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How To Write A Career Research Paper

  • July 2, 2020
  • How To's

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A career research paper is a write-up that gives students a better idea of what to expect in a career field they’d like to explore. The paper helps them familiarize themselves with careers they knew nothing or little about. Besides, it also gives them a chance to prove the career choice is indeed suitable for them. And if it isn’t, they can then reconsider their area of specialization . 

For an effective research paper, find a career that suits your interest to score better grades. You also need to conduct detailed research and create an outline to help you organize your work. Examples of career research papers include; How to get an internship and careers that don’t require a college education. Other topics are what should your resume contain and The benefits of working from home.

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There are diverse careers out there designated for different people based on their personalities and capabilities. Thus when writing the career research paper, your focus will be a career you have thought about before. It might also be a job that suits you perfectly.

How To Develop a Career Research Paper

If you’ve had any challenges writing your research paper, worry no more. This article will teach you how to write a great career research paper. To do so, consider the following;

  • Identify a career
  • Gather sufficient information on the chosen career
  • Identify professionals in your career line and interview them
  • Write your career essay

Identify A Career

Every person has an aptitude and personality. This must be considered when determining an ideal career. If you are not sure what career fits you best, consider taking a personality test quiz. These answers will eventually help you discover careers that best match your personality. In the test, you will answer questions like; are you friendly towards people? Do you prefer working alone? Do you enjoy writing and have tremendous writing abilities ? 

Be keen on your interests and strengths. Carefully examine them with different opportunities. More so, through the research paper, you will be able to access the unfamiliar career opportunities available. A career research paper does not necessarily mean you will pursue that career in life. Nonetheless, it helps present adequate information about the careers.

Gather Sufficient Information On The Chosen Career

Use the internet, library, and career center materials to gather additional information. Your research plays an integral role in gathering sufficient data and facts about the career at large. You can also consult with librarians and career advisors for career recommendations. Therefore, have questions designated for your research. 

Identify Professionals In Your Career Line And Interview Them

Experts in a particular field must be considered for such interviews. They have extensive knowledge and experience. So, find the professionals and ask your burning questions concerning your career choice. Ask relevant questions that will help you understand their experiences, likes, dislikes, and the challenges they face. 

Write Your Career Essay

Because you have already gathered sufficient information, use your outline to start writing your paper. The essay will contain information about the career, the requirements needed to pursue it, the pay range, and its pros and cons. In a situation where you conducted interviews, designate a paragraph for the reporting.

What Should a Career Research Paper Have?

The purpose is to have a paper that is informative and resonates with the reader . Therefore, it should explore the following; 

Highlight Your Career Goals 

Talk about what you want to pursue or achieve in life and the steps to get you there. Here, you’ll need to have long-term and short-term goals. This will answer questions like, where do you see yourself in 5 or 10 years. Examples of short-term goals are; gaining a new professional skill or a self-improvement skill like networking. On the other hand, long-term goals are opening a business, making a career switch, or attaining a leadership position. 

Discuss One Major Career

Talk about one career you’d love to pursue. If you want to become a doctor, you can narrow it down to a cardiologist or a pediatrician. However, if you want to be a reporter, you can focus on being a business or sports reporter.

Talk About Facts Concerning The Career

Some careers don’t necessarily need a degree or professional skills. If yours falls under this category, you can talk about it. And because every career has its strengths and weaknesses, talk about both without sugarcoating anything. For example, if you write about the healthcare industry, you might discuss working beyond the extra hours or lack of advancement opportunities. Discussing the pros and cons will prepare you for the challenges ahead or issues you had overlooked before. 

Discuss Hobbies, Talents, and Interests

A career research paper requires you to talk about what you love to do in your free time. It might be something you are good at or something you’d love to be an expert in. Therefore, this helps you match your personality to a career you are interested in. It also makes you aware of other possibilities you can explore. 

Cite Sources Correctly

Because the paper will require you to do a lot of research, you must document your search sources. Therefore, it is important to cite your sources correctly to add credibility to your paper. 

Guidelines To Help You Write A Catchy Paper

  • Examine your goals
  • Analyse your skills and interests
  • Make a chart of pros and cons
  • Explore career sites
  • Reseach current trends
  • Create an outline
  • Identify a conducive environment to write from
  • Work with a timeline.
  • Edit and proofread your work
  • Confirm that all career questions are answered

Examine Your Goals

What are the goals you want to achieve? Is there a particular level you’d love to reach? Is your objective to have money or find a career that will give your life meaning and purpose? Taking time to think about the future can help you identify jobs that will be a long-term fit. You should also consider the salary, working hours, advancement opportunities, and location.

Analyse Your Skills And Interests

A skill is something you have learned to do or something you are good at. You might have a skill in writing, knitting, or fixing appliances. On the other hand, interest is something you like . An area you’ve always loved to pursue. It might be fashion, photography, drawing—anything you like or prefer to do. Most importantly, ask yourself what you are interested in the most, what gives you joy, or what areas you would like to perfect.

Make A Chart Of Pros And Cons

Everything in life has its advantages and disadvantages. If something makes you happy, it will inevitably make you sad. That is why it is important to list the positives and the negatives of a particular career. You might choose an interesting field that is quite demanding. It might require long hours of work or a high level of confidentiality, or maybe creativity. Hence, it is essential to know what you are willing to work with.

Explore Career Sites 

There are many sites you can use to get detailed information regarding certain careers. For instance, some sites will help you take personality tests to match what career types match your personality the best.

Research Career Trends 

What major careers are people pursuing? What careers will bloom in the next five years? Is it technology? Is it healthcare because of the pandemic? The hospitality industry or finance ? If you consider this aspect, it will help you make a wise move.

Create An Outline

An outline is the framework of any good paper. Developing an outline helps you understand the sequence of the paragraphs. Additionally, it will help you know what idea to establish, hence creating a good flow. Having an outline can also help you develop a draft for your paper as well as ensure you have a powerful introduction and a strong thesis that backs up all of your points with good research.

Identify A Conducive Environment To Write From

Writing an essay demands keenness and a high level of concentration. Therefore, choose a welcoming environment to write from. For instance, you could write from the library, a silent coffee shop at the corner, or even your bedroom, where you experience zero disruptions and distractions. 

Work With a Timeline.

Understand the deadline for handing in the research paper and set your timeline. A timeline will certainly help you meet deadlines and also help you submit a high-quality research paper that has not been written in a hurry.

Edit And Proofread Your Work

Edit and proofread your work to correct grammatical mistakes that make you look like a careless writer. Similarly, you can even read your work twice or thrice to ensure that you haven’t left out any errors.

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Confirm That All Career Questions Are Answered

How thorough is the essay? Does it cover all the angles about the career? The career research paper needs to present a detailed report about the career. Therefore, reexamine the relevance of the paper as far as the career is concerned.

Crafting this paper has never been a simple task. However, if the guidelines above are followed, the process becomes easier to tackle. So, understand each instruction, and you will be able to write your essay about careers.

An Outline For a Career Research Paper 

A good outline is important for any paper. Most importantly, it helps you create a good flow of thoughts and ensures you have a powerful introduction, body, and conclusion. 

The Introduction 

An introduction has one or two paragraphs. Of course, this depends on the simplicity or the complexity of the paper. The introduction should introduce the paper’s topic, have a good definition of the career, and a thesis statement that clearly explains the paper’s focus. Above all, remember to hook the reader to your paper and give them an easy transition to your work. 

The Body 

The body can have three or more paragraphs depending on the points you want to address. Here are some things that need to be included;

  • The most important features of the career.
  • The nature of the job and a list of the responsibilities.
  • The minimum qualification required for the purpose.
  • The challenges involved in pursuing the career.
  • A discussion of how easy or how difficult it is to find placement in the sector.
  • The possibilities for growth in the career sector.
  • An explanation of why that particular career looks more appealing to you than the rest.
  • The skills which complement the career responsibilities.
  • The shortcomings that might come in the way of your career and how you plan to tackle those situations.

