the trusted Purdue Online Writing Lab, and more.

What is an Academic Research Paper?

"Genre and the Research Paper" (Purdue OWL)

There are different types of research papers. Different types of scholarly questions will lend themselves to one format or another. This is a brief introduction to the two main genres of research paper: analytic and argumentative. 

"7 Most Popular Types of Research Papers" (Personal-writer.com)

This resource discusses formats that high school students commonly encounter, such as the compare and contrast essay and the definitional essay. Please note that the inclusion of this link is not an endorsement of this company's paid service.

How to Prepare and Plan Out Writing a Research Paper

Teachers can give their students a step-by-step guide like these to help them understand the different steps of the research paper process. These guides can be combined with the time management tools in the next subsection to help students come up with customized calendars for completing their papers.

"Ten Steps for Writing Research Papers" (American University)  

This resource from American University is a comprehensive guide to the research paper writing process, and includes examples of proper research questions and thesis topics.

"Steps in Writing a Research Paper" (SUNY Empire State College)

This guide breaks the research paper process into 11 steps. Each "step" links to a separate page, which describes the work entailed in completing it.

How to Manage Time Effectively

The links below will help students determine how much time is necessary to complete a paper. If your sources are not available online or at your local library, you'll need to leave extra time for the Interlibrary Loan process. Remember that, even if you do not need to consult secondary sources, you'll still need to leave yourself ample time to organize your thoughts.

"Research Paper Planner: Timeline" (Baylor University)

This interactive resource from Baylor University creates a suggested writing schedule based on how much time a student has to work on the assignment.

"Research Paper Planner" (UCLA)

UCLA's library offers this step-by-step guide to the research paper writing process, which also includes a suggested planning calendar.

There's a reason teachers spend a long time talking about choosing a good topic. Without a good topic and a well-formulated research question, it is almost impossible to write a clear and organized paper. The resources below will help you generate ideas and formulate precise questions.

"How to Select a Research Topic" (Univ. of Michigan-Flint)

This resource is designed for college students who are struggling to come up with an appropriate topic. A student who uses this resource and still feels unsure about his or her topic should consult the course instructor for further personalized assistance.

"25 Interesting Research Paper Topics to Get You Started" (Kibin)

This resource, which is probably most appropriate for high school students, provides a list of specific topics to help get students started. It is broken into subsections, such as "paper topics on local issues."

"Writing a Good Research Question" (Grand Canyon University)

This introduction to research questions includes some embedded videos, as well as links to scholarly articles on research questions. This resource would be most appropriate for teachers who are planning lessons on research paper fundamentals.

"How to Write a Research Question the Right Way" (Kibin)

This student-focused resource provides more detail on writing research questions. The language is accessible, and there are embedded videos and examples of good and bad questions.

It is important to have a rough hypothesis or thesis in mind at the beginning of the research process. People who have a sense of what they want to say will have an easier time sorting through scholarly sources and other information. The key, of course, is not to become too wedded to the draft hypothesis or thesis. Just about every working thesis gets changed during the research process.

CrashCourse Video: "Sociology Research Methods" (YouTube)

Although this video is tailored to sociology students, it is applicable to students in a variety of social science disciplines. This video does a good job demonstrating the connection between the brainstorming that goes into selecting a research question and the formulation of a working hypothesis.

"How to Write a Thesis Statement for an Analytical Essay" (YouTube)

Students writing analytical essays will not develop the same type of working hypothesis as students who are writing research papers in other disciplines. For these students, developing the working thesis may happen as a part of the rough draft (see the relevant section below). 

"Research Hypothesis" (Oakland Univ.)

This resource provides some examples of hypotheses in social science disciplines like Political Science and Criminal Justice. These sample hypotheses may also be useful for students in other soft social sciences and humanities disciplines like History.

When grading a research paper, instructors look for a consistent methodology. This section will help you understand different methodological approaches used in research papers. Students will get the most out of these resources if they use them to help prepare for conversations with teachers or discussions in class.

"Types of Research Designs" (USC)

A "research design," used for complex papers, is related to the paper's method. This resource contains introductions to a variety of popular research designs in the social sciences. Although it is not the most intuitive site to read, the information here is very valuable. 

"Major Research Methods" (YouTube)

Although this video is a bit on the dry side, it provides a comprehensive overview of the major research methodologies in a format that might be more accessible to students who have struggled with textbooks or other written resources.

"Humanities Research Strategies" (USC)

This is a portal where students can learn about four methodological approaches for humanities papers: Historical Methodologies, Textual Criticism, Conceptual Analysis, and the Synoptic method.

"Selected Major Social Science Research Methods: Overview" (National Academies Press)

This appendix from the book  Using Science as Evidence in Public Policy , printed by National Academies Press, introduces some methods used in social science papers.

"Organizing Your Social Sciences Research Paper: 6. The Methodology" (USC)

This resource from the University of Southern California's library contains tips for writing a methodology section in a research paper.

How to Determine the Best Methodology for You

Anyone who is new to writing research papers should be sure to select a method in consultation with their instructor. These resources can be used to help prepare for that discussion. They may also be used on their own by more advanced students.

"Choosing Appropriate Research Methodologies" (Palgrave Study Skills)

This friendly and approachable resource from Palgrave Macmillan can be used by students who are just starting to think about appropriate methodologies.

"How to Choose Your Research Methods" (NFER (UK))

This is another approachable resource students can use to help narrow down the most appropriate methods for their research projects.

The resources in this section introduce the process of gathering scholarly sources and collecting evidence. You'll find a range of material here, from introductory guides to advanced explications best suited to college students. Please consult the LitCharts  How to Do Academic Research guide for a more comprehensive list of resources devoted to finding scholarly literature.

Google Scholar

Students who have access to library websites with detailed research guides should start there, but people who do not have access to those resources can begin their search for secondary literature here.

"Gathering Appropriate Information" (Texas Gateway)

This resource from the Texas Gateway for online resources introduces students to the research process, and contains interactive exercises. The level of complexity is suitable for middle school, high school, and introductory college classrooms.

"An Overview of Quantitative and Qualitative Data Collection Methods" (NSF)

This PDF from the National Science Foundation goes into detail about best practices and pitfalls in data collection across multiple types of methodologies.

"Social Science Methods for Data Collection and Analysis" (Swiss FIT)

This resource is appropriate for advanced undergraduates or teachers looking to create lessons on research design and data collection. It covers techniques for gathering data via interviews, observations, and other methods.

"Collecting Data by In-depth Interviewing" (Leeds Univ.)

This resource contains enough information about conducting interviews to make it useful for teachers who want to create a lesson plan, but is also accessible enough for college juniors or seniors to make use of it on their own.

There is no "one size fits all" outlining technique. Some students might devote all their energy and attention to the outline in order to avoid the paper. Other students may benefit from being made to sit down and organize their thoughts into a lengthy sentence outline. The resources in this section include strategies and templates for multiple types of outlines. 

"Topic vs. Sentence Outlines" (UC Berkeley)

This resource introduces two basic approaches to outlining: the shorter topic-based approach, and the longer, more detailed sentence-based approach. This resource also contains videos on how to develop paper paragraphs from the sentence-based outline.

"Types of Outlines and Samples" (Purdue OWL)

The Purdue Online Writing Lab's guide is a slightly less detailed discussion of different types of outlines. It contains several sample outlines.

"Writing An Outline" (Austin C.C.)

This resource from a community college contains sample outlines from an American history class that students can use as models.

"How to Structure an Outline for a College Paper" (YouTube)

This brief (sub-2 minute) video from the ExpertVillage YouTube channel provides a model of outline writing for students who are struggling with the idea.

"Outlining" (Harvard)

This is a good resource to consult after completing a draft outline. It offers suggestions for making sure your outline avoids things like unnecessary repetition.

As with outlines, rough drafts can take on many different forms. These resources introduce teachers and students to the various approaches to writing a rough draft. This section also includes resources that will help you cite your sources appropriately according to the MLA, Chicago, and APA style manuals.

"Creating a Rough Draft for a Research Paper" (Univ. of Minnesota)

This resource is useful for teachers in particular, as it provides some suggested exercises to help students with writing a basic rough draft. 

Rough Draft Assignment (Duke of Definition)

This sample assignment, with a brief list of tips, was developed by a high school teacher who runs a very successful and well-reviewed page of educational resources.

"Creating the First Draft of Your Research Paper" (Concordia Univ.)

This resource will be helpful for perfectionists or procrastinators, as it opens by discussing the problem of avoiding writing. It also provides a short list of suggestions meant to get students writing.

Using Proper Citations

There is no such thing as a rough draft of a scholarly citation. These links to the three major citation guides will ensure that your citations follow the correct format. Please consult the LitCharts How to Cite Your Sources guide for more resources.

Chicago Manual of Style Citation Guide

Some call  The Chicago Manual of Style , which was first published in 1906, "the editors' Bible." The manual is now in its 17th edition, and is popular in the social sciences, historical journals, and some other fields in the humanities.

APA Citation Guide

According to the American Psychological Association, this guide was developed to aid reading comprehension, clarity of communication, and to reduce bias in language in the social and behavioral sciences. Its first full edition was published in 1952, and it is now in its sixth edition.

MLA Citation Guide

The Modern Language Association style is used most commonly within the liberal arts and humanities. The  MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing  was first published in 1985 and (as of 2008) is in its third edition.

Any professional scholar will tell you that the best research papers are made in the revision stage. No matter how strong your research question or working thesis, it is not possible to write a truly outstanding paper without devoting energy to revision. These resources provide examples of revision exercises for the classroom, as well as tips for students working independently.

"The Art of Revision" (Univ. of Arizona)

This resource provides a wealth of information and suggestions for both students and teachers. There is a list of suggested exercises that teachers might use in class, along with a revision checklist that is useful for teachers and students alike.

"Script for Workshop on Revision" (Vanderbilt University)

Vanderbilt's guide for leading a 50-minute revision workshop can serve as a model for teachers who wish to guide students through the revision process during classtime. 

"Revising Your Paper" (Univ. of Washington)

This detailed handout was designed for students who are beginning the revision process. It discusses different approaches and methods for revision, and also includes a detailed list of things students should look for while they revise.

"Revising Drafts" (UNC Writing Center)

This resource is designed for students and suggests things to look for during the revision process. It provides steps for the process and has a FAQ for students who have questions about why it is important to revise.

Conferencing with Writing Tutors and Instructors

No writer is so good that he or she can't benefit from meeting with instructors or peer tutors. These resources from university writing, learning, and communication centers provide suggestions for how to get the most out of these one-on-one meetings.

"Getting Feedback" (UNC Writing Center)

This very helpful resource talks about how to ask for feedback during the entire writing process. It contains possible questions that students might ask when developing an outline, during the revision process, and after the final draft has been graded.

"Prepare for Your Tutoring Session" (Otis College of Art and Design)

This guide from a university's student learning center contains a lot of helpful tips for getting the most out of working with a writing tutor.

"The Importance of Asking Your Professor" (Univ. of Waterloo)

This article from the university's Writing and Communication Centre's blog contains some suggestions for how and when to get help from professors and Teaching Assistants.

Once you've revised your first draft, you're well on your way to handing in a polished paper. These resources—each of them produced by writing professionals at colleges and universities—outline the steps required in order to produce a final draft. You'll find proofreading tips and checklists in text and video form.

"Developing a Final Draft of a Research Paper" (Univ. of Minnesota)

While this resource contains suggestions for revision, it also features a couple of helpful checklists for the last stages of completing a final draft.

Basic Final Draft Tips and Checklist (Univ. of Maryland-University College)

This short and accessible resource, part of UMUC's very thorough online guide to writing and research, contains a very basic checklist for students who are getting ready to turn in their final drafts.

Final Draft Checklist (Everett C.C.)

This is another accessible final draft checklist, appropriate for both high school and college students. It suggests reading your essay aloud at least once.

"How to Proofread Your Final Draft" (YouTube)

This video (approximately 5 minutes), produced by Eastern Washington University, gives students tips on proofreading final drafts.

"Proofreading Tips" (Georgia Southern-Armstrong)

This guide will help students learn how to spot common errors in their papers. It suggests focusing on content and editing for grammar and mechanics.

This final set of resources is intended specifically for high school and college instructors. It provides links to unit plans and classroom exercises that can help improve students' research and writing skills. You'll find resources that give an overview of the process, along with activities that focus on how to begin and how to carry out research. 

"Research Paper Complete Resources Pack" (Teachers Pay Teachers)

This packet of assignments, rubrics, and other resources is designed for high school students. The resources in this packet are aligned to Common Core standards.

"Research Paper—Complete Unit" (Teachers Pay Teachers)

This packet of assignments, notes, PowerPoints, and other resources has a 4/4 rating with over 700 ratings. It is designed for high school teachers, but might also be useful to college instructors who work with freshmen.

"Teaching Students to Write Good Papers" (Yale)

This resource from Yale's Center for Teaching and Learning is designed for college instructors, and it includes links to appropriate activities and exercises.

"Research Paper Writing: An Overview" (CUNY Brooklyn)

CUNY Brooklyn offers this complete lesson plan for introducing students to research papers. It includes an accompanying set of PowerPoint slides.

"Lesson Plan: How to Begin Writing a Research Paper" (San Jose State Univ.)

This lesson plan is designed for students in the health sciences, so teachers will have to modify it for their own needs. It includes a breakdown of the brainstorming, topic selection, and research question process. 

"Quantitative Techniques for Social Science Research" (Univ. of Pittsburgh)

This is a set of PowerPoint slides that can be used to introduce students to a variety of quantitative methods used in the social sciences.

  • PDFs for all 136 Lit Terms we cover
  • Downloads of 1960 LitCharts Lit Guides
  • Teacher Editions for every Lit Guide
  • Explanations and citation info for 41,338 quotes across 1960 books
  • Downloadable (PDF) line-by-line translations of every Shakespeare play

Need something? Request a new guide .

How can we improve? Share feedback .

LitCharts is hiring!

The LitCharts.com logo.

Have a language expert improve your writing

Run a free plagiarism check in 10 minutes, generate accurate citations for free.

  • Knowledge Base
  • Research paper

Writing a Research Paper Introduction | Step-by-Step Guide

Published on September 24, 2022 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on March 27, 2023.

Writing a Research Paper Introduction

The introduction to a research paper is where you set up your topic and approach for the reader. It has several key goals:

  • Present your topic and get the reader interested
  • Provide background or summarize existing research
  • Position your own approach
  • Detail your specific research problem and problem statement
  • Give an overview of the paper’s structure

The introduction looks slightly different depending on whether your paper presents the results of original empirical research or constructs an argument by engaging with a variety of sources.

Instantly correct all language mistakes in your text

Upload your document to correct all your mistakes in minutes

upload-your-document-ai-proofreader

Table of contents

Step 1: introduce your topic, step 2: describe the background, step 3: establish your research problem, step 4: specify your objective(s), step 5: map out your paper, research paper introduction examples, frequently asked questions about the research paper introduction.

The first job of the introduction is to tell the reader what your topic is and why it’s interesting or important. This is generally accomplished with a strong opening hook.

The hook is a striking opening sentence that clearly conveys the relevance of your topic. Think of an interesting fact or statistic, a strong statement, a question, or a brief anecdote that will get the reader wondering about your topic.

For example, the following could be an effective hook for an argumentative paper about the environmental impact of cattle farming:

A more empirical paper investigating the relationship of Instagram use with body image issues in adolescent girls might use the following hook:

Don’t feel that your hook necessarily has to be deeply impressive or creative. Clarity and relevance are still more important than catchiness. The key thing is to guide the reader into your topic and situate your ideas.

Receive feedback on language, structure, and formatting

Professional editors proofread and edit your paper by focusing on:

  • Academic style
  • Vague sentences
  • Style consistency

See an example

steps to the research paper

This part of the introduction differs depending on what approach your paper is taking.

In a more argumentative paper, you’ll explore some general background here. In a more empirical paper, this is the place to review previous research and establish how yours fits in.

Argumentative paper: Background information

After you’ve caught your reader’s attention, specify a bit more, providing context and narrowing down your topic.

Provide only the most relevant background information. The introduction isn’t the place to get too in-depth; if more background is essential to your paper, it can appear in the body .

Empirical paper: Describing previous research

For a paper describing original research, you’ll instead provide an overview of the most relevant research that has already been conducted. This is a sort of miniature literature review —a sketch of the current state of research into your topic, boiled down to a few sentences.

This should be informed by genuine engagement with the literature. Your search can be less extensive than in a full literature review, but a clear sense of the relevant research is crucial to inform your own work.

Begin by establishing the kinds of research that have been done, and end with limitations or gaps in the research that you intend to respond to.

The next step is to clarify how your own research fits in and what problem it addresses.

Argumentative paper: Emphasize importance

In an argumentative research paper, you can simply state the problem you intend to discuss, and what is original or important about your argument.

Empirical paper: Relate to the literature

In an empirical research paper, try to lead into the problem on the basis of your discussion of the literature. Think in terms of these questions:

  • What research gap is your work intended to fill?
  • What limitations in previous work does it address?
  • What contribution to knowledge does it make?

You can make the connection between your problem and the existing research using phrases like the following.

Although has been studied in detail, insufficient attention has been paid to . You will address a previously overlooked aspect of your topic.
The implications of study deserve to be explored further. You will build on something suggested by a previous study, exploring it in greater depth.
It is generally assumed that . However, this paper suggests that … You will depart from the consensus on your topic, establishing a new position.

Now you’ll get into the specifics of what you intend to find out or express in your research paper.

The way you frame your research objectives varies. An argumentative paper presents a thesis statement, while an empirical paper generally poses a research question (sometimes with a hypothesis as to the answer).

Argumentative paper: Thesis statement

The thesis statement expresses the position that the rest of the paper will present evidence and arguments for. It can be presented in one or two sentences, and should state your position clearly and directly, without providing specific arguments for it at this point.

Empirical paper: Research question and hypothesis

The research question is the question you want to answer in an empirical research paper.

Present your research question clearly and directly, with a minimum of discussion at this point. The rest of the paper will be taken up with discussing and investigating this question; here you just need to express it.

A research question can be framed either directly or indirectly.

  • This study set out to answer the following question: What effects does daily use of Instagram have on the prevalence of body image issues among adolescent girls?
  • We investigated the effects of daily Instagram use on the prevalence of body image issues among adolescent girls.

If your research involved testing hypotheses , these should be stated along with your research question. They are usually presented in the past tense, since the hypothesis will already have been tested by the time you are writing up your paper.

For example, the following hypothesis might respond to the research question above:

The final part of the introduction is often dedicated to a brief overview of the rest of the paper.

In a paper structured using the standard scientific “introduction, methods, results, discussion” format, this isn’t always necessary. But if your paper is structured in a less predictable way, it’s important to describe the shape of it for the reader.

If included, the overview should be concise, direct, and written in the present tense.

  • This paper will first discuss several examples of survey-based research into adolescent social media use, then will go on to …
  • This paper first discusses several examples of survey-based research into adolescent social media use, then goes on to …

Full examples of research paper introductions are shown in the tabs below: one for an argumentative paper, the other for an empirical paper.

  • Argumentative paper
  • Empirical paper

Are cows responsible for climate change? A recent study (RIVM, 2019) shows that cattle farmers account for two thirds of agricultural nitrogen emissions in the Netherlands. These emissions result from nitrogen in manure, which can degrade into ammonia and enter the atmosphere. The study’s calculations show that agriculture is the main source of nitrogen pollution, accounting for 46% of the country’s total emissions. By comparison, road traffic and households are responsible for 6.1% each, the industrial sector for 1%. While efforts are being made to mitigate these emissions, policymakers are reluctant to reckon with the scale of the problem. The approach presented here is a radical one, but commensurate with the issue. This paper argues that the Dutch government must stimulate and subsidize livestock farmers, especially cattle farmers, to transition to sustainable vegetable farming. It first establishes the inadequacy of current mitigation measures, then discusses the various advantages of the results proposed, and finally addresses potential objections to the plan on economic grounds.

The rise of social media has been accompanied by a sharp increase in the prevalence of body image issues among women and girls. This correlation has received significant academic attention: Various empirical studies have been conducted into Facebook usage among adolescent girls (Tiggermann & Slater, 2013; Meier & Gray, 2014). These studies have consistently found that the visual and interactive aspects of the platform have the greatest influence on body image issues. Despite this, highly visual social media (HVSM) such as Instagram have yet to be robustly researched. This paper sets out to address this research gap. We investigated the effects of daily Instagram use on the prevalence of body image issues among adolescent girls. It was hypothesized that daily Instagram use would be associated with an increase in body image concerns and a decrease in self-esteem ratings.

The introduction of a research paper includes several key elements:

  • A hook to catch the reader’s interest
  • Relevant background on the topic
  • Details of your research problem

and your problem statement

  • A thesis statement or research question
  • Sometimes an overview of the paper

Don’t feel that you have to write the introduction first. The introduction is often one of the last parts of the research paper you’ll write, along with the conclusion.

This is because it can be easier to introduce your paper once you’ve already written the body ; you may not have the clearest idea of your arguments until you’ve written them, and things can change during the writing process .

The way you present your research problem in your introduction varies depending on the nature of your research paper . A research paper that presents a sustained argument will usually encapsulate this argument in a thesis statement .

A research paper designed to present the results of empirical research tends to present a research question that it seeks to answer. It may also include a hypothesis —a prediction that will be confirmed or disproved by your research.

Cite this Scribbr article

If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the “Cite this Scribbr article” button to automatically add the citation to our free Citation Generator.

Caulfield, J. (2023, March 27). Writing a Research Paper Introduction | Step-by-Step Guide. Scribbr. Retrieved July 5, 2024, from https://www.scribbr.com/research-paper/research-paper-introduction/

Is this article helpful?

Jack Caulfield

Jack Caulfield

Other students also liked, writing strong research questions | criteria & examples, writing a research paper conclusion | step-by-step guide, research paper format | apa, mla, & chicago templates, get unlimited documents corrected.

✔ Free APA citation check included ✔ Unlimited document corrections ✔ Specialized in correcting academic texts

Writing a Research Paper

This page lists some of the stages involved in writing a library-based research paper.

Although this list suggests that there is a simple, linear process to writing such a paper, the actual process of writing a research paper is often a messy and recursive one, so please use this outline as a flexible guide.

Discovering, Narrowing, and Focusing a Researchable Topic

  • Try to find a topic that truly interests you
  • Try writing your way to a topic
  • Talk with your course instructor and classmates about your topic
  • Pose your topic as a question to be answered or a problem to be solved

Finding, Selecting, and Reading Sources

You will need to look at the following types of sources:

  • library catalog, periodical indexes, bibliographies, suggestions from your instructor
  • primary vs. secondary sources
  • journals, books, other documents

Grouping, Sequencing, and Documenting Information

The following systems will help keep you organized:

  • a system for noting sources on bibliography cards
  • a system for organizing material according to its relative importance
  • a system for taking notes

Writing an Outline and a Prospectus for Yourself

Consider the following questions:

  • What is the topic?
  • Why is it significant?
  • What background material is relevant?
  • What is my thesis or purpose statement?
  • What organizational plan will best support my purpose?

Writing the Introduction

In the introduction you will need to do the following things:

  • present relevant background or contextual material
  • define terms or concepts when necessary
  • explain the focus of the paper and your specific purpose
  • reveal your plan of organization

Writing the Body

  • Use your outline and prospectus as flexible guides
  • Build your essay around points you want to make (i.e., don’t let your sources organize your paper)
  • Integrate your sources into your discussion
  • Summarize, analyze, explain, and evaluate published work rather than merely reporting it
  • Move up and down the “ladder of abstraction” from generalization to varying levels of detail back to generalization

Writing the Conclusion

  • If the argument or point of your paper is complex, you may need to summarize the argument for your reader.
  • If prior to your conclusion you have not yet explained the significance of your findings or if you are proceeding inductively, use the end of your paper to add your points up, to explain their significance.
  • Move from a detailed to a general level of consideration that returns the topic to the context provided by the introduction.
  • Perhaps suggest what about this topic needs further research.

Revising the Final Draft

  • Check overall organization : logical flow of introduction, coherence and depth of discussion in body, effectiveness of conclusion.
  • Paragraph level concerns : topic sentences, sequence of ideas within paragraphs, use of details to support generalizations, summary sentences where necessary, use of transitions within and between paragraphs.
  • Sentence level concerns: sentence structure, word choices, punctuation, spelling.
  • Documentation: consistent use of one system, citation of all material not considered common knowledge, appropriate use of endnotes or footnotes, accuracy of list of works cited.

steps to the research paper

Academic and Professional Writing

This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.

Analysis Papers

Reading Poetry

A Short Guide to Close Reading for Literary Analysis

Using Literary Quotations

Play Reviews

Writing a Rhetorical Précis to Analyze Nonfiction Texts

Incorporating Interview Data

Grant Proposals

Planning and Writing a Grant Proposal: The Basics

Additional Resources for Grants and Proposal Writing

Job Materials and Application Essays

Writing Personal Statements for Ph.D. Programs

  • Before you begin: useful tips for writing your essay
  • Guided brainstorming exercises
  • Get more help with your essay
  • Frequently Asked Questions

Resume Writing Tips

CV Writing Tips

Cover Letters

Business Letters

Proposals and Dissertations

Resources for Proposal Writers

Resources for Dissertators

Research Papers

Planning and Writing Research Papers

Quoting and Paraphrasing

Writing Annotated Bibliographies

Creating Poster Presentations

Writing an Abstract for Your Research Paper

Thank-You Notes

Advice for Students Writing Thank-You Notes to Donors

Reading for a Review

Critical Reviews

Writing a Review of Literature

Scientific Reports

Scientific Report Format

Sample Lab Assignment

Writing for the Web

Writing an Effective Blog Post

Writing for Social Media: A Guide for Academics

  • PRO Courses Guides New Tech Help Pro Expert Videos About wikiHow Pro Upgrade Sign In
  • EDIT Edit this Article
  • EXPLORE Tech Help Pro About Us Random Article Quizzes Request a New Article Community Dashboard This Or That Game Popular Categories Arts and Entertainment Artwork Books Movies Computers and Electronics Computers Phone Skills Technology Hacks Health Men's Health Mental Health Women's Health Relationships Dating Love Relationship Issues Hobbies and Crafts Crafts Drawing Games Education & Communication Communication Skills Personal Development Studying Personal Care and Style Fashion Hair Care Personal Hygiene Youth Personal Care School Stuff Dating All Categories Arts and Entertainment Finance and Business Home and Garden Relationship Quizzes Cars & Other Vehicles Food and Entertaining Personal Care and Style Sports and Fitness Computers and Electronics Health Pets and Animals Travel Education & Communication Hobbies and Crafts Philosophy and Religion Work World Family Life Holidays and Traditions Relationships Youth
  • Browse Articles
  • Learn Something New
  • Quizzes Hot
  • This Or That Game
  • Train Your Brain
  • Explore More
  • Support wikiHow
  • About wikiHow
  • Log in / Sign up
  • Education and Communications
  • College University and Postgraduate
  • Academic Writing
  • Research Papers

How to Write a Research Paper

Last Updated: February 18, 2024 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Chris Hadley, PhD . Chris Hadley, PhD is part of the wikiHow team and works on content strategy and data and analytics. Chris Hadley earned his PhD in Cognitive Psychology from UCLA in 2006. Chris' academic research has been published in numerous scientific journals. There are 14 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 4,192,883 times.

Whether you’re in a history, literature, or science class, you’ll probably have to write a research paper at some point. It may seem daunting when you’re just starting out, but staying organized and budgeting your time can make the process a breeze. Research your topic, find reliable sources, and come up with a working thesis. Then create an outline and start drafting your paper. Be sure to leave plenty of time to make revisions, as editing is essential if you want to hand in your best work!

Sample Research Papers and Outlines

steps to the research paper

Researching Your Topic

Step 1 Focus your research on a narrow topic.

  • For instance, you might start with a general subject, like British decorative arts. Then, as you read, you home in on transferware and pottery. Ultimately, you focus on 1 potter in the 1780s who invented a way to mass-produce patterned tableware.

Tip: If you need to analyze a piece of literature, your task is to pull the work apart into literary elements and explain how the author uses those parts to make their point.

Step 2 Search for credible sources online and at a library.

  • Authoritative, credible sources include scholarly articles (especially those other authors reference), government websites, scientific studies, and reputable news bureaus. Additionally, check your sources' dates, and make sure the information you gather is up to date.
  • Evaluate how other scholars have approached your topic. Identify authoritative sources or works that are accepted as the most important accounts of the subject matter. Additionally, look for debates among scholars, and ask yourself who presents the strongest evidence for their case. [3] X Trustworthy Source Purdue Online Writing Lab Trusted resource for writing and citation guidelines Go to source
  • You’ll most likely need to include a bibliography or works cited page, so keep your sources organized. List your sources, format them according to your assigned style guide (such as MLA or Chicago ), and write 2 or 3 summary sentences below each one. [4] X Research source

Step 3 Come up with a preliminary thesis.

  • Imagine you’re a lawyer in a trial and are presenting a case to a jury. Think of your readers as the jurors; your opening statement is your thesis and you’ll present evidence to the jury to make your case.
  • A thesis should be specific rather than vague, such as: “Josiah Spode’s improved formula for bone china enabled the mass production of transfer-printed wares, which expanded the global market for British pottery.”

Drafting Your Essay

Step 1 Create an outline

  • Your outline is your paper’s skeleton. After making the outline, all you’ll need to do is fill in the details.
  • For easy reference, include your sources where they fit into your outline, like this: III. Spode vs. Wedgewood on Mass Production A. Spode: Perfected chemical formula with aims for fast production and distribution (Travis, 2002, 43) B. Wedgewood: Courted high-priced luxury market; lower emphasis on mass production (Himmelweit, 2001, 71) C. Therefore: Wedgewood, unlike Spode, delayed the expansion of the pottery market.

Step 2 Present your thesis...

  • For instance, your opening line could be, “Overlooked in the present, manufacturers of British pottery in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries played crucial roles in England’s Industrial Revolution.”
  • After presenting your thesis, lay out your evidence, like this: “An examination of Spode’s innovative production and distribution techniques will demonstrate the importance of his contributions to the industry and Industrial Revolution at large.”

Tip: Some people prefer to write the introduction first and use it to structure the rest of the paper. However, others like to write the body, then fill in the introduction. Do whichever seems natural to you. If you write the intro first, keep in mind you can tweak it later to reflect your finished paper’s layout.

Step 3 Build your argument in the body paragraphs.

  • After setting the context, you'd include a section on Josiah Spode’s company and what he did to make pottery easier to manufacture and distribute.
  • Next, discuss how targeting middle class consumers increased demand and expanded the pottery industry globally.
  • Then, you could explain how Spode differed from competitors like Wedgewood, who continued to court aristocratic consumers instead of expanding the market to the middle class.
  • The right number of sections or paragraphs depends on your assignment. In general, shoot for 3 to 5, but check your prompt for your assigned length.

Step 4 Address a counterargument to strengthen your case.

  • If you bring up a counterargument, make sure it’s a strong claim that’s worth entertaining instead of ones that's weak and easily dismissed.
  • Suppose, for instance, you’re arguing for the benefits of adding fluoride to toothpaste and city water. You could bring up a study that suggested fluoride produced harmful health effects, then explain how its testing methods were flawed.

Step 5 Summarize your argument...

  • Sum up your argument, but don’t simply rewrite your introduction using slightly different wording. To make your conclusion more memorable, you could also connect your thesis to a broader topic or theme to make it more relatable to your reader.
  • For example, if you’ve discussed the role of nationalism in World War I, you could conclude by mentioning nationalism’s reemergence in contemporary foreign affairs.

Revising Your Paper

Step 1 Ensure your paper...

  • This is also a great opportunity to make sure your paper fulfills the parameters of the assignment and answers the prompt!
  • It’s a good idea to put your essay aside for a few hours (or overnight, if you have time). That way, you can start editing it with fresh eyes.

Tip: Try to give yourself at least 2 or 3 days to revise your paper. It may be tempting to simply give your paper a quick read and use the spell-checker to make edits. However, revising your paper properly is more in-depth.

Step 2 Cut out unnecessary words and other fluff.

  • The passive voice, such as “The door was opened by me,” feels hesitant and wordy. On the other hand, the active voice, or “I opened the door,” feels strong and concise.
  • Each word in your paper should do a specific job. Try to avoid including extra words just to fill up blank space on a page or sound fancy.
  • For instance, “The author uses pathos to appeal to readers’ emotions” is better than “The author utilizes pathos to make an appeal to the emotional core of those who read the passage.”

Step 3 Proofread

  • Read your essay out loud to help ensure you catch every error. As you read, check for flow as well and, if necessary, tweak any spots that sound awkward. [13] X Trustworthy Source University of North Carolina Writing Center UNC's on-campus and online instructional service that provides assistance to students, faculty, and others during the writing process Go to source

Step 4 Ask a friend, relative, or teacher to read your work before you submit it.

  • It’s wise to get feedback from one person who’s familiar with your topic and another who’s not. The person who knows about the topic can help ensure you’ve nailed all the details. The person who’s unfamiliar with the topic can help make sure your writing is clear and easy to understand.

Community Q&A

Community Answer

  • Remember that your topic and thesis should be as specific as possible. Thanks Helpful 5 Not Helpful 0
  • Researching, outlining, drafting, and revising are all important steps, so do your best to budget your time wisely. Try to avoid waiting until the last minute to write your paper. Thanks Helpful 6 Not Helpful 2

steps to the research paper

You Might Also Like

Get Started With a Research Project

  • ↑ https://writing.wisc.edu/handbook/assignments/planresearchpaper/
  • ↑ https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/evaluating-print-sources/
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/conducting_research/research_overview/index.html
  • ↑ https://poorvucenter.yale.edu/writing/graduate-writing-lab/writing-through-graduate-school/working-sources
  • ↑ https://opentextbc.ca/writingforsuccess/chapter/chapter-5-putting-the-pieces-together-with-a-thesis-statement/
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/the_writing_process/developing_an_outline/index.html
  • ↑ https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/introductions/
  • ↑ https://academicguides.waldenu.edu/writingcenter/writingprocess/counterarguments
  • ↑ https://writingcenter.fas.harvard.edu/pages/ending-essay-conclusions
  • ↑ https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/revising-drafts/
  • ↑ https://academicguides.waldenu.edu/formandstyle/writing/scholarlyvoice/activepassive
  • ↑ https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/editing-and-proofreading/
  • ↑ https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/reading-aloud/
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/the_writing_process/proofreading/index.html

About This Article

Chris Hadley, PhD

To write a research paper, start by researching your topic at the library, online, or using an academic database. As you conduct your research and take notes, zero in on a specific topic that you want to write about and create a 1-2 sentence thesis to state the focus of your paper. Then, create an outline that includes an introduction, 3 to 5 body paragraphs to present your arguments, and a conclusion to sum up your main points. Once you have your paper's structure organized, draft your paragraphs, focusing on 1 argument per paragraph. Use the information you found through your research to back up your claims and prove your thesis statement. Finally, proofread and revise your content until it's polished and ready to submit. For more information on researching and citing sources, read on! Did this summary help you? Yes No

  • Send fan mail to authors

Reader Success Stories

Private And Discrete

Private And Discrete

Aug 2, 2020

Did this article help you?

steps to the research paper

Jan 3, 2018

Anonymous

Oct 29, 2016

Maronicha Lyles

Maronicha Lyles

Jul 24, 2016

Maxwell Ansah

Maxwell Ansah

Nov 22, 2019

Am I Smart Quiz

Featured Articles

Reduce Acne Scars with Home Remedies

Trending Articles

How to Do Fourth of July Nails: 40+ Nail Art Ideas

Watch Articles

Make Stamped Metal Jewelry

  • Terms of Use
  • Privacy Policy
  • Do Not Sell or Share My Info
  • Not Selling Info

wikiHow Tech Help Pro:

Level up your tech skills and stay ahead of the curve

How to Write a Research Paper

Academic Writing Service

If you already have a headache trying to understand what research paper is all about, we have created an ultimate guide for you on how to write a research paper. You will find all the answers to your questions regarding structure, planning, doing investigation, finding the topic that appeals to you. Plus, you will find out the secret to an excellent paper. Are you at the edge of your seat? Let us start with the basics then.

  • What is a Research Paper
  • Reasons for Writing a Research Paper
  • Report Papers and Thesis Papers
  • How to Start a Research Paper
  • How to Choose a Topic for a Research Paper
  • How to Write a Proposal for a Research Paper
  • How to Write a Research Plan
  • How to Do Research
  • How to Write an Outline for a Research Paper
  • How to Write a Thesis Statement for a Research Paper
  • How to Write a Research Paper Rough Draft
  • How to Write an Introduction for a Research Paper
  • How to Write a Body of a Research Paper
  • How to Write a Conclusion for a Research Paper
  • How to Write an Abstract for a Research Paper
  • How to Revise and Edit a Research Paper
  • How to Write a Bibliography for a Research Paper
  • What Makes a Good Research Paper

Research Paper Writing Services

What is a research paper.

How to Write a Research Paper

Academic Writing, Editing, Proofreading, And Problem Solving Services

Get 10% off with 24start discount code.

You probably know the saying ‘the devil is not as black as he is painted’. This particular saying is absolutely true when it comes to writing a research paper. Your feet are cold even with the thought of this assignment. You have heard terrifying stories from older students. You have never done this before, so certainly you are scared. What is a research paper? How should I start? What are all these requirements about?

Luckily, you have a friend in need. That is our writing service. First and foremost, let us clarify the definition. A research paper is a piece of academic writing that provides information about a particular topic that you’ve researched . In other words, you choose a topic: about historical events, the work of some artist, some social issues etc. Then you collect data on the given topic and analyze it. Finally, you put your analysis on paper. See, it is not as scary as it seems. If you are still having doubts, whether you can handle it yourself, we are here to help you. Our team of writers can help you choose the topic, or give you advice on how to plan your work, or how to start, or craft a paper for you. Just contact us 24/7 and see everything yourself.

