10 Steps to Writing Research Papers: A Beginners Guide

When scholars receive admission letters to universities and other tertiary institutions, it marks the beginning of a new chapter in life. Student experience takes a different dimension from high school since they are responsible for conducting individual research and preparing for examinations more independently than at the lower levels.

Writing research papers is one of the main activities one should anticipate in the academic journey.

Most college students, especially first-years and sophomores, are anxious about completing research papers due to their lack of competence and confidence.

Others are unsure of the correct paper format, sentence structure, and other essential writing tools. If you fall in this category, you should not worry anymore since you are not the only one who has been through this journey.

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Tips on Writing a Research Paper for Beginners

Writing a research paper is a huge milestone in the academic journey. It is a valuable ability you should strive to learn and improve in college. The process can be intimidating initially; however, it becomes easy with practice.

The following tips on writing a research paper for beginners can give hints for writing a research paper on your own. However, if you need professionals who offer help in academic work, you can ask, “do my research paper” at any point in your school term and pay someone with the necessary skills to do a research paper for beginners at a cheap price, considering that most students are not financially independent.

Students unfamiliar with lengthy academic work may become anxious when they imagine themselves writing a research paper. Thinking about the considerable impact of the assignment on their final grade intensifies tension and may lead to depression due to anticipated experiences.

However, you are lucky to read this paper as it will provide helpful guidelines to navigate the challenges of conducting research, compiling resources, and writing a high-quality research paper.

1. Select an Appropriate Research Topic

Choose an interesting topic that will motivate you to give the research maximum attention. It should be slightly challenging to promote extensive reading.

Furthermore, the research area should not be too technical or narrow because you might not find enough reference materials. It is advisable to seek your instructor’s approval before starting the research.

2. Conduct Prior Research on the Available Information

The next step after identifying the research topic entails gathering background information. This phase involves compiling sources from reputable academic libraries and websites such as Britannica and encyclopedias, government publications, magazines, and newspapers.

Some learning institutions are very strict with the kind of library that students should use for research. Therefore, you should know your school’s or instructor’s recommendations or preferences.

As you gather materials, ensure you record the title, author name, publisher, place of publication, date, and page numbers that contain relevant information to build your research.

You should note down the URL for internet sources or save it in your browser for easy access. All references should have full bibliographic information; otherwise, they are useless since they cannot be cited.

3. Prepare the Thesis Statement

A thesis statement establishes the foundation for your research paper. It gives you a clear direction for the assignment and makes it easy for the reader to identify the main ideas. The statement is a declaration of your personal beliefs and viewpoint on a subject matter.

From this point, the main body of the research should comprise arguments supporting and defending your stance. It is an academic rule that you should create a thesis before commencing the assignment. However, it should be preceded by collecting materials, organizing points, and synthesizing how the material aligns with your ideas.

4. Prepare the Research Outline

The outline may be formal or informal, depending on the assignment guidelines. If the instructor requires you to submit the outline along with the research, you should make it formal and use numbers or letters to arrange the points, topics, or subtopics. Besides, the headings should be organized logically.

For an informal outline, you can revise the content, add new ideas, and eliminate less important points without paying much attention to the structure. Regardless of your approach, all points in the outline should revolve around the central theme mentioned in the thesis statement.

5. Organize Notes from the Identified Resources

The next phase involves organizing your resources according to the outline. You should analyze the information critically and use credible sources that provide up-to-date information. If you are unsure of the sources to trust, always consult your instructor, who should help check for accuracy, verify the references’ validity, and recommend other useful ones.

This stage is vital in academic work as it allows scholars to analyze, synthesize, select, and comprehend the gathered information. As a result, a student cannot only deliver an educative research paper but also learn something new from the academic work, which is the ultimate purpose of research assignments in the first place.

Always remember to focus on relevant ideas to your issue and only organize your points. Besides, you should note that plagiarism is against academic integrity. Therefore, it is vital to identify borrowed ideas or quotes and cite them accurately using the recommended formatting style.

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6. Review the Literature

The literature review is the most significant part of your work. It should involve key internet and library search to advance the inquiry process. Your research entails compiling findings from resources related to your area of interest. The process primarily intends to contribute to the body of academic knowledge by collecting background information.

By reviewing the literature identified during the second stage of writing a research paper, you will be able to determine what is known about your topic and the existing gaps.

7. Write a Draft

The literature review should be done simultaneously with writing the draft. Preparing a draft gives you an overview of the research paper and allows you to revise the paper, making necessary changes.

You should write the document following the points listed in the outline and arrange paragraphs starting from the introduction, body, and conclusion. If you use subtopics, always differentiate them using level one, level two, and level three headings.

8. Apply the Correct Formatting and Citation Styles

It is a general academic rule that every borrowed idea should be cited. Since research involves synthesizing other people’s ideas, you must acknowledge their contribution to your work following contemporary citation styles, including American Psychological Association (APA) and The Modern Language Association (MLA).

9. Review your Work

After compiling your findings in the first draft, proofread your paper to identify content errors. You have the freedom to arrange and rearrange the content to match the outline. However, you should ensure the research paper retains its purpose.

10. Proofread

For an excellent submission, proofread the document to eliminate grammatical errors. Thesaurus and Grammarly are valuable resources that can help spot errors and improve the quality of your research paper. However, ensure you do not miss any detail.


Writing a research paper should not be a frustrating activity. If you follow these guidelines, you will be assured of high-quality assignments and excellent performance. Above all, always remember to be a responsible student and devote maximum attention to your research papers since they are among the key areas contributing to your final grade.