The Conclusion

The conclusion should summarize what you have learned. It should summarise the most important points, a reinstatement of the thesis stated in the introduction, and a concluding statement that effectively winds up the discussion.

An Example Of a Career Reserch Paper

Career Research Paper


Media ideally refers to means of delivering information to a targeted audience. Throughout the lessons, we have learned of the different types of media that are there. These include print media, broadcast media, and the internet.

Print media uses printed items to pass the information, including magazines, books, newspapers, brochures, and pamphlets.

On the other hand, broadcast media involves using avenues like television and radio to pass information to people. The internet is the other form of media whereby people share and communicate through online platforms.

Some people use the internet as a media channel by using podcasts, YouTube videos, and virtual programs. As time goes by, some types of media lose audiences because of better and convenient platforms for communication.

When the internet had not been developed, print media was the most prevalent avenue for passing information. However, this got to change with the invention of the internet.

I have chosen the type of media is the broadcast media, as a journalist who aspires to work as a news anchor. Journalism career at the most basic level revolves around journalists investigating, collecting, and presenting the information.

This can be done in newspapers and magazines or radio, television, and online sites of passing information. It is the work of journalists to inform the public of important news and activities.

Therefore, I would like to learn more about journalists and the news anchoring profession and their importance. I believe that news anchors are essential in the world of information and communication. They are the link between the listeners and the public.

I hope to learn how they can read the news eloquently with the most minimal errors. Intriguingly, an individual will read news knowing well that a million people are watching yet still not become shy and afraid of the vast multitude.

I am also interested in learning more about how they can maintain professionalism in their interviews without letting their emotions get in the way. News anchoring is undoubtedly an art of presentation.

Broadcast media entails the use of radio and television to convey information. This form of media uses journalists to pass the information to other people concerning the target audience.

Television and radio remain the principal source of information and entertainment for people exposed to mass media. These channels are both influential because they reach a broader audience.

Additionally, they combine visual images, sound, motion, and color to empathize with the viewers and listeners. Broadcast journalism involves researching and reporting the news.

Several jobs are available in broadcast journalism. One can work as a reporter or work behind the scenes as researchers and producers who find background details about stories and interview other people.

These jobs include researchers, editors, news reporters, camera specialists, graphic designers, producers, and directors. Researchers are the people who go out and source for information to be passed through either television, radio, or online platforms.

On the other hand, editors edit the information received to ensure that it is safe to be viewed by the audience. Graphic designers and camera specialists ensure that the images displayed on television and online platforms are good for viewing.

News anchoring is what I am interested in, mainly reporting the news through the channels like television, radio, and online platforms.

News presentation is an art of journalism whereby an individual presents news during a news program either on the television, the radio, or online. A news reporters’ role has developed over time to what it now is.

However, these news anchors occupy a contestable role in news broadcasts. The news reporters can be working journalists who assist in the collection of news material. Also, the news presenters may provide commentary assistance during the news program session.

Often, news presenters and anchors work from the studios. These studios can be either television or radio studios. Recently, there has been a new group of news anchoring, which is done online. These online news reporters present the news from remote areas of their interest because not all of them own studios.

I take much interest in learning about journalism, particularly in news reporting. I want to study anchoring in the next two years of college and hopefully work as a news anchor one day in one of these radio or television companies.

News anchors work during news program sessions and when breaking news needs to be communicated to people. News anchors also have the opportunity to run specific programs. 

There are news anchors who report on specific topics like either politics, sports. I want to learn about these anchoring groups and maybe choose one that I can work on in the future.

Working as a news anchor journalist appears to me to be a profession that can take many different aspects from day-to-day life activities. It involves learning about what an issue is and identifying the blur lines while presenting to an audience.

Appealing to the audience is the main aim of a journalist since it is a profession that depends on the public’s interest. News anchors have to learn how to unpackage the stories using headlines that will catch the attention of the listeners and viewers. 

In conclusion, I am very interested in learning more about this profession and hopefully working in this career field in the future.

A career research paper is important for students because it opens their eyes and helps them see the employment world. It also helps them know what skills will be of help to them, what challenges they will face, and how they will overcome them. This way, they will step into the world of opportunities with an idea about how things work.

To help you explore careers, you might be interested in, learn the challenges and maybe reconsider your choice if it’s not an area you’d like to pursue.

Learn about your values, interests, personality type, and aptitude. Then identify areas you’d like to explore. Please do thorough research on them, then after figuring out the pros and cons, make your career choice and write down your goals.

Your career goals, Interests, and talents, the thesis statement, the pros and cons of the particular career, and an outline.

Start by discussing your career goals, describe your talents and interests, focus on one career, cite sources, and then explore the career’s advantages and disadvantages.

Choose a career, then describe your talents and interests, focus on one career, and outline the advantages and disadvantages of the career.

A career research is an extensive research to determine which job is best for you.

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how to start off a career research paper

Crafting an Informative Career Research Paper

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Table of Contents


A career research paper is an extensive examination of a profession you aim to pursue. Unlike typical papers, this type of essay requires you to delve into your personality and conduct thorough research to determine your compatibility with your chosen career. In this article, we will guide you through the process of writing a career research paper and provide valuable tips for creating your career outline.

Career Research Paper Template

A career research paper typically consists of three main sections:

1. Introduction

The introduction acts as a spotlight on your interests and personality, laying the foundation for the rest of your paper.

The body section highlights essential information about the profession you have identified. It covers the responsibilities associated with the role, the educational requirements for entering the field, the average salary, and the employment outlook.

3. Conclusion

The conclusion wraps up your findings and presents your overall assessment. For example, you can discuss whether or not the career choice is suitable for you based on your research.

A well-crafted career research paper should:

  • Thoroughly research your career goals
  • Describe your interests accurately
  • Focus on a single career path
  • Analyze various aspects of the chosen profession
  • Compare the advantages and disadvantages of pursuing the career

How to Write a Career Research Paper

To create an exceptional research paper, follow these steps:

1. Select a Career

The first step is to choose a career that genuinely appeals to you. This initial selection will provide the motivation you need to carefully analyze the profession and make informed conclusions.

2. Research

Engage with professionals in your desired field and explore various sources to gather information on education requirements, salary expectations, responsibilities, and employment prospects. Speaking to individuals in the industry can provide you with insights into the day-to-day operations, enabling you to assess how compatible the career is with your personality.

3. Prewriting

After collecting the necessary data, it’s recommended that you create an outline to organize your thoughts and data. This outline will help you assess the completeness of your paper and identify areas that require further thought and analysis.

4. Drafting and Revision

Using your outline as a guide, draft your research paper, ensuring to address any grammatical and structural issues. Seek feedback from peers and experts during the revision phase, as they can offer valuable insights and identify areas for improvement that you may have overlooked.

How to Start a Career Research Paper

Starting a research paper can be challenging, especially if you’re unsure how to begin. Here are some approaches you can take:

Choose a career that deeply resonates with you and investigate what it takes to build a successful path in that field. You can start by describing the specific aspects of the job that particularly attract you and explaining why these aspects hold significance for you.

2. Analyze Your Personality Traits

Another approach is to highlight your personality traits and later utilize them to evaluate the suitability of a career for your needs. Focus only on the traits relevant to the chosen profession.

3. Highlight Your Strengths and Weaknesses

To start your career research paper, emphasize your strengths and weaknesses. This approach sets the stage for discussing how these attributes manifest in your career choice and serves as a criterion for determining the relevance of a particular profession. It’s advisable to only include traits that will significantly impact your performance in the field under investigation.

Tips for Writing a Career Path Research Paper

Consider these valuable tips while crafting your career research paper:

Opt for a career that genuinely captivates your interest, even if it’s not a popular choice. This allows for in-depth research and enables you to present a compelling argument for or against a specific profession.

Seek guidance from experts in the field to gain a clear understanding of the daily tasks involved in the profession and to conduct a thorough analysis of its pros and cons.

Utilize online personality tests to gain insights into the traits that make you suitable or unsuitable for a particular career.

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Remember, a career research paper requires both expertise and trustworthiness. Conduct diligent research, analyze your findings critically, and present your insights coherently. Good luck with your writing journey!

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Overarching guide on writing a career research paper.

career research paper

What is a career research paper? It is a paper written about a chosen career that appeals to the writer (student in this case.) A research paper on career is one of the most common since that is the end goal of education – a flourishing career!

The tenets of a top-notch career research paper are that it should:

Highlight your career goals. Discuss your hobbies, talents, and interests. Major on one career. Bring out the facts about the career Discuss the pros and cons of the possible career

Now, the conventions of a career research paper assignment are more formulaic than you might think. Nevertheless, it also is as simple as counting one to five. How is the latter possible? With this expert articulated article, you will find it smooth writing such a paper.

Are you ready to unravel the secret writing formula? Well, keep on reading. Remember, we always save the best for the last part.

How to Write a Career Research Paper

Why can’t I use a career research paper sample and get done with this once and for all? Before you start aiming all those criticism guns, allow me to tell you why such a comprehensive guide is necessary:

It brings out all the information readers need to know It shows readers the order in which they need to write

You will never find these things when you decide to jump right into a career research paper example. That said and done, let us see how to structure a college research paper on careers. We will begin with the most critical part:

A Career Research Paper Outline

The outline of a top career research paper should entail all the career’s positive and negative perspectives. Also, a thorough evaluation of your skills and shortcomings relevant to the subject are essential when coming up with the outline.

How do you achieve an entertaining, informative, and practical outline for your career research paper? Read on.

The Introduction

Someone once said, “show me your introduction and I will tell you whether I will read your paper or not.” A top-grade career research paper introduction should:

Have information about yourself such as your talents, goals, and interests Include a good definition of a career such as nursing, journalism, and engineering – what does the job entail? Contain a thesis statement that clearly explains the focus of the paper – from which perspective are you handling your paper?

Be sure to end the introduction with a strong declarative statement on your research paper’s career choice.

Depending on the topic you chose for your career paper, the body content may vary. However, these are the standard guidelines to help you write it effectively:

  • Hierarchically present the information – begin with the essential details, such as the features of the career.
  • Have a topic sentence for each body paragraph of your paper.

If you have a research paper on nursing career, these pointers can come in handy for you:

  • What is the nature and responsibilities of nursing as a career?
  • Which minimum qualifications do I need for this job?
  • What are the challenges involved in pursuing this career?
  • What are the positives of nursing?
  • Is nursing worth pursuing?

For a research paper on career choice, these use some of the ideas below:

Which skills do I have which complement the career responsibilities? Which schools offer the best programs for the career? How does the job I chose to reflect on my career goals? Where do I need to improve to succeed in this career? How many hours will I need to dedicate to this career?

All these ideas and prompts do not only apply to one career choice; they cut across the divide. Feel free to use them to make your career research paper body as in-depth as possible.

And finally,

The Conclusion

Here, you will make a summary of the most relevant points in your discussion. You should have an appealing concluding statement that effectively wraps up the research paper.

The climax of all this is to justify your decision to pursue a particular career.

Careers Research Paper: Pro Tips

To spice up your research paper on careers; these professionally brainstormed tips will act as your anchor:

  • Write on a career that appeals to you; this way, you will have more points to discuss.
  • Explore career sites such as or to get career ideas.
  • Delve deep into the benefits and limitations of possible careers. You can make a chart to achieve this quickly.
  • Your career + your goals + your skills + your interests = your topic.
  • It should be informative and subjective as opposed to a boring story about a career you like.
  • Include the trends in the career path you wish to take

Hopefully, at the end of your career paper, you will have a clear picture of what you would like to do in the future.

Career Research Paper Nailed With Ease

Organizing your thoughts is vital in coming up with a perfect research paper on careers. Fortunately, with this guide, you can accomplish that and get your paper started right away!

Nevertheless, if you are still having challenges, you can count on our top-notch research paper writing services. The rates are pocket friendly, and you will not regret one single bit. Post your order now and see your grades soar higher than the eagles.

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How to Write a Career Research Paper: Tips for Students & Teachers

  • Trent Lorcher
  • Categories : High school english lesson plans grades 9 12
  • Tags : High school lesson plans & tips

How to Write a Career Research Paper: Tips for Students & Teachers

The Need for Good Topics

After receiving the 27th research paper with a URL across the bottom of the page, I suspected plagiarism . I realized I had to make English research paper topics more agreeable, so I began teaching students how to write a career research paper. It worked.

Here’s a testimonial from a former student:

When I was in high school, I wanted to be a pipe maker. I followed your steps on how to write a career research paper. As I followed the process I realized that being a pipe maker could lead to compromising public photos, so I became an Olympic swimmer instead.

If the process of writing research papers can help Michael, it can help you. I now share with you my How to Write a Career Research Paper lesson plan, a lesson plan with a limitless number of English research paper topics.

The introduction of the research paper should include information about the writer and his or her interests. The body should examine the responsibilities, education requirements, potential salary, and employment outlook of a specific career. The conclusion should summarize what was learned.

A successful career paper should:

  • discuss your career goals.
  • describe your talents and interests.
  • focus on one career.
  • discuss career facts.
  • cite sources correctly.
  • look at the advantages and disadvantages of the possible career.

As with all essays, the process for writing a research paper begins with prewriting:

Brainstorm careers as a class:

Think of all the people you’ve talked to in the last 24 hours and jot down their career.

What careers appeal to you?

What careers do you think you’d be good at?

Skim the classified ads.

Look at or for career ideas.

Examine your goals . A career choice should take into account money, hours, advancement opportunities, and location. If your goals cannot be fulfilled in a particular career, it’s time to change careers or change goals.

Examine your skills and interests. Take note of what you are good at, and more importantly, what you would like to be good at.

Do some career research. Spend a day in the library and interview people doing a career that interests you. Document your sources as you search.

Pay special attention to the advantages and disadvantages of possible careers. I recommend making a chart.

Match the career with your goals, skills, and interests. That’s your topic.

Make an outline, cluster, or any of those other prewriting organizational techniques teachers always talk about.

Drafting and Revising

Include information about yourself–your goals, interests, talents– in the introduction . Be sure to end the introduction with a declarative sentence about the career you chose for the topic of your paper. In the body of your paper, present important information with commentary. Discuss the positives, negative, and skills you will need to improve to excel in this career. Be sure to discuss post secondary requirements, if any, and which schools offer the best programs.

When revising, use the following questions to make sure you covered what you need to cover:

  • What are my career goals and how does the career I described reflect those goals?
  • How does my chosen career suit my skills?
  • What skills must I improve to succeed at my chosen career?
  • Where can I go to learn the necessary skills?
  • What do I need to improve personally to succeed at this career?
  • Photo by Aringo (Flickr: Michael Phelps, Davis Tarwater) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 ( )], via Wikimedia Commons

This post is part of the series: Different Types of Essays

Implement these strategies for different types of essays.

  • Lesson Plan: How to Write a Reflective Essay
  • Interpretive Essay Lesson Plan: How to Write a Literary Analysis
  • Writing a Career Research Paper
  • Lesson Plan: How to Write a Problem/Solution Essay
  • American History Project Ideas: Capturing Oral History

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Table of contents, how to write a career research paper, career research paper writing instructions, career research paper sample and other help.

Nearly every university student spends time thinking about their career goals. It’s only natural that students will often find themselves writing a research paper on career choice. After all, not only is a career research paper relevant, it’s also an interesting topic to explore.

Sample Career Research Paper


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Research: This is the first part of the writing process. The research sources that you will use will depend largely on the type of research paper you are writing. For example, you are researching hiring and recruiting practices in a certain field, then you’ll want to find some academically sound research sources. On the other hand, if you are writing a personal essay about your choice to go into a specific career, your research is going to be based on your own experiences. In any case, you’ll want to take notes so that your paper covers everything you need it to be.

Career Research Paper Outline: A good outline is the framework of any great paper. Your outline will help you ensure that you have a powerful introduction, strong thesis and that you back all of your points up with good research. Finally, use your outline to help you write a powerful concluding paragraph.

Rough and Final Draft: Once you have written your outline, you can expand on the points you have made to write your rough draft. After that, polish your research paper so that your writing is clear and appropriate for college academics. Finish the writing process by editing and proofreading your paper.

Best career research paper topics

  • Select a single career option and research it thoroughly.
  • Compare and contrast two different careers.
  • Compose a write up of careers in a single category.
  • The day in the life of someone in ________ career.
  • Careers that traditionally excluded women.
  • How to get an internship.
  • How to get an apprenticeship.
  • Careers that don’t require a college education.
  • Careers in art.
  • Careers in healthcare.
  • How to fill out a job application.
  • What should your resume contain?
  • How AI will change the hiring process?
  • My experience working as a ________.
  • Is it possible to start a second career after age 50?
  • Is it better to work for your passion or for money?
  • Will automation end the 40 hour work week?
  • The impact of child labor laws and careers.
  • How to use your university’s career services.
  • Do personality tests really help companies hire better people?
  • The benefits of working from home.
  • How to find the right career.

Hopefully, this article provides you with plenty of insights and information. Even better, we hope you are able to use your research skills to learn more about interesting careers. If you do need more help, we are just a click away. Our writers and editors will be happy to assist you with your career research essay.

External links

  • Lorcher, T. (2009, February 5).  How to Write a Career Research Paper: Tips for Students & Teachers . Bright Hub Education.
  • Overview / Career Research Paper . (n.d.). Http. Retrieved February 19, 2020, from

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Starting Your Research Paper: Writing an Introductory Paragraph

  • Choosing Your Topic
  • Define Keywords
  • Planning Your Paper
  • Writing an Introductory Paragraph

The Dreaded Introductory Paragraph

Writing the introductory paragraph can be a frustrating and slow process -- but it doesn't have to be.  If you planned your paper out, then most of the introductory paragraph is already written.  Now you just need a beginning and an end.

  for writing thesis statements.

Here's an introductory paragraph for a paper I wrote.  I started the paper with a factoid, then presented each main point of my paper and then ended with my thesis statement.


1st Sentence   I lead with a quick factoid about comics.
2nd & 3rd These sentences define graphic novels and gives a brief history. This is also how the body of my paper starts.
4rd Sentence This sentence introduces the current issue. See how I gave the history first and now give the current issue? That's flow.
5th Sentence Since I was pro-graphic novels, I gave the opposing (con) side first. Remember if you're picking a side, you give the other side first and then your side.
6th Sentence Now I can give my pro-graphic novel argument.
7th Sentence This further expands my pro-graphic novel argument.
8th Sentence This is my thesis statement.
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Grad Coach

How To Write A Research Paper

Step-By-Step Tutorial With Examples + FREE Template

By: Derek Jansen (MBA) | Expert Reviewer: Dr Eunice Rautenbach | March 2024

For many students, crafting a strong research paper from scratch can feel like a daunting task – and rightly so! In this post, we’ll unpack what a research paper is, what it needs to do , and how to write one – in three easy steps. 🙂 

Overview: Writing A Research Paper

What (exactly) is a research paper.

  • How to write a research paper
  • Stage 1 : Topic & literature search
  • Stage 2 : Structure & outline
  • Stage 3 : Iterative writing
  • Key takeaways

Let’s start by asking the most important question, “ What is a research paper? ”.

Simply put, a research paper is a scholarly written work where the writer (that’s you!) answers a specific question (this is called a research question ) through evidence-based arguments . Evidence-based is the keyword here. In other words, a research paper is different from an essay or other writing assignments that draw from the writer’s personal opinions or experiences. With a research paper, it’s all about building your arguments based on evidence (we’ll talk more about that evidence a little later).

Now, it’s worth noting that there are many different types of research papers , including analytical papers (the type I just described), argumentative papers, and interpretative papers. Here, we’ll focus on analytical papers , as these are some of the most common – but if you’re keen to learn about other types of research papers, be sure to check out the rest of the blog .

With that basic foundation laid, let’s get down to business and look at how to write a research paper .

Research Paper Template

Overview: The 3-Stage Process

While there are, of course, many potential approaches you can take to write a research paper, there are typically three stages to the writing process. So, in this tutorial, we’ll present a straightforward three-step process that we use when working with students at Grad Coach.

These three steps are:

  • Finding a research topic and reviewing the existing literature
  • Developing a provisional structure and outline for your paper, and
  • Writing up your initial draft and then refining it iteratively

Let’s dig into each of these.

Need a helping hand?

how to start off a career research paper

Step 1: Find a topic and review the literature

As we mentioned earlier, in a research paper, you, as the researcher, will try to answer a question . More specifically, that’s called a research question , and it sets the direction of your entire paper. What’s important to understand though is that you’ll need to answer that research question with the help of high-quality sources – for example, journal articles, government reports, case studies, and so on. We’ll circle back to this in a minute.

The first stage of the research process is deciding on what your research question will be and then reviewing the existing literature (in other words, past studies and papers) to see what they say about that specific research question. In some cases, your professor may provide you with a predetermined research question (or set of questions). However, in many cases, you’ll need to find your own research question within a certain topic area.

Finding a strong research question hinges on identifying a meaningful research gap – in other words, an area that’s lacking in existing research. There’s a lot to unpack here, so if you wanna learn more, check out the plain-language explainer video below.

Once you’ve figured out which question (or questions) you’ll attempt to answer in your research paper, you’ll need to do a deep dive into the existing literature – this is called a “ literature search ”. Again, there are many ways to go about this, but your most likely starting point will be Google Scholar .

If you’re new to Google Scholar, think of it as Google for the academic world. You can start by simply entering a few different keywords that are relevant to your research question and it will then present a host of articles for you to review. What you want to pay close attention to here is the number of citations for each paper – the more citations a paper has, the more credible it is (generally speaking – there are some exceptions, of course).

how to use google scholar

Ideally, what you’re looking for are well-cited papers that are highly relevant to your topic. That said, keep in mind that citations are a cumulative metric , so older papers will often have more citations than newer papers – just because they’ve been around for longer. So, don’t fixate on this metric in isolation – relevance and recency are also very important.

Beyond Google Scholar, you’ll also definitely want to check out academic databases and aggregators such as Science Direct, PubMed, JStor and so on. These will often overlap with the results that you find in Google Scholar, but they can also reveal some hidden gems – so, be sure to check them out.

Once you’ve worked your way through all the literature, you’ll want to catalogue all this information in some sort of spreadsheet so that you can easily recall who said what, when and within what context. If you’d like, we’ve got a free literature spreadsheet that helps you do exactly that.

Don’t fixate on an article’s citation count in isolation - relevance (to your research question) and recency are also very important.

Step 2: Develop a structure and outline

With your research question pinned down and your literature digested and catalogued, it’s time to move on to planning your actual research paper .

It might sound obvious, but it’s really important to have some sort of rough outline in place before you start writing your paper. So often, we see students eagerly rushing into the writing phase, only to land up with a disjointed research paper that rambles on in multiple

Now, the secret here is to not get caught up in the fine details . Realistically, all you need at this stage is a bullet-point list that describes (in broad strokes) what you’ll discuss and in what order. It’s also useful to remember that you’re not glued to this outline – in all likelihood, you’ll chop and change some sections once you start writing, and that’s perfectly okay. What’s important is that you have some sort of roadmap in place from the start.

You need to have a rough outline in place before you start writing your paper - or you’ll end up with a disjointed research paper that rambles on.

At this stage you might be wondering, “ But how should I structure my research paper? ”. Well, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution here, but in general, a research paper will consist of a few relatively standardised components:

  • Introduction
  • Literature review
  • Methodology

Let’s take a look at each of these.

First up is the introduction section . As the name suggests, the purpose of the introduction is to set the scene for your research paper. There are usually (at least) four ingredients that go into this section – these are the background to the topic, the research problem and resultant research question , and the justification or rationale. If you’re interested, the video below unpacks the introduction section in more detail. 

The next section of your research paper will typically be your literature review . Remember all that literature you worked through earlier? Well, this is where you’ll present your interpretation of all that content . You’ll do this by writing about recent trends, developments, and arguments within the literature – but more specifically, those that are relevant to your research question . The literature review can oftentimes seem a little daunting, even to seasoned researchers, so be sure to check out our extensive collection of literature review content here .

With the introduction and lit review out of the way, the next section of your paper is the research methodology . In a nutshell, the methodology section should describe to your reader what you did (beyond just reviewing the existing literature) to answer your research question. For example, what data did you collect, how did you collect that data, how did you analyse that data and so on? For each choice, you’ll also need to justify why you chose to do it that way, and what the strengths and weaknesses of your approach were.

Now, it’s worth mentioning that for some research papers, this aspect of the project may be a lot simpler . For example, you may only need to draw on secondary sources (in other words, existing data sets). In some cases, you may just be asked to draw your conclusions from the literature search itself (in other words, there may be no data analysis at all). But, if you are required to collect and analyse data, you’ll need to pay a lot of attention to the methodology section. The video below provides an example of what the methodology section might look like.

By this stage of your paper, you will have explained what your research question is, what the existing literature has to say about that question, and how you analysed additional data to try to answer your question. So, the natural next step is to present your analysis of that data . This section is usually called the “results” or “analysis” section and this is where you’ll showcase your findings.

Depending on your school’s requirements, you may need to present and interpret the data in one section – or you might split the presentation and the interpretation into two sections. In the latter case, your “results” section will just describe the data, and the “discussion” is where you’ll interpret that data and explicitly link your analysis back to your research question. If you’re not sure which approach to take, check in with your professor or take a look at past papers to see what the norms are for your programme.

Alright – once you’ve presented and discussed your results, it’s time to wrap it up . This usually takes the form of the “ conclusion ” section. In the conclusion, you’ll need to highlight the key takeaways from your study and close the loop by explicitly answering your research question. Again, the exact requirements here will vary depending on your programme (and you may not even need a conclusion section at all) – so be sure to check with your professor if you’re unsure.

Step 3: Write and refine

Finally, it’s time to get writing. All too often though, students hit a brick wall right about here… So, how do you avoid this happening to you?

Well, there’s a lot to be said when it comes to writing a research paper (or any sort of academic piece), but we’ll share three practical tips to help you get started.

First and foremost , it’s essential to approach your writing as an iterative process. In other words, you need to start with a really messy first draft and then polish it over multiple rounds of editing. Don’t waste your time trying to write a perfect research paper in one go. Instead, take the pressure off yourself by adopting an iterative approach.

Secondly , it’s important to always lean towards critical writing , rather than descriptive writing. What does this mean? Well, at the simplest level, descriptive writing focuses on the “ what ”, while critical writing digs into the “ so what ” – in other words, the implications . If you’re not familiar with these two types of writing, don’t worry! You can find a plain-language explanation here.

Last but not least, you’ll need to get your referencing right. Specifically, you’ll need to provide credible, correctly formatted citations for the statements you make. We see students making referencing mistakes all the time and it costs them dearly. The good news is that you can easily avoid this by using a simple reference manager . If you don’t have one, check out our video about Mendeley, an easy (and free) reference management tool that you can start using today.

Recap: Key Takeaways

We’ve covered a lot of ground here. To recap, the three steps to writing a high-quality research paper are:

  • To choose a research question and review the literature
  • To plan your paper structure and draft an outline
  • To take an iterative approach to writing, focusing on critical writing and strong referencing

Remember, this is just a b ig-picture overview of the research paper development process and there’s a lot more nuance to unpack. So, be sure to grab a copy of our free research paper template to learn more about how to write a research paper.

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Referencing in Word

Can you help me with a full paper template for this Abstract:

Background: Energy and sports drinks have gained popularity among diverse demographic groups, including adolescents, athletes, workers, and college students. While often used interchangeably, these beverages serve distinct purposes, with energy drinks aiming to boost energy and cognitive performance, and sports drinks designed to prevent dehydration and replenish electrolytes and carbohydrates lost during physical exertion.

Objective: To assess the nutritional quality of energy and sports drinks in Egypt.

Material and Methods: A cross-sectional study assessed the nutrient contents, including energy, sugar, electrolytes, vitamins, and caffeine, of sports and energy drinks available in major supermarkets in Cairo, Alexandria, and Giza, Egypt. Data collection involved photographing all relevant product labels and recording nutritional information. Descriptive statistics and appropriate statistical tests were employed to analyze and compare the nutritional values of energy and sports drinks.

Results: The study analyzed 38 sports drinks and 42 energy drinks. Sports drinks were significantly more expensive than energy drinks, with higher net content and elevated magnesium, potassium, and vitamin C. Energy drinks contained higher concentrations of caffeine, sugars, and vitamins B2, B3, and B6.

Conclusion: Significant nutritional differences exist between sports and energy drinks, reflecting their intended uses. However, these beverages’ high sugar content and calorie loads raise health concerns. Proper labeling, public awareness, and responsible marketing are essential to guide safe consumption practices in Egypt.

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How to start your research paper [step-by-step guide]

how to start off a career research paper

1. Choose your topic

2. find information on your topic, 3. create a thesis statement, 4. create a research paper outline, 5. organize your notes, 6. write your introduction, 7. write your first draft of the body, 9. write your conclusion, 10. revise again, edit, and proofread, frequently asked questions about starting your research paper, related articles.

Research papers can be short or in-depth, but no matter what type of research paper, they all follow pretty much the same pattern and have the same structure .

A research paper is a paper that makes an argument about a topic based on research and analysis.

There will be some basic differences, but if you can write one type of research paper, you can write another. Below is a step-by-step guide to starting and completing your research paper.

Choose a topic that interests you. Writing your research paper will be so much more pleasant with a topic that you actually want to know more about. Your interest will show in the way you write and effort you put into the paper. Consider these issues when coming up with a topic:

  • make sure your topic is not too broad
  • narrow it down if you're using terms that are too general

Academic search engines are a great source to find background information on your topic. Your institution's library will most likely provide access to plenty of online research databases. Take a look at our guide on how to efficiently search online databases for academic research to learn how to gather all the information needed on your topic.

Tip: If you’re struggling with finding research, consider meeting with an academic librarian to help you come up with more balanced keywords.

If you’re struggling to find a topic for your thesis, take a look at our guide on how to come up with a thesis topic .

The thesis statement is one of the most important elements of any piece of academic writing. It can be defined as a very brief statement of what the main point or central message of your paper is. Our thesis statement guide will help you write an excellent thesis statement.

In the next step, you need to create your research paper outline . The outline is the skeleton of your research paper. Simply start by writing down your thesis and the main ideas you wish to present. This will likely change as your research progresses; therefore, do not worry about being too specific in the early stages of writing your outline.

Then, fill out your outline with the following components:

  • the main ideas that you want to cover in the paper
  • the types of evidence that you will use to support your argument
  • quotes from secondary sources that you may want to use

Organizing all the information you have gathered according to your outline will help you later on in the writing process. Analyze your notes, check for accuracy, verify the information, and make sure you understand all the information you have gathered in a way that you can communicate your findings effectively.

Start with the introduction. It will set the direction of your paper and help you a lot as you write. Waiting to write it at the end can leave you with a poorly written setup to an otherwise well-written paper.

The body of your paper argues, explains or describes your topic. Start with the first topic from your outline. Ideally, you have organized your notes in a way that you can work through your research paper outline and have all the notes ready.

After your first draft, take some time to check the paper for content errors. Rearrange ideas, make changes and check if the order of your paragraphs makes sense. At this point, it is helpful to re-read the research paper guidelines and make sure you have followed the format requirements. You can also use free grammar and proof reading checkers such as Grammarly .

Tip: Consider reading your paper from back to front when you undertake your initial revision. This will help you ensure that your argument and organization are sound.

Write your conclusion last and avoid including any new information that has not already been presented in the body of the paper. Your conclusion should wrap up your paper and show that your research question has been answered.