5 Reasons for Writing a Research Paper

Why should I spend my time writing some academic paper? What is the use of it? Is not some practical knowledge more important? The list of questions is endless when it comes to a research paper. That is why we have outlined 5 main reasons why writing a research paper is a good thing.

  • You will learn how to organize your time

If you want to write a research paper, you will have to learn how to manage your time. This type of assignment cannot be done overnight. It requires careful planning and you will need to learn how to do it. Later, you will be able to use these time-managing skills in your personal life, so why not developing them?

  • You will discover your writing skills

You cannot know something before you try it. This rule relates to writing as well. You cannot claim that you cannot write until you try it yourself. It will be really difficult at the beginning, but then the words will come to your head themselves.

  • You will improve your analytical skills

Writing a research paper is all about investigation and analysis. You will need to collect data, examine and classify it. These skills are needed in modern life more than anything else is.

  • You will gain confidence

Once you do your own research, it gives you the feeling of confidence in yourself. The reason is simple human brain likes solving puzzles and your assignment is just another puzzle to be solved.

  • You will learn how to persuade the reader

When you write your paper, you should always remember that you are writing it for someone to read. Moreover, you want this someone to believe in your ideas. For this reason, you will have to learn different convincing methods and techniques. You will learn how to make your writing persuasive. In turns, you will be able to use these methods in real life.

What is the Difference between Report and Thesis Papers?

A common question is ‘what is the difference between a report paper and a thesis paper?’ The difference lies in the aim of these two assignments. While the former aims at presenting the information, the latter aims at providing your opinion on the matter. In other words, in a report paper you have to summarize your findings. In a thesis paper, you choose some issue and defend your point of view by persuading the reader. It is that simple.

A thesis paper is a more common assignment than a report paper. This task will help a professor to evaluate your analytical skills and skills to present your ideas logically. These skills are more important than just the ability to collect and summarize data.

How to Write a Research Paper Step by Step

Research comes from the French word  rechercher , meaning “to seek out.” Writing a research paper requires you to seek out information about a subject, take a stand on it, and back it up with the opinions, ideas, and views of others. What results is a printed paper variously known as a term paper or library paper, usually between five and fifteen pages long—most instructors specify a minimum length—in which you present your views and findings on the chosen subject.

How to Write a Research Paper

It is not a secret that the majority of students hate writing a research paper. The reason is simple it steals your time and energy. Not to mention, constant anxiety that you will not be able to meet the deadline or that you will forget about some academic requirement.

We will not lie to you; a research paper is a difficult assignment. You will have to spend a lot of time. You will need to read, to analyze, and to search for the material. You will probably be stuck sometimes. However, if you organize your work smart, you will gain something that is worth all the effort – knowledge, experience, and high grades.

The reason why many students fail writing a research paper is that nobody explained them how to start and how to plan their work. Luckily, you have found our writing service and we are ready to shed the light on this dark matter.

We have created a step by step guide for you on how to write a research paper. We will dwell upon the structure, the writing tips, the writing strategies as well as academic requirements. Read this whole article and you will see that you can handle writing this assignment and our team of writers is here to assist you.

How to Start a Research Paper?

How to Start a Research Paper

It all starts with the assignment. Your professor gives you the task. It may be either some general issue or specific topic to write about. Your assignment is your first guide to success. If you understand what you need to do according to the assignment, you are on the road to high results. Do not be scared to clarify your task if you need to. There is nothing wrong in asking a question if you want to do something right. You can ask your professor or you can ask our writers who know a thing or two in academic writing.

It is essential to understand the assignment. A good beginning makes a good ending, so start smart.

Learn how to start a research paper .

Choosing a Topic for a Research Paper

How to Choose a Topic for a Research Paper

We have already mentioned that it is not enough to do great research. You need to persuade the reader that you have made some great research. What convinces better that an eye-catching topic? That is why it is important to understand how to choose a topic for a research paper.

First, you need to delimit the general idea to a more specific one. Secondly, you need to find what makes this topic interesting for you and for the academia. Finally, you need to refine you topic. Remember, it is not something you will do in one day. You can be reshaping your topic throughout your whole writing process. Still, reshaping not changing it completely. That is why keep in your head one main idea: your topic should be precise and compelling .

Learn how to choose a topic for a research paper .

How to Write a Proposal for a Research Paper?

How to Write a Proposal for a Research Paper

If you do not know what a proposal is, let us explain it to you. A proposal should answer three main questions:

  • What is the main aim of your investigation?
  • Why is your investigation important?
  • How are you going to achieve the results?

In other words, proposal should show why your topic is interesting and how you are going to prove it. As to writing requirements, they may differ. That is why make sure you find out all the details at your department. You can ask your departmental administrator or find information online at department’s site. It is crucial to follow all the administrative requirements, as it will influence your grade.

Learn how to write a proposal for a research paper .

How to Write a Research Plan?

How to Write a Research Plan

The next step is writing a plan. You have already decided on the main issues, you have chosen the bibliography, and you have clarified the methods. Here comes the planning. If you want to avoid writer’s block, you have to structure you work. Discuss your strategies and ideas with your instructor. Think thoroughly why you need to present some data and ideas first and others second. Remember that there are basic structure elements that your research paper should include:

  • Thesis Statement
  • Introduction
  • Bibliography

You should keep in mind this skeleton when planning your work. This will keep your mind sharp and your ideas will flow logically.

Learn how to write a research plan .

How to Do Research?

How to Do Research

Your research will include three stages: collecting data, reading and analyzing it, and writing itself.

First, you need to collect all the material that you will need for you investigation: films, documents, surveys, interviews, and others. Secondly, you will have to read and analyze. This step is tricky, as you need to do this part smart. It is not enough just to read, as you cannot keep in mind all the information. It is essential that you make notes and write down your ideas while analyzing some data. When you get down to the stage number three, writing itself, you will already have the main ideas written on your notes. Plus, remember to jot down the reference details. You will then appreciate this trick when you will have to write the bibliography.

If you do your research this way, it will be much easier for you to write the paper. You will already have blocks of your ideas written down and you will just need to add some material and refine your paper.

Learn how to do research .

How to Write an Outline for a Research Paper?

How to Write an Outline for a Research Paper

To make your paper well organized you need to write an outline. Your outline will serve as your guiding star through the writing process. With a great outline you will not get sidetracked, because you will have a structured plan to follow. Both you and the reader will benefit from your outline. You present your ideas logically and you make your writing coherent according to your plan. As a result, this outline guides the reader through your paper and the reader enjoys the way you demonstrate your ideas.

Learn how to write an outline for a research paper . See research paper outline examples .

How to Write a Thesis Statement for a Research Paper?

How to Write a Thesis Statement for a Research Paper

Briefly, the thesis is the main argument of your research paper. It should be precise, convincing and logical. Your thesis statement should include your point of view supported by evidence or logic. Still, remember it should be precise. You should not beat around the bush, or provide all the possible evidence you have found. It is usually a single sentence that shows your argument. In on sentence you should make a claim, explain why it significant and convince the reader that your point of view is important.

Learn how to write a thesis statement for a research paper . See research paper thesis statement examples .

Should I Write a Rough Draft for a Research Paper?

How to Write a Research Paper Rough Draft

Do you know any writer who put their ideas on paper, then never edited them and just published? Probably, no writer did so. Writing a research paper is no exception. It is impossible to cope with this assignment without writing a rough draft.

Your draft will help you understand what you need to polish to make your paper perfect. All the requirements, academic standards make it difficult to do everything flawlessly at the first attempt. Make sure you know all the formatting requirements: margins, words quantity, reference requirements, formatting styles etc.

Learn how to write a rough draft for a research paper .

How to Write an Introduction for a Research Paper?

How to Write an Introduction for a Research Paper

Let us make it more vivid for you. We have narrowed down the tips on writing an introduction to the three main ones:

  • Include your thesis in your introduction

Remember to include the thesis statement in your introduction. Usually, it goes at the end of the first paragraph.

  • Present the main ideas of the body

You should tell the main topics you are going to discuss in the main body. For this reason, before writing this part of introduction, make sure you know what is your main body is going to be about. It should include your main ideas.

  • Polish your thesis and introduction

When you finish the main body of your paper, come back to the thesis statement and introduction. Restate something if needed. Just make it perfect; because introduction is like the trailer to your paper, it should make the reader want to read the whole piece.

Learn how to write an introduction for a research paper . See research paper introduction examples .

How to Write a Body of a Research Paper?

How to Write a Body of a Research Paper

A body is the main part of your research paper. In this part, you will include all the needed evidence; you will provide the examples and support your argument.

It is important to structure your paragraphs thoroughly. That is to say, topic sentence and the evidence supporting the topic. Stay focused and do not be sidetracked. You have your outline, so follow it.

Here are the main tips to keep in head when writing a body of a research paper:

  • Let the ideas flow logically
  • Include only relevant information
  • Provide the evidence
  • Structure the paragraphs
  • Make the coherent transition from one paragraph to another

See? When it is all structured, it is not as scary as it seemed at the beginning. Still, if you have doubts, you can always ask our writers for help.

Learn how to write a body of a research paper . See research paper transition examples .

How to Write a Conclusion for a Research Paper?

How to Write a Conclusion for a Research Paper

Writing a good conclusion is important as writing any other part of the paper. Remember that conclusion is not a summary of what you have mentioned before. A good conclusion should include your last strong statement.

If you have written everything according to the plan, the reader already knows why your investigation is important. The reader has already seen the evidence. The only thing left is a strong concluding thought that will organize all your findings.

Never include any new information in conclusion. You need to conclude, not to start a new discussion.

Learn how to write a conclusion for a research paper .

How to Write an Abstract for a Research Paper?

How to Write an Abstract for a Research Paper

An abstract is a brief summary of your paper, usually 100-200 words. You should provide the main gist of your paper in this short summary. An abstract can be informative, descriptive or proposal. Depending on the type of abstract, you need to write, the requirements will differ.

To write an informative abstract you have to provide the summary of the whole paper. Informative summary. In other words, you need to tell about the main points of your work, the methods used, the results and the conclusion of your research.

To write a descriptive abstract you will not have to provide any summery. You should write a short teaser of your paper. That is to say, you need to write an overview of your paper. The aim of a descriptive abstract is to interest the reader.

Finally, to write a proposal abstract you will need to write the basic summary as for the informative abstract. However, the difference is the following: you aim at persuading someone to let you write on the topic. That is why, a proposal abstract should present your topic as the one worth investigating.

Learn how to write an abstract for a research paper .

Should I Revise and Edit a Research Paper?

How to Revise and Edit a Research Paper

Revising and editing your paper is essential if you want to get high grades. Let us help you revise your paper smart:

  • Check your paper for spelling and grammar mistakes
  • Sharpen the vocabulary
  • Make sure there are no slang words in your paper
  • Examine your paper in terms of structure
  • Compare your topic, thesis statement to the whole piece
  • Check your paper for plagiarism

If you need assistance with proofreading and editing your paper, you can turn to the professional editors at our service. They will help you polish your paper to perfection.

Learn how to revise and edit a research paper .

How to Write a Bibliography for a Research Paper?

How to Write a Bibliography for a Research Paper

First, let us make it clear that bibliography and works cited are two different things. Works cited are those that you cited in your paper. Bibliography should include all the materials you used to do your research. Still, remember that bibliography requirements differ depending on the formatting style of your paper. For this reason, make sure you ask you professor all the requirements you need to meet to avoid any misunderstanding.

Learn how to write a bibliography for a research paper .

The Key Secret to a Good Research Paper

Now when you know all the stages of writing a research paper, you are ready to find the key to a good research paper:

  • Choose the topic that really interests you
  • Make the topic interesting for you even if it is not at the beginning
  • Follow the step by step guide and do not get sidetracked
  • Be persistent and believe in yourself
  • Really do research and write your paper from scratch
  • Learn the convincing writing techniques and use them
  • Follow the requirements of your assignment
  • Ask for help if needed from real professionals

Feeling more confident about your paper now? We are sure you do. Still, if you need help, you can always rely on us 24/7.

We hope we have made writing a research paper much easier for you. We realize that it requires lots of time and energy. We believe when you say that you cannot handle it anymore. For this reason, we have been helping students like you for years. Our professional team of writers is ready to tackle any challenge.

All our authors are experienced writers crafting excellent academic papers. We help students meet the deadline and get the top grades they want. You can see everything yourself. All you need to do is to place your order online and we will contact you. Writing a research paper with us is truly easy, so why do not you check it yourself?

Additional Resources for Research Paper Writing:

  • Anthropology Research
  • Career Research
  • Communication Research
  • Criminal Justice Research
  • Health Research
  • Political Science Research
  • Psychology Research
  • Sociology Research

ORDER HIGH QUALITY CUSTOM PAPER

steps to the research paper

Academic Editing and Proofreading

  • Tips to Self-Edit Your Dissertation
  • Guide to Essay Editing: Methods, Tips, & Examples
  • Journal Article Proofreading: Process, Cost, & Checklist
  • The A–Z of Dissertation Editing: Standard Rates & Involved Steps
  • Research Paper Editing | Guide to a Perfect Research Paper
  • Dissertation Proofreading | Definition & Standard Rates
  • Thesis Proofreading | Definition, Importance & Standard Pricing
  • Research Paper Proofreading | Definition, Significance & Standard Rates
  • Essay Proofreading | Options, Cost & Checklist
  • Top 10 Paper Editing Services of 2024 (Costs & Features)
  • Top 10 Essay Checkers in 2024 (Free & Paid)
  • Top 10 AI Proofreaders to Perfect Your Writing in 2024
  • Top 10 English Correctors to Perfect Your Text in 2024
  • Top 10 Essay Editing Services of 2024
  • 10 Advanced AI Text Editors to Transform Writing in 2024

Academic Research

  • Research Paper Outline: Templates & Examples
  • How to Write a Research Paper: A Step-by-Step Guide
  • How to Write a Lab Report: Examples from Academic Editors
  • Research Methodology Guide: Writing Tips, Types, & Examples
  • The 10 Best Essential Resources for Academic Research
  • 100+ Useful ChatGPT Prompts for Thesis Writing in 2024
  • Best ChatGPT Prompts for Academic Writing (100+ Prompts!)
  • Sampling Methods Guide: Types, Strategies, and Examples
  • Independent vs. Dependent Variables | Meaning & Examples

Academic Writing & Publishing

  • Difference Between Paper Editing and Peer Review
  • What are the different types of peer review?
  • How to deal with rejection from a journal?
  • Editing and Proofreading Academic Papers: A Short Guide
  • How to Carry Out Secondary Research
  • The Results Section of a Dissertation
  • Checklist: Is my Article Ready for Submitting to Journals?
  • Types of Research Articles to Boost Your Research Profile
  • 8 Types of Peer Review Processes You Should Know
  • The Ethics of Academic Research
  • How does LaTeX based proofreading work?
  • How to Improve Your Scientific Writing: A Short Guide
  • Chicago Title, Cover Page & Body | Paper Format Guidelines
  • How to Write a Thesis Statement: Examples & Tips
  • Chicago Style Citation: Quick Guide & Examples
  • The A-Z Of Publishing Your Article in A Journal
  • What is Journal Article Editing? 3 Reasons You Need It
  • 5 Powerful Personal Statement Examples (Template Included)
  • Complete Guide to MLA Format (9th Edition)
  • How to Cite a Book in APA Style | Format & Examples

How to Start a Research Paper | Step-by-step Guide

  • APA Citations Made Easy with Our Concise Guide for 2024
  • A Step-by-Step Guide to APA Formatting Style (7th Edition)
  • Top 10 Online Dissertation Editing Services of 2024
  • Academic Writing in 2024: 5 Key Dos & Don’ts + Examples
  • What Are the Standard Book Sizes for Publishing Your Book?
  • MLA Works Cited Page: Quick Tips & Examples
  • 2024’s Top 10 Thesis Statement Generators (Free Included!)
  • Top 10 Title Page Generators for Students in 2024
  • What Is an Open Access Journal? 10 Myths Busted!
  • Primary vs. Secondary Sources: Definition, Types & Examples
  • How To Write a College Admissions Essay That Stands Out
  • How to Write a Dissertation & Thesis Conclusion (+ Examples)
  • APA Journal Citation: 7 Types, In-Text Rules, & Examples
  • What Is Predatory Publishing and How to Avoid It!
  • What Is Plagiarism? Meaning, Types & Examples
  • How to Write a Strong Dissertation & Thesis Introduction
  • How to Cite a Book in MLA Format (9th Edition)
  • How to Cite a Website in MLA Format | 9th Edition Rules
  • 10 Best AI Conclusion Generators (Features & Pricing)
  • Additional Resources
  • Plagiarism: How to avoid it in your thesis?
  • Final Submission Checklist | Dissertation & Thesis
  • 7 Useful MS Word Formatting Tips for Dissertation Writing
  • How to Write a MEAL Paragraph: Writing Plan Explained in Detail
  • Em Dash vs. En Dash vs. Hyphen: When to Use Which
  • The 10 Best Citation Generators in 2024 | Free & Paid Plans!
  • 2024’s Top 10 Self-Help Books for Better Living
  • Citation and Referencing
  • Citing References: APA, MLA, and Chicago
  • How to Cite Sources in the MLA Format
  • MLA Citation Examples: Cite Essays, Websites, Movies & More
  • Citations and References: What Are They and Why They Matter
  • APA Headings & Subheadings | Formatting Guidelines & Examples
  • Formatting an APA Reference Page | Template & Examples
  • Research Paper Format: APA, MLA, & Chicago Style
  • How to Create an MLA Title Page | Format, Steps, & Examples
  • How to Create an MLA Header | Format Guidelines & Examples
  • MLA Annotated Bibliography | Guidelines and Examples
  • APA Website Citation (7th Edition) Guide | Format & Examples
  • APA Citation Examples: The Bible, TED Talk, PPT & More
  • APA Header Format: 5 Steps & Running Head Examples
  • APA Title Page Format Simplified | Examples + Free Template
  • How to Write an Abstract in MLA Format: Tips & Examples
  • 10 Best Free Plagiarism Checkers of 2024 [100% Free Tools]
  • 5 Reasons to Cite Your Sources Properly | Avoid Plagiarism!
  • Dissertation Writing Guide
  • Writing a Dissertation Proposal
  • The Acknowledgments Section of a Dissertation
  • The Table of Contents Page of a Dissertation
  • The Introduction Chapter of a Dissertation
  • The Literature Review of a Dissertation
  • The Only Dissertation Toolkit You’ll Ever Need!
  • 5 Thesis Writing Tips for Master Procrastinators
  • How to Write a Dissertation | 5 Tips from Academic Editors
  • The Title Page of a Dissertation
  • The 5 Things to Look for in a Dissertation Editing Service
  • Top 10 Dissertation Editing & Proofreading Services
  • Why is it important to add references to your thesis?
  • Thesis Editing | Definition, Scope & Standard Rates
  • Expert Formatting Tips on MS Word for Dissertations
  • A 7-Step Guide on How to Choose a Dissertation Topic
  • 350 Best Dissertation Topic Ideas for All Streams in 2024
  • A Guide on How to Write an Abstract for a Research Paper
  • Dissertation Defense: What to Expect and How to Prepare
  • Essay Writing Guide
  • Essential Research Tips for Essay Writing
  • What Is a Mind Map? Free Mind Map Templates & Examples
  • How to Write an Essay Outline: 5 Examples & Free Template
  • How to Write an Essay Header: MLA and APA Essay Headers
  • What Is an Essay? Structure, Parts, and Types
  • How to Write an Essay in 8 Simple Steps (Examples Included)
  • 8 Types of Essays | Quick Summary with Examples
  • Expository Essays | Step-by-Step Manual with Examples
  • Narrative Essay | Step-by-Step Guide with Examples
  • How to Write an Argumentative Essay (Examples Included)
  • Guide to a Perfect Descriptive Essay [Examples & Outline Included]
  • How to Start an Essay: 4 Introduction Paragraph Examples
  • How to Write a Conclusion for an Essay (Examples Included!)
  • How to Write an Impactful Personal Statement (Examples Included)
  • Literary Analysis Essay: 5 Steps to a Perfect Assignment
  • Compare and Contrast Essay | Quick Guide with Examples
  • Top 10 Essay Writing Tools in 2024 | Plan, Write, Get Feedback
  • Top AI Essay Writers in 2024: 10 Must-Haves
  • 100 Best College Essay Topics & How to Pick the Perfect One!
  • College Essay Format: Tips, Examples, and Free Template
  • Structure of an Essay: 5 Tips to Write an Outstanding Essay

Still have questions? Leave a comment

Add Comment

steps to the research paper

Checklist: Dissertation Proposal

Enter your email id to get the downloadable right in your inbox!

