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Steps for Writing a Research Paper


Research paper is an in depth study of a particular topic in a subject. While many think that research is knowledge, hard work, but it is much more than that. The passion to pursue your topic of interest. Before you begin, be confident and believe in yourself, because this will help you in your research work – a positive belief to conclude your topic. What matters is your perseverance and passion.


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Following is a step by step plan to write an effective research paper:

  • Choose your subject of research – Example Math, English, Physics- Focus on limit aspect. Avoid topics which are too specialized or too difficult for you to understand. Select something that you can manage to do.

Choose a Problem to solve through research – look through the internet, read existing research papers, speak with your teacher concerned with that particular subject, gather a lot of information regarding the problem before embarking on your research. If it is common man problem, then perhaps talk to your parents, relatives or friends about it. Understand the problem deeply and then start looking for ways to solve the issue using your subject of research.

  • Look for information related to your topic: Surf the net. Look for more research papers on the same topics, analyze their approach towards the topics. Read through their limitations as well as further scope since it is a very important part of papers. Especially read the ones from reliable websites- look closely at domain names (.gov, .edu) – sites that belong to Universities. Read through research papers in International Journals – make sure it is original. One of the most important sources are books. Talk to your specific subject teachers if they know of any book related to this topic. Go through the examples in those books.
  • Write down the research statement- It mainly states the research question or topic of your paper and clarifies what is it that you are solving and how are you solving it?
  • Now make an outline – a rough one for your reference which will give an idea as to how will you go about conducting this research. A must to include Introduction, body and conclusion.

In your Introduction begin with discussing your problems and how you are going to go about solving. It is a summary of your paper. Explain the points you will be covering. However, do not the reveal the solution or conclusion.

Body: Here describe your research work elaborately. Present your workings, references, notes that you have taken from various sources.

Conclusion: Restate your thesis statement /research topic. Explain your conclusion to it.

  • Once you have found the solution to your research question/ research paper, start organizing your notes, workings in order. Organize your notes, points, sources that you have collected from various books and websites. You can make a flowchart, a short one, just to make sure you know the sequence of writing your research paper. Do not include information which is not tnecessary or unfathomable by you.
  • Start writing your research paper: Make sure that you are able to effectively communicate your thoughts, ideas, insights and research findings to others. Assume someone who does not know about the topic is trying to read your paper. Every new term must be explained. If there are diagrams or pictures, label and explain them. Refer to them in your paper for better understanding. Write it completely in your own words. Footnote all borrowed ideas and quotes. Find out a way to organize your notes. List it out in the form of numbers or letters accurately.
  • Revise your outline and draft multiple times. Look for content errors. Double check facts and figures. Arrange and rearrange ideas to follow your outline. Reorganize your outline if necessary. Check your calculations multiple times. Cross check with Grammarly. Reread the research paper again. Ask the specific subject teacher to review it.

Finally type out the final draft of your research paper. To ensure accuracy, read through for any small mistakes. Make sure you finish the paper 3-4 days before the deadline. It will allow to revise and edit any other minute mistakes in the paper.

And your paper is ready for submission or publication!

The most important part is…what did you learn from writing this research paper?

Hard work definitely pays off. I have written three research papers and they have published in International journals. With proper planning and dedication, writing a research paper becomes a successful and joyous experience.

About the Author

Priyanka Mishra -from TISB, Bangalore,  is taking a gap year to explore her interests and herself. She has published 3 research papers and is excited to start college in the Fall. She already has many college offers to choose from. She is an Ivy Aspire student