An investigation paper is amongst the most complex tasks assigned to students. It requires a good pair of writing skills, excellent research skills, time, and concentration to get right.

Frequently , working on such assignments, students feel helpless and stuck. Luckily, you don’t need to feel in this way, and you won’t, if you use these guide.

Just what is a Research Paper and How can It Vary from a Research Proposal??

A study paper is situated heavily on in-depth research and analysis. It is used to evaluate a student’s research skills, along with the ability to document information and offer original, of use insights on the research matter. The primary reason for a research paper is to express your take on the research you found through the entire research process.

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How is a research paper different from a research proposal, you might ask? Students often confuse these two terms, though they're very different. A study proposal is really a concise description of your motivation and objectives for a particular topic. It explains why you made a decision to research a specific matter, and what you want to accomplish. It also highlights how your quest can donate to an expansion in its relevant area, and, finally, gives a brief description of how you intend to conduct this research.

An investigation paper, to the contrary, is a detail by detail paper that describes pursuit. It is considerably longer than a research proposal. Unlike a proposal, it also features a detailed description of the outcome of your research.

In comparison to a regular essay, writing a study paper requires thinking outside the box, being open to experiments, and analyzing the results. Below are a few of the main element features define a research paper:

  • A study paper is normally longer than other written assignments;
  • The paper is dependant on extensive research of a specific problem;
  • Your insights should really be based on your experiments and thoughts, nevertheless, you are permitted to use references from literature as well;
  • Often, a writer is supposed to locate some novel solution or approach through the research process;
  • Support the information with evidence (like your experimental studies, samples, and documents).
    Use these features as a reference point when writing your research paper.

How to Start a Research Paper

When you're assigned to publish a research paper, it’s naive to believe as possible immediately start to start writing. Before you can get going, you need to try a few preparatory steps.

You will need to get familiar with the assignment to begin with, to ensure that you've got a clear notion of what is expected from you. Many students underestimate the significance of this step. Read the guidelines carefully, to comprehend what exactly your professor asks you to accomplish. Also, don’t hesitate to ask for any clarification if necessary. This can help to make sure that you are on the right course!

The following vital step to simply take is picking a topic, because your whole research, as well as the scope of work and your results, will depend heavily upon it.

Why the Topic Choice Is Vital

In the event that you pick a topic you are not enthusiastic about, you will probably have a hard time choosing the motivation for writing your paper. Besides, the enthusiasm and effort you put in your research will frequently reflect upon the quality of your paper—so, it may influence your grade aswell. If a topic is too broad, it may be hard to handle. It is always simpler to study and analyze a narrower topic.

The most frequent topics are relevant social, political, cultural or technological issues. If you wish to see more of those, we've a separate research paper topics post.

Finally, the complexity of the chosen subject also matters. It is important to make certain you have enough knowledge and skills to manage it. Otherwise, you might get stuck and start to feel unable to complete the assignment.

As you care able to see, the topic you select does have a primary impact on your quest. Here are a few ideas to make the proper decision:

  • Pick a topic that you are genuinely interested in;
  • Narrow down the chosen subject;
  • Pick a subject that you can manage;
  • Ensure that there are enough resources (information) to work with on that specific topic.
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Research Process

If you have a clear understanding of your assignment and also have a great topic in mind, it's time to start researching your subject. As a rule, the study process could be divided into a few stages:

Get Familiar with Your Topic

Before you shape your personal opinion on a specific topic, you have to study it thoroughly. A good tip to simplify your quest is to use general sources like Wikipedia to really get your research going. Yes, you won’t have the ability to use any information from there for the references—as wikipedia is not a credible source. However , it could give you a good starting point and help drive your research further.

Select Sources

To ensure success, you will need to find enough material for your work. At this stage it's important to distinguish several types of sources to locate valid information you can count on. There are two main kinds of sources:

  • Primary Sources – statistical data, interviews, surveys, and historical and legal documents;
  • Secondary Sources – books, articles, etc.
You might also be interested in discovering: «how to find credible sources for your research»

It is advisable to focus on finding as many valid primary sources as possible. A fantastic starting point with this would be your school’s library, and official government sites. Also, you need to use academic journals like Google Scholar to help you. Just like a library, academic journals will also allow you to find reliable primary sources.

Types of sources

Skim and Narrow Down Your List of Sources

As you delve deeper in to your research, you will find a large number of sources and information. It is scarcely possible to see everything associated with your subject in-full. That’s why you should get comfortable with skimming through information, and learn how to identify key ideas quickly. After skimming through the sources you have, you are able to determine which ones are best and give attention to them.

Document Information

As you research the topic, it's important to keep track of everything you find. Among the better ways to do that are through the use of Bibliography cards or Note cards.

1. Bibliography Cards

Bibliography cards might help you keep tabs on your sources. Write your source in it, in MLA format, and number them for reference. Put source numbers on your own note cards, so you know which source every note is from.

2. Note Cards

Note Cards might help you keep tabs on information from your own sources. Have a note card and jot down relevant home elevators the front, with the source number on the trunk. This will assist you to with organizing your facts and writing your paper later.

Organize Your Research

Finally, you have to group your sources and organize them. Among the best ways to try this is to order them from most to least critical. Also, you are able to organize sources based on the order of your arguments.

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Writing your Research Paper Outline and Thesis

Now, when you have finished your research and also have organized it, you can begin writing your research paper.

First of all, you have to form a Thesis. A thesis is really a brief statement that the researcher puts forward for the readers to describe what the paper will be about. It should emphasize what you will prove or explain in your research paper.