Examples: Edited Papers

Need editing and proofreading services.

calender

  • Tags: Academic Research , Academic Writing , Research , Research Paper

Learning how to start a research paper is the first checklist item of your academic writing journey. A compelling research paper introduction sets the stage for everything that follows. It clearly defines your argument and gives readers a roadmap for what’s in store.

But why is a strong introduction to a research paper so important? Simple. It grabs attention and lays the foundation stone of your argument. Through this practical guide, we’ll explore the various elements to include in your introduction for a research paper. We’ll try to shed light through practical tips and examples. So let’s dive in! 

Want to elevate the quality of your research paper? Learn more

How to write a research paper introduction?

First impressions always matter, and this is why adding a strong introduction to a research paper is so important. But what does it constitute? There are 3 main parts broadly – The hook, the background information, and the thesis statement. 

Let’s look at each one in detail:

The first sentence is your hook, designed to capture the reader’s attention. It can be a provocative question, a surprising fact, or a bold statement. The aim is to pique interest and pose the overarching question that your research seeks to answer. A well-crafted hook is like a magnet—it draws the reader into your intellectual arena.

Example: Did you know chocolate was once used as currency in ancient civilizations?

Background information

When it comes to writing a research paper introduction , your reader needs context but not information overload. Here, you set the stage by providing just enough background information on the topic at hand.

It can include previous studies on the same topic, the scope, and some context. Consider this your chance to orient your audience before delving into the complexities of your argument. 

Example : “There has been a significant increase in the incidence of diabetes in recent years. This has led to an increased demand for effective diabetes management strategies. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of a new diabetes management program in improving patient outcomes.”

The thesis statement

This is the core of your research paper introduction paragraph. It succinctly outlines the aim and focus of your paper. This is usually the first sentence in the introductory paragraph of a research paper.

Example: This paper reviews the recent research in cultural psychology and how culture is the byproduct of interpersonal relations and evolution. 

Some practical tips:

  • Keep your thesis statement specific.
  • Express a single main idea in your statement.
  • Make your thesis statement invite the main discussion.

In Summary:

  • A compelling hook grabs attention.
  • Just enough background sets the stage and orients the reader.
  • A clear thesis statement should warrant discussion and take some sort of a stand.

Armed with these three pillars, you’re well on your way to crafting an introduction paragraph of a research paper that captivates and informs.

In the following sections, we’ll dive deeper into how to start a research paper , offering tailored advice for various types of research undertakings.

How to Start A Research Paper: Actionable Tips

So you’re staring at that blinking cursor, feeling the weight of a thousand academic journals on your shoulders. The task: figure out how to start a research paper. Let’s ditch the anxiety and get right to the point!

Understand your audience

First and foremost, know who you’re talking to. Is your audience a group of academics or a more general readership? Understanding your audience is like knowing your stage and adjusting your tone and language accordingly.

To define your audience, try to create a persona – age, sex, economic level, social status, and so on. You can do this by:

  • Conducting an online survey
  • Organizing focus groups
  • Talking to your audience directly via phone calls

Research beforehand

Before you even type the first word, dig deep into your topic. Consult sources, both primary and secondary, to have a well-rounded understanding of the issue.

Check the following aspects before moving to the next step:

  • Identify Keywords : Find relevant keywords that are related to your topic.
  • Database Diving : Utilize academic databases like PubMed for medical research or JSTOR for humanities.
  • Cross-Reference : Always double-check facts from multiple sources.

You can rely on two kinds of sources for your research, as mentioned below:

Primary Sources : These are your firsthand accounts or direct evidence. If you’re tackling a historical topic, primary sources could be letters, diaries, or newspaper articles from the time. In scientific research, it might be the raw data from experiments.

Secondary Sources : These are interpretations or analyses of primary sources. Academic articles, reviews, and most books fall under this category. 

Craft a strong thesis statement

A thesis statement focuses on a specific topic. So make your thesis statement is clear and concise.

Follow the steps mentioned below to craft a strong thesis statement:

  • Be specific : Aim for specificity. Instead of saying, “Social media affects mental health,” say, “Excessive use of social media contributes to increased levels of anxiety among teenagers.”
  • Keep an arguable point : Your thesis should make a claim that can be debated. If it’s a universally accepted fact, there’s no point in arguing.
  • Be focused : Keep it tight and focused. Your thesis statement should be one to two sentences max. It’s the tagline of your paper; it should be concise and to the point.
  • Position it well : Generally, your thesis should appear towards the end of your introduction. It’s like the crescendo in a musical piece, building up to the main event.
  • Revise : Don’t be afraid to go back and tweak it as your paper evolves.

Example: An analysis of the college admission process reveals one challenge facing counselors: accepting students with high test scores or students with strong extracurricular backgrounds.

Outline your points

Before diving into the writing, sketch out an outline. This serves as your roadmap, outlining the key points and sub-points you’ll tackle. In essence, it’s the blueprint of your academic paper.

Follow these points to create an outline of the research:

  • Identify the main points : These are the arguments or topics that are crucial to your research. List them in the order you plan to address them.
  • Keep solid sub-points and supporting evidence : For each main point, jot down sub-points or examples that support it.
  • Maintain a logical flow : Make sure your points follow a logical sequence. Your arguments should build upon each other.
  • Use transitional phrases : Consider how you’ll transition from one point to the next.
  • Maintain flexibility : Your outline isn’t set in stone. As you dig deeper into your research, you may discover new points that fit better.

Start writing

Once you outline your points, it’s time to venture forth. A strong start incorporates the hook, background, and thesis statement, as we’ve discussed. But don’t get stuck striving for perfection; you can always revisit and refine.

Key Takeaways:

  • Know your audience.
  • Pre-research is your scouting phase.
  • Your thesis is your anchor.
  • Outlining sets the stage.
  • Just start—perfection comes later.

By following these tips, you’ll be well-equipped to begin your research paper. In the sections that follow, we’ll explore how to write an introduction for a research paper, focusing on specific types for a more targeted approach.

How to Write a Research Paper Introduction for Different Types of Papers?

Research papers come in various types – argumentative, empirical, and review papers. Writing an introduction for a research paper of each type comes with its own specific nuances. 

Below are distinctive elements for crafting introductions across various research paper types:

Argumentative paper

An argumentative paper aims to persuade. Your introduction here should not only present your thesis but also hint at the counterarguments you’ll dismantle. Think of it as a debate stage; you’re not just stating your case but also preempting the opposing views.

Example: “School uniforms: they’re a subject of constant debate in the field of education. Supporters argue they create a sense of unity and reduce distractions, leading to better academic performance. Critics claim they stifle individuality and have no real impact on learning. This paper will argue that implementing school uniforms in public schools leads to improved academic performance by fostering a focused learning environment.”

Empirical paper

Here, you’re the scientist, the explorer. Your introduction should outline the research question and the methods you’ll use to answer it. If a specific hypothesis needs testing, it should be mentioned in the research question. 

Topic – Empirical Studies on Product-Service Systems – A Systematic Literature Review

Introduction Example – The rising global population, accelerating technological development, increasing resource usage, and intensifying environmental impacts make sustainability the key issue for the entire society. This has resulted in the growing importance of product-service systems (PSS) in academics and industrial fields. 

As an ‘integrated bundle of products and services which aims at creating customer utility and generating value’ [1], PSS is one of the most effective instruments that move society towards sustainability [2]. According to its evolution, the classical categorization of PSS includes product-oriented PSS, user-oriented PSS, and result-oriented PSS [3]

Review paper

In a review paper, you summarize existing studies on a topic. Your introduction should highlight the main findings so far and where your paper fits into the dialogue.

Example: “Over the past decade, remote work has transitioned from a corporate perk to a standard practice, especially in tech industries. While some argue that remote work increases productivity and employee satisfaction, others point to challenges like communication breakdowns and feelings of isolation. This paper will review existing literature on the effectiveness of remote work, examining its impact on employee productivity, mental health, and organizational cohesion.”

Remember the following points:

  • Argumentative papers need a persuasive touch.
  • Empirical papers require a hint of methodology.
  • Review papers demand an overview of existing research.

Tips for All Types:

  • Be concise: Whether you’re persuading, exploring, or reviewing, get to the point.
  • Be focused: Keep your thesis statement tight and direct.
  • Be engaging: Use your hook to draw readers in, no matter the type of paper.

By tailoring your introduction to the type of paper you’re writing, you’ll align your research with the expectations of your audience. Each type has its nuances, but the core principles of how to write an introduction for a research paper across these diverse types—capturing attention, providing context, and stating your thesis—remain constant. In the end, it’s all about setting the stage for the research that follows.

Research paper introduction example

Imagine you’re crafting an empirical research paper on the impact of social media on mental health. How would a compelling introduction of a research paper look?

Let’s break it down via a concrete research paper introduction example:

“In today’s digital age, social media platforms have become ubiquitous, shaping our interactions and emotional landscapes. While these platforms promise connectivity, emerging research suggests a darker narrative: a potential link between social media usage and declining mental health. This study aims to explore this complex relationship through a comprehensive analysis of survey data and psychological assessments. Employing both qualitative and quantitative methods, we endeavor to answer the pressing question: Does social media negatively impact mental health?”

In this example, the hook points out how common social media use is. The background information provides context by acknowledging both the positive and negative aspects of social media. Finally, the thesis statement outlines the research question and the methodology.

Key Elements:

  • A relatable hook draws the reader in.
  • Contextual background sets the stage.
  • A clear thesis statement outlines the research aim and method.

In a nutshell, the introduction of a research paper serves as a mini-blueprint for the paper. It sets the stage, intrigues the reader, and outlines the research scope—all in a concise manner.

This guide should serve as a useful starting point in understanding how to start an introduction for a research paper. Explore research paper editing services to structure and articulate your ideas in a polished manner effectively. This can ensure you write your research paper with no typos and in refined academic language.

Keep reading to further enhance your knowledge of writing research papers! 

  • Research Paper Format: APA, MLA, & Chicago Style

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you start a research paper example, what is a good starting sentence for a research paper, what is a good way to start a research topic.

Found this article helpful?

Leave a Comment: Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.

Your vs. You’re: When to Use Your and You’re

Your organization needs a technical editor: here’s why, your guide to the best ebook readers in 2024, writing for the web: 7 expert tips for web content writing.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Get carefully curated resources about writing, editing, and publishing in the comfort of your inbox.

How to Copyright Your Book?

If you’ve thought about copyrighting your book, you’re on the right path.

© 2024 All rights reserved

  • Terms of service
  • Privacy policy
  • Self Publishing Guide
  • Pre-Publishing Steps
  • Fiction Writing Tips
  • Traditional Publishing
  • Academic Writing and Publishing
  • Partner with us
  • Annual report
  • Website content
  • Marketing material
  • Job Applicant
  • Cover letter
  • Resource Center
  • Case studies

How To Write a Research Paper

Welcome to the writing libguide.

  • 1. Understand the Assignment
  • 2. Choose Topic & Write Thesis Statement
  • 3. Create Concept Map & Keyword List
  • 4. Research Your Topic
  • 5. Create an Outline
  • 6. Write the Paper
  • Assignment Calculator

Welcome to the research guide with step-by-step instructions on how to write a research paper.  The following sections will guide you through the writing process and with finding articles, books, and eBooks for your research paper assignments.

The sections on plagiarism and citations will explain these two concepts and how you can apply them to your academic writing.

Please contact the library if your need help with finding articles, books, and eBooks for your research paper.

Please contact the Academic Success Center for assistance with the writing process.

steps to the research paper

  • Next: 1. Understand the Assignment >>
  • Last Updated: Oct 31, 2023 9:15 AM
  • URL: https://libguides.seminolestate.edu/researchpaper

Basic Steps in the Research Process

The following steps outline a simple and effective strategy for writing a research paper. Depending on your familiarity with the topic and the challenges you encounter along the way, you may need to rearrange these steps.

Step 1: Identify and develop your topic

Selecting a topic can be the most challenging part of a research assignment. Since this is the very first step in writing a paper, it is vital that it be done correctly. Here are some tips for selecting a topic:

  • Select a topic within the parameters set by the assignment. Many times your instructor will give you clear guidelines as to what you can and cannot write about. Failure to work within these guidelines may result in your proposed paper being deemed unacceptable by your instructor.
  • Select a topic of personal interest to you and learn more about it. The research for and writing of a paper will be more enjoyable if you are writing about something that you find interesting.
  • Select a topic for which you can find a manageable amount of information. Do a preliminary search of information sources to determine whether existing sources will meet your needs. If you find too much information, you may need to narrow your topic; if you find too little, you may need to broaden your topic.
  • Be original. Your instructor reads hundreds of research papers every year, and many of them are on the same topics (topics in the news at the time, controversial issues, subjects for which there is ample and easily accessed information). Stand out from your classmates by selecting an interesting and off-the-beaten-path topic.
  • Still can't come up with a topic to write about? See your instructor for advice.

Once you have identified your topic, it may help to state it as a question. For example, if you are interested in finding out about the epidemic of obesity in the American population, you might pose the question "What are the causes of obesity in America ?" By posing your subject as a question you can more easily identify the main concepts or keywords to be used in your research.

Step 2 : Do a preliminary search for information

Before beginning your research in earnest, do a preliminary search to determine whether there is enough information out there for your needs and to set the context of your research. Look up your keywords in the appropriate titles in the library's Reference collection (such as encyclopedias and dictionaries) and in other sources such as our catalog of books, periodical databases, and Internet search engines. Additional background information may be found in your lecture notes, textbooks, and reserve readings. You may find it necessary to adjust the focus of your topic in light of the resources available to you.

Step 3: Locate materials

With the direction of your research now clear to you, you can begin locating material on your topic. There are a number of places you can look for information:

If you are looking for books, do a subject search in One Search . A Keyword search can be performed if the subject search doesn't yield enough information. Print or write down the citation information (author, title,etc.) and the location (call number and collection) of the item(s). Note the circulation status. When you locate the book on the shelf, look at the books located nearby; similar items are always shelved in the same area. The Aleph catalog also indexes the library's audio-visual holdings.

Use the library's  electronic periodical databases  to find magazine and newspaper articles. Choose the databases and formats best suited to your particular topic; ask at the librarian at the Reference Desk if you need help figuring out which database best meets your needs. Many of the articles in the databases are available in full-text format.

Use search engines ( Google ,  Yahoo , etc.) and subject directories to locate materials on the Internet. Check the  Internet Resources  section of the NHCC Library web site for helpful subject links.

Step 4: Evaluate your sources

See the  CARS Checklist for Information Quality   for tips on evaluating the authority and quality of the information you have located. Your instructor expects that you will provide credible, truthful, and reliable information and you have every right to expect that the sources you use are providing the same. This step is especially important when using Internet resources, many of which are regarded as less than reliable.

Step 5: Make notes

Consult the resources you have chosen and note the information that will be useful in your paper. Be sure to document all the sources you consult, even if you there is a chance you may not use that particular source. The author, title, publisher, URL, and other information will be needed later when creating a bibliography.

Step 6: Write your paper

Begin by organizing the information you have collected. The next step is the rough draft, wherein you get your ideas on paper in an unfinished fashion. This step will help you organize your ideas and determine the form your final paper will take. After this, you will revise the draft as many times as you think necessary to create a final product to turn in to your instructor.

Step 7: Cite your sources properly

Give credit where credit is due; cite your sources.

Citing or documenting the sources used in your research serves two purposes: it gives proper credit to the authors of the materials used, and it allows those who are reading your work to duplicate your research and locate the sources that you have listed as references. The  MLA  and the  APA  Styles are two popular citation formats.

Failure to cite your sources properly is plagiarism. Plagiarism is avoidable!

Step 8: Proofread

The final step in the process is to proofread the paper you have created. Read through the text and check for any errors in spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Make sure the sources you used are cited properly. Make sure the message that you want to get across to the reader has been thoroughly stated.

Additional research tips:

  • Work from the general to the specific -- find background information first, then use more specific sources.
  • Don't forget print sources -- many times print materials are more easily accessed and every bit as helpful as online resources.
  • The library has books on the topic of writing research papers at call number area LB 2369.
  • If you have questions about the assignment, ask your instructor.
  • If you have any questions about finding information in the library, ask the librarian.

Contact Information

Craig larson.

Librarian 763-424-0733 [email protected] Zoom:  myzoom   Available by appointment

Get Started

  • Privacy Policy

Research Method

Home » Research Process – Steps, Examples and Tips

Research Process – Steps, Examples and Tips

Table of Contents

Research Process

Research Process

Definition:

Research Process is a systematic and structured approach that involves the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data or information to answer a specific research question or solve a particular problem.

Research Process Steps

Research Process Steps are as follows:

Identify the Research Question or Problem

This is the first step in the research process. It involves identifying a problem or question that needs to be addressed. The research question should be specific, relevant, and focused on a particular area of interest.

Conduct a Literature Review

Once the research question has been identified, the next step is to conduct a literature review. This involves reviewing existing research and literature on the topic to identify any gaps in knowledge or areas where further research is needed. A literature review helps to provide a theoretical framework for the research and also ensures that the research is not duplicating previous work.

Formulate a Hypothesis or Research Objectives

Based on the research question and literature review, the researcher can formulate a hypothesis or research objectives. A hypothesis is a statement that can be tested to determine its validity, while research objectives are specific goals that the researcher aims to achieve through the research.

Design a Research Plan and Methodology

This step involves designing a research plan and methodology that will enable the researcher to collect and analyze data to test the hypothesis or achieve the research objectives. The research plan should include details on the sample size, data collection methods, and data analysis techniques that will be used.

Collect and Analyze Data

This step involves collecting and analyzing data according to the research plan and methodology. Data can be collected through various methods, including surveys, interviews, observations, or experiments. The data analysis process involves cleaning and organizing the data, applying statistical and analytical techniques to the data, and interpreting the results.

Interpret the Findings and Draw Conclusions

After analyzing the data, the researcher must interpret the findings and draw conclusions. This involves assessing the validity and reliability of the results and determining whether the hypothesis was supported or not. The researcher must also consider any limitations of the research and discuss the implications of the findings.

Communicate the Results

Finally, the researcher must communicate the results of the research through a research report, presentation, or publication. The research report should provide a detailed account of the research process, including the research question, literature review, research methodology, data analysis, findings, and conclusions. The report should also include recommendations for further research in the area.

Review and Revise

The research process is an iterative one, and it is important to review and revise the research plan and methodology as necessary. Researchers should assess the quality of their data and methods, reflect on their findings, and consider areas for improvement.

Ethical Considerations

Throughout the research process, ethical considerations must be taken into account. This includes ensuring that the research design protects the welfare of research participants, obtaining informed consent, maintaining confidentiality and privacy, and avoiding any potential harm to participants or their communities.

Dissemination and Application

The final step in the research process is to disseminate the findings and apply the research to real-world settings. Researchers can share their findings through academic publications, presentations at conferences, or media coverage. The research can be used to inform policy decisions, develop interventions, or improve practice in the relevant field.

Research Process Example

Following is a Research Process Example:

Research Question : What are the effects of a plant-based diet on athletic performance in high school athletes?

Step 1: Background Research Conduct a literature review to gain a better understanding of the existing research on the topic. Read academic articles and research studies related to plant-based diets, athletic performance, and high school athletes.

Step 2: Develop a Hypothesis Based on the literature review, develop a hypothesis that a plant-based diet positively affects athletic performance in high school athletes.

Step 3: Design the Study Design a study to test the hypothesis. Decide on the study population, sample size, and research methods. For this study, you could use a survey to collect data on dietary habits and athletic performance from a sample of high school athletes who follow a plant-based diet and a sample of high school athletes who do not follow a plant-based diet.

Step 4: Collect Data Distribute the survey to the selected sample and collect data on dietary habits and athletic performance.

Step 5: Analyze Data Use statistical analysis to compare the data from the two samples and determine if there is a significant difference in athletic performance between those who follow a plant-based diet and those who do not.

Step 6 : Interpret Results Interpret the results of the analysis in the context of the research question and hypothesis. Discuss any limitations or potential biases in the study design.

Step 7: Draw Conclusions Based on the results, draw conclusions about whether a plant-based diet has a significant effect on athletic performance in high school athletes. If the hypothesis is supported by the data, discuss potential implications and future research directions.

Step 8: Communicate Findings Communicate the findings of the study in a clear and concise manner. Use appropriate language, visuals, and formats to ensure that the findings are understood and valued.

Applications of Research Process

The research process has numerous applications across a wide range of fields and industries. Some examples of applications of the research process include:

  • Scientific research: The research process is widely used in scientific research to investigate phenomena in the natural world and develop new theories or technologies. This includes fields such as biology, chemistry, physics, and environmental science.
  • Social sciences : The research process is commonly used in social sciences to study human behavior, social structures, and institutions. This includes fields such as sociology, psychology, anthropology, and economics.
  • Education: The research process is used in education to study learning processes, curriculum design, and teaching methodologies. This includes research on student achievement, teacher effectiveness, and educational policy.
  • Healthcare: The research process is used in healthcare to investigate medical conditions, develop new treatments, and evaluate healthcare interventions. This includes fields such as medicine, nursing, and public health.
  • Business and industry : The research process is used in business and industry to study consumer behavior, market trends, and develop new products or services. This includes market research, product development, and customer satisfaction research.
  • Government and policy : The research process is used in government and policy to evaluate the effectiveness of policies and programs, and to inform policy decisions. This includes research on social welfare, crime prevention, and environmental policy.

Purpose of Research Process

The purpose of the research process is to systematically and scientifically investigate a problem or question in order to generate new knowledge or solve a problem. The research process enables researchers to:

  • Identify gaps in existing knowledge: By conducting a thorough literature review, researchers can identify gaps in existing knowledge and develop research questions that address these gaps.
  • Collect and analyze data : The research process provides a structured approach to collecting and analyzing data. Researchers can use a variety of research methods, including surveys, experiments, and interviews, to collect data that is valid and reliable.
  • Test hypotheses : The research process allows researchers to test hypotheses and make evidence-based conclusions. Through the systematic analysis of data, researchers can draw conclusions about the relationships between variables and develop new theories or models.
  • Solve problems: The research process can be used to solve practical problems and improve real-world outcomes. For example, researchers can develop interventions to address health or social problems, evaluate the effectiveness of policies or programs, and improve organizational processes.
  • Generate new knowledge : The research process is a key way to generate new knowledge and advance understanding in a given field. By conducting rigorous and well-designed research, researchers can make significant contributions to their field and help to shape future research.

Tips for Research Process

Here are some tips for the research process:

  • Start with a clear research question : A well-defined research question is the foundation of a successful research project. It should be specific, relevant, and achievable within the given time frame and resources.
  • Conduct a thorough literature review: A comprehensive literature review will help you to identify gaps in existing knowledge, build on previous research, and avoid duplication. It will also provide a theoretical framework for your research.
  • Choose appropriate research methods: Select research methods that are appropriate for your research question, objectives, and sample size. Ensure that your methods are valid, reliable, and ethical.
  • Be organized and systematic: Keep detailed notes throughout the research process, including your research plan, methodology, data collection, and analysis. This will help you to stay organized and ensure that you don’t miss any important details.
  • Analyze data rigorously: Use appropriate statistical and analytical techniques to analyze your data. Ensure that your analysis is valid, reliable, and transparent.
  • I nterpret results carefully : Interpret your results in the context of your research question and objectives. Consider any limitations or potential biases in your research design, and be cautious in drawing conclusions.
  • Communicate effectively: Communicate your research findings clearly and effectively to your target audience. Use appropriate language, visuals, and formats to ensure that your findings are understood and valued.
  • Collaborate and seek feedback : Collaborate with other researchers, experts, or stakeholders in your field. Seek feedback on your research design, methods, and findings to ensure that they are relevant, meaningful, and impactful.

About the author

' src=

Muhammad Hassan

Researcher, Academic Writer, Web developer

You may also like

Research Objectives

Research Objectives – Types, Examples and...

Research Approach

Research Approach – Types Methods and Examples

Appendix in Research Paper

Appendix in Research Paper – Examples and...

Delimitations

Delimitations in Research – Types, Examples and...

Purpose of Research

Purpose of Research – Objectives and Applications

Dissertation

Dissertation – Format, Example and Template

TeachThought

How to Write A Research Paper From Topic To Final Draft

Navigating the journey of writing a research paper can be daunting but achievable with a structured approach.

contributed

Each step is crucial, from understanding your assignment to submitting a well-crafted document. This guide aims to streamline the process, providing clear directions to enhance your research and writing skills.

Topic Selection

Understanding the assignment.

Start by comprehensively reviewing your assignment to grasp the required scope and objectives. This process, like what writers do when you pay for paper writing, ensures that your chosen topic meets all academic criteria and aligns with the assignment’s goals.

Brainstorming Ideas

Generate potential topics through brainstorming, focusing on areas that spark your interest. Just like when you pay for paper , this initial enthusiasm will fuel your research and writing phases, making the process more engaging.

Preliminary Research

Assess the availability of sources for your potential topics. This step is vital to ensure enough material supports your paper. Narrow your focus based on these findings to refine your topic choice.

Finalizing the Topic

Select a topic that is specific, relevant, and researchable. Confirm this choice with your instructor to ensure it fits the assignment’s requirements.

Conducting Research

Creating a research plan.

Develop a clear plan with set goals and a timeline. This will guide your research activities and help you stay on track, ensuring a thorough investigation of your chosen topic.

Identifying Reliable Sources

To gather credible information, differentiate between primary and secondary sources. Review scholarly materials from academic journals and books and evaluate each source’s credibility.

Note-taking Strategies

Organize your notes effectively using digital tools or index cards. This organization is crucial for managing the information you’ll gather and for later reference during writing.

Managing Citations

Maintain meticulous records of your sources to avoid plagiarism. Use tools like Zotero or EndNote for efficient citation management, ensuring all references are correctly noted.

Developing a Thesis Statement

Defining a thesis statement.

A thesis statement is your research paper’s backbone, outlining the main argument or claim. It sets the direction for your paper and focuses your research.

Crafting a Strong Thesis

Your thesis should be clear, concise, and arguable. Reflect on examples of both strong and weak thesis statements to ensure yours stands firm.

Refining the Thesis Statement

Based on your research findings, revise your thesis as necessary to ensure it remains aligned with your paper’s evolving content.

Creating an Outline

Purpose of an outline.

An outline organizes your thoughts and structures your argument. It is essential to maintain a clear direction and ensure that each part of your paper contributes to your overall thesis – this is something experts pay a lot of attention to when you pay for custom research paper.

Structure of an Outline

To effectively plan the introduction, body, and conclusion sections, use a hierarchical structure with Roman numerals, letters, and numbers.

Detailed Outline Example

I. Introduction 

A. Hook: Interesting fact or statistic 

B. Background information on the topic 

C. Thesis statement: Assertive and clearly defined

II. Body 

A. Main point 1: Supporting evidence and analysis 

B. Main point 2: Further evidence and contrasting viewpoints 

C. Main point 3: Additional analysis and how it supports your thesis

III. Conclusion 

A. Summary of main points 

B. Restatement of the thesis in light of the discussion 

C. Closing thought or call to action

This structure ensures each section contributes towards supporting your thesis statement.

Writing the First Draft

Writing the introduction.

Start with a compelling hook and introduce your thesis and main points. This sets the tone and direction for the entire paper.

Developing Body Paragraphs

To present and analyze your research, follow a structured format within your paragraphs. Use transitions to connect ideas smoothly, maintaining a logical flow.

Writing the Conclusion

Summarize the main points and restate your thesis, reflecting on the implications of your findings. End with a strong closing statement to leave a lasting impression.

Maintaining a Consistent Writing Process

Effective writing involves staying focused and motivated. Set specific goals and adhere to a schedule to manage your workload. Incorporate regular breaks to prevent burnout and continuously revise your work to enhance clarity and coherence. This routine ensures steady progress and high-quality results in your research paper.

Revising and Editing

Self-revision techniques.

Self-revision is a critical step in refining your research paper. Focus on content clarity, coherence, and consistency. Evaluate the logical flow and organization to ensure that every section effectively contributes to your argument. This involves tightening your narrative, sharpening your points, and ensuring clear thesis communication.

Peer Review

The peer review process offers invaluable insights. Having classmates or colleagues review your draft can provide fresh perspectives and important feedback. Be open to receiving constructive criticism and prepared to offer thoughtful feedback on others’ work. This collaborative process can help identify overlooked weaknesses and opportunities to strengthen your argument.

Professional Editing

Consider using professional editing services to ensure your paper meets the highest academic standards. Tools like Grammarly and the Hemingway App can assist in polishing grammar, enhancing readability, and eliminating stylistic errors.

Finalizing the Research Paper

Formatting the paper.

Proper formatting must adhere to specific academic styles like APA, MLA, or Chicago. Ensure your paper’s structure is correct, including the title page, headers, footnotes, and bibliography. 

This not only contributes to the paper’s professionalism but also to its readability and compliance with academic standards.

Proofreading

A thorough final proofread is essential to catch any remaining errors. Effective proofreading strategies include reading aloud and focusing on one type of error at a time, such as punctuation, grammar, or spelling. This detailed review ensures that the final document is polished and free of errors that could distract from the content.

Submitting the Paper

Before submitting, double-check the submission guidelines to ensure your paper complies with all requirements. Submit your work on time and in the correct format to avoid last-minute stress and potential penalties.

In conclusion, embracing thorough research, systematic organization, meticulous revision, and careful proofreading can significantly enhance the quality of your paper. 

Remember, resources online are available to assist you, offering everything from pay-for-research paper services to expert guidance. Following these structured steps, you can develop a strong research paper that effectively communicates your findings and stands out academically.

TeachThought is an organization dedicated to innovation in education through the growth of outstanding teachers.

  • Skip to main content
  • Skip to ChatBot Assistant
  • Academic Writing
  • What is a Research Paper?

Steps in Writing a Research Paper

  • Critical Reading and Writing
  • Punctuation
  • Writing Exercises
  • ELL/ESL Resources

A series of steps, starting with developing a research question and working thesis, will lead you through writing a research paper. As you move through these steps and actually create the research paper, you may find that you can't move through all of them in chronological order, and that's o.k. In fact, you may change the order of the steps depending on the subject, your knowledge of the subject, and your sources. For example, sometimes you need to do just a bit of background research and reading before you can develop a research question. Sometimes you need to go back and find additional sources to corroborate your viewpoint. The research writing steps that we offer represent a general, ideal, movement through the research writing process. In reality, writers often repeat or circle back as needed.

Hey, wait a minute . . . why did we say "ideal?" In our opinion, these steps represent the best way to move through the writing process because they ask you to think and develop a research question before you actually do a lot of research. The one big mess that you can get into, as a student, comes from doing too much unfocused research before identifying your own viewpoint, the one that you will eventually need to support. If you do too much unfocused research first, then the tendency is to try to include all of it in the paper. The result is a hodgepodge of information that's not focused, developed fully, or indicative of your own thoughts. It's also not efficient to do too much research before you really know what you're looking for. Try it our way--develop that research question first--to cut out a lot of research paper mess.

These steps will lead you through writing a research paper:

  • One Big Mess...
  • Developing a Research Question
  • Thesis Characteristics
  • Finding Sources
  • Evaluating Sources
  • Taking Notes
  • Working with Quotations
  • Writing Summaries & Paraphrases
  • Building the Essay Draft
  • Documentation Formats
  • Revising and Proofreading the Draft

Need Assistance?

If you would like assistance with any type of writing assignment, learning coaches are available to assist you. Please contact Academic Support by emailing [email protected].

Questions or feedback about SUNY Empire's Writing Support?

Contact us at [email protected] .

Smart Cookies

They're not just in our classes – they help power our website. Cookies and similar tools allow us to better understand the experience of our visitors. By continuing to use this website, you consent to SUNY Empire State University's usage of cookies and similar technologies in accordance with the university's Privacy Notice and Cookies Policy .

steps to the research paper

Get science-backed answers as you write with Paperpal's Research feature

How to Write an Abstract in Research Papers (with Examples)

How to write an abstract

An abstract in research papers is a keyword-rich summary usually not exceeding 200-350 words. It can be considered the “face” of research papers because it creates an initial impression on the readers. While searching databases (such as PubMed) for research papers, a title is usually the first selection criterion for readers. If the title matches their search criteria, then the readers read the abstract, which sets the tone of the paper. Titles and abstracts are often the only freely available parts of research papers on journal websites. The pdf versions of full articles need to be purchased. Journal reviewers are often provided with only the title and abstract before they agree to review the complete paper. [ 1]  

Abstracts in research papers provide readers with a quick insight into what the paper is about to help them decide whether they want to read it further or not. Abstracts are the main selling points of articles and therefore should be carefully drafted, accurately highlighting the important aspects. [ 2]  

This article will help you identify the important components and provide tips on how to write an abstract in research papers effectively

What is an Abstract?  

An abstract in research papers can be defined as a synopsis of the paper. It should be clear, direct, self-contained, specific, unbiased, and concise. These summaries are published along with the complete research paper and are also submitted to conferences for consideration for presentation.  

Abstracts are of four types and journals can follow any of these formats: [ 2]  

  • Structured  
  • Unstructured  
  • Descriptive  
  • Informative  

Structured abstracts are used by most journals because they are more organized and have clear sections, usually including introduction/background; objective; design, settings, and participants (or materials and methods); outcomes and measures; results; and conclusion. These headings may differ based on the journal or the type of paper. Clinical trial abstracts should include the essential items mentioned in the CONSORT (Consolidated Standards Of Reporting Trials) guidelines.  

steps to the research paper

Figure 1. Structured abstract example [3] 

Unstructured abstracts are common in social science, humanities, and physical science journals. They usually have one paragraph and no specific structure or subheadings. These abstracts are commonly used for research papers that don’t report original work and therefore have a more flexible and narrative style.  

steps to the research paper

Figure 2. Unstructured abstract example [3] 

Descriptive abstracts are short (75–150 words) and provide an outline with only the most important points of research papers. They are used for shorter articles such as case reports, reviews, and opinions where space is at a premium, and rarely for original investigations. These abstracts don’t present the results but mainly list the topics covered.  

Here’s a sample abstract . [ 4]  

“Design of a Radio-Based System for Distribution Automation”  

A new survey by the Maryland Public Utilities Commission suggests that utilities have not effectively explained to consumers the benefits of smart meters. The two-year study of 86,000 consumers concludes that the long-term benefits of smart meters will not be realized until consumers understand the benefits of shifting some of their power usage to off-peak hours in response to the data they receive from their meters. The study presents recommendations for utilities and municipal governments to improve customer understanding of how to use the smart meters effectively.  

Keywords: smart meters, distribution systems, load, customer attitudes, power consumption, utilities  

Informative abstracts (structured or unstructured) give a complete detailed summary, including the main results, of the research paper and may or may not have subsections.   

steps to the research paper

Figure 3. Informative abstract example [5] 

Purpose of Abstracts in Research    

Abstracts in research have two main purposes—selection and indexing. [ 6,7]  

  • Selection : Abstracts allow interested readers to quickly decide the relevance of a paper to gauge if they should read it completely.   
  • Indexing : Most academic journal databases accessed through libraries enable you to search abstracts, allowing for quick retrieval of relevant articles and avoiding unnecessary search results. Therefore, abstracts must necessarily include the keywords that researchers may use to search for articles.  

Thus, a well-written, keyword-rich abstract can p ique readers’ interest and curiosity and help them decide whether they want to read the complete paper. It can also direct readers to articles of potential clinical and research interest during an online search.  

steps to the research paper

Contents of Abstracts in Research  

Abstracts in research papers summarize the main points of an article and are broadly categorized into four or five sections. Here are some details on how to write an abstract .   

Introduction/Background and/or Objectives  

This section should provide the following information:  

  • What is already known about the subject?  
  • What is not known about the subject or what does the study aim to investigate?  

The hypothesis or research question and objectives should be mentioned here. The Background sets the context for the rest of the paper and its length should be short so that the word count could be saved for the Results or other information directly pertaining to the study. The objective should be written in present or past simple tense.  

Examples:  

The antidepressant efficacy of desvenlafaxine (DV) has been established in 8-week, randomized controlled trials. The present study examined the continued efficacy of DV across 6 months of maintenance treatment . [ 1]  

Objective: To describe gastric and breast cancer risk estimates for individuals with CDH1 variants.  

Design, Setting, and Participants (or Materials and Methods)  

This section should provide information on the processes used and should be written in past simple tense because the process is already completed.  

