ways to start research paper

How to Start a Research Paper

ways to start research paper

Beginning is always the hardest part of an assignment. The introduction should not be the first thing you begin to write when starting to work on an essay. First, tons of research should be conducted — in order for your paper to be good. Only then you will be able to extract the main points of your work, and introduce them to your readers. A good introduction will also include your personal opinion of the problem, and, therefore, will make the writing easier overall. Let's dive into the details with admission essay writing services .

What Is a Research Paper?

A research paper is a type of writing in which the author does an independent analysis of the topic and describes the findings from that investigation. Furthermore, one will have to identify the weaknesses and strengths of the subject and evaluate them accordingly.

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A good way to write an introduction for a research paper is to introduce your reader to the topic by telling them what you are writing about. Then, make sure you include an interesting fact, or some surprising statistical data, so that your reader will be hooked and will continue to read your research paper. Treat your essay introduction like an advertisement for a product you want to sell—if your advertisement is bad, the sales won’t be great. The same goes for a bad introduction; if it does not intrigue readers, they might lose interest in your paper.

The beginning is always the hardest part of an assignment. Regardless of if you are writing a small resume education section or a full-blown research paper - following the correct steps is very important . The introduction should not be the first thing you begin to write when starting to work on an essay.

You might also be interested in getting more info about writing AN INTRODUCTION

Introduction Paragraph Outline

intro research paper

Present Your Essay Topic

The base of every essay is its topic. What you are writing about should always be a reflection of your topic. Simply start off your introduction by telling your readers, in a simple and accessible language, what it is you are writing your research paper about. Although, we suggest you include a “trigger” when introducing the topic of your paper. A personal reference, or a story that relates to the essay topic, are options for a good way to link plain text to people’s emotions. So, feel free to write sincerely, as if you were talking to a friend.

The best strategy to start your introduction is by writing a broad topic presentation, then gradually narrow it down to what you would like to focus on exactly. It will put your topic into perspective for readers’ general understanding. When writing your research paper, make sure to include your opinion on the issue in your introduction. This will make your topic sound more personal and it will likely become more important to your audience as well.

Provide Background Information and Context

The topic you begin writing about is likely very familiar to you, as it is expected that you have done plenty of research. But what about your readers? For the most part, the amount of context is determined by what your audience already knows—though, let’s focus on a bigger assortment of readers, to make sure everyone’s needs are met. Imagine that you are part of your audience. Read the information you provided in the introduction. Is this sufficient? Does it leave gaps and unanswered questions in your research? Your job as a writer is to provide the perfect background to your topic, which gives readers just enough information to be able to grasp your topic and enjoy your research paper to the fullest. Another extreme you should avoid is giving too much context—consequently making the audience feel bored right from the introduction. Write your essay as something that you would enjoy reading yourself, like a story, but not an academic research paper.

Explain the Importance of Your Research

There is no doubt that after plenty of research you are an expert in your field. But what about your readers? In the introduction you need to showcase the extent of your research and write about the work you have completed. This will also help your readers understand that your ideas are supported by other scholars, and you share their views in your paper.

Make sure to write about all the works you have studied in order to persuade readers of your expertise. For your introduction, simply use the names you are referencing, or their most important works, so that the audience does not feel overwhelmed. It is also necessary to cite all your sources—in order to avoid academic plagiarism.

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Make Your Rationale Work

Rationale is the most important part of the beginning of your paper. Explain to readers the reasoning behind your research paper—the importance of this is a guarantee that they will keep reading and appreciate your topic. In the introduction, you need to write an explanation of how your paper fits into all the research that has already been done in that field; this shows your audience the importance of your essay and the role your research plays in the field overall.

Show the Significance of Your Research

You, and only you, understand how important your research is. The next step of your introduction is to prove to your audience how important it is. Include the basic, and the most important literature, you support your ideas with. This will show the readers your solid analytical skills, your writing capabilities, and your ability to sort out information to deliver the most important points for your paper. And the final part of the introduction is to simply explain why your research is important to the field, to society, to the whole world, and, most importantly, to the readers. When a person can relate to an idea, it is almost always a guarantee that your argument will be persuasive and have a positive outcome.

Make Sure Your Thesis Is Clear

A research paper introduction uses primary sources and data to support its thesis statement. A research paper’s thesis statement has a lot in common with a thesis for an essay, or other non-research assignment. The difference lies in the fact that in a research thesis, you gather evidence from valid sources to prove your perspective on a topic. Despite the fact that you support your thoughts by sources, the idea for your thesis in your introduction should be original and your own, as it reflects the way you think. ‍

If you wonder how to start a thesis statement for a research paper, we have A FULL GUIDE

Here is a quick checklist for writing a thesis statement:

  • Remember, the thesis is your argument. Make sure it sounds assertive.
  • Write two to three versions of your thesis and choose the best one.
  • Share your thesis with a neutral person—to get a different point of view.
  • Discuss your thesis with others; they might have good ideas as well.
  • It should appear in your introduction, and be restated in your conclusion.

Research Paper Title Page

Mla title page.

Here are some tips from our writing team on how to format your research paper MLA title page:

  • The title page is double spaced and the text needs to be centred.
  • Write the name of your university or college.
  • Skip about one-third of the page down and type your research paper title—include a subtitle if you have one.
  • Skip several lines down and type your name, your course name and number, your instructor’s name, and your paper’s due date.


APA Title Page

  • Place a running head in your page’s header:
  • Use the label “Running head:” then, put your shortened title (IN UPPERCASE LETTERS), and align it all to the left.
  • Place the page number in this same header, but align it to the right, and begin with page number 1.
  • The header should be 1 inch from the top. Some teachers say 1/2 inch is okay as well.
  • Place your paper’s title in the upper half of the page, centred. Capitalize the first letter of all of the important words in your title.
  • Place your University’s name below your name, double-spaced.


Read also our research proposal example APA .

Final Thoughts

Congratulations on finishing your research paper! Answer these questions to avoid careless mistakes.

  • Are all of your quotations, paraphrases, and summaries accurate?
  • Are all of your references accurate?
  • Is your format the proper format assigned by your instructor?
  • Are all the concepts defined and easily understood by an average reader?
  • Is your “hook” good enough for the reader to become interested?
  • Is there a structure to your introduction that is easy to navigate for the reader?
  • Does your introduction give a good idea of what your paper is about?

And here are several tips for your help:

tips research paper

If you need, you can hire a coursework, buy research paper or other specialist at our service. All you need to do is just leave us a notice like ' write my paper for me ' or something else.

Research Paper Introduction Example

Now that you have a solid idea about the introduction of a research paper, let’s take a look at some examples from our writers. They will help you see how all of the rules we presented above work in practice. ‍

Research Paper Introduction Example: Should Parents Be Held Accountable for the Criminal Acts of Their Children? Recently, youth gang connected attacks have been occurring in an increasing prevalence, with some even causing deaths, such as the killing of a college student at Suburbs East. Such occurrences have made a lot of people to wonder about the origin of those violent actions, with much of the extent of guilt being put on the parents of such adolescents. In any event, one has to question whether the parents should be penalized for the offenses of their kids. Some people believe that parents should be held responsible for the criminal acts of their offspring because parents are mostly accountable for the education and upbringing of their kids, and frequently impact the actions and behavior of their children until they become mature and independent. This is because they are almost always the ones that raise their kids after birth. As such, it is believed that parents start to influence the ethical range of their children from a young age, and one’s ethics are critically impacted by the way parents act and their personalities (Gratz, 169). This logic can make parents responsible for their children if they do wrong later on — because they are understood to not have raised their child in the right way. Furthermore, there is an argument that children are virtually completely controlled by their parents, as they are apt to want to make their parents happy, and they would, therefore, listen to whatever they are told to do or how they are told to behave (Michael, Andrew and Michael, 4). This, in turn, makes many people think that parents should always be the ones to be blamed for the criminal acts of their children, as they believe that they have the power to warn and control them.

Need Some Help with Your Research Paper?

A research paper is a very challenging task to complete. The introduction is a crucial piece of it: it ensures that the reader is interested and will enjoy your paper. We also recommend that you read the article on how to write a precis . If you are still struggling with any part of your paper, remember that you can always buy custom essay from our trusted writing service. We are always here to give you a helping hand to make your life easier.

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You are a re-entry student and it's been fourteen years since you've written a paper. You coasted through high school on your charm and good looks and never actually wrote a research paper. You have written research papers, but every time is like the first time, and the first time was like a root canal. How do you start? Here is a step-by-step approach to starting and completing a research paper.

  • Choose a topic.
  • Read and keep records.
  • Form a thesis.
  • Create a mind map or outline.
  • Read again.
  • Rethink your thesis.
  • Draft the body.
  • Add the beginning and end.
  • Proofread and edit.

You may read this TIP Sheet from start to finish before you begin your paper, or skip to the steps that are causing you the most grief.

1. Choosing a topic: Interest, information, and focus Your job will be more pleasant, and you will be more apt to retain information if you choose a topic that holds your interest. Even if a general topic is assigned ("Write about impacts of GMO crops on world food supply"), as much as possible find an approach that suits your interests. Your topic should be one on which you can find adequate information; you might need to do some preliminary research to determine this. Go to the Reader's Guide to Periodical Literature in the reference section of the library, or to an electronic database such as Proquest or Wilson Web, and search for your topic. The Butte College Library Reference Librarians are more than happy to assist you at this (or any) stage of your research. Scan the results to see how much information has been published. Then, narrow your topic to manageable size:

Once you have decided on a topic and determined that enough information is available, you are ready to proceed. At this point, however, if you are having difficulty finding adequate quality information, stop wasting your time; find another topic.

2. Preliminary reading & recordkeeping Gather some index cards or a small notebook and keep them with you as you read. First read a general article on your topic, for example from an encyclopedia. On an index card or in the notebook, record the author, article and/or book title, and all publication information in the correct format (MLA or APA, for example) specified by your instructor. (If you need to know what publication information is needed for the various types of sources, see a writing guide such as S F Writer .) On the index cards or in your notebook, write down information you want to use from each identified source, including page numbers. Use quotation marks on anything you copy exactly, so you can distinguish later between exact quotes and paraphrasing. (You will still attribute information you have quoted or paraphrased.)

Some students use a particular index card method throughout the process of researching and writing that allows them great flexibility in organizing and re-organizing as well as in keeping track of sources; others color-code or otherwise identify groups of facts. Use any method that works for you in later drafting your paper, but always start with good recordkeeping.

3. Organizing: Mind map or outline Based on your preliminary reading, draw up a working mind map or outline. Include any important, interesting, or provocative points, including your own ideas about the topic. A mind map is less linear and may even include questions you want to find answers to. Use the method that works best for you. The object is simply to group ideas in logically related groups. You may revise this mind map or outline at any time; it is much easier to reorganize a paper by crossing out or adding sections to a mind map or outline than it is to laboriously start over with the writing itself.

4. Formulating a thesis: Focus and craftsmanship Write a well defined, focused, three- to five-point thesis statement, but be prepared to revise it later if necessary. Take your time crafting this statement into one or two sentences, for it will control the direction and development of your entire paper.

For more on developing thesis statements, see the TIP Sheets "Developing a Thesis and Supporting Arguments" and "How to Structure an Essay."

5. Researching: Facts and examples Now begin your heavy-duty research. Try the internet, electronic databases, reference books, newspaper articles, and books for a balance of sources. For each source, write down on an index card (or on a separate page of your notebook) the publication information you will need for your works cited (MLA) or bibliography (APA) page. Write important points, details, and examples, always distinguishing between direct quotes and paraphrasing. As you read, remember that an expert opinion is more valid than a general opinion, and for some topics (in science and history, for example), more recent research may be more valuable than older research. Avoid relying too heavily on internet sources, which vary widely in quality and authority and sometimes even disappear before you can complete your paper.

Never copy-and-paste from internet sources directly into any actual draft of your paper. For more information on plagiarism, obtain from the Butte College Student Services office a copy of the college's policy on plagiarism, or attend the Critical Skills Plagiarism Workshop given each semester.

6. Rethinking: Matching mind map and thesis After you have read deeply and gathered plenty of information, expand or revise your working mind map or outline by adding information, explanations, and examples. Aim for balance in developing each of your main points (they should be spelled out in your thesis statement). Return to the library for additional information if it is needed to evenly develop these points, or revise your thesis statement to better reflect what you have learned or the direction your paper seems to have taken.

7. Drafting: Beginning in the middle Write the body of the paper, starting with the thesis statement and omitting for now the introduction (unless you already know exactly how to begin, but few writers do). Use supporting detail to logically and systematically validate your thesis statement. For now, omit the conclusion also.

For more on systematically developing a thesis statement, see TIP sheets "Developing a Thesis and Supporting Arguments" and "How to Structure an Essay."

8. Revising: Organization and attribution Read, revise, and make sure that your ideas are clearly organized and that they support your thesis statement. Every single paragraph should have a single topic that is derived from the thesis statement. If any paragraph does not, take it out, or revise your thesis if you think it is warranted. Check that you have quoted and paraphrased accurately, and that you have acknowledged your sources even for your paraphrasing. Every single idea that did not come to you as a personal epiphany or as a result of your own methodical reasoning should be attributed to its owner.

For more on writing papers that stay on-topic, see the TIP Sheets "Developing a Thesis and Supporting Arguments" and "How to Structure an Essay." For more on avoiding plagiarism, see the Butte College Student Services brochure, "Academic Honesty at Butte College," or attend the Critical Skills Plagiarism Workshop given each semester.

9. Writing: Intro, conclusion, and citations Write the final draft. Add a one-paragraph introduction and a one-paragraph conclusion. Usually the thesis statement appears as the last sentence or two of the first, introductory paragraph. Make sure all citations appear in the correct format for the style (MLA, APA) you are using. The conclusion should not simply restate your thesis, but should refer to it. (For more on writing conclusions, see the TIP Sheet "How to Structure an Essay.") Add a Works Cited (for MLA) or Bibliography (for APA) page.

10. Proofreading: Time and objectivity Time permitting, allow a few days to elapse between the time you finish writing your last draft and the time you begin to make final corrections. This "time out" will make you more perceptive, more objective, and more critical. On your final read, check for grammar, punctuation, correct word choice, adequate and smooth transitions, sentence structure, and sentence variety. For further proofreading strategies, see the TIP Sheet "Revising, Editing, and Proofreading."

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Starting Your Research Paper: Writing an Introductory Paragraph

  • Choosing Your Topic
  • Define Keywords
  • Planning Your Paper
  • Writing an Introductory Paragraph

The Dreaded Introductory Paragraph

Writing the introductory paragraph can be a frustrating and slow process -- but it doesn't have to be.  If you planned your paper out, then most of the introductory paragraph is already written.  Now you just need a beginning and an end.

Here's an introductory paragraph for a paper I wrote.  I started the paper with a factoid, then presented each main point of my paper and then ended with my thesis statement.


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How to Write a Research Paper | A Beginner's Guide

A research paper is a piece of academic writing that provides analysis, interpretation, and argument based on in-depth independent research.

Research papers are similar to academic essays , but they are usually longer and more detailed assignments, designed to assess not only your writing skills but also your skills in scholarly research. Writing a research paper requires you to demonstrate a strong knowledge of your topic, engage with a variety of sources, and make an original contribution to the debate.

This step-by-step guide takes you through the entire writing process, from understanding your assignment to proofreading your final draft.

Table of contents

Understand the assignment, choose a research paper topic, conduct preliminary research, 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, free lecture slides.

Completing a research paper successfully means accomplishing the specific tasks set out for you. Before you start, make sure you thoroughly understanding the assignment task sheet:

  • Read it carefully, looking for anything confusing you might need to clarify with your professor.
  • Identify the assignment goal, deadline, length specifications, formatting, and submission method.
  • Make a bulleted list of the key points, then go back and cross completed items off as you’re writing.

Carefully consider your timeframe and word limit: be realistic, and plan enough time to research, write, and edit.

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There are many ways to generate an idea for a research paper, from brainstorming with pen and paper to talking it through with a fellow student or professor.

You can try free writing, which involves taking a broad topic and writing continuously for two or three minutes to identify absolutely anything relevant that could be interesting.

You can also gain inspiration from other research. The discussion or recommendations sections of research papers often include ideas for other specific topics that require further examination.

Once you have a broad subject area, narrow it down to choose a topic that interests you, m eets the criteria of your assignment, and i s possible to research. Aim for ideas that are both original and specific:

  • A paper following the chronology of World War II would not be original or specific enough.
  • A paper on the experience of Danish citizens living close to the German border during World War II would be specific and could be original enough.

Note any discussions that seem important to the topic, and try to find an issue that you can focus your paper around. Use a variety of sources , including journals, books, and reliable websites, to ensure you do not miss anything glaring.

Do not only verify the ideas you have in mind, but look for sources that contradict your point of view.

  • Is there anything people seem to overlook in the sources you research?
  • Are there any heated debates you can address?
  • Do you have a unique take on your topic?
  • Have there been some recent developments that build on the extant research?

In this stage, you might find it helpful to formulate some research questions to help guide you. To write research questions, try to finish the following sentence: “I want to know how/what/why…”

A thesis statement is a statement of your central argument — it establishes the purpose and position of your paper. If you started with a research question, the thesis statement should answer it. It should also show what evidence and reasoning you’ll use to support that answer.

The thesis statement should be concise, contentious, and coherent. That means it should briefly summarize your argument in a sentence or two, make a claim that requires further evidence or analysis, and make a coherent point that relates to every part of the paper.

You will probably revise and refine the thesis statement as you do more research, but it can serve as a guide throughout the writing process. Every paragraph should aim to support and develop this central claim.

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ways to start research paper

A research paper outline is essentially a list of the key topics, arguments, and evidence you want to include, divided into sections with headings so that you know roughly what the paper will look like before you start writing.

A structure outline can help make the writing process much more efficient, so it’s worth dedicating some time to create one.

Your first draft won’t be perfect — you can polish later on. Your priorities at this stage are as follows:

  • Maintaining forward momentum — write now, perfect later.
  • Paying attention to clear organization and logical ordering of paragraphs and sentences, which will help when you come to the second draft.
  • Expressing your ideas as clearly as possible, so you know what you were trying to say when you come back to the text.

You do not need to start by writing the introduction. Begin where it feels most natural for you — some prefer to finish the most difficult sections first, while others choose to start with the easiest part. If you created an outline, use it as a map while you work.

Do not delete large sections of text. If you begin to dislike something you have written or find it doesn’t quite fit, move it to a different document, but don’t lose it completely — you never know if it might come in useful later.

Paragraph structure

Paragraphs are the basic building blocks of research papers. Each one should focus on a single claim or idea that helps to establish the overall argument or purpose of the paper.

Example paragraph

George Orwell’s 1946 essay “Politics and the English Language” has had an enduring impact on thought about the relationship between politics and language. This impact is particularly obvious in light of the various critical review articles that have recently referenced the essay. For example, consider Mark Falcoff’s 2009 article in The National Review Online, “The Perversion of Language; or, Orwell Revisited,” in which he analyzes several common words (“activist,” “civil-rights leader,” “diversity,” and more). Falcoff’s close analysis of the ambiguity built into political language intentionally mirrors Orwell’s own point-by-point analysis of the political language of his day. Even 63 years after its publication, Orwell’s essay is emulated by contemporary thinkers.

Citing sources

It’s also important to keep track of citations at this stage to avoid accidental plagiarism . Each time you use a source, make sure to take note of where the information came from.

You can use our free citation generators to automatically create citations and save your reference list as you go.

APA Citation Generator MLA Citation Generator

The research paper introduction should address three questions: What, why, and how? After finishing the introduction, the reader should know what the paper is about, why it is worth reading, and how you’ll build your arguments.

What? Be specific about the topic of the paper, introduce the background, and define key terms or concepts.

Why? This is the most important, but also the most difficult, part of the introduction. Try to provide brief answers to the following questions: What new material or insight are you offering? What important issues does your essay help define or answer?

How? To let the reader know what to expect from the rest of the paper, the introduction should include a “map” of what will be discussed, briefly presenting the key elements of the paper in chronological order.

The major struggle faced by most writers is how to organize the information presented in the paper, which is one reason an outline is so useful. However, remember that the outline is only a guide and, when writing, you can be flexible with the order in which the information and arguments are presented.

One way to stay on track is to use your thesis statement and topic sentences . Check:

  • topic sentences against the thesis statement;
  • topic sentences against each other, for similarities and logical ordering;
  • and each sentence against the topic sentence of that paragraph.

Be aware of paragraphs that seem to cover the same things. If two paragraphs discuss something similar, they must approach that topic in different ways. Aim to create smooth transitions between sentences, paragraphs, and sections.

The research paper conclusion is designed to help your reader out of the paper’s argument, giving them a sense of finality.

Trace the course of the paper, emphasizing how it all comes together to prove your thesis statement. Give the paper a sense of finality by making sure the reader understands how you’ve settled the issues raised in the introduction.

You might also discuss the more general consequences of the argument, outline what the paper offers to future students of the topic, and suggest any questions the paper’s argument raises but cannot or does not try to answer.

You should not :

  • Offer new arguments or essential information
  • Take up any more space than necessary
  • Begin with stock phrases that signal you are ending the paper (e.g. “In conclusion”)

There are four main considerations when it comes to the second draft.

  • Check how your vision of the paper lines up with the first draft and, more importantly, that your paper still answers the assignment.
  • Identify any assumptions that might require (more substantial) justification, keeping your reader’s perspective foremost in mind. Remove these points if you cannot substantiate them further.
  • Be open to rearranging your ideas. Check whether any sections feel out of place and whether your ideas could be better organized.
  • If you find that old ideas do not fit as well as you anticipated, you should cut them out or condense them. You might also find that new and well-suited ideas occurred to you during the writing of the first draft — now is the time to make them part of the paper.

The goal during the revision and proofreading process is to ensure you have completed all the necessary tasks and that the paper is as well-articulated as possible.

Global concerns

  • Confirm that your paper completes every task specified in your assignment sheet.
  • Check for logical organization and flow of paragraphs.
  • Check paragraphs against the introduction and thesis statement.

Fine-grained details

Check the content of each paragraph, making sure that:

  • each sentence helps support the topic sentence.
  • no unnecessary or irrelevant information is present.
  • all technical terms your audience might not know are identified.

Next, think about sentence structure , grammatical errors, and formatting . Check that you have correctly used transition words and phrases to show the connections between your ideas. Look for typos, cut unnecessary words, and check for consistency in aspects such as heading formatting and spellings .

Finally, you need to make sure your paper is correctly formatted according to the rules of the citation style you are using. For example, you might need to include an MLA heading  or create an APA title page .

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Checklist: Research paper

I have followed all instructions in the assignment sheet.

My introduction presents my topic in an engaging way and provides necessary background information.

My introduction presents a clear, focused research problem and/or thesis statement .

My paper is logically organized using paragraphs and (if relevant) section headings .

Each paragraph is clearly focused on one central idea, expressed in a clear topic sentence .

Each paragraph is relevant to my research problem or thesis statement.

I have used appropriate transitions  to clarify the connections between sections, paragraphs, and sentences.

My conclusion provides a concise answer to the research question or emphasizes how the thesis has been supported.

My conclusion shows how my research has contributed to knowledge or understanding of my topic.

My conclusion does not present any new points or information essential to my argument.

I have provided an in-text citation every time I refer to ideas or information from a source.

I have included a reference list at the end of my paper, consistently formatted according to a specific citation style .

I have thoroughly revised my paper and addressed any feedback from my professor or supervisor.

I have followed all formatting guidelines (page numbers, headers, spacing, etc.).

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Microsoft 365 Life Hacks > Writing > How to write an introduction for a research paper

How to write an introduction for a research paper

Beginnings are hard. Beginning a research paper is no exception. Many students—and pros—struggle with how to write an introduction for a research paper.

This short guide will describe the purpose of a research paper introduction and how to create a good one.

a research paper being viewed on a Acer TravelMate B311 2-in-1 on desk with pad of paper.

What is an introduction for a research paper?

Introductions to research papers do a lot of work.

It may seem obvious, but introductions are always placed at the beginning of a paper. They guide your reader from a general subject area to the narrow topic that your paper covers. They also explain your paper’s:

  • Scope: The topic you’ll be covering
  • Context: The background of your topic
  • Importance: Why your research matters in the context of an industry or the world

Your introduction will cover a lot of ground. However, it will only be half of a page to a few pages long. The length depends on the size of your paper as a whole. In many cases, the introduction will be shorter than all of the other sections of your paper.

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Why is an introduction vital to a research paper?

The introduction to your research paper isn’t just important. It’s critical.

Your readers don’t know what your research paper is about from the title. That’s where your introduction comes in. A good introduction will:

  • Help your reader understand your topic’s background
  • Explain why your research paper is worth reading
  • Offer a guide for navigating the rest of the piece
  • Pique your reader’s interest

Without a clear introduction, your readers will struggle. They may feel confused when they start reading your paper. They might even give up entirely. Your introduction will ground them and prepare them for the in-depth research to come.

What should you include in an introduction for a research paper?

Research paper introductions are always unique. After all, research is original by definition. However, they often contain six essential items. These are:

  • An overview of the topic. Start with a general overview of your topic. Narrow the overview until you address your paper’s specific subject. Then, mention questions or concerns you had about the case. Note that you will address them in the publication.
  • Prior research. Your introduction is the place to review other conclusions on your topic. Include both older scholars and modern scholars. This background information shows that you are aware of prior research. It also introduces past findings to those who might not have that expertise.
  • A rationale for your paper. Explain why your topic needs to be addressed right now. If applicable, connect it to current issues. Additionally, you can show a problem with former theories or reveal a gap in current research. No matter how you do it, a good rationale will interest your readers and demonstrate why they must read the rest of your paper.
  • Describe the methodology you used. Recount your processes to make your paper more credible. Lay out your goal and the questions you will address. Reveal how you conducted research and describe how you measured results. Moreover, explain why you made key choices.
  • A thesis statement. Your main introduction should end with a thesis statement. This statement summarizes the ideas that will run through your entire research article. It should be straightforward and clear.
  • An outline. Introductions often conclude with an outline. Your layout should quickly review what you intend to cover in the following sections. Think of it as a roadmap, guiding your reader to the end of your paper.

These six items are emphasized more or less, depending on your field. For example, a physics research paper might emphasize methodology. An English journal article might highlight the overview.

Three tips for writing your introduction

We don’t just want you to learn how to write an introduction for a research paper. We want you to learn how to make it shine.

There are three things you can do that will make it easier to write a great introduction. You can:

  • Write your introduction last. An introduction summarizes all of the things you’ve learned from your research. While it can feel good to get your preface done quickly, you should write the rest of your paper first. Then, you’ll find it easy to create a clear overview.
  • Include a strong quotation or story upfront. You want your paper to be full of substance. But that doesn’t mean it should feel boring or flat. Add a relevant quotation or surprising anecdote to the beginning of your introduction. This technique will pique the interest of your reader and leave them wanting more.
  • Be concise. Research papers cover complex topics. To help your readers, try to write as clearly as possible. Use concise sentences. Check for confusing grammar or syntax . Read your introduction out loud to catch awkward phrases. Before you finish your paper, be sure to proofread, too. Mistakes can seem unprofessional.

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How to Start a Research Paper

Last Updated: December 23, 2022 References

This article was co-authored by Matthew Snipp, PhD . C. Matthew Snipp is the Burnet C. and Mildred Finley Wohlford Professor of Humanities and Sciences in the Department of Sociology at Stanford University. He is also the Director for the Institute for Research in the Social Science’s Secure Data Center. He has been a Research Fellow at the U.S. Bureau of the Census and a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences. He has published 3 books and over 70 articles and book chapters on demography, economic development, poverty and unemployment. He is also currently serving on the National Institute of Child Health and Development’s Population Science Subcommittee. He holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin—Madison. There are 19 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 312,962 times.

A research paper employs primary sources/data to support a thesis statement. It is a type of persuasive essay used frequently in science, literature, and history curricula. Regardless of your level of education and chosen field, you'll need to follow a few simple steps to get your research paper off the ground. You'll need to decide on a topic, formulate a thesis statement, conduct research, organize your findings, and then set pen to paper or fingers to keyboard.

Sample Research Papers

ways to start research paper

Deciding on a Topic

Step 1 Get started early.

  • For example, if you are writing a research paper for a college course, you should know how long it should be, what sources can be used, the topics you can choose from, and the deadline to turn it in. Once you understand the parameters, you can set out a schedule to complete the paper on time. [2] X Research source

Step 3 Consult research on possible topics.

  • For example, if you are taking an American history course and you want to write a research paper on the origins of the American Revolution, you'd probably want to begin by reading other books on the subject. You'll soon realize that historians have discussed the Revolution's origins primarily in political and economic terms, but have given less attention to the social dimensions of the revolutionary experience. So you decide to focus — broadly — on the social origins of the American Revolution.

Step 4 Narrow down your subject, if possible.

  • Let's return to the social origins of the American Revolution. You might be able to cover this topic in 500 pages, but if you are writing a 20-page research paper for a class, you'll need to focus your topic further. What social group or groups will you focus on in order to address the social origins of the American Revolution? Break down the "social" into categories — women, racial minorities, farmers, city-dwellers, writers, travelers, businessmen, or children. There are numerous different angles you can take. See what hasn't been written before and then write on that subject.

Step 5 Choose your topic.

  • Let's say that you've decided to focus on the role of farmers and the American Revolution. Try to formulate a question based on your narrowed field such as: What role did farmers play in the origins of the American Revolution?

Constructing a Thesis

Step 1 Formulate several hypotheses.

  • For example, you could answer the above question (i.e., What role did farmers play in the origins of the American Revolution?) in several ways. Farmers directly participated in public riots against British officers. Farmers refused to sell their crops to British contingents. Farmers refused to quarter British soldiers in their homes. Farmers refused to pay taxes on their goods.
  • It is a good idea to start with several hypothetical thesis statements. If one proves to be false or isn't supported by enough evidence, you can start in a new direction quickly.

Step 2 Make sure your thesis is explicit.

  • For example: The quartering of British soldiers in the homes of poor farmers caused them to protest British taxes and to attack British troops.
  • This is a single sentence thesis statement that addresses both why the farmers chose to revolt and how they did so.

Step 3 Discuss your working thesis statement with others.

  • If your professor wanted to you to focus on the political causes of the American Revolution, she might stop you from researching farmers. This would save you time in the long run.

Performing Research

Step 1 Identify primary sources/data sources.

  • For our paper on the role of farmers and the American Revolution, we might need to visit local archives and the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration to get the necessary documents.
  • If you're feeling overwhelmed by the volume of research, see if your library has appointments with a research librarian. Librarians stay up to date with current trends in scholarship and can help guide your search. [11] X Research source

Step 2 Take extensive notes.

  • Include author, title, and publication information in your notes, so that you can type up a reference list at the end of your research paper. You can also use a program such as EndNote, RefWorks, or LaTEX to help you manage your citations.
  • Create a note sheet of quotations that you may want to use in your research paper. It is better to gather more than you need at this point, since you will need evidence from reputable sources to support your thesis. [13] X Research source

Step 3 Evaluate your sources.

  • For web sources, use sources from peer-reviewed journals, government institutions and organizations, and public archives first. Blogs and other non-authoritative web sources are usually inappropriate for a research paper.
  • Organize your notes. Put your notes/data in a logical order that backs up your thesis statement. Organize them so they flow from one to the next. For our imaginary project, it would be best to put your notes on quartered British troops before notes on farmer's revolutionary actions. Since our argument is that quartered troops angered farmers into action, we need to discuss them in that order. [15] X Research source

Step 4 Interpret your findings.

  • For example, if you discovered that farmers were primarily unhappy quartering British soldiers because they ate all their food, you'd want to include that information in your thesis statement.
  • Quartered British troops consumed large quantities of food while housed with poor farmers. Because they couldn't feed themselves and quarter troops, these farmers chose to protest British taxes and to attack British troops. As such, farmers played a significant role in the origins of the American Revolution.

Starting Your Research Paper

Step 1 Write an outline.

  • Consider composing an outline as a list of questions you would like to answer. Start with your thesis at the beginning, then break it down into sections that back up your argument. Write questions like "Why is this research important?" and "What studies support my thesis?" Then insert information you found while researching into your outline that answers these questions.
  • You can also write a prose outline, instead of a question-based outline. Place headers that are the subjects of each paragraph or section of your research paper. Add quotes and other notes in bullets below the subject. You can begin your composition directly from a prose-based outline.
  • Continue researching if you need to fill holes in your outline. Be sure to gather bibliographic information as you go.

Step 2 Start with a factual statement about your subject.

  • This is how most people begin their research papers. They don't want to make their subject seem too obscure, so they write about larger points before jumping head first into their topic. [18] X Research source
  • Just make sure that your broad statement is related to your thesis statement. And make sure that everyone can agree with your broad statement. You don't want to have your readership criticizing your argument from the beginning. You need to build a certain degree of trust.
  • By all means, avoid the "Throughout history" or "In modern society" types of opening lines. These are so overused that they have become hackneyed, and they will damage your credibility as a writer before your reader has looked at another word. [19] 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 3 Review what else has been written on your topic.

  • For example, if you want to write a research paper on philately (stamp collecting), you should probably begin by defining your key term. But don't go for the standard "Webster's Dictionary defines philately as..." opening. See if you can make your opening line attention-grabbing or intriguing. [21] 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 5 Begin with a true story.

  • By setting up this story at the beginning, you'd be able to return to it periodically over the course of your paper to illustrate points and to re-assert your thesis statement. [22] X Research source
  • Interesting anecdotes or surprising facts can be a good way to hook your readers and lead in to your thesis statement. [23] 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 6 Understand what is conventional for your field.

  • If you aren't sure about how to start your essay, have a look at some published works in your subject. They'll be a lot fancier than your paper needs to be, but they can give you a sense of that subject's conventions.

Drafting Your Research Paper

Step 1 Write your first draft.

  • Some writers find it helpful to write the body of the text and then return and write the introduction and conclusion. This gives them a better sense of what exactly they want to argue.

Step 2 Spellcheck your work.

  • Be sure to give the author credit. You don't want to be accused of plagiarism. [24] X Research source

Step 4 Create a bibliography.

  • In general, bibliographies should be organized by type of source and by alphabetical order. [25] X Research source

Step 5 Revise your draft again for clarity and argument.

Expert Q&A

Matthew Snipp, PhD

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Write a Synopsis for Research

  • ↑ https://gustavus.edu/writingcenter/handoutdocs/getting_started_research.php
  • ↑ https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/688/01/
  • ↑ Matthew Snipp, PhD. Sociology Professor, Stanford University. Expert Interview. 26 March 2020.
  • ↑ http://ocw.usu.edu/English/intermediate-writing/english-2010/-2010/narrowing-topics.html
  • ↑ https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/658/03/
  • ↑ https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/545/01/
  • ↑ https://www.esc.edu/online-writing-center/resources/research/research-paper-steps/developing-thesis/
  • ↑ https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/552/01/
  • ↑ https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/559/1/
  • ↑ http://www.apsva.us/cms/lib2/va01000586/centricity/domain/1693/notetaking_sheet.pdf
  • ↑ http://www.aresearchguide.com/1steps.html
  • ↑ https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/553/03/
  • ↑ https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/544/01/
  • ↑ http://libguides.astate.edu/c.php?g=14501&p=78098
  • ↑ http://writingcenter.unc.edu/handouts/introductions/
  • ↑ http://docs.lib.purdue.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1063&context=ijpbl
  • ↑ http://www.plagiarism.org/citing-sources/cite-sources/
  • ↑ https://writing.wisc.edu/Handbook/DocChicago_Bibliography.html
  • ↑ http://writingcenter.unc.edu/handouts/reading-aloud/

About This Article

Matthew Snipp, PhD

To start a research paper, start by crafting a broad, factual statement about your subject to pull readers in before introducing your thesis. For example, if you’re writing about the role of famers in the American Revolution, make a blanket statement about the complex causes of the revolutionary movement. Alternatively, begin with a true story, such as an attack by a family on a British soldier quartered with them for eating all their bread. Then, return to the story periodically throughout your paper to illustrate the key points of your thesis. For more tips from our English co-author, including how to decide on a topic and formulate a thesis, scroll down! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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How to Write a Research Paper: Student's Practical Guide

26 Nov 2021

Have you been wandering in the confusing maze of academic research, wondering where to turn for guidance on what should a research paper look like and how to set up a research paper? If so, you have landed in just the right spot. This article will discuss the intricate process of writing a top-notch academic research paper, providing step-by-step directions.

Our primary mission is to make the research paper writing journey accessible and stress-free for all the students. Here is a quick roadmap of what is ahead:

  • After reading the article, you will understand how to compose an outstanding research paper.
  • The article provides a step-by-step guide to structuring a research paper.
  • Clearly defining your research topic helps keep your paper focused.
  • When writing your first draft, don’t forget to think about your audience.
  • Citing sources as a crucial role in avoiding plagiarism.

Consider this article your trusted companion, offering practical research paper guidelines to make your research paper writing journey a breeze. Scroll down to learn everything you need to know about crafting a professional research paper without getting help from  quick essay writers !

What is a Research Paper?

Unfortunately, many students begin their research paper writing journey without clearly understanding what a research paper is. Are you wondering, too? Well, think of it as a document where you dive deep into a topic, like becoming a detective for a while. You spend much time gathering information, evidence, and facts from various sources to understand and explain something.

Now, one question might pop into your mind - How does a research paper stand apart from others? The big difference is how you use all the gathered sources and facts. In a research paper, you use all your research to support your ideas, arguments, or theories. You are not just giving your opinion but backing it up with solid evidence from other experts.

Other papers, like essays, might focus more on your thoughts or feelings. They are often based on something different than your perspective and might not require you to conduct research. Research papers are like information-packed investigations, while other papers are more about expressing your thoughts.