To create a clear and relevant thesis, think about: what is my paper about? The answer for this question is precisely what your thesis statement should be.

For example, this is how your answer might sound:

“My paper is approximately the reasons that pushed both North, and South, to fight in the Civil War. ”

This sentence reveals the main topic of your paper. However , in the event that you make it your thesis statement just because it is, it'll be weak, which, will influence your grade. Therefore , you need to only think about your answer as a starting place, and then evolve it to produce a powerful, definitive statement. A good exemplory case of a thesis statement in line with the topic mentioned previously would be:

“While both sides fought the Civil War over the problem of slavery, the North fought for moral reasons, as the South fought to preserve its own institutions. ”

As you can plainly see, a good thesis should really be impersonal, definitive, clear, and straight to the idea. Also, it ought to be arguable – meaning that some body could disagree with it. This is the formula for a solid statement.
As soon as you think you have formed a good thesis, don’t hesitate to check on in together with your professor to obtain feedback.

Now, let’s move ahead to the next stage. Writing an overview is exactly what will help you commence to build your quest paper and ensure a logical flow of some ideas. In a nutshell, the main element purpose of an overview is to structure your paper. It should add a detailed arrange for each portion of your paper. If done right, it can help you to:

  • Comprehend the flow of information and how your ideas are related;
  • Organize your thoughts in a logical sequence;
  • Ensure that you won’t miss anything while writing.

Listed here is a good exemplory instance of how a research paper outline should look:

Topic: Measles and the vaccination debate


  1. Definition of measles
  2. Rise in cases of modern times in places the disease once was eliminated or had suprisingly low rates of infection
  3. Figures — how many cases annually on average, and number recently. Relate to immunization


  1. Symptoms and timeframes of disease
  2. Risk of fatality, including statistics
  3. How measles is spread


  1. Immunization procedures in different regions
  2. The immunization debate, addressing two sides: why immunization is preferred and why groups are questioning its validity
  3. Different regions, concentrating on the arguments from those against immunization


  1. Outbreaks in USA, Australia, and Thailand
  2. Immunization figures in affected regions
  3. High number of cases in non-immunizing regions


  1. Dangers presented by measles and its particular link to other diseases
  2. Illnesses that can result from the measles virus
  3. Fatal cases of other illnesses after patients contract measles


  1. Summary of arguments of different groups
  2. Summary of figures and relationship with recent immunization debate
  3. Concluding statement based on data gathered
  4. Which side of the argument appears to be correct?

Writing Process

Finally, you can proceed to writing your research paper. An approximate structure for the paper should look the following:

  1. Abstract and Keywords
  3. Previous related works (not mandatory)
  4. Detailed section of the main topic
  5. Methodology
  6. Experimental Results
  7. conclusion
  8. References

While writing, it's wise to form your paper in the same sequence, gradually moving from the abstract entirely to your conclusion section. That’s when following your outline should come in handy. By now, you ought to already have an in depth plan, so all that's left to complete is to add more words to it and fill out the information.

Generally, in the course of writing, you may face certain pitfalls. One of the most frequently occurring ones is getting stuck on a particular section, attempting to formulate your ideas appropriately. This is a tip: at this time, there is no need to worry about the flawless grammar and word choices. In the end, now, you're just writing your first draft. Later, you will have sufficient time to polish your text and take it to perfection.

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Proofreading and Editing

Many students don’t realize the value of proofreading and editing. They genuinely believe that once they finish writing their research paper, it is prepared and willing to be submitted. However , that’s the wrong approach. These two steps are vital for ensuring the overall success of your paper. Thus, they need to not be neglected.

Probably one of the most effective ways of proofreading may be the following idea. As a rule of thumb, the theory is to re-read your draft every couple of days to see if it reads naturally. This way, you'll have a few days to distract your self and pull back from the content of one's research to check out it with a fresh perspective later on. Consequently, you should be in a position to notice flaws that were previously invisible for you.

Still another good idea is to ask your parents or peers to proofread your paper as well. It never hurts to hear a viewpoint of an individual who wasn’t directly involved in the research paper. Question them if the paper is exciting and straightforward. Then, use their feedback to polish your paper.

It is suggested to create your first draft as early as possible—yet, not to rush the process. Proofreading and editing can take considerable time, so you should ensure that you have sufficient time to do everything ahead of the deadline.

What should you focus on when proofreading? The most obvious reason for this step would be to identify any grammatical mistakes in the written text. However , there's much more to it than there seems. When proofreading your work, it is critical to check the logical flow of some ideas and structure. Readability also matters. Factors to consider that your thoughts are presented in a straightforward and understandable language. Finally, you need to check on compliance with the given instructions, analyze the coherence and in-depth examinations in body paragraphs, and make sure that you have a valid conclusion.

To produce proofreading and editing a bit faster and easier, you can use tools like Grammarly, Hemingway Editor, etc . Such tools will come in handy when checking the grammar, structure, design of writing, clarity, and prevalence of plagiarism. These tools can increase the whole process significantly. But do not depend on such tools completely. In the end, a computer is not always as accurate as a genuine proofreader.

Research Paper Examples

It could seem quite hard to create a research paper that deserves a good grade. As you will be gradually moving in one section of a paper to some other, you will probably run into numerous questions and pitfalls. Overcoming these challenges could be uneasy, particularly if this is the first-time you are coping with this type of task. That is why it will always be a great idea to help keep a top quality example of a study paper accessible. Below are a few types of how a top-notch research paper should look. Study the examples with an idea of how exactly to write yours: