How to Write Research Papers in College

Research papers are common in college. But even your years in high school may sometimes fall short in preparing you with the load of work. If you’re staring at a blank document for hours now, you’re not alone.

You can buy a research paper  or the best essays from a college paper writing service. But it’s best that you write it for yourself. That’s why we are here to guide you on how to write your research papers.

What Is a Research Paper?

A research paper is a type of academic paper. It’s written based on the student’s original research on a certain topic. Research papers can be on any subject. But it is most commonly used in history, literature, and branches of science.

It’s rather technical compared to creative writing. It’s filled with facts from reliable sources. It also includes a thesis statement.

Stages of Writing a Paper

There are three stages of writing a research paper. These are researching, writing, and reviewing. Each of these is likely going to take time.

How to Write a Research Paper

Here are tips on writing your research paper:

Schedule Your Writing

Research papers are best written way before the deadline. It gives you more time to research. Have one or two days for the research alone. Then another one for writing everything. You can do another one for proofreading.

Normally, lecturers provide at least four months for research papers. However, they often require a specific length of several pages. You will definitely need more than a week so you don’t miss the deadline.

One reminder: when researching or writing, make sure you are not distracted. It’s best to put your phone away. There are also apps that can lock other apps on your phone, specifically social media.

Research Your Topic Well

Researching your topic is vital. Read the prompt given by your professor to have an idea of possible topics. If your prompt is to write a research paper about global warming, topics are often more specific.

For example, it could be the effects on humans or the effects on animals. You don’t write about global warming in general. A specific topic will greatly help you in creating a thesis statement.

Once you have an idea, start researching on the internet.

As much as possible, choose a topic that has more resources. This way, you’ll have a lot of information and resources. Additionally, it’s best that resources are reliable.

Most professors will limit websites as resources. You also have to find books and journals for information. You might want to check out some books from the local library. Or you can also check for scanned copies on the internet or PDF files.

When it comes to websites, choose .org or .edu sites to be much more certain.

Choose a Topic

After researching possible topics, choose the best one for you to write about. The best topic is something you’re actually interested in. These are much easier to write.

Make a Thesis Statement

Making a thesis statement is one of the most challenging parts of writing a paper. The thesis statement should be concise. It should also show exactly what type of paper you’re writing.

Research papers can be one of three categories:

  • Expository or when you explain the information you acquired
  • Argumentative is when you argue your point
  • Persuasive is when you try to persuade your readers
  • Analytical papers are when you present your analysis of a certain information

A thesis statement should also be strong. It should show your readers exactly what your point is and show a clear purpose.

Basically, your thesis statement should be:

  • Researchable
  • Intelligible
  • Debatable
  • Concise
  • Defensible

If you have to take your time to write a thesis statement, don’t be afraid to do so.

But do note that some people write a thesis statement first before researching their topic. This can be interchangeable. Some people find it easier to research when they have a specific idea of what they want to write about.

The thesis statement should be at the end of your introduction.

Make an Outline

When doing your research, you might be coming up with a vague idea of what you will write. Once you’re done with everything, you can now make an outline. This helps organize your thoughts.

The outline is like the backbone of your research paper. It provides you with stability when writing your research. You’ll know what to write next and where to put certain information.

To create an outline, think about the key points that will help support your thesis statement. These will become headings and subheadings for your paper. Be reminded that you only have to add relevant information about your topic. The information should support your thesis statement.

The typical structure of a research paper is:

  • Title
  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Methodology
  • Findings/Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion

However, some research papers are not lengthy. They normally include the introduction, body, and conclusion.

The introduction includes the research question and the thesis statement. Meanwhile, the body includes the research results and arguments. Lastly, the conclusion includes a summary of key points and the significance of your paper.

Start Writing the First Draft

It’s now time to start with the first draft of your paper. Create the title page and make it specific and interesting. Then start with the introduction, the body, and the conclusion.

A good introduction is an attention grabber. It could either be a provocative question, statistics, an anecdote, or any unusual facts you’ve gathered. Although far from creative writing, an introduction doesn’t have to be boring.

All you have to do is be interesting but never write fluff. Each sentence should be new information.

The conclusion should be a summary of the most important facts. It should be able to answer the thesis statement and challenge the reader.


Before submitting your paper, be sure you have reviewed and proofread it. There should be no grammatical or spelling errors. You can check that through useful online tools.


College will be the hardest part of your student life, especially with the multitude of papers you need to write. But with these tips, it should be easier to do. More than anything else, ensure you start writing way before the deadline.

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