Allow a few days to pass after you finished writing the final draft of your research paper, and then start making your final corrections. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill gives some great advice here on how to revise, edit, and proofread your paper.

Tip: Take a break from your paper before you start your final revisions. Then, you’ll be able to approach your paper with fresh eyes.

As part of your final revision, be sure to check that you’ve cited everything correctly and that you have a full bibliography. Use a reference manager like Paperpile to organize your research and to create accurate citations.

The first step to start writing a research paper is to choose a topic. Make sure your topic is not too broad; narrow it down if you're using terms that are too general.

The format of your research paper will vary depending on the journal you submit to. Make sure to check first which citation style does the journal follow, in order to format your paper accordingly. Check Getting started with your research paper outline to have an idea of what a research paper looks like.

The last step of your research paper should be proofreading. Allow a few days to pass after you finished writing the final draft of your research paper, and then start making your final corrections. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill gives some great advice here on how to revise, edit and proofread your paper.

There are plenty of software you can use to write a research paper. We recommend our own citation software, Paperpile , as well as grammar and proof reading checkers such as Grammarly .

how to start off a career research paper

Educational resources and simple solutions for your research journey

How to Start Writing a Research Paper: 10 Steps You Should Not Skip

How to Start Writing a Research Paper: 10 Steps You Should Not Skip

Writing a research paper can be daunting; early career researchers often find themselves at a crossroads, not knowing how to start writing a research paper. Working on a research project, conducting experiments, and gathering data can be exciting work, but many tend to procrastinate when it comes to actually writing it all down and producing a quality research paper. Unfamiliarity with the language, inexperience with academic writing, and uncertainty about how to present data and information in a simple, accurate way are all real obstacles. Yet, writing a well-structured, compelling research paper is essential to communicate your findings, make an impact in your field, and grow your academic career. So in this comprehensive article, we’ll walk you through how to start writing a research paper, from formulating a research question to organizing your thoughts and staying on track.

Not all research papers are the same. Academic writing requirements can vary based on the type of article, its purpose, or even the field of research. Regardless, the basic steps in writing a research paper remain broadly the same. With proper planning and preparation, and consistent effort, you can overcome procrastination and become a better academic writer.

Table of Contents

Define a clear, focused research question

Knowledge without direction is like a boat on dry land. So, the first step in writing a research paper is to craft a strong research question that sets the foundation for your paper and guides your study’s objectives. Consider your area of interest, review existing literature, and identify gaps or areas needing further exploration to craft a clear and focused research question.

Conduct a thorough literature review

Before diving into your research, conduct a comprehensive literature review to gain insights into the existing body of knowledge on your topic and in related areas. This step will help you identify key theories, findings, and methodologies used in related studies, help you understand how your work fits into the broader academic landscape, and add credibility to your work as an expert.

Formulate a research statement

Your research statement serves as the core of your research paper, allowing readers to understand the main argument or purpose of your study. With the insights from your literature review, craft a concise and compelling research statement that encapsulates the essence of your research question and sets the direction for your paper.

Create a strong research paper outline

Now that you have a clear research question and statement in place, organize your research and data systematically. Create a cohesive outline that outlines the main sections of your research paper (the introduction, methodology, results, discussions, and conclusion) to ensure focus and coherence in your writing. Having a mind map of how information is to be presented in your article is a critical step in simplifying the process of writing a research paper.

Begin working on the first draft

Don’t expect perfection when you start writing a research paper; the first draft should focus on getting your research out onto paper. If you’ve followed the steps so far, this becomes an easier task. You only need to focus on the outline and what you want to communicate in each section, then just fill in the gaps. While many researchers put off writing a research paper until they’ve finished the study, experts suggest that working on your manuscript along with your research may actually help ensure all the details are captured accurately and completely.

Writing a compelling Introduction

The introduction is your paper’s gateway, capturing the reader’s attention and setting the stage for what follows. Consider beginning with a hook or an engaging anecdote to pique the reader’s interest and entice them to delve deeper into your research. Be sure to clearly state the research question and statement, providing context and significance for your study. A well-crafted introduction will entice readers to delve deeper into your research.

Spend time on your Abstract and Title

When writing a research paper, it’s common to focus on the Methods, Results, and Discussion while neglecting the Title and Abstract. However, this is a sure way to fail. These two sections are often what a reader typically encounters of your paper, so spend enough time fine-tuning them. Ensure the title is clear, specific, and reflective of your research with the keywords to make sure your paper is found, read, and cited. Include the research question and main premise of your research when writing the abstract , which should effectively summarize your manuscript.

Wrap up with a well-rounded Conclusion

When writing a research paper conclusion, highlight the key points but take care not to include any concepts or points that have not been discussed in the body of your research paper. Ensure that in summarizing your work, you present the answer to your research question in an interesting, easy to understand way.

Align with the target journal guidelines

One of the most important final steps in writing a research paper is checking to ensure it aligns with journal guidelines. This not only ensures the likelihood of acceptance by the journal; it also reflects your commitment and professionalism as an academic. Double check that your research fits within the journal’s scope and aligns with its specific aims and objectives. Thoroughly review the journal’s website or guidelines document, paying attention to formatting requirements, citation styles, word limits, and preferred article structure. Confirm you have addressed requests for additional data or ethical declarations to avoid potential delays or rejections.

Revise and polish your academic writing

Poor language and comprehension is often one of the top reasons for manuscript rejection. So after you have completed the first draft, take time to edit and proofread your work. Avoid using too much jargon and technical terms and create simple, concise sentences to convey your message. Check for grammar errors, punctuation and spelling mistakes, correct word choice and sentence structure, and any unintended plagiarism.

Knowing how to start writing a research paper is just the first step in a crucial and often challenging process. We hope the detailed steps listed above will help you overcome any hesitation and lay the foundation for a well-crafted, engaging, and impactful research paper, with the best chance of publication success.

R Discovery is a literature search and research reading platform that accelerates your research discovery journey by keeping you updated on the latest, most relevant scholarly content. With 250M+ research articles sourced from trusted aggregators like CrossRef, Unpaywall, PubMed, PubMed Central, Open Alex and top publishing houses like Springer Nature, JAMA, IOP, Taylor & Francis, NEJM, BMJ, Karger, SAGE, Emerald Publishing and more, R Discovery puts a world of research at your fingertips.  

Try R Discovery Prime FREE for 1 week or upgrade at just US$72 a year to access premium features that let you listen to research on the go, read in your language, collaborate with peers, auto sync with reference managers, and much more. Choose a simpler, smarter way to find and read research – Download the app and start your free 7-day trial today !  

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Learning how to start a research paper is the first checklist item of your academic writing journey. A compelling research paper introduction sets the stage for everything that follows. It clearly defines your argument and gives readers a roadmap for what’s in store.

But why is a strong introduction to a research paper so important? Simple. It grabs attention and lays the foundation stone of your argument. Through this practical guide, we’ll explore the various elements to include in your introduction for a research paper. We’ll try to shed light through practical tips and examples. So let’s dive in! 

Want to elevate the quality of your research paper? Learn more

How to write a research paper introduction?

First impressions always matter, and this is why adding a strong introduction to a research paper is so important. But what does it constitute? There are 3 main parts broadly – The hook, the background information, and the thesis statement. 

Let’s look at each one in detail:

The first sentence is your hook, designed to capture the reader’s attention. It can be a provocative question, a surprising fact, or a bold statement. The aim is to pique interest and pose the overarching question that your research seeks to answer. A well-crafted hook is like a magnet—it draws the reader into your intellectual arena.

Example: Did you know chocolate was once used as currency in ancient civilizations?

Background information

When it comes to writing a research paper introduction , your reader needs context but not information overload. Here, you set the stage by providing just enough background information on the topic at hand.

It can include previous studies on the same topic, the scope, and some context. Consider this your chance to orient your audience before delving into the complexities of your argument. 

Example : “There has been a significant increase in the incidence of diabetes in recent years. This has led to an increased demand for effective diabetes management strategies. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of a new diabetes management program in improving patient outcomes.”

