How to Write an Effective Research Paper


You probably must have heard about the research paper, but what is it?

A research paper is typically a form of academic writing that incorporates theoretical and extensive data that has been researched comprehensively.

It may also contain opinions based on assumptions with crucial evidence from various reliable sources. Writing a research paper can be challenging if you don't know what proper steps to follow. Heck, you'll have to carry in-depth research to get the facts right.

Before diving into the steps, be sure to have notepaper, different colors of highlighters, and index cards. It's also worth noting that reading the research checklist might be of significant help when writing your research paper. 

Steps for Writing An Effective Research Paper 

 1. Extensive Research

 The library is a reliable place to research your sources. It offers plenty of potential references and includes very many books, journals, and published articles. Some even provide free internet access to enhance your research journey. Ensure that you're sitting in a comfortable place, away from distractions, so that you can concentrate on your research.

Use notebooks or index cards to track details as you discover them in your research. It also helps to familiarize yourself with the available services and the location for your potential sources. If there's something you're not getting right, try asking the librarians to help you out because that's the reason they are there.

Make sure to implement those lessons in your exploration as you carry on with the research at home. Although the internet is a rich, indispensable resource to find scholarly articles, always check your findings using alternative sites and reference books. 

2. Choose Your Research Topic

Unless you're restricted to write on a specific topic, choose a subject you've always been interested in so that you develop an interest in learning it in-depth. Selecting a topic that you're not interested in won't motivate you to do extensive research.

It also helps to be specific when selecting a study question. Avoid going for a subject that's too general since there are many things to cover. A broad topic will translate to a wealth of resources and quickly become overwhelming. 

3. Jot Down The Actual Notes

Taking down notes will go a long way to enhance your research process. But that doesn't mean you should put down on paper anything you come across. Learn what information is essential and contributive to your research, so you're not trapped in irrelevant facts and statistics.

Use markers to highlight essential information so you can find that particular subject easily. You may also photocopy an article or a book section if there's too much information to write. Highlighters might come in handy to highlight what is necessary for your research paper.

Be sure to include bibliographical information such as author, page numbers, book title, volume number, publisher name, and dates every time you take notes. These are research essentials and must be included. 

4. Write An Outline 

Once you're done with your comprehensive research, it's time you write an outline. Analyze each section to find a perfect fit for the topics and information you took down. You don't have to structure them into sentences as this is only the analysis part.

Find out the correct positions for your statistics and rearrange as required. The anecdote must also fit the introduction to make your research paper more interesting. This is a critical part and may consume much time compared to the other steps. However, it's worth the time and effort because it forms the basis of your final research paper. 

5. Work On Your Initial Draft 

When you've finished the outline, start working on your first draft. You may now structure it into sentences and paragraphs to put more life into the paper. This way, people can understand the point you're trying to bring out.

You may conduct more research along the way if you feel like your paper lacks some essential information. You don't have to panic, though, because this is just the initial draft, so you can still modify things around. 

6. Edit Your Final Paper 

Once you've put in all the necessary information and sources, and your initial draft feels right, you can proceed to write and edit your final paper. Be sure to check for grammatical and spelling errors. Ensure that you've included all the sources on your bibliography page. Read over it several times and proper adjustments so that it meets your professor's specifications.

The Do's And Don'ts of Writing Research Paper 

 The Dos:

  • Communicate your ideas.
  • Highlight the methods used in research.
  • Verify the accuracy of your data.
  • Run comprehensive literature research for trustworthy and progressive information.
  • Test your research details for reliability and support it with comprehensive analysis.
  • Provide key evidence and good supporting arguments in regards to your research findings.
  • Write your paper with only relevant information about the research.
  • Cite your references correctly and find reliable sources for your citations.
  • Proofread the paper countless times. Try asking your friends or professional editors to help you in proofreading and editing your document.

The Don'ts:

  • Do not misinterpret any information in the paper.
  • Don't incorporate any detail that doesn't solve problems.
  • Don't add any irrelevant information.
  • Don't give inappropriate reasons for doing the research.
  • Don't exceed the recommended word limit.
  • Don't include too many overviews in the paper.
  • Don't forget to reference any complimentary material.
  • Don't cite Wikipedia as a reference source.
  • Don't plagiarize your sentences.

Formatting A Research Paper 

Before you start writing your research paper, it's best to learn what styles to use. Style guides control your paper's typography, bibliography, grammar, and citation. However, these formatting styles may vary depending on the field.

For example, the APA style guide is used in educational and psychological studies, including behavioral and social science research. Here are some essential tips to effectively format a research paper:

  • The paper should be on 8 ½ x 11-inch white paper and should include 1-inch margins on the top, bottom, and sides.
  • The font size should be Times New Roman and size 12.
  • The lines must be double-spaced.
  • Cover pages are a necessity in the APA style guide and should be center-aligned.
  • Each page requires a left-aligned drop-down header with the title of your study.
  • Make sure to right-align page numbers at the top of each page, including the cover page.
  • Indent the first word in each paragraph, except for the abstract.
  • Individual section headings such as Background and Methodology must be bolded except the title.
  • Include the author's name in-text citations of other articles, reports, and studies, as well as the publication date. 

Other Style Guides Used In liberal Arts Subjects: 

  • MLA Style (Modern Language Association)
  • CMOS (Chicago Manual of Style)

Other Style Guides Used For Scientific And Medical Studies:

  • AMA (American Medical Association)
  • CBE (Council of Biology Editors)

A Master of Business Administration (MBA)

 A master's degree in business administration will boost your commitment to writing an influential research paper. Additionally, professionals with MBA feel a greater sense of confidence in their searchability and the extensive information they bring to various projects.

The benefits of an MBA are applicable in all fields of study. Even so, some individuals are still skeptical whether it's worth pursuing an MBA following the expenses and responsibilities involved. 


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