A few important questions to be answered include:  

  • What was the research design and setting?  
  • What was the sample size and how were the participants sampled?  
  • What treatments did the participants receive?  
  • What were the data collection and data analysis dates?  
  • What was the primary outcome measure?  

Hazard ratios (HRs) were estimated for each cancer type and used to calculate cumulative risks and risks per decade of life up to age 80 years.  

steps to the research paper

This section, written in either present or past simple tense, should be the longest and should describe the main findings of the study. Here’s an example of how descriptive the sentences should be:  

Avoid: Response rates differed significantly between diabetic and nondiabetic patients.  

Better: The response rate was higher in nondiabetic than in diabetic patients (49% vs 30%, respectively; P<0.01).  

This section should include the following information:  

  • Total number of patients (included, excluded [exclusion criteria])  
  • Primary and secondary outcomes, expressed in words, and supported by numerical data  
  • Data on adverse outcomes  

Example: [ 8]  

In total, 10.9% of students were reported to have favorable study skills. The minimum score was found for preparation for examination domain. Also, a significantly positive correlation was observed between students’ study skills and their Grade Point Average (GPA) of previous term (P=0.001, r=0.269) and satisfaction with study skills (P=0.001, r=0.493).  

Conclusions  

Here, authors should mention the importance of their findings and also the practical and theoretical implications, which would benefit readers referring to this paper for their own research. Present simple tense should be used here.  

Examples: [ 1,8]  

The 9.3% prevalence of bipolar spectrum disorders in students at an arts university is substantially higher than general population estimates. These findings strengthen the oft-expressed hypothesis linking creativity with affective psychopathology.  

The findings indicated that students’ study skills need to be improved. Given the significant relationship between study skills and GPA, as an index of academic achievement, and satisfaction, it is necessary to promote the students’ study skills. These skills are suggested to be reinforced, with more emphasis on weaker domains.  

steps to the research paper

When to Write an Abstract  

In addition to knowing how to write an abstract , you should also know when to write an abstract . It’s best to write abstracts once the paper is completed because this would make it easier for authors to extract relevant parts from every section.  

Abstracts are usually required for: [ 7]    

  • submitting articles to journals  
  • applying for research grants   
  • writing book proposals  
  • completing and submitting dissertations  
  • submitting proposals for conference papers  

Mostly, the author of the entire work writes the abstract (the first author, in works with multiple authors). However, there are professional abstracting services that hire writers to draft abstracts of other people’s work.   

How to Write an Abstract (Step-by-Step Process)  

Here are some key steps on how to write an abstract in research papers: [ 9]  

  • Write the abstract after you’ve finished writing your paper.  
  • Select the major objectives/hypotheses and conclusions from your Introduction and Conclusion sections.  
  • Select key sentences from your Methods section.  
  • Identify the major results from the Results section.  
  • Paraphrase or re-write the sentences selected in steps 2, 3, and 4 in your own words into one or two paragraphs in the following sequence: Introduction/Objective, Methods, Results, and Conclusions. The headings may differ among journals, but the content remains the same.  
  • Ensure that this draft does not contain: a.   new information that is not present in the paper b.   undefined abbreviations c.   a discussion of previous literature or reference citations d.   unnecessary details about the methods used  
  • Remove all extra information and connect your sentences to ensure that the information flows well, preferably in the following order: purpose; basic study design, methodology and techniques used; major findings; summary of your interpretations, conclusions, and implications. Use section headings for structured abstracts.  
  • Ensure consistency between the information presented in the abstract and the paper.  
  • Check to see if the final abstract meets the guidelines of the target journal (word limit, type of abstract, recommended subheadings, etc.) and if all the required information has been included.  

Choosing Keywords for Abstracts  

Keywords [ 2] are the important and repeatedly used words and phrases in research papers and can help indexers and search engines find papers relevant to your requirements. Easy retrieval would help in reaching a wider audience and eventually gain more citations. In the fields of medicine and health, keywords should preferably be chosen from the Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) list of the US National Library of Medicine because they are used for indexing. These keywords need to be different from the words in the main title (automatically used for indexing) but can be variants of the terms/phrases used in the title, abstract, and the main text. Keywords should represent the content of your manuscript and be specific to your subject area.  

Basic tips for authors [ 10,11]  

  • Read through your paper and highlight key terms or phrases that are most relevant and frequently used in your field, to ensure familiarity.  
  • Several journals provide instructions about the length (eg, 3 words in a keyword) and maximum number of keywords allowed and other related rules. Create a list of keywords based on these instructions and include specific phrases containing 2 to 4 words. A longer string of words would yield generic results irrelevant to your field.  
  • Use abbreviations, acronyms, and initializations if these would be more familiar.  
  • Search with your keywords to ensure the results fit with your article and assess how helpful they would be to readers.  
  • Narrow down your keywords to about five to ten, to ensure accuracy.  
  • Finalize your list based on the maximum number allowed.  

  Few examples: [ 12]  

     
Direct observation of nonlinear optics in an isolated carbon nanotube  molecule, optics, lasers, energy lifetime  single-molecule interaction, Kerr effect, carbon nanotube, energy level 
Region-specific neuronal degeneration after okadaic acid administration  neuron, brain, regional-specific neuronal degeneration, signaling  neurodegenerative diseases; CA1 region, hippocampal; okadaic acid; neurotoxins; MAP kinase signaling system; cell death 
Increases in levels of sediment transport at former glacial-interglacial transitions  climate change, erosion, plant effects  quaternary climate change, soil erosion, bioturbation 

Important Tips for Writing an Abstract  

Here are a few tips on how to write an abstract to ensure that your abstract is complete, concise, and accurate. [ 1,2]  

  • Write the abstract last.  
  • Follow journal-specific formatting guidelines or Instructions to Authors strictly to ensure acceptance for publication.  
  • Proofread the final draft meticulously to avoid grammatical or typographical errors.  
  • Ensure that the terms or data mentioned in the abstract are consistent with the main text.  
  • Include appropriate keywords at the end.

Do not include:  

  • New information  
  • Text citations to references  
  • Citations to tables and figures  
  • Generic statements  
  • Abbreviations unless necessary, like a trial or study name  

steps to the research paper

Key Takeaways    

Here’s a quick snapshot of all the important aspects of how to write an abstract . [2]

  • An abstract in research is a summary of the paper and describes only the main aspects. Typically, abstracts are about 200-350 words long.  
  • Abstracts are of four types—structured, unstructured, descriptive, and informative.  
  • Abstracts should be simple, clear, concise, independent, and unbiased (present both favorable and adverse outcomes).  
  • They should adhere to the prescribed journal format, including word limits, section headings, number of keywords, fonts used, etc.  
  • The terminology should be consistent with the main text.   
  • Although the section heading names may differ for journals, every abstract should include a background and objective, analysis methods, primary results, and conclusions.  
  • Nonstandard abbreviations, references, and URLs shouldn’t be included.  
  • Only relevant and specific keywords should be used to ensure focused searches and higher citation frequency.  
  • Abstracts should be written last after completing the main paper.  

Frequently Asked Questions   

Q1. Do all journals have different guidelines for abstracts?  

A1. Yes, all journals have their own specific guidelines for writing abstracts; a few examples are given in the following table. [ 6,13,14,15]  

   
American Psychological Association           
American Society for Microbiology     
The Lancet     
Journal of the American Medical Association               

Q2. What are the common mistakes to avoid when writing an abstract?  

A2. Listed below are a few mistakes that authors may make inadvertently while writing abstracts.  

  • Copying sentences from the paper verbatim  

An abstract is a summary, which should be created by paraphrasing your own work or writing in your own words. Extracting sentences from every section and combining them into one paragraph cannot be considered summarizing.  

  • Not adhering to the formatting guidelines  

Journals have special instructions for writing abstracts, such as word limits and section headings. These should be followed strictly to avoid rejections.  

  • Not including the right amount of details in every section  

Both too little and too much information could discourage readers. For instance, if the Background has very little information, the readers may not get sufficient context to appreciate your research. Similarly, incomplete information in the Methods and a text-heavy Results section without supporting numerical data may affect the credibility of your research.  

  • Including citations, standard abbreviations, and detailed measurements  

Typically, abstracts shouldn’t include these elements—citations, URLs, and abbreviations. Only nonstandard abbreviations are allowed or those that would be more familiar to readers than the expansions.  

  • Including new information  

Abstracts should strictly include only the same information mentioned in the main text. Any new information should first be added to the text and then to the abstract only if necessary or if permitted by the word limit.  

  • Not including keywords  

Keywords are essential for indexing and searching and should be included to increase the frequency of retrieval and citation.  

Q3. What is the difference between abstracts in research papers and conference abstracts? [16]  

A3. The table summarizes the main differences between research and conference abstracts.  

     
Context  Concise summary of ongoing or completed research presented at conferences  Summary of full research paper published in a journal 
Length  Shorter (150-250 words)   Longer (150-350 words) 
Audience  Diverse conference attendees (both experts & people with general interest)  People or other researchers specifically interested in the subject 
Focus  Intended to quickly attract interest; provides just enough information to highlight the significance, objectives, and impact; may briefly state methods and results  Deeper insight into the study; more detailed sections on methodology, results, and broader implications 
Publication venue  Not published independently but included in conference schedules, booklets, etc.  Published with the full research paper in academic journals, conference proceedings, research databases, etc. 
Citations  Allowed  Not allowed 

  Thus, abstracts are essential “trailers” that can market your research to a wide audience. The better and more complete the abstract the more are the chances of your paper being read and cited. By following our checklist and ensuring that all key elements are included, you can create a well-structured abstract that summarizes your paper accurately.  

References  

  • Andrade C. How to write a good abstract for a scientific paper or conference presentation. Indian J Psychiatry . 2011; 53(2):172-175. Accessed June 14, 2024. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3136027/  
  • Tullu MS. Writing the title and abstract for a research paper: Being concise, precise, and meticulous is the key. 2019; 13(Suppl 1): S12-S17. Accessed June 14, 2024. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6398294/  
  • Zawia J. Writing an Academic Paper? Get to know Abstracts vs. Structured Abstracts. Medium. Published October 16, 2023. Accessed June 16, 2024. https://medium.com/@jamala.zawia/writing-an-academic-paper-get-to-know-abstracts-vs-structured-abstracts-11ed86888367  
  • Markel M and Selber S. Technical Communication, 12 th edition. 2018; pp. 482. Bedford/St Martin’s.  
  • Abstracts. Arkansas State University. Accessed June 17, 2024. https://www.astate.edu/a/global-initiatives/online/a-state-online-services/online-writing-center/resources/How%20to%20Write%20an%20Abstract1.pdf  
  • AMA Manual of Style. 11 th edition. Oxford University Press.  
  • Writing an Abstract. The University of Melbourne. Accessed June 16, 2024. https://services.unimelb.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/471274/Writing_an_Abstract_Update_051112.pdf  
  • 10 Good Abstract Examples that will Kickstart Your Brain. Kibin Essay Writing Blog. Published April 5, 2017. Accessed June 17, 2024. https://www.kibin.com/essay-writing-blog/10-good-abstract-examples/  
  • A 10-step guide to make your research paper abstract more effective. Editage Insights. Published October 16, 2013. Accessed June 17, 2024. https://www.editage.com/insights/a-10-step-guide-to-make-your-research-paper-abstract-more-effective  
  • Using keywords to write your title and abstract. Taylor & Francis Author Services. Accessed June 15, 2024. https://authorservices.taylorandfrancis.com/publishing-your-research/writing-your-paper/using-keywords-to-write-title-and-abstract/  
  • How to choose and use keywords in research papers. Paperpal by Editage blog. Published March 10, 2023. Accessed June 17, 2024. https://paperpal.com/blog/researcher-resources/phd-pointers/how-to-choose-and-use-keywords-in-research-papers  
  • Title, abstract and keywords. Springer. Accessed June 16, 2024. https://www.springer.com/it/authors-editors/authorandreviewertutorials/writing-a-journal-manuscript/title-abstract-and-keywords/10285522  
  • Abstract and keywords guide. APA Style, 7 th edition. Accessed June 18, 2024. https://apastyle.apa.org/instructional-aids/abstract-keywords-guide.pdf  
  • Abstract guidelines. American Society for Microbiology. Accessed June 18, 2024. https://asm.org/events/asm-microbe/present/abstract-guidelines  
  • Guidelines for conference abstracts. The Lancet. Accessed June 16, 2024. https://www.thelancet.com/pb/assets/raw/Lancet/pdfs/Abstract_Guidelines_2013.pdf  
  • Is a conference abstract the same as a paper abstract? Global Conference Alliance, Inc. Accessed June 18, 2024. https://globalconference.ca/is-a-conference-abstract-the-same-as-a-paper-abstract/  

Paperpal is a comprehensive AI writing toolkit that helps students and researchers achieve 2x the writing in half the time. It leverages 21+ years of STM experience and insights from millions of research articles to provide in-depth academic writing, language editing, and submission readiness support to help you write better, faster.  

Get accurate academic translations, rewriting support, grammar checks, vocabulary suggestions, and generative AI assistance that delivers human precision at machine speed. Try for free or upgrade to Paperpal Prime starting at US$19 a month to access premium features, including consistency, plagiarism, and 30+ submission readiness checks to help you succeed.  

Experience the future of academic writing – Sign up to Paperpal and start writing for free!  

Related Reads:

  • What are Journal Guidelines on Using Generative AI Tools
  • How to Write a High-Quality Conference Paper
  • Should You Use AI Tools like ChatGPT for Academic Writing?
  • What is the Importance of a Concept Paper and How to Write It 

How to Write Dissertation Acknowledgements?

Top 7 ai tools for research 2024, you may also like, maintaining academic integrity with paperpal’s generative ai writing..., how to structure an essay, leveraging generative ai to enhance student understanding of..., how to write a good hook for essays,..., addressing peer review feedback and mastering manuscript revisions..., how paperpal can boost comprehension and foster interdisciplinary..., what is the importance of a concept paper..., how to write the first draft of a..., mla works cited page: format, template & examples.

How to Write an Introduction for a Research Paper

Divya Bhansali headshot

By Divya Bhansali

Columbia University; Biomedical Engineering PhD candidate

5 minute read

The introduction of a research paper serves as the gateway to your work. It's where you engage your readers and provide them with a clear understanding of your research topic. Writing the introduction is the first step in writing a research paper, from the abstract to the conclusion. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve deeper into the essential elements of an effective introduction for a high school-level research paper. We'll not only discuss the practical steps but also provide you with a deeper understanding of why introductions are crucial in academic writing.

The Significance of a Well-Crafted Introduction

Before we dive into the specifics of writing an introduction, it's important to recognize the fundamental role introductions play in academic writing. Think of the introduction as your paper's opening act. Just as a captivating movie or book beginning draws you in, a well-constructed research paper introduction grabs your reader's attention, sets the stage for what's to come, and provides context for your research.

Here’s an example of a brief and well-crafted research paper introduction:

Polygence alumn Nyrah wrote: “During the early 1800s, both dissection and experimentation were used as a mechanism to exploit African-American bodies. Yet it still happens today, we can see this through the lens of African American women who experience racism pre- and post-partum. In this paper, the reader will learn about how past history has influenced current healthcare and explore possible solutions to it.” For a more extensive introduction, check out Polygence alumn Lily ’s paper!

Do your own research through Polygence!

Polygence pairs you with an expert mentor in your area of passion. Together, you work to create a high quality research project that is uniquely your own.

1. Understand Your Research Topic

The process of writing an effective introduction begins long before you put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard. It commences with a deep understanding of your research topic. Take the time to immerse yourself in the subject matter. Read widely, consult authoritative sources, and jot down key concepts, terms, and facts that are central to your research. The better you understand your topic, the more confidently you can introduce it to your readers.

2. Hook Your Reader

Now, let's discuss the hook, which is the critical opening element of your introduction. The primary purpose of the hook is to captivate your reader's interest. Imagine your reader as someone who has just picked up your paper, and it's your job to make sure they want to keep reading. Here are some effective hooks to consider:

Start with a Shocking Fact: Human beings are naturally drawn to the unexpected. Begin with a surprising statistic or piece of information that relates to your research.

Use a Relevant Quote: Quotes from experts, historical figures, or renowned scholars can lend authority and interest to your introduction.

Ask a Thought-Provoking Question: Engage your reader's curiosity by posing a question that invites them to contemplate the topic.

Share an Anecdote: Narrate a brief, relevant story or example that illustrates the importance of your research in a real-world context.

3. Provide Context

Following the hook, you should provide context for your research paper topic. This is where you set the stage by explaining the significance of the subject matter. Discuss any current events, societal issues, or trends that relate to your topic. Explain why this research matters, not just to you, but to the broader world. By offering context, you demonstrate the relevance and importance of your work.

4. State Your Research Question or Thesis

Do you know the fundamentals of how to write a thesis statement for a research paper? The heart of your introduction lies in your research question or thesis statement. This is where you clearly and concisely express the main argument or focus of your paper. Here are some important considerations:

Specificity : Ensure that your thesis statement is specific and focused. It should address a particular aspect of your research paper topic, not a broad generalization.

Debatable : A strong thesis statement should present a point of view that can be argued or discussed. It should not be a simple fact.

Placement : Your thesis statement should appear near the end of your introduction section. This strategic placement builds anticipation and prepares your reader for the depth of analysis to come.

Explore if there's chemistry

Interested in Chemistry? We'll match you with an expert mentor who will help you explore your next project.

5. Outline Your Approach

With your thesis statement in place, briefly outline how you intend to address your research question or support your thesis. Mention the methods or sources you will use to gather information and evidence. If you're conducting experiments, surveys, or interviews, briefly describe these methods. If your research relies on academic sources, case studies, or data analysis, mention that too. This part of the introduction section provides your reader with insight into your research process and methodology.

6. Mention the Significance of Your Research

Why does your research matter? What potential impact can it have? These are crucial questions to address in your introduction paragraph. Explain the significance of your research by highlighting its contribution to the field or the broader subject matter. If your work has real-world implications or applications, briefly touch on them. Convince your reader that your research is academically valuable and has practical relevance.

7. Preview Your Paper's Structure

As you wrap up your introduction paragraph, give your reader a roadmap of what to expect in the rest of your scientific research paper. Mention the main sections or points you'll be covering, and some of your research questions. For instance, if your paper has three main sections, provide a brief introduction to each of them. This helps your reader navigate your paper more easily and understand how the pieces fit together to support your thesis.

8. Keep it Concise

While it's important to provide all the necessary information, remember to keep your introduction concise. Avoid unnecessary details and stay focused on the key elements mentioned above. A lengthy introduction may overwhelm your reader and dilute the impact of your opening.

In conclusion, your research paper's introduction is your opportunity to engage your readers and set the stage for a well-structured and coherent piece of academic work. By following the steps outlined in this comprehensive guide, you can create an introduction that captivates your audience and provides a strong foundation for the rest of your scientific research paper. Remember that practice and revision are crucial to perfecting your introductions, so be encouraged if your first draft doesn't hit the mark. Good luck with your writing!