Research Paper Writing Steps

Research paper writing can be an exciting journey, much like any adventure. Just like any trip, it is essential to have a roadmap to guide you through the process. Without the roadmap, you will sail aimlessly in a vast sea of information without a caption. Here are the steps you must follow to write research papers that impress your readers!

Understanding the Assignment

Imagine you are planning a road trip. Before you hit the road, you will want to know where you are headed, right? Similarly, when you start the research paper writing process, it is crucial to understand the scope of your journey.

Most research papers without a well-defined scope face the risk of rejection by academic journals or publishers. Identifying the scope of your journey is just like setting your GPS destination. It will help you stay on track, avoid getting lost, and reach your destination efficiently and timely. Here is why it matters a lot:

  • Keeps you focused: Imagine you are writing about climate change. If your paper's scope is broad, like "Climate Change and its effects," you might end up all over the place, discussing everything from carbon emissions to melting ice caps. However, with a clearly defined scope like "Impact of Climate Change on Polar Bear Habitats," you will be more likely to stay focused.
  • Saves Much Time: With a well-defined scope, you will know where to look for information. It will further prevent you from gathering unnecessary information and save you much time during the research process.
  • Clarifies Your Purpose: Understanding the scope will help you determine the purpose of your paper. You will know whether your paper aims to inform, persuade, analyze, or compare.

Types of Research Papers

Once you are clear about the scope of your research paper, you will know what type of paper you want to write. Here are the  most popular types of research papers :

  • Argumentative Research Paper: An argumentative research paper for college requires you to take a stance on an issue and support it with solid evidence. Think of this like a courtroom. You are presenting a case and arguing for a particular viewpoint. For example, if your topic is "Should Vaccinations be Mandatory for School Children?" your  thesis statement might be "Mandatory vaccinations are essential to prevent the spread of various diseases in school-going children." Here, you are taking a stance and providing evidence to support your argument.
  • Analytical Research Paper: Analytical research papers are focused on breaking the topic into its critical components to understand a target audience better. In an analytical paper, you are not required to take sides. Instead, you just have to break down the topic and examine all its parts. Let us say your topic is "The Industrial Revolution's Impact on Society." Your paper can explore the causes, effects, and societal changes without taking a stance on a specific viewpoint. It is like dissecting a complex machine to understand the workings of each part.

So, by clearly defining your scope, you ensure a focused and purposeful paper and determine whether it will be an argumentative journey or an analytical exploration.

Importance of a Relevant Topic and Tips for Choosing it

Think of your research paper topic as the starting point of your paper, like the first and main ingredient in a recipe. Choosing the right one will be like finding the perfect puzzle piece - it must fit just right. A relevant topic will keep your research and writing focused. Without it, you will end up writing a paper that is all over the place. Also, when you are interested in the topic chosen, the research and writing process becomes more enjoyable. Otherwise, it will just feel like a significant burden on your shoulders.

Moreover, a well-chosen topic will help your readers know exactly what to expect from your paper. It is like putting the correct label on the jar to tell people what is stored inside.

Tips for Choosing the Right Topic

Are you uncertain about what to write a research paper on? Here is how you can pick a  good topic for a research paper:

  • Consider Your Interests : To write a good research paper, choosing a topic that genuinely interests you is important. If you are passionate about music, writing about "The Influence of Jazz on Modern Music" will be more engaging than a topic you have no interest in.
  • Start Broad, Narrow Down Later: Imagine you are writing about the "Impact of Technology on our Lives." That is pretty broad, right? You could narrow it down to "Impact of Smartphones on Teenagers' Social Lives'. By doing so, you are making your topic more specific and manageable.
  • Identify Research Potential: Before finalizing your topic, ensure enough information is available for research. If you cannot find any sources or data on the chosen topic, you must look for another.

Conducting Preliminary Research

Once you have your research topic in hand, it is time to gather the building blocks for your paper. The first rule of research is to find reliable sources. Think of it like baking a cake- you want the best ingredients. Credible sources are like high-quality ingredients that make your paper rich and flavorful.

Look for books, academic journals, articles from reputable websites, and research papers related to your topic. Libraries, online databases such as RefSeek, and university websites are great places to start your own research. However, avoid random websites, as most do not provide accurate or trustworthy information.

As you find valuable information, take notes of key facts, statistics, quotes, and source details. Also, take notes of where you found each piece of information. It will save you a lot of time and energy to cite sources later.

Once you have collected your information and notes, it is time to organize them. Think of this step as sorting your treasure into neat piles. Create categories or sections that match the structure of your paper.

Conducting preliminary research is like setting the stage for your research paper. Finding reliable sources ensures your paper is built on a strong foundation, taking notes helps you remember the valuable information you have discovered, and organizing your findings makes writing a research paper a breeze.

Formulate a Thesis Statement

Now that you have done your research and are starting to gather your thoughts, it is time to create the heart of your paper - the thesis statement. You might be wondering what exactly thesis statements are. They are like the main points or core ideas of your research papers. A sentence that tells your readers what your paper is about and your stance.

While formulating a thesis statement for your paper, keep it specific, arguable, concise, and connected to your research. Also, remembering that your thesis is not set in stone is worth remembering. As you continue to research and write, you can refine it to understand your topic better.

Create a Research Paper Outline

Imagine you are building a house. Before you start the construction work, it is important to have a blueprint, right? Well, think of creating a research paper outline as a blueprint for your paper. It will help you organize your thoughts and ensure your paper flows thoroughly. An outline will give your paper a better structure and provide clarity to readers.

Now, let us briefly discuss the parts of a research paper outline:

  • Title & Abstract: Start a research paper with the title page. It is the first page of the paper shows the  title of the research paper and the author's name. It also shows affiliations, acknowledgments, and other specific information relevant to the paper. Next comes the abstract - a concise summary of the paper that includes the main problem, the  research paper question , the study's goal, the methods implemented, the findings, and the study's contributions.
  • Introduction: The introduction section is the first main section of your paper and sets the stage for what follows next. It offers readers the necessary background and context for your study. Also, the introductory paragraph provides an overview of the main points or technical arguments your paper will explore. The  best research paper introduction section offers a concise presentation of your central topic while summarizing the existing state of research within the current scientific literature and community.
  • Literature Review: In this part, we look at past research and previous studies to find gaps. We also discover new possibilities in the topic. A good literature review in a paper gives a wider view of the study and its language. It also helps the reader understand other related works better.
  • Methodology: The methods section explains how the study was done, including the plan, who was involved, what materials were used, the steps taken, and how the data was analyzed. In a research paper, this section should contain all the steps and specifics used to find the research results. It must have detailed information enough so other researchers can repeat the study if needed.
  • Results: The results section shares the study's main findings through visuals like figures and tables. It should stick to facts and avoid interpretation or discussion.
  • Discussion: The discussion section interprets the study's results, explains how they relate to the research question and prior studies, mentions study limitations, and suggests implications or recommendations for future research or practice.
  • Conclusion: The  effective research paper conclusion sums up the main points, restates the research questions, and highlights key contributions without introducing new information or unnecessary repetition.
  • References: The annotated bibliography summarizes all used materials, while the references section lists only cited sources in a specific citation style (like APA or MLA), excluding sources only read or consulted.
  • Appendices : Appendices should include supplementary materials such as charts, statistics, and efficient mathematical solutions and formulas that enhance understanding.

