Posts published on February 14, 2017

Basic Steps To Write An Outstanding Research Paper


As you move up the educational ladder, you realize that there are more upper-level courses that need intensive research. Writing a research is one of the most daunting tasks especially for students. It involves the detailed reading of both print and nonprint texts, classic and contemporary works. Before you are through with everything, you realize you’re exhausted and tired of the process.

Writing a good research is challenging for most us. In fact, few people can easily churn out an A-Grade paper. But these steps will certainly increase your odds of acing your research paper and get a good grade.

Understand what your instructor wants

Before you embark on doing your research, ensure you understand the expectations of your instructor. Go through your paper several times and note the key action words such as describe, evaluate, define, argue, analyze, compare, and classify. If the task doesn’t contain any action words, your instructor may probably want you to provide an argument on the topic and support it. In the end, the important thing is to understand what your instructor wants.

Craft out an initial bibliography

Once you have understood the topic and the instructor’s instructions, move on to craft your bibliography as described below;

  • Make an outline or a diagram of your ideas: Organize your thoughts by taking what you have researched on and put it on a piece of paper.This will allow you to see connections of the topic and link the ideas more clearly. Outline these ideas and organize them well.
  • Write a thesis statement: With a topic in hand and an outline of ideas that are relevant to the topic, it’s time to create a thesis statement. This section highlights the main points of your paper to the reader. It will consist of two parts; the topic and the point of the essay. The objective is to state your argument and support it.
  • Make a list of possible sources:

Your instructor expects you to provide truthful, credible, and reliable information. Your list of sources should adhere to the same format.  Look for sources that help you collect and cite your research resources effectively. Some of the main ones include Zotero, Mendeley, and so on.

Write the paper draft

Start by organizing the information collected. Then write a rough draft where you write your ideas on a piece of paper but in an unfinished version. This will help you know which points to add and what to omit before compiling the final draft.

Some can opt to do all this by themselves while others can use helpful tools and services to get the work done. There are a handful of reliable tools to that can help you do your research.

For research writing

  • OneLook’s thesaurus: OneLook tool allows you to key in a concept and gives a list of words and phrases related to the concept. The description can be a single word, few words, or even a whole sentence.
  • Reverse Dictionary: If you need to find the right word when writing a paper, Reverse Dictionary tool will try to rescue you and get you what you want. Just key in the word you want and the tool will serve you with up to 40-word choices to choose from.

For editing and proofreading

  • Hemingway: The Hemingway app allows you to communicate a lot of words in short sentences. The tool shows you where your writing is weak and allows you to count words, characters, paragraphs, and sentences to grade your writing based on the difficulty of reading.
  • Paper Written: com is a writing service that assists students to write a descriptive essay, dissertation, resume, research paper, and more. If you are struggling with coming up with writing a paper from scratch, Paper Written is the best solution.

For compiling research

  • Evernote: Most people consider Evernote app as a useful tool when compiling research. Its real value is in its ability to compile materials from several sources and share notebooks with others.
  • Scrivener: If you anticipate that your essay may be lengthy and it may take several turns, Scrivener writing tool might be helpful. It allows you to portion your content into several sections and even take a snapshot of your “before version” to be used for reference at a later stage.

The final draft

After you are through with the rough draft, compile a final draft of the whole paper. Include credible citations to allow the reader to connect the ideas you have highlighted with the sources listed in your reference list. The final step is to proofread your work. Read through the text several times to check for errors in grammar, spelling, and punctuation. You can ask someone to read it through again just to make sure it is perfect.


Writing a comprehensive research paper doesn’t have to be complicated. Most students find it hard to get through the first step of creating an outline. All you need is the right plan and the right tools and everything will flow smoothly. This guide will help you get on the right track and deliver a top notch and A-Grade paper. Use it and you will far ahead in your research process.

Amanda Wilson is a student and a freelance writer. Study Social Media and Digital Strategy. She believes that all thoughts were already invented and thought over by someone in this world. And her goal is – to find original one and provide it to the modern life.