Polygence Scholars Are Also Passionate About

steps to the research paper

Verify originality of an essay

Get ideas for your paper

Find top study documents

How to write a survey paper: structure and tips for effective writing

Updated 04 Jul 2024

how to write a survey paper

All students dream of an easier way to learn a subject. Writing a survey paper example can effectively synthesize and consolidate information, helping you master a topic. It’s a valuable skill for anyone involved in academic research. This article will guide you through the essential steps of crafting an effective review. From understanding its purpose and structure to gathering and synthesizing information, you will learn how to write a survey paper and present a comprehensive overview of existing studies on a specific topic. You’ll be equipped with the tools to produce a well-organized and insightful text highlighting key findings and gaps in the literature.

What is a survey?

This is a comprehensive overview of the current knowledge and research on a particular topic. Unlike a sociology research paper and other original academic papers that present new findings, this writing summarizes and synthesizes existing studies, emphasizing significant developments, trends, and gaps in the literature. Its primary goal is to deliver readers a lucid explanation of the state of the art in a specific field. 

Where is it used?

Also known as review papers, paper survey examples are commonly used in academic and professional contexts where a broad topic overview is needed. They are prevalent in:

  • Academic journals: Researchers publish review articles in scholarly journals to explain the current academic landscape, often to introduce a special issue on a particular subject.
  • Theses and dissertations: Graduate students frequently use this writing the same way as a precis paper as part of their thesis or dissertation work to demonstrate their understanding of the existing literature.
  • Conference proceedings: Papers based on good survey topics are presented at conferences to summarize current exploration directions and trends, creating a foundation for discussions and further study.
  • Grant proposals: Researchers include them in grant applications to justify the need for their proposed exploration by highlighting gaps and unresolved issues in the existing science literature.

When do you need it?

  • Project beginning: Researchers turn to this genre to gather and summarize existing knowledge, which helps identify gaps and formulate research questions.
  • Curriculum development: Educators use review papers to develop course materials that give students a comprehensive understanding of a subject.
  • Policymaking: Policymakers rely on a survey introduction example to gain insights into current research trends and evidence, which inform decision-making processes.
  • Professional development: Professionals use papers on technology research topics to stay updated on the latest developments and advancements in their field.

Survey paper format and structure

To ensure adherence to academic standards, format your writing as follows. Use Times New Roman, 12-point font, and double-space the text. Set 1-inch margins on all sides for a professional look. Format headings and subheadings clearly and consistently. Include page numbers in the upper right corner. Follow the chosen citation style (e.g., APA, MLA, or Chicago) for in-text citations. Label and number all tables and figures, placing them in the appropriate sections and referring to them within the text.

Below is a general guideline on how to format a survey and structure it:

Your survey title examples should be clear and concise, reflecting the main topic to convey the paper’s focus quickly. This page should include the name(s) of the author(s), institutional affiliation(s), date of submission, and contact details.

How to introduce a survey? Complete the abstract (typically 150-250 words) with a summary of the objectives, scope, key findings, and conclusions, offering a snapshot of the research. List 3-5 keywords that represent the main topic.

Introduction

In your research survey introduction example, provide the background, significance, objectives, and an outline of the document to set the context, explain its importance, and guide the reader. 

Literature review

This section summarizes and evaluates the strengths and weaknesses of existing studies and discloses patterns, trends, and gaps, establishing a foundation and context.

Methodologies and approaches

This section is the same as you use in a communication paper . It describes, compares, and critiques study approaches, informing readers about various methods and assessing their effectiveness. 

Key terms and definitions

This section explains key terms and concepts used in research to ensure a clear understanding of the terminology.

Recent trends and developments

This section offers an overview of the latest exploration and emerging trends, describing the current state of the art and highlighting new directions.

It synthesizes the reviewed literature and trends, analyzes findings and implications, and identifies science areas requiring further exploration. 

In this part, summarize the main points and findings, significance, and recommendations to wrap up the text and suggest future research directions.

This is a complete list of cited sources in the proper format, crediting original authors and offering further reading resources.

Follow these guidelines to ensure your survey paper template is well-organized, clearly written, and academically rigorous. Always check for any specific requirements provided by your instructor, institution, or the journal to which you submit the text.

How to write a survey: step-by-step guide

An overview involves a systematic approach that ensures the final document is comprehensive, well-structured, and insightful. Below is an extended step-by-step guide to help you craft a thorough paper:

Step 1. Select a topic.

Choose a topic relevant to your study area with ample existing research. Ensure your survey topic examples are specific enough to be manageable but broad enough to cover significant exploration.

Step 2. Define the scope.

Clearly outline the scope of your work. This task will be easy if you know the answer to “ What is a term paper ”. Specify the aspects of the topic you will focus on to maintain clarity and focus throughout your document.

Step 3. Conduct a preliminary literature review.

Begin by reviewing the available literature to gain a general understanding of your topic's current state of research. Identify key studies, influential papers, and major findings to inform your subsequent detailed review.

Step 4. Formulate a research question.

To understand how to write a survey introduction, you should develop a clear and concise research question or thesis statement that will guide your work. Ensure your question is specific, focused, and researchable.

Step 5. Gather and organize relevant sources.

Collect literature directly addressing your research question using academic databases, journals, books, and credible online sources. Categorize it into themes, methodologies, or chronological order.

Step 6. Analyze and critique the literature.

Critically evaluate the studies, identifying their strengths, weaknesses, and contributions to the field. Look for patterns, trends, gaps, and areas of consensus or controversy in the existing study.

Step 7. Create an outline and conduct your research.

Develop a detailed outline for your work to guide your writing process. Create a document containing an introduction to a survey, body paragraphs with methodologies, key findings, and discussion, and finalize with a conclusion.

Step 8. Edit and proofread.

Review your paper for clarity, coherence, and consistency. Check for grammatical errors, proper citation, and adherence to formatting guidelines. Revise for improved quality and readability. Proofread the final draft to eliminate the mistakes. Seek feedback from peers or mentors for a polished, high-quality paper.

Step 9. Check formatting and presentation.

Ensure your document follows the provided formatting guidelines. Pay attention to font, margins, spacing, and heading styles. Correctly label and reference tables, figures, and appendices.

Step 10. Review and submit.

Conduct a final review for any errors or inconsistencies. Ensure logical flow and integration of all sections. Submit your text according to the given submission guidelines.

How to make your research stand out?

Creating a paper survey template can significantly advance your understanding of a topic, but to truly excel, there are a few essential recommendations to keep in mind. Let’s see how to write a survey paper to ensure your text stands out.

Understand your topic.

Begin by thoroughly understanding the topic. If any part of the question is unclear, seek clarification from your instructor. A solid grasp of the topic's basics will help identify key points of your exploration.

Select relevant literature.

Stay focused on your survey topics ideas by selecting sources that directly address them. Avoid hoarding unrelated sources and systematically review and filter appropriate studies.

Construct a concise research question.

Even if you prefer controversial research topics , keep your thesis statement short and clear to guide your paper’s direction and help you stay focused. This way, it will be easier for you to select relevant literature and avoid unnecessary information.

Use your library.

A preliminary investigation is crucial. Start with your college library, which offers a wealth of resources like encyclopedias and introductory texts to help outline your topic. Use these references to delve deeper into specific academic texts, enhancing your study outcomes.

Prioritize different up-to-date sources.

Base your work on current literature, ideally published within the last 5 years, and ensure you have more than 10 relevant sources. This balance maintains the relevance and depth of your exploration.

Use reputable sources.

One of the key secrets of how to write a good survey is to choose peer-reviewed and recognized sources in your field. Quality trumps quantity, so focus on highly regarded publications.

Use a logical sequence.

Be sure you understand how to structure a paragraph and that each element of your work ties into the research question and overall objective. This requires revising, editing, and proofreading your work multiple times. 

Follow an appropriate format.

When learning how to write a survey report, remember to follow academic guidelines and use a standard format, including suitable headings, spacing, font, margins, and referencing style. Adhering to word limits and maintaining concise wording is also crucial.

With these tips, you can produce high-quality, well-organized reviews that effectively communicate your study outcomes. If you need professional assistance, do not hesitate to contact our research paper writing service . Our dedicated experts are ready to help complete your work, provide valuable recommendations, and edit and proofread your work.

Final thoughts

Writing surveys is a crucial academic skill that allows you to synthesize existing research and present a comprehensive overview of a specific topic. Following the steps outlined in this article, you can produce well-structured and compelling writing that highlights key findings, identifies gaps in the literature, and provides a clear direction for future exploration. From understanding the purpose and scope of your research to organizing your findings and refining your writing, each step is essential to creating a high-quality text.

However, the process can be challenging and time-consuming. If you need additional assistance, EduBirdie is here to help. We offer expert guidance and support for every aspect of survey writing, from conducting thorough research and organizing your paper to editing and proofreading. With our help, you can ensure your survey study example meets the highest academic standards and effectively communicates your findings.

Whether you are just starting your research or need help polishing your final draft, EduBirdie's professional services can make a significant difference in the quality of your work. Don’t hesitate to seek the support you need to excel in your academic endeavors.

Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback.

Article author picture

Written by Mary O. Spears

Mary O. Spears is a dedicated writer specializing in crafting insightful guides on essay and paper writing. With a profound understanding of academic standards and a talent for demystifying complex topics, Mary offers invaluable guidance to students aiming for academic excellence. Outside of her professional work, Mary is passionate about cooking and eating healthy, bringing creativity and balance to both her culinary and writing endeavors.

Related Blog Posts

How to overcome writer’s block.

Our article will help you learn how to overcome writer's block with the best practical methods. You will learn the symptoms that define it and rece...

PESTLE analysis example: explanation & tips

Understanding the larger environment in which a company operates is vital for planning and making decisions. One of the most effective tools for th...

How to Write a College Paper Successfully

Writing a college paper is an undeniably challenging task. It is one of those chances you are expected to show your professors the kind of student ...

Join our 150K of happy users

  • Get original papers written according to your instructions
  • Save time for what matters most

Free All-in-One Office Suite with PDF Editor

Edit Word, Excel, and PPT for FREE.

Read, edit, and convert PDFs with the powerful PDF toolkit.

Microsoft-like interface, easy to use.

Windows • MacOS • Linux • iOS • Android

banner

Select areas that need to improve

  • Didn't match my interface
  • Too technical or incomprehensible
  • Incorrect operation instructions
  • Incomplete instructions on this function

Fields marked * are required please

Please leave your suggestions below

  • Quick Tutorials
  • Practical Skills

How to Write an Abstract - Steps with Examples

Writing reports, papers, and assignments is a significant part of college life, and it often involves complex writing and analysis. One of the most challenging aspects can be crafting an effective abstract. After completing your report, summarizing it concisely can seem daunting. In this guide, I’ll walk you through how to write an abstract for paper that clearly and effectively summarizes your work, making it easier for your readers to grasp the main points.

What to Include & How to Structure Your Abstract?

A.what to include.

An abstract serves as a concise summary of a research paper, providing readers with a quick overview of its essential aspects. It typically begins by setting the context and significance of the research, outlining the broader field and specific topic under study. Central to the abstract is a clear articulation of the research question or problem that the study addresses, emphasizing its relevance and importance within the discipline. Building upon existing literature, the abstract succinctly summarizes previous research while highlighting gaps or limitations that motivate the current study.

Context or Background: Briefly introduce the general and specific topics of your research.

Central Question or Problem: Clearly state the research question or problem addressed.

Previous Research: Summarize what is already known and highlight gaps or limitations.

Methods: Outline the research or analytical methods used.

Findings: Present the main findings or arguments.

Significance: Explain the implications or significance of your findings.

B.How to Structure

Introduction:

Begin with a sentence that sets the context and importance of your research topic.

Briefly mention the specific aspect of the topic that your paper focuses on.

Provide a concise summary of the methods used in your study.

Mention any unique approaches or innovations in your methodology.

Summarize the most significant findings of your research.

Highlight any unexpected results or patterns observed.

Conclusion:

Conclude with the significance of your findings.

Discuss how your research contributes to the field and suggest areas for future study.

C.Things to Avoid

Citing References: Avoid including citations or detailed literature reviews.

Detailed Explanations: Keep descriptions of methods and data concise.

Jargon and Technical Language: Use clear and accessible language to ensure understanding

Types of Abstract

There are two primary types of abstracts: descriptive and informative.

1.Descriptive Abstract:

A descriptive abstract provides a brief overview of the purpose and scope of the research without delving into specific details of findings or conclusions. It aims to give readers a snapshot of what the paper is about.

An example of a descriptive abstract would be where in a study analyzing economic homogamy among spouses, a descriptive abstract might introduce the topic and outline the general findings about increasing economic resemblance between partners without specifying the detailed methods or specific results.

2.Informative Abstract:

An informative abstract offers a comprehensive summary of the entire research paper, including the purpose, methods, results, and conclusions. It provides readers with a clear understanding of the study's objectives and outcomes.

For instance, in a research paper on reprogramming fibroblasts into induced cardiac progenitor cells, an informative abstract would detail the methods used (such as specific gene factors and signaling pathways), summarize the main findings (including the types of cells generated and their potential applications), and discuss the broader implications for cardiac regenerative therapy.

Both types of abstracts serve distinct purposes: descriptive abstracts give a broad overview suitable for quickly understanding the topic, while informative abstracts provide detailed insights into the research, making them ideal for readers seeking in-depth knowledge without reading the full paper.

How to Write an Abstract for paper in 4 Steps [With Examples]

Now that we know an abstract is simply a concise summary of our entire research, the next step is to learn how to write an abstract for a research paper. Remember, the structure of an abstract needs to be followed strictly, and it should be within 300 words to ensure it is impactful and fulfills its purpose. The structure includes:

Problem Statement (1-2 sentences)

Methodology (1-2 sentences)

Results (2-3 sentences)

Significance (1-2 sentences)

With this structure in mind, I will be writing an abstract on the topic 'Ethical Implications of Facial Recognition Technology in Public Surveillance'. To assist me, I will be using WPS Writer as my writing tool because it not only provides me with the necessary editing tools for writing my research paper but also utilizes WPS AI to save time and enhance the meaning of my abstract.

Problem Statement

So first of all, in an abstract, we have the Problem Statement. A problem statement, or research gap, serves as a concise description of the issue or challenge addressed in the research. Students and researchers often end up writing line after line when discussing the research gap, although just 1-2 lines will suffice.

Let's take a look at the draft I have written for the problem statement on WPS Writer.

To shorten this problem statement effectively while ensuring it describes the issue concisely, I'll use WPS AI for assistance. Here's how:

Step 1: Highlight the problem statement using your mouse.

Step 2: After highlighting the text, you will see a floating menu with quick edit tools. Click on the "WPS AI" icon.

Step 3: Upon clicking the WPS AI icon, a list of WPS AI options will appear. Select "Make Shorter".

Step 4: WPS AI will process the text, and once shortened, review it. If satisfactory, click “Replace”; otherwise, opt for “Rewrite” to refine further.

Step 5: With the problem statement shortened, I'll add a human touch by making final adjustments before moving to the next part of our abstract.

Methodology

Next up, we need to discuss the methods used during our research. This includes outlining the specific techniques, procedures, or approaches employed to gather data and analyze findings, ensuring transparency and replicability in scholarly work.

And now, with the help of WPS AI, I'll be shortening my methodology statement to make it more concise and fit my abstract.

Ensure to review any changes made because WPS AI is a writing assistant designed to help you write better, but reviewing is critical to ensure the end result meets your expectations.

After discussing the methodology, we present the results of our research. This section summarizes the key findings and outcomes obtained through the applied methods, providing a clear picture of what was discovered or achieved.

Similar to other sections, I have created a rough draft of my research findings, which I believe are important to include in my abstract.

Now with the assistance of WPS AI, I can further condense my draft. Remember, results can be a bit longer compared to other sections of our abstract, so I'll aim for 2-3 sentences to maintain relevance.

Significance

Finally, we need to discuss the significance of our research and its contributions to the field. This involves explaining how our findings will impact the topic of research and provide a foundation for future studies.

With my significance statement further shortened using WPS AI, I now have my complete abstract statement totaling over 220 words, providing a brief overview of my entire research.

Once you have completed writing your abstract, the next step is to include keywords—a crucial element in learning how to write an abstract for a project or research paper in APA style. When publishing your paper, it's essential to include these keywords at the end of the abstract.

They should highlight important aspects of your research, aiding readers in finding your paper during literature searches. APA Style guidelines specify the formatting rules for these keywords, ensuring consistency and clarity in scholarly publications.

Place keywords directly below the abstract.

Indent the first line of keywords by 0.5 inches.

Use an italicized heading for "Keywords:"

Separate each keyword with a comma and maintain standard font style for keywords.

Remember, the abstract is written once the entire research paper has been completed, so it is the final step before you submit your research paper for publication or to your college professor.

When inputting keywords, think from a reader's perspective about what they are searching for, and include those search terms as your keywords.

While writing your abstract, remember that your research findings are already completed, so the abstract is always in the present or past simple tense.

Avoid delving deeply into the problem when describing your problem statement.

Use verbs like "investigate, test, analyze, evaluate, calculate" to describe the purpose of your research.

In the results section, highlight the most important findings because sometimes research findings are extensive and it might leave you confused about which ones to include.

Mention any limitations encountered during your research.

Bonus Tips: How to Perfect your Abstract with WPS AI

When crafting your essay with WPS AI, you're setting yourself up for success. WPS AI offers a suite of tools designed to elevate your writing to new heights, ensuring your paper is not only well-written but also perfectly formatted and crystal clear. Whether you're brainstorming ideas or fine-tuning your final draft, WPS AI is your comprehensive writing assistant.

Content Generation and Idea Formation:

WPS AI aids in generating and refining ideas, helping you structure your thoughts cohesively. It provides guidance on developing strong arguments and organizing your essay logically, ensuring your content flows smoothly.

Grammar and Style Correction:

WPS AI acts as a meticulous proofreader, detecting and correcting grammatical errors, punctuation mistakes, and stylistic inconsistencies. It ensures your writing adheres to standard grammar rules and enhances readability.

Coherence Enhancement:

Beyond surface-level corrections, WPS AI enhances the coherence of your writing. It identifies areas where transitions between paragraphs or ideas could be smoother, ensuring your paper maintains a clear and logical progression of thought.

Clarity Check:

Clarity is paramount in effective writing. WPS AI evaluates the clarity of your sentences and paragraphs, suggesting improvements to eliminate ambiguity and enhance understanding. It helps refine your tone and ensures your message is conveyed effectively to your audience.

Formatting Assistance:

Formatting can often be a tedious task. WPS AI automates the process, ensuring your paper meets the required formatting guidelines effortlessly. Whether it's APA, MLA, Chicago, or any other style, WPS AI ensures your paper looks polished and professional.

Real-time Feedback and Iterative Improvement:

As you write, WPS AI provides real-time feedback, offering suggestions for improvement as you draft your essay. This iterative process allows you to refine your writing continuously, incorporating feedback on the go.

FAQs about writing an abstract for paper

1. is it necessary for an abstract to adhere to a standard structure.

No, an abstract does not always need to follow a standard structure. While a standard format offers familiarity, focusing on the most compelling aspects of your research is crucial. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

Significant Discoveries: If your research unveils groundbreaking results, prioritizing these can immediately capture attention, even if it diverges slightly from the traditional structure.

