A research paper is written to convey and clarify concepts; it provides more detailed knowledge and information on the subject of research. It is defined as a form of writing in which the author expresses his or her views and opinions on the subject under study. A study report’s conclusions are often provided as examples, cases, or other kinds of credible confirmation. This type of work is often submitted to a university for academic review or publication in journals or as a book by a publisher.

Writing a research paper may seem challenging when you have a lot on your schedule as a student. Many students would rather put off that tough task, resulting in poor grades on assignments that might otherwise have received high marks. Furthermore, research papers account for a large portion of a student’s final grade in any subject, making them even riskier. The steps outlined below will help you write a research paper, starting with a topic and ending with a well-written document.

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1. Analyse the Assignment

Even if it may sound basic, you must understand what your mentor or instructor is looking for before beginning your research paper. Many students ignore this part and then ponder why they obtained a lower grade on a paper that they worked so hard on. It’s usually due to a lack of understanding of the assignment requirements. 

Spend some time analyzing the assignment. Examine the assignment’s purpose, ideas, and grading criteria. Once you have received the criteria, you will be able to determine what your instructor will look for when evaluating your work. It could be beneficial to highlight and take notes on the task. It means you can start with the end goal in mind and mold the work to match what you know the instructor wants to see. Before settling on a topic, take your time determining what you’re expected to write and how you’ll be evaluated. This will show that you are in a good place.

2. Select a topic

After you’ve decided what you’re going to write about, you must select a topic for your research paper. You must decide what to write about after you know what you will be required to write about. Don’t be alarmed if this appears challenging. It may be advantageous to write about something that interests you, but don’t stress about coming up with the right topic.

In many circumstances, a complicated issue is advantageous since it allows you to objectively argue numerous points of view. Use the criteria provided by your instructor to assist you in selecting an article topic. In the long term, it will be easier for you to write on a task-related topic. You must be interested in the subject of your writing. It’s also important to note that your research assignment can inspire you to produce something entirely new. By the end of this process, you should have a reasonable understanding of the problem, but you don’t have to know everything.

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3. Research the subject

Research is an important element of writing a research paper, and it is even incorporated into the title. This phase is flexible; different people will do their research in different ways. Maintaining focus and responding rapidly, on the other hand, are important. But, you still need to conduct research. When conducting research, remember that appropriate scanning, selecting reliable resources, and not neglecting the material are all critical considerations.

Get accustomed to scanning through subjects. Someone doesn’t need to read everything published on your topic in its entirety. You definitely cannot. Learn how to identify key facts and arguments without having to read every word. A source is considered credible when it is trustworthy. It can be difficult to establish if reliable sources are trustworthy or not because anybody can voice an opinion or offer incorrect information as truth without any credentials or evidence. All sources should be questioned, including books, newspapers, and the internet. Verify the credentials and affiliations of the source. To support it, make sure the source doesn’t employ overloaded or confusing terminology.

Just because one article claims that something is true does not mean that it is a proven fact that you can use in your research. Attempt to understand a variety of viewpoints on the subject. This may be done by reading a range of articles, reading a book or article that provides an overview of the issue and includes several points of view, or speaking with an expert who can explain the topic in detail.

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4. Categorize the Content

Once you’ve collected all of the relevant information, you’ll need to organise it. Every person has a distinct combination of research interests. The qualities of your work may also have an impact. A bibliography (which means “book writing” – a list of books, papers, and other sources utilised) will assist you in organising your research.

When you use another person’s idea in our writing, you must provide a brief citation to let the readers know who came up with it. A brief remark is what an in-text citation is. At the end of our work, we add a more specific comment to aid others in recognising and locating the source from which we obtained that thought. An end-of-paper citation is what this enlarged notation is called. If your professor requires you to provide a bibliography with your research paper, develop one that fits the paper’s requirements. If you’re doing the research for yourself, think about how you want to organise it. You may make a digital bibliography or discover bookmark websites to link the information. Your source list might be printed, or you could write notes on everything related to your study and classify them.

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5. Make the basic outline

When you initially begin brainstorming a new concept or researching a topic, you have no clue what ideas you’ll come up with. As a result, building a framework for the information in a standard report format is hard. Mind maps allow you to develop ideas without being restricted by a predetermined format, so you never lose track of what you are thinking.

The format of the outline, just like a bibliography, may be modified by the objective. Make sure it follows the template, guidelines, or requirements. While an outline isn’t required for writing a research paper, it might be useful. Outlining is a type of writing. Don’t overdo it, but getting into a routine can assist. As you write an outline, think about what you want to explain or illustrate in your research paper and what format would allow you to do so in a clear, organised manner. The introduction and conclusion are always essential, but what happens in between is based on your paper’s topic. You should research the types of reasoning to avoid while outlining your point. Look into the most prevalent logical fallacies if you don’t know what they are; your grade may rely on it.

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6. Create a Thesis Statement

Once you’ve understood what you’ve been asked to write about, chosen a topic that supports the assignment, conducted research, and organized that material, you’re prepared to present your point of view, argument, or assertion. Even if you are not presenting an argument for or against something, you must include a thesis statement in your writing. A “thesis statement” is a brief statement that you present to your work’s audience to clarify or establish your perspective.

When creating a thesis, a one-sentence answer to the question “What is the paper about?” is a great starting point. A thesis statement that promotes their interests isn’t an effective approach. It is also crucial to avoid seeming overly generic. Creating a strong thesis statement is an essential component of the writing process. This does not necessarily mean that the viewpoint is contentious or strongly held, but it does imply that others may disagree. Once you’ve spent time writing a clear, intriguing, and convincing thesis statement, consult with the instructor. Show them your thesis statement and inquire if they think it is strong enough to support the rest of the paper.

7. Finalise the Draft

Since you’ve gathered all of the required information, it is time to start working on the paper. You may want to start writing sooner, but this will be the right time because of the work you’ve already completed that is essential. It will help you write a clear, concise, and engaging research report. When writing, try not to get too tangled up in the details. Don’t be bothered about proper punctuation, spelling, or a catchy title. You still have time to make changes as you revise the report.

Before you start writing, examine your research; don’t just write from it. Switching between resources and paper while writing may cause the content to repeat. Understand it and compose your research report word for word. It’s fine to look up a word or a statistic, but at this point, your opinions should be your own. Plagiarism is easy to avoid when you work on your ideas. Plagiarism happens when you consciously or unconsciously replicate the words or ideas of another person without properly acknowledging them. The source must be cited when referencing something. Include a reference page to back up the article. Even if you don’t use the same words as someone else, you must acknowledge them.

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8. Revise the Content

You should still revise your content before submitting it. Remember how you were told you didn’t have to be perfect? You don’t need to be concerned, but now is the time to polish your paper.

Proceed by modifying the content. This includes organization, phrasing, and length. Now is the moment to trim or stretch your paper if it is too long or too short. If your paper is too long, don’t just skip the conclusion. If you want to make your text longer, don’t waste time playing with font size and margins. Changes should be made carefully. What should you delete, and how can you rearrange your work to make it more logical if you need to make changes? Don’t merely add words at random or repeat yourself when you need to prolong your work. Examine what you can expand on in your research paper and how it fits in with the rest of the text and contributes to the central topic.

9. Check for Errors

After you’ve made all of the required changes, reread your work to ensure it makes sense. Grammar proofreading is also important. This may appear to be a challenging task, but there are a lot of tools and services available to help you. Grammar correction, like content editing, may require a lot of effort. It may even help you resume your activity with a more focused mindset, which is essential for finding and rectifying mistakes.

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10. Turn in the paper

Take a final look at the paper. If you’ve been reading your work on a computer screen, printing a copy and reading it on paper may be advantageous. When reading on your computer, you may not spot mistakes or formatting issues that your eyes missed. Make sure that you adhere to any submission requirements for the research paper that have been mentioned. It’s time to submit your research paper, once you’ve double-checked that it fits all of the requirements of the assignment.

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Here are a few websites that can help

Plagiarism checking Tools 

Plagiarism Checker– http://www.plagiarismchecker.com/

Grammar checking Tools  

ProWritingAid– https://prowritingaid.com/?afid=6316
Grammarly– www.app.grammarly.com
WhiteSmoke– https://www.whitesmoke.com/

Image-sourcing websites  

Unsplash– https://unsplash.com/
Flickr– http://flickr.com/
Stocksnap– https://stocksnap.io/

Citation assistance Tools 

BibMe– http://www.bibme.org
Citation Machine– http://www.citationmachine.net

Research writing might be difficult at first, but with practice, it can become incredibly easy. It is an important part of a person’s academic and professional portfolio. As part of the research process, a researcher must do a series of closely related tasks. Patience is required during the research process. No measure can show that your research is the best. Research is a more creative process. So explore it to learn more about it.

Further Reading

  1. RTF | Rethinking The Future. (2021). 12 Websites That Can Aid Architectural Thesis Research. [online] Available at: https://www.re-thinkingthefuture.com/architectural-community/a5188-12-websites-that-can-aid-architectural-thesis-research/
  2. RTF | Rethinking The Future. (2020). 15 Websites to help you with Architectural Photoshop Rendering. [online] Available at: https://www.re-thinkingthefuture.com/rtf-fresh-perspectives/a1266-15-websites-to-help-you-with-architectural-photoshop-rendering/
  3. RTF | Rethinking The Future. (2018). 10 Websites to find Cutouts of People for Architectural Renderings. [online] Available at: https://www.re-thinkingthefuture.com/article/10-websites-to-find-cutouts-of-people-for-architectural-renderings/
  4. RTF | Rethinking The Future. (2021). Importance of Research in Architecture. [online] Available at: https://www.re-thinkingthefuture.com/rtf-architectural-reviews/a5879-importance-of-research-in-architecture/


  • CollegeChoice. (2016). How to Write Research Paper and get an “A.” [online] Available at: https://www.collegechoice.net/college-life/academics/how-to-write-research-papers/
  • Longley, D. (n.d.). LibGuides: Research Skills Tutorial: What Is Citing? [online] subjectguides.esc.edu. Available at: https://subjectguides.esc.edu/c.php?g=234343&p=3001637
  • Staff Writers (2018). How to Write a Research Paper: 10 Steps + Resources. [online] TheBestSchools.org. Available at: https://thebestschools.org/resources/how-to-write-research-paper/
  • Study Lecture Notes. (2013). 10 Steps in Research Process. [online] Available at: http://studylecturenotes.com/10-steps-in-research-process/
  • www.abcassignmenthelp.com. (n.d.). 10 Things to Remember While Writing a Research … [online] Available at: https://www.abcassignmenthelp.com/blog/10-things-to-remember-while-writing-a-research-paper

Subhashinee is an Architect, Researcher, and Stereotype breaker. Deeply passionate about sustainability and environmental psychology. She is curious to learn new things in life that enhance her. An avid observer, she prefers writing over speaking. She believes that architectural journalism is as important as architectural design, as it binds knowledge providers with seekers.