Remember, the outline will be your roadmap for the research paper. It does not need to be too detailed, just a skeleton of your paper's structure. It will help you stay organized and ensure your paper is well-structured, making it easier for you to write and for your readers to navigate. So, before you start building the walls of your paper, focus on creating a solid outline.

Writing a First Draft

Once you have gathered your research and created an outline, it is time to dive into the exciting process of writing your first draft. It might not be perfect, but it is the starting point for something great. Now, one thing you must remember while writing your paper's first draft is the target audience.

Take a little time to understand your paper's target audience. Who are you writing for? Is it experts in your field, classmates, or a general audience? Knowing your target audience before writing your first draft will help you choose the right tone and language for your message. Just like you would not use complicated jargon when talking to the senior members of your family about technology, you will have to tailor your writing to your target audience's level of understanding.

Also, when writing the first draft of your research paper, do not worry too much about perfection. It is more like building the framework of your paper. You can refine and polish it in later drafts. Just let your ideas flow and consider your target audience's preferences!

Proofreading for Grammar, Syntax, and Structure Errors

Proofreading your research paper will help you catch spelling mistakes, fix awkward topic sentences, and tidy up your paper's overall structure. While proofreading, take enough time and read aloud to help yourself spot errors that you might miss when reading silently.

Moreover, you can use spell-check and grammar-check tools to catch common mistakes. However, do not rely on them entirely, as they often miss context-specific errors. When proofreading your final draft, concentrate on one type of error at a time. For example, look for grammar errors first, then syntax and structure errors. It will make the proofreading process more manageable and efficient.

Remember, proofreading is like giving your paper the last layer of polish. Therefore, take your time, be patient, and give your paper the finishing touch it deserves. Your readers will be thankful for it!

Citing Sources

Using information or ideas from other sources is like borrowing pieces from someone else's puzzle to complete yours. Citing sources is crucial as it shows you have done your homework and gives credit to the original creators of the ideas or information you are using. Also, it makes your paper look more authentic and credible.

Now, different citation styles are like different languages for your citations. Each style has its formatting style, but they all serve the same purpose - making your sources clear and accessible.

Here are a few citation styles for research papers:

  • APA (American Psychological Association) : is often used in social sciences and psychology. APA Style typically includes the author's name and publication year in parentheses, like (Smith, 2023).
  • MLA (Modern Language Association) : is commonly used in the humanities. In a Modern language association, you usually include the author's name and page number, (Smith 45).
  • Chicago Style: is used in history and other fields. It has two main styles: notes and bibliography (used for citations within the text) and author-date (used in the sciences).
  • IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers): is often used in engineering and computer science. It uses numbers in square brackets, like [1].

Each style has its unique rules and formatting guidelines. Therefore, choose the style that fits your field and adheres to your professor's or institute's guidelines. However, if you still struggle to cite the sources, you can use  PapersOwl's helping tools. These  free citation generators will help you generate a citation in any style you want.

Therefore, there is no need to spend your precious time memorizing all the rules and formatting guidelines for each style. Also, be sure not to overlook the inclusion of page numbers. Page numbers are essential for proper citation and referencing in research papers.

Creating a Bibliography or Works Cited Page

Creating a  bibliography or references list for your research paper is like giving credit where it is due. It is essential to list all the sources you have used, like books or websites, following a specific citation style (APA, MLA, etc.). Organize the research paper’s citations alphabetically by the author's last name and use hanging indents. This clear and organized reference list adds credibility to your paper and helps readers explore your sources faster.

Take your paper to the next level

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Tips on How to Write a Research Paper Fast

Do you wonder how to write a research paper fast without sacrificing quality? Here are a few tips on  how to write a research paper fast :

  • Write in Sprints and Set Realistic Goals: Break your writing process into manageable chunks. Set aside specific blocks of time, like 30 minutes to an hour, and commit to focused writing during those periods. Also, you must set realistic goals for each sprint, like completing an outline or writing a specific section. By doing so, you will make steady progress without feeling overwhelmed.
  • Eliminate Distractions: For working on a research paper, you should find a quiet and comfortable space to work in. Turn off notifications on your phone or computer, and let your family or roommates know you need uninterrupted time. Distractions can interrupt your writing flow, so create a distraction-free zone.
  • Prioritize Sections of a Research Paper: When writing a research paper, start with the most interesting or comfortable sections. It will help build your momentum. Also, do not get bogged down if stuck on a particular part. Move to another section and come back to it later.
  • Revise and Edit Later: Do not obsess over perfection during your initial draft. Focus on getting your ideas down on paper. You can fine-tune and polish your writing while reviewing and  editing your paper . Trying to write perfectly from the start can slow you down.
  • Use Academic Writing Tools: Take advantage of writing tools and software to help you stay organized and improve your writing. Tools like grammar and spell checkers, citation generators, and writing apps can save you time and reduce the chances of errors.

Final Thoughts on Your Journey to Research Paper Success

This step-by-step research paper guide on the steps to write a research paper has shown you the way to create a successful paper that meets research paper requirements and makes a good research paper. We've covered understanding your scope, picking interesting topics, doing research, making strong thesis statements, and organizing your ideas according to the format for research paper. We've also talked about writing with your readers in mind, checking for mistakes, and giving credit to your sources. With these tips, you're ready to start your research paper journey. Remember, it's not just about finishing; it's about what you learn and share as you go. Happy writing!

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Prof. Linda Mia

I’ve worked for the past eight years as a content editor, creative writer, and professional essay writer. Every day, I work hard to make sure my clients are satisfied with the projects and papers I write for them. My areas of expertise are wide, ranging from Psychology and Sociology to Political Science and World History.

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