Innovative Method: Highlighting a fresh or distinct approach from the outset can captivate readers interested in your research methodology.

2. Does the use of technical jargon in an Abstract enhance the reader's comprehension?

Using too much technical language in an abstract usually doesn't help readers. Here's why it might cause trouble:

Excludes Readers: An excessive use of jargon can create a barrier, potentially alienating readers who could otherwise benefit from your research.

Hides Important Ideas: Sometimes, technical language makes it hard to understand your thoughts clearly. Utilizing clear and everyday language enhances your ability to communicate complex ideas effectively.

When to Incorporate Technical Language:

Clarify Terms: If technical terms are necessary, provide clear explanations upon their initial use.

Maintain Balance: Strive for clarity while demonstrating proficiency in the technical vocabulary of your field.

3. When should I write the Abstract?

Once you've finished your research, write the abstract as the final step. This allows you to concisely summarize your entire thesis, dissertation, or research paper, capturing all its main points and findings.

4. How long should an Abstract be?

Abstract lengths for theses and dissertations typically range between 200 and 300 words. Many universities enforce strict word limits, so it's crucial to check your institution's specific requirements before submitting your abstract.

Ease Your Academic Life With WPS Office

Writing a paper can be a challenging journey, but when you're creating your abstract, you're figuratively and literally wrapping it up. WPS Office is a great companion to have on this journey. From generating ideas to perfecting your final draft, WPS AI equips you with the tools and guidance on how to write an abstract for paper. It ensures that your essay not only meets academic standards but also stands out for its coherence, clarity, and impeccable presentation. Download WPS Office now and make your academic life easier.

  • 1. How to Write a Cover Letter [Tips with Examples]
  • 2. Simple Sample Abstract for Paper Presentation
  • 3. 10 Professional Timeline in PPT Template From Abstract Cartoon Timelines to Business Timelines
  • 4. Professional Online Abstract of Presentation Example
  • 5. How to Write a Conclusion - Steps with Examples
  • 6. 10 Professional Company Presentation Templates: To Write a Great Company Profile

15 years of office industry experience, tech lover and copywriter. Follow me for product reviews, comparisons, and recommendations for new apps and software.

How to Start a Business in 8 Steps: A Comprehensive Guide from Concept to Launch

Getty Images

Starting a business can be extremely exciting. But figuring out how to start a business can also feel overwhelming—particularly if you don’t have a clear sense of how to get from where you are now (an aspiring entrepreneur) to where you want to be (a successful, established one).

The good news is that there are clear steps to follow. Once you know these steps, you can create a road map that will take you from asking, “What do I need to begin a business?” to questions like “How did I get so successful?” or “Why was I ever worried?”

Here, we outline everything you need to know—whether it’s about how to start a business online, at home, with no money, or any other situation.

1. Finding your business idea

So, how do you start a business? The first step is coming up with an idea. You can’t start a business without a great one. You don’t want to throw spaghetti at the wall and see what sticks; instead, you should aim to take “a structured approach to ideation,” says business coach Yael Tamar .

What are your strengths? What kind of business do you want to build? What kind of customers do you want to work with, and which of their needs can you fulfill? It’s important to answer these questions because the key to a successful business idea is finding the intersection of what you want to do and what your ideal customers need .

“It's crucial to align your venture with both your passions and market demand,” says Jeff Mains, CEO of business growth consultancy Champion Leadership Group .

“Start by identifying problems you're passionate about solving,” Mains says. “This approach ensures that you have a genuine interest in your business, which is essential for long-term success.

“Also look for gaps in the market by analyzing current trends and customer needs,” he says. “Combining your passion with market opportunities increases the likelihood of finding a viable and fulfilling business idea.”

2. Conduct market research

Once you have a business idea you want to pursue, it’s time to do some research—more specifically, market research.

“It involves gathering data on customer demographics, conducting competitor analysis, and studying industry trends,” Tamar says. “This research helps validate business concepts and informs strategic decision-making.”

It can also help in the long-term, giving you the insights you need to lay the foundation for a successful business. “Effective market research also minimizes risks and ensures your business is well-positioned to meet market demands,” Mains says.

So, how do you perform the kind of market research you need to set your business up for success?

“Begin by identifying your target audience and understanding their pain points, preferences, and behaviors,” Mains says. “Use a mix of primary research, such as surveys and interviews, and secondary research, including industry reports and competitor analysis.”

In addition to audience research, you’ll also want to check out your competitors to see what they’re doing, what’s working (and what isn't), and how you can differentiate your company from others in the space—and grab your target audience’s attention in the process.

3. Create a business plan

Once you’ve come up with a business idea—and you’ve done the market research necessary to ensure it’s viable—it’s time to create your business plan.

There are a few different elements to a business plan. “Start with a clear executive summary that outlines your business idea, mission, and vision,” Mains says. “Follow this with a detailed market analysis, showcasing your understanding of the industry and target market.”

Plus, you’ll want to outline your business structure, product or service offerings, marketing strategies, and financial projections. Why? Because “a strong business plan not only guides your strategic decisions but also serves as a crucial tool when seeking funding from investors or financial institutions,” says Mains

Bottom line? “It integrates findings from market research into actionable steps aligned with long-term business objectives,” Tamar says—making it a must for starting, launching, and sustaining a successful business.

4. Take care of logistics

Next step on the list? Taking care of the logistical side of starting a business, which include:

  • Choosing a business structure
  • Registering your business
  • Obtaining necessary licenses/permits
  • Getting necessary insurance
  • Opening a business bank account

From a logistical perspective, there are no universal solutions when starting a business. Much will depend on the type of business you’re trying to start.

For example, if you’re focusing on how to start a small business at home and you’ll be the only employee, you may not need physical liability insurance (since there won’t be any other employees working in your home). But if you’re figuring out how to start an online business—and intend to operate from a commercial space with other employees—physical liability insurance is generally a must.

Same thing goes for business structure (for example, being a sole proprietor or registering an LLC), business registration, permitting…pretty much all of it. Make sure to do your research and ensure you take all of the logistical steps needed to legally establish your business.

5. Find your funding

Funding is often where budding entrepreneurs get stuck. If you're wondering how to start a business without money , in full transparency, the answer is…you can’t. Whatever kind of business you’re starting, you’re going to need some money to get things off the ground.

But how much money you need to start a business—and where you ultimately get that money from—can vary widely.

In general, there are a few different funding options for starting a business, including:

  • Self-funding . If you have money—and you’re willing to spend it on your entrepreneurial dreams—self-funding is a great option. (Particularly since you won’t have to pay any interest or give up equity in your company).
  • Business loans . Loans are another option for getting the capital you need to start a business. The process of how to get a loan to start a business can be challenging; often, traditional lenders are wary of lending to brand new businesses. But there are loan programs out there that cater to start-ups—so doing research to see if you qualify is definitely worth it.
  • Credit cards . If you can’t get a loan, credit cards (personal or business) can help to cover expenses as you build your business.
  • Business grants. There are also a variety of grants out there that provide capital to qualifying applicants. For example, there are grants for women-owned businesses and minority-owned businesses. Grant competitions can also be great if you have a particularly interesting or innovative business idea. So, if you fit into any relevant grant categories, you’ll definitely want to explore how to get a grant to start a business.
  • Friends and family . Asking friends and family to invest in your business is also an option. Just keep in mind that introducing money into personal relationships can be challenging—so if you do take money from loved ones, make sure the terms and expectations of the investment are extremely clear on both sides.
  • Outside investors. Depending on your business model and industry, you may also be able to pitch outside investors, like venture capital firms or angel investors—which is more common in certain industries, like tech.

Build your dream business with the help of a high-paying job—browse open jobs on The Muse »

6. Get your systems in place

You’ve got your funding. You’ve got your business plan. But before you move forward in bringing your business to life, it’s important to lay the foundation for success by putting the right systems and processes in place.

Establishing systems and processes from the get-go can help make your business launch and growth significantly more smooth—and also can save time, energy, hassle, and money.

For example, before you start selling products, you’ll want to set up a secure online payment system. Before you start billing clients, you’ll need an invoicing procedure—and the software to implement those procedures. Before you start marketing, you’ll want to have a strategy and system in place to ensure you reach the right customers at the right time.

Systems and processes help you get organized—and if you want your business to be successful, you’ll want to take the steps to get organized before you launch.

7. Build your brand

Once you’ve got the backend of your business in place, it’s time to start thinking about the front-facing elements—the elements that make up your brand.

In order to launch a business, you’ll want to have certain branding assets in place, including:

  • Brand color palette
  • Brand fonts
  • Brand voice
  • Social media profiles

Building a brand helps to create a consistent experience for your customers and tell the story of your business to your target audience. “This is important for gaining recognition,” says Keith Donovan, a startup advisor and Founder of Startup Stumbles .

8. Launch and market your business

You’ve figured out how to begin a business. You’ve got all the pieces in place. Now it’s time to actually launch your business—and market that business to connect with your ideal audience.

“Making sure people know about your company is crucial,” Donovan says.

How you market your business is up to you. For example, “actions like creating social media pages, running advertisements and cultivating helpful content introduce potential buyers to the business and what it offers,” he adds.

You could also market your business in other ways, like:

  • Local events
  • Influencer partnership
  • Print advertisements
  • Cross-marketing with other businesses
  • Email marketing

It’s not so much about how you market your business; it’s about how effectively you do so that will determine whether your company thrives or falters. Whatever methods you decide to go for, just make sure you’re invested in creating and implementing a marketing strategy that allows you to connect with your target audience and convert them into paying customers.

steps to the research paper

Research and Verification of the One-Step Resonance and Transport Methods Based on the Openmoc Code

12 Pages Posted: 5 Jul 2024

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Lianjie Wang

With the continuous improvement of computer hardware capabilities, the one-step method in reactor physics has become one of the important research directions in recent two decades. OpenMOC is an open-source MOC code developed by MIT, with C++/Python hybrid programming and three-dimensional transport calculation capabilities. Based on the OpenMOC code, the following work was carried out. Firstly, the global-local resonance method with multi-group and continuous neutron libraries was researched and established. Next, based on the 2D and 3D MOC solver, the 2D/1D and the MOC/DD transport methods were realized in OpenMOC. Finally, verification of the transport and resonance methods was conducted using the C5G7 macro benchmark and the VERA micro benchmark. The numerical results demonstrated that the average eigenvalue deviation was 44pcm and average maximum pin power distribution deviation was 0.37% in the VERA-2 benchmark, which showed the good accuracy of the resonance method. As for the transport method, 3DMOC method exhibited better accuracy in strong anisotropic cases, but the computational time was 38 times that of the 2D/1D method.

Keywords: One-step method, Resonance, Transport, OpenMOC

Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

No Address Available

Lianjie Wang (Contact Author)

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on ssrn, paper statistics.

COMMENTS

  1. How to Write a Research Paper: the LEAP approach (+cheat sheet)

    Step 1: Lay Out the Facts. You have worked long hours on a research project that has produced results and are no doubt curious to determine what they exactly mean. There is no better way to do this than by preparing figures, graphics and tables. This is what the first LEAP step is focused on - diving into the results.

  2. How to Write a Research Paper

    Develop a thesis statement. Create a research paper outline. Write a first draft of the research paper. Write the introduction. Write a compelling body of text. Write the conclusion. The second draft. The revision process. Research paper checklist.

  3. Research Paper

    Definition: Research Paper is a written document that presents the author's original research, analysis, and interpretation of a specific topic or issue. It is typically based on Empirical Evidence, and may involve qualitative or quantitative research methods, or a combination of both. The purpose of a research paper is to contribute new ...

  4. How To Write A Research Paper (FREE Template

    Step 1: Find a topic and review the literature. As we mentioned earlier, in a research paper, you, as the researcher, will try to answer a question.More specifically, that's called a research question, and it sets the direction of your entire paper. What's important to understand though is that you'll need to answer that research question with the help of high-quality sources - for ...

  5. A Beginner's Guide to Starting the Research Process

    This article takes you through the first steps of the research process, helping you narrow down your ideas and build up a strong foundation for your research project. Table of contents. Step 1: Choose your topic. Step 2: Identify a problem. Step 3: Formulate research questions. Step 4: Create a research design. Step 5: Write a research proposal.

  6. How to Write a Research Paper

    By refining your focus, you can produce a thoughtful and engaging paper that effectively communicates your ideas to your readers. 5. Write a thesis statement. A thesis statement is a one-to-two-sentence summary of your research paper's main argument or direction.

  7. How to start your research paper [step-by-step guide]

    Below is a step-by-step guide to starting and completing your research paper. Organize your papers in one place. Try Paperpile. No credit card needed. Get 30 days free. 1. Choose your topic. Choose a topic that interests you. Writing your research paper will be so much more pleasant with a topic that you actually want to know more about.

  8. How to Write a Research Paper: 11-Step Guide

    Step 2: Organize Your Schedule. Once you've read the rubric, note in your planner or on your calendar when your research paper is due. Then, make a schedule so that you can accomplish this task in small steps rather than over the course of one (likely stressful) night. Having a plan in place can help you feel better and write a stronger ...

  9. Writing your research paper

    How to start your research paper [step-by-step guide] All research papers have pretty much the same structure. If you can write one type of research paper, you can write another. Learn the steps to start and complete your research paper in our guide.

  10. How to Write a Research Paper

    This interactive resource from Baylor University creates a suggested writing schedule based on how much time a student has to work on the assignment. "Research Paper Planner" (UCLA) UCLA's library offers this step-by-step guide to the research paper writing process, which also includes a suggested planning calendar.

  11. Writing a Research Paper Introduction

    Table of contents. Step 1: Introduce your topic. Step 2: Describe the background. Step 3: Establish your research problem. Step 4: Specify your objective (s) Step 5: Map out your paper. Research paper introduction examples. Frequently asked questions about the research paper introduction.

  12. Writing a Research Paper

    Writing a Research Paper. This page lists some of the stages involved in writing a library-based research paper. Although this list suggests that there is a simple, linear process to writing such a paper, the actual process of writing a research paper is often a messy and recursive one, so please use this outline as a flexible guide.

  13. How to Write a Research Paper: A Step by Step Writing Guide

    Along with Meredith Harris, Mitchell Allen. Hannah, a writer and editor since 2017, specializes in clear and concise academic and business writing. She has mentored countless scholars and companies in writing authoritative and engaging content. Writing a research paper is made easy with our 7 step guide. Learn how to organize your thoughts ...

  14. How to Write a Research Paper: 12 Steps (with Pictures)

    1. Create an outline to map out your paper's structure. Use Roman numerals (I., II., III., and so on) and letters or bullet points to organize your outline. Start with your introduction, write out your thesis, and jot down your key pieces of evidence that you'll use to defend your argument.

  15. PDF Ten Steps for Writing Research Papers

    There are ten steps involved in writing a research paper: Step 1: Select a subject Step 2: Narrow the topic Step 3: State the tentative objective (or thesis) Step 4: Form a preliminary bibliography Step 5: Prepare a working outline Step 6: Start taking notes Step 7: Outline the paper Step 8: Write a rough draft Step 9: Edit your paper Step 10 ...

  16. How To Write a Research Paper

    To write an informative abstract you have to provide the summary of the whole paper. Informative summary. In other words, you need to tell about the main points of your work, the methods used, the results and the conclusion of your research. To write a descriptive abstract you will not have to provide any summery.

  17. How to Start a Research Paper

    Research beforehand. Before you even type the first word, dig deep into your topic. Consult sources, both primary and secondary, to have a well-rounded understanding of the issue. Check the following aspects before moving to the next step: Identify Keywords: Find relevant keywords that are related to your topic.

  18. Write a Research Paper in Six Steps

    Welcome to the research guide with step-by-step instructions on how to write a research paper. The following sections will guide you through the writing process and with finding articles, books, and eBooks for your research paper assignments.

  19. How to Write a Research Paper Step by Step

    A research paper is the final product after the research has been completed. Although the two may have the same title, the research paper will contain the actual research data and conclusion. The proposal will only contain the items that will be researched at a later date. Writing tips Here are a few tips to consider when writing a research paper:

  20. Basic Steps in the Research Process

    The following steps outline a simple and effective strategy for writing a research paper. Depending on your familiarity with the topic and the challenges you encounter along the way, you may need to rearrange these steps. Step 1: Identify and develop your topic. Selecting a topic can be the most challenging part of a research assignment.

  21. Research Process

    Step 2: Develop a Hypothesis Based on the literature review, develop a hypothesis that a plant-based diet positively affects athletic performance in high school athletes. Step 3: Design the Study Design a study to test the hypothesis. Decide on the study population, sample size, and research methods.

  22. How to Write A Research Paper From Topic To Final Draft

    Self-revision is a critical step in refining your research paper. Focus on content clarity, coherence, and consistency. Evaluate the logical flow and organization to ensure that every section effectively contributes to your argument. This involves tightening your narrative, sharpening your points, and ensuring clear thesis communication. ...

  23. Steps in Writing a Research Paper

    Try it our way--develop that research question first--to cut out a lot of research paper mess. These steps will lead you through writing a research paper: One Big Mess... Developing a Research Question. Developing a Research Thesis. Thesis Characteristics. Finding Sources. Evaluating Sources. Taking Notes.

  24. How to Write a Research Paper Introduction in 4 Steps

    Steps to write a research paper introduction. By following the steps below, you can learn how to write an introduction for a research paper that helps readers "shake hands" with your topic. In each step, thinking about the answers to key questions can help you reach your readers. 1. Get your readers' attention

  25. How to Write an Abstract in Research Papers (with Examples)

    An abstract in research papers is a keyword-rich summary usually not exceeding 200-350 words. It can be considered the "face" of research papers because it creates an initial impression on the readers. While searching databases (such as PubMed) for research papers, a title is usually the first selection criterion for readers.

  26. How to Write an Introduction for a Research Paper

    The introduction of a research paper serves as the gateway to your work. It's where you engage your readers and provide them with a clear understanding of your research topic. Writing the introduction is the first step in writing a research paper, from the abstract to the conclusion. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve deeper into the ...

  27. How to Write a Survey Paper: Structure & Practical Tips

    An overview involves a systematic approach that ensures the final document is comprehensive, well-structured, and insightful. Below is an extended step-by-step guide to help you craft a thorough paper: Step 1. Select a topic. Choose a topic relevant to your study area with ample existing research.

  28. How to Write an Abstract

    An abstract serves as a concise summary of a research paper, providing readers with a quick overview of its essential aspects. ... Remember, the abstract is written once the entire research paper has been completed, so it is the final step before you submit your research paper for publication or to your college professor.

  29. How to Start a Business in 8 Steps: From Concept to Launch

    Conduct market research. Once you have a business idea you want to pursue, it's time to do some research—more specifically, market research. ... "It integrates findings from market research into actionable steps aligned with long-term business objectives," Tamar says—making it a must for starting, launching, and sustaining a ...

  30. Research and Verification of the One-Step Resonance and ...

    With the continuous improvement of computer hardware capabilities, the one-step method in reactor physics has become one of the important research directions in recent two decades. OpenMOC is an open-source MOC code developed by MIT, with C++/Python hybrid programming and three-dimensional transport calculation capabilities.