How To Write a Research Paper: 10 Steps + Resources

As a college student, I bet you hear fellow students ask, “Can I Pay someone to write my research paper?” more times than you can count. This is proof that many students struggle with writing a research paper.

Whether you’re a freshman or in your final year, you should prepare for a research paper because every student is required to write one before they graduate. This task can be daunting if you don’t know where to begin your research and what is required of you.

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Thankfully, there are enough resources to guide you through a research paper. Even if you’ve never written such a paper before, you can research the right steps to follow before beginning the project.

Once you know everything there is to know about research paper writing, you can begin your college project with the confidence that you will get a good grade. Read on to learn ten steps and resources that can help you write an impressive research paper.

Familiarize Yourself with the Assignment

This may sound obvious, but it is worth mentioning because students tend to forget the most important steps in research paper writing. Before you start working on the research paper, ensure you understand what your professor requires from you.

If you skip this step, you will have trouble knowing where to begin your research. A clear understanding of the assignment gives you an idea of what to search to get the information you need.

Familiarizing yourself with the assignment also saves you from hard work because you will know exactly what to look for. Besides, when you begin a research paper from a point of knowledge, you’re more likely to score a high grade.

Read the assignment instructions and ask your professor for clarifications on any points you don’t understand. Spending sufficient time going through the assignment’s requirements ensures that when you begin the research paper, it flows to the end.

Pick a Research Paper Topic

Now that you understand what the assignment requires, you can pick a suitable topic for your research paper. While this can be difficult for students who have never written a research paper, don’t overthink it. Look for a topic that will be easy to write so you don’t get stuck halfway through the assignment.

Look for a topic you’re passionate about, as this will allow you to enjoy the writing process. When you’re researching a topic you’re interested in; you won’t feel like the assignment is a task.

Remember, there is no such thing as a perfect topic because you can make the simplest one seem interesting and immersive with extensive research. Use the professor’s guidelines to arrive at a topic that will be suitable for your research paper.


After finding a suitable topic, the next step is doing your academic research to gather the information you need for your research paper. While every student has their own research style, remember to stay on topic and move swiftly. Spending too much time on research might rob you of the time you need to write the paper.

When doing your research, begin by skimming through search results to find suitable sources. Remember not to ignore information because going back to look for the information you didn’t think was important can be time-consuming.

Skimming saves you from reading through website resources that are not relevant to your research paper. Reading through sources quickly allows you to spot information you will need for your topic. Look at the key points in every article to help you decide if the source will be useful.

Once you collect enough reliable resources for your paper, save them for later use. Follow your professor’s guidelines on what a good source is so that you have an easy time citing where you got your information.

Organize Your Research

You must be wondering what the use of organizing your research is when you can just begin writing it. Well, research organization ensures that your sources are ordered chronologically for easy writing.

The fact that you have all the information you need does not mean you can write an impressive paper. Proper research organization helps you follow the structure of a good research paper to the end.

When your research is organized, your brain won’t have to work too hard when you’re writing. Rather than looking for the source you need to proceed writing, organized research guides you through your writing to ensure that your ideas flow.

Form a Thesis

Now that your research is in order, you can articulate your thoughts and forming arguments for your research paper. Even if you aren’t arguing for or against something, you need to form a thesis for your research paper.

A thesis is a short statement that tells your reader what to expect from your paper. You also use the thesis to guide your explanations throughout the paper. To write an effective thesis, structure it as an answer to the question, what is your paper about?

Create an Outline

The outline that you use for your paper will depend on the topic and the approach you’re using to discuss your points. If the professor already provided an outline for the assignment, be sure to stick to it.

If you don’t have a template to work with, you’ll have to figure out how to structure the paper before you start to write. Look up patterns and examples of research papers that have been outlined on website sources and pick one that works for you.


Everything is in order, and you can now discuss your points. Starting a research paper when you have everything you need allows your writing to flow from beginning to end.

Even though you want to submit an impressive paper, don’t be hell-bent on writing a perfect paper. Let your research guide you, and you will achieve a relevant and on-topic research paper.

Edit for Content

Once you complete the paper, take a breather before you get back to edit it. You need to rest your brain so that you can spot awkward phrases that need to be corrected when you look at the paper again. You want to make sure that each phrase you use in the article makes sense and contributes to your overall argument.

Edit for Grammar

Now that you’ve ascertained that your paper makes sense go through it again to spot grammatical errors. Consider running it through an editing app for better grammar editing.

Edit for Plagiarism

Before you submit the paper, ascertain that you’ve not plagiarized someone else’s work. Run your article through a plagiarism checker to make sure it is 100% unique.


Since you’re bound to write at least one research paper in college, learning how to go about it ensures that you’re prepared when the time comes. Follow the guide above to help you write an impressive thesis paper.

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