What Is A Research Paper: Fundamental Guide

What Is A Research Paper: Fundamental Guide

A research paper is basically a longer version of a written essay that interprets or analyses an argument or thesis. When you first write an essay, obviously you use whatever you have considered most relevant to the particular topic and have already thought about on a certain point or subject. However, when you write a research paper, you often build upon what you already know about the topic and make a more deliberate effort to figure out what other experts have already concluded. You do this by collecting and referencing secondary sources, drawing upon the information, figures, etc., as well as relying on your own knowledge, experience, etc.

Finding an Idea

In making a case for your own research paper, you do have to back up any statements or arguments you may make with facts. Otherwise, it will be viewed as a mere supposition, and you will jeopardize your assignment. Another way to avoid such a misstep of erroneous data is to only cite sources that are deemed reliable by other papers. For example, in my own paper, I cited Dr. Atkins as a source for his claim that low-fat diets can increase a person’s lifespan. The other sources cited by the assignment were sources from scholarly medical journals, which my own research has supported on several occasions.


Another area to take into consideration when writing research papers is the discussion section. While most people are familiar with the format — title, introduction, body, and conclusion — it is the discussion section that tends to confound students the most. To avoid this, make sure you take time to thoroughly discuss each research paper’s key points in the discussion section.

Research Paper Outline Example

There are many parts to a paper’s outline. This can be overwhelming if you do not plan ahead. If you are a research paper writer, then it is a must that you have an outline before even starting on your writing. So, here is a research paper outline for you to follow.

Steps on How to Write a Research Paper

Research writing is an involved formal aspect of the academic writing process, in which you use academic resources to analyze a subject. When you’re asked to write a research paper, generally you’re required to do two things: Identify a research topic and research resources to support your research topic. Step one: Get acquainted with the assignment. Step two: Choose a topic. The topic is the crux of the research paper.

Research papers can be written in many different ways–many research paper formats are utilized across the different disciplines. And even though all research papers typically follow a similar basic grammar, there are a few differences among papers in different fields. You need to understand the nature of your research topic before you begin. Is it primarily about a current event or a timeline? Is it about a historical subject (or its roots)? Or does it have to do with an aspect of culture, technology, medicine, art, literature, or other areas?

You Will Have To Choose an Assignment

The assignment that you choose will dictate the style in which you should begin and follow throughout the paper. Usually, the assignment will ask you to develop a syllabus of topics that you’ll research and compare. That’s where the similarities with writing a research paper begins. Your assignment will help you decide what information needs to be included, how to organize it, and how to express it. Once your assignment is decided, it’s time to start writing!

One of the best approaches to take when writing a paper is to think of it as an essay. Most of what you will write is an essay–it makes sense to group them together in an essay format. Even grammar rules can be applied to an essay, though your point must remain academic and based on research. Grammar can be stretched if needed, but stick to using correct grammar for an essay. Using descriptive words, adverbs, and adjectives can help your paper come to life.

While writing a research paper can be similar to essay writing, there are some significant differences. One of these is how you should proceed after completing the initial research. A research paper should always end with a conclusion; however, it’s not necessary to restate your point. As many college students have discovered, the best way to sum up your research is to put it down on paper in a research paper format. Then you can refer back to it when you’re writing a class report or working with an essay.

Importance of an Outline

When writing a research paper that’s due for an assignment, always make sure to outline your topic. An outline will provide structure and help you stay focused. Begin with an outline of the specific research paper material you’ll be writing. This will show in the title, table of contents, and even in the body of your assignment itself. The title and table of contents will generally be determined by the instructor; however, they usually begin with an introduction and continue with the title and body of your assignment.

In most cases, a paper assignment will require that you research and write about a particular topic. Following this, you’ll need to present and discuss this research topic in your assignment. If you’re writing for a class, your professor will probably require you to include a journal paragraph about the research paper topic; however, research papers can be written for any purpose and are usually open to the reader. As long as your research provides valid information and is well-organized, you may write it yourself.

research paper example

The Last Part

The final step in writing a research paper is to arrange and organize your research and data. This may seem like a daunting task, especially for students who aren’t used to organizing papers. However, by taking a bit of time and putting together a strategy for the organization, your research paper will look far more organized. The best way to organize your data and information is to make a color-coding system. It lets you label things as you find them, with short notes as you figure out ways to organize the data. This will make your research paper much easier to read and research. Also, your assignment will be more successful if you take the time to organize your information and write your assignment systematically.