The thesis statement

This is the core of your research paper introduction paragraph. It succinctly outlines the aim and focus of your paper. This is usually the first sentence in the introductory paragraph of a research paper.

Example: This paper reviews the recent research in cultural psychology and how culture is the byproduct of interpersonal relations and evolution. 

Some practical tips:

  • Keep your thesis statement specific.
  • Express a single main idea in your statement.
  • Make your thesis statement invite the main discussion.

In Summary:

  • A compelling hook grabs attention.
  • Just enough background sets the stage and orients the reader.
  • A clear thesis statement should warrant discussion and take some sort of a stand.

Armed with these three pillars, you’re well on your way to crafting an introduction paragraph of a research paper that captivates and informs.

In the following sections, we’ll dive deeper into how to start a research paper , offering tailored advice for various types of research undertakings.

How to Start A Research Paper: Actionable Tips

So you’re staring at that blinking cursor, feeling the weight of a thousand academic journals on your shoulders. The task: figure out how to start a research paper. Let’s ditch the anxiety and get right to the point!

Understand your audience

First and foremost, know who you’re talking to. Is your audience a group of academics or a more general readership? Understanding your audience is like knowing your stage and adjusting your tone and language accordingly.

To define your audience, try to create a persona – age, sex, economic level, social status, and so on. You can do this by:

  • Conducting an online survey
  • Organizing focus groups
  • Talking to your audience directly via phone calls

Research beforehand

Before you even type the first word, dig deep into your topic. Consult sources, both primary and secondary, to have a well-rounded understanding of the issue.

Check the following aspects before moving to the next step:

  • Identify Keywords : Find relevant keywords that are related to your topic.
  • Database Diving : Utilize academic databases like PubMed for medical research or JSTOR for humanities.
  • Cross-Reference : Always double-check facts from multiple sources.

You can rely on two kinds of sources for your research, as mentioned below:

Primary Sources : These are your firsthand accounts or direct evidence. If you’re tackling a historical topic, primary sources could be letters, diaries, or newspaper articles from the time. In scientific research, it might be the raw data from experiments.

Secondary Sources : These are interpretations or analyses of primary sources. Academic articles, reviews, and most books fall under this category. 

Craft a strong thesis statement

A thesis statement focuses on a specific topic. So make your thesis statement is clear and concise.

Follow the steps mentioned below to craft a strong thesis statement:

  • Be specific : Aim for specificity. Instead of saying, “Social media affects mental health,” say, “Excessive use of social media contributes to increased levels of anxiety among teenagers.”
  • Keep an arguable point : Your thesis should make a claim that can be debated. If it’s a universally accepted fact, there’s no point in arguing.
  • Be focused : Keep it tight and focused. Your thesis statement should be one to two sentences max. It’s the tagline of your paper; it should be concise and to the point.
  • Position it well : Generally, your thesis should appear towards the end of your introduction. It’s like the crescendo in a musical piece, building up to the main event.
  • Revise : Don’t be afraid to go back and tweak it as your paper evolves.

Example: An analysis of the college admission process reveals one challenge facing counselors: accepting students with high test scores or students with strong extracurricular backgrounds.

Outline your points

Before diving into the writing, sketch out an outline. This serves as your roadmap, outlining the key points and sub-points you’ll tackle. In essence, it’s the blueprint of your academic paper.

Follow these points to create an outline of the research:

  • Identify the main points : These are the arguments or topics that are crucial to your research. List them in the order you plan to address them.
  • Keep solid sub-points and supporting evidence : For each main point, jot down sub-points or examples that support it.
  • Maintain a logical flow : Make sure your points follow a logical sequence. Your arguments should build upon each other.
  • Use transitional phrases : Consider how you’ll transition from one point to the next.
  • Maintain flexibility : Your outline isn’t set in stone. As you dig deeper into your research, you may discover new points that fit better.

Start writing

Once you outline your points, it’s time to venture forth. A strong start incorporates the hook, background, and thesis statement, as we’ve discussed. But don’t get stuck striving for perfection; you can always revisit and refine.

Key Takeaways:

  • Know your audience.
  • Pre-research is your scouting phase.
  • Your thesis is your anchor.
  • Outlining sets the stage.
  • Just start—perfection comes later.

By following these tips, you’ll be well-equipped to begin your research paper. In the sections that follow, we’ll explore how to write an introduction for a research paper, focusing on specific types for a more targeted approach.

How to Write a Research Paper Introduction for Different Types of Papers?

Research papers come in various types – argumentative, empirical, and review papers. Writing an introduction for a research paper of each type comes with its own specific nuances. 

Below are distinctive elements for crafting introductions across various research paper types:

Argumentative paper

An argumentative paper aims to persuade. Your introduction here should not only present your thesis but also hint at the counterarguments you’ll dismantle. Think of it as a debate stage; you’re not just stating your case but also preempting the opposing views.

Example: “School uniforms: they’re a subject of constant debate in the field of education. Supporters argue they create a sense of unity and reduce distractions, leading to better academic performance. Critics claim they stifle individuality and have no real impact on learning. This paper will argue that implementing school uniforms in public schools leads to improved academic performance by fostering a focused learning environment.”

Empirical paper

Here, you’re the scientist, the explorer. Your introduction should outline the research question and the methods you’ll use to answer it. If a specific hypothesis needs testing, it should be mentioned in the research question. 

Topic – Empirical Studies on Product-Service Systems – A Systematic Literature Review

Introduction Example – The rising global population, accelerating technological development, increasing resource usage, and intensifying environmental impacts make sustainability the key issue for the entire society. This has resulted in the growing importance of product-service systems (PSS) in academics and industrial fields. 

As an ‘integrated bundle of products and services which aims at creating customer utility and generating value’ [1], PSS is one of the most effective instruments that move society towards sustainability [2]. According to its evolution, the classical categorization of PSS includes product-oriented PSS, user-oriented PSS, and result-oriented PSS [3]

Review paper

In a review paper, you summarize existing studies on a topic. Your introduction should highlight the main findings so far and where your paper fits into the dialogue.

Example: “Over the past decade, remote work has transitioned from a corporate perk to a standard practice, especially in tech industries. While some argue that remote work increases productivity and employee satisfaction, others point to challenges like communication breakdowns and feelings of isolation. This paper will review existing literature on the effectiveness of remote work, examining its impact on employee productivity, mental health, and organizational cohesion.”

Remember the following points:

  • Argumentative papers need a persuasive touch.
  • Empirical papers require a hint of methodology.
  • Review papers demand an overview of existing research.

Tips for All Types:

  • Be concise: Whether you’re persuading, exploring, or reviewing, get to the point.
  • Be focused: Keep your thesis statement tight and direct.
  • Be engaging: Use your hook to draw readers in, no matter the type of paper.

By tailoring your introduction to the type of paper you’re writing, you’ll align your research with the expectations of your audience. Each type has its nuances, but the core principles of how to write an introduction for a research paper across these diverse types—capturing attention, providing context, and stating your thesis—remain constant. In the end, it’s all about setting the stage for the research that follows.

Research paper introduction example

Imagine you’re crafting an empirical research paper on the impact of social media on mental health. How would a compelling introduction of a research paper look?

Let’s break it down via a concrete research paper introduction example:

“In today’s digital age, social media platforms have become ubiquitous, shaping our interactions and emotional landscapes. While these platforms promise connectivity, emerging research suggests a darker narrative: a potential link between social media usage and declining mental health. This study aims to explore this complex relationship through a comprehensive analysis of survey data and psychological assessments. Employing both qualitative and quantitative methods, we endeavor to answer the pressing question: Does social media negatively impact mental health?”

In this example, the hook points out how common social media use is. The background information provides context by acknowledging both the positive and negative aspects of social media. Finally, the thesis statement outlines the research question and the methodology.

Key Elements:

  • A relatable hook draws the reader in.
  • Contextual background sets the stage.
  • A clear thesis statement outlines the research aim and method.

In a nutshell, the introduction of a research paper serves as a mini-blueprint for the paper. It sets the stage, intrigues the reader, and outlines the research scope—all in a concise manner.

This guide should serve as a useful starting point in understanding how to start an introduction for a research paper. Explore research paper editing services to structure and articulate your ideas in a polished manner effectively. This can ensure you write your research paper with no typos and in refined academic language.

Keep reading to further enhance your knowledge of writing research papers! 

  • Research Paper Format: APA, MLA, & Chicago Style

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  • Starting the research process

A Beginner's Guide to Starting the Research Process

Research process steps

When you have to write a thesis or dissertation , it can be hard to know where to begin, but there are some clear steps you can follow.

The research process often begins with a very broad idea for a topic you’d like to know more about. You do some preliminary research to identify a  problem . After refining your research questions , you can lay out the foundations of your research design , leading to a proposal that outlines your ideas and plans.

This article takes you through the first steps of the research process, helping you narrow down your ideas and build up a strong foundation for your research project.

Table of contents

Step 1: choose your topic, step 2: identify a problem, step 3: formulate research questions, step 4: create a research design, step 5: write a research proposal, other interesting articles.

First you have to come up with some ideas. Your thesis or dissertation topic can start out very broad. Think about the general area or field you’re interested in—maybe you already have specific research interests based on classes you’ve taken, or maybe you had to consider your topic when applying to graduate school and writing a statement of purpose .

Even if you already have a good sense of your topic, you’ll need to read widely to build background knowledge and begin narrowing down your ideas. Conduct an initial literature review to begin gathering relevant sources. As you read, take notes and try to identify problems, questions, debates, contradictions and gaps. Your aim is to narrow down from a broad area of interest to a specific niche.

Make sure to consider the practicalities: the requirements of your programme, the amount of time you have to complete the research, and how difficult it will be to access sources and data on the topic. Before moving onto the next stage, it’s a good idea to discuss the topic with your thesis supervisor.

>>Read more about narrowing down a research topic

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So you’ve settled on a topic and found a niche—but what exactly will your research investigate, and why does it matter? To give your project focus and purpose, you have to define a research problem .

The problem might be a practical issue—for example, a process or practice that isn’t working well, an area of concern in an organization’s performance, or a difficulty faced by a specific group of people in society.

Alternatively, you might choose to investigate a theoretical problem—for example, an underexplored phenomenon or relationship, a contradiction between different models or theories, or an unresolved debate among scholars.

To put the problem in context and set your objectives, you can write a problem statement . This describes who the problem affects, why research is needed, and how your research project will contribute to solving it.

>>Read more about defining a research problem

Next, based on the problem statement, you need to write one or more research questions . These target exactly what you want to find out. They might focus on describing, comparing, evaluating, or explaining the research problem.

A strong research question should be specific enough that you can answer it thoroughly using appropriate qualitative or quantitative research methods. It should also be complex enough to require in-depth investigation, analysis, and argument. Questions that can be answered with “yes/no” or with easily available facts are not complex enough for a thesis or dissertation.

In some types of research, at this stage you might also have to develop a conceptual framework and testable hypotheses .

>>See research question examples

The research design is a practical framework for answering your research questions. It involves making decisions about the type of data you need, the methods you’ll use to collect and analyze it, and the location and timescale of your research.

There are often many possible paths you can take to answering your questions. The decisions you make will partly be based on your priorities. For example, do you want to determine causes and effects, draw generalizable conclusions, or understand the details of a specific context?

You need to decide whether you will use primary or secondary data and qualitative or quantitative methods . You also need to determine the specific tools, procedures, and materials you’ll use to collect and analyze your data, as well as your criteria for selecting participants or sources.

>>Read more about creating a research design

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how to start off a career research paper

Finally, after completing these steps, you are ready to complete a research proposal . The proposal outlines the context, relevance, purpose, and plan of your research.

As well as outlining the background, problem statement, and research questions, the proposal should also include a literature review that shows how your project will fit into existing work on the topic. The research design section describes your approach and explains exactly what you will do.

You might have to get the proposal approved by your supervisor before you get started, and it will guide the process of writing your thesis or dissertation.

>>Read more about writing a research proposal

If you want to know more about the research process , methodology , research bias , or statistics , make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples.


  • Sampling methods
  • Simple random sampling
  • Stratified sampling
  • Cluster sampling
  • Likert scales
  • Reproducibility


  • Null hypothesis
  • Statistical power
  • Probability distribution
  • Effect size
  • Poisson distribution

Research bias

  • Optimism bias
  • Cognitive bias
  • Implicit bias
  • Hawthorne effect
  • Anchoring bias
  • Explicit bias

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  • How to write a research paper

Last updated

11 January 2024

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With proper planning, knowledge, and framework, completing a research paper can be a fulfilling and exciting experience. 

Though it might initially sound slightly intimidating, this guide will help you embrace the challenge. 

By documenting your findings, you can inspire others and make a difference in your field. Here's how you can make your research paper unique and comprehensive.

  • What is a research paper?

Research papers allow you to demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of a particular topic. These papers are usually lengthier and more detailed than typical essays, requiring deeper insight into the chosen topic.

To write a research paper, you must first choose a topic that interests you and is relevant to the field of study. Once you’ve selected your topic, gathering as many relevant resources as possible, including books, scholarly articles, credible websites, and other academic materials, is essential. You must then read and analyze these sources, summarizing their key points and identifying gaps in the current research.

You can formulate your ideas and opinions once you thoroughly understand the existing research. To get there might involve conducting original research, gathering data, or analyzing existing data sets. It could also involve presenting an original argument or interpretation of the existing research.

Writing a successful research paper involves presenting your findings clearly and engagingly, which might involve using charts, graphs, or other visual aids to present your data and using concise language to explain your findings. You must also ensure your paper adheres to relevant academic formatting guidelines, including proper citations and references.

Overall, writing a research paper requires a significant amount of time, effort, and attention to detail. However, it is also an enriching experience that allows you to delve deeply into a subject that interests you and contribute to the existing body of knowledge in your chosen field.

  • How long should a research paper be?

Research papers are deep dives into a topic. Therefore, they tend to be longer pieces of work than essays or opinion pieces. 

However, a suitable length depends on the complexity of the topic and your level of expertise. For instance, are you a first-year college student or an experienced professional? 

Also, remember that the best research papers provide valuable information for the benefit of others. Therefore, the quality of information matters most, not necessarily the length. Being concise is valuable.

Following these best practice steps will help keep your process simple and productive:

1. Gaining a deep understanding of any expectations

Before diving into your intended topic or beginning the research phase, take some time to orient yourself. Suppose there’s a specific topic assigned to you. In that case, it’s essential to deeply understand the question and organize your planning and approach in response. Pay attention to the key requirements and ensure you align your writing accordingly. 

This preparation step entails

Deeply understanding the task or assignment

Being clear about the expected format and length

Familiarizing yourself with the citation and referencing requirements 

Understanding any defined limits for your research contribution

Where applicable, speaking to your professor or research supervisor for further clarification

2. Choose your research topic

Select a research topic that aligns with both your interests and available resources. Ideally, focus on a field where you possess significant experience and analytical skills. In crafting your research paper, it's crucial to go beyond summarizing existing data and contribute fresh insights to the chosen area.

Consider narrowing your focus to a specific aspect of the topic. For example, if exploring the link between technology and mental health, delve into how social media use during the pandemic impacts the well-being of college students. Conducting interviews and surveys with students could provide firsthand data and unique perspectives, adding substantial value to the existing knowledge.

When finalizing your topic, adhere to legal and ethical norms in the relevant area (this ensures the integrity of your research, protects participants' rights, upholds intellectual property standards, and ensures transparency and accountability). Following these principles not only maintains the credibility of your work but also builds trust within your academic or professional community.

For instance, in writing about medical research, consider legal and ethical norms , including patient confidentiality laws and informed consent requirements. Similarly, if analyzing user data on social media platforms, be mindful of data privacy regulations, ensuring compliance with laws governing personal information collection and use. Aligning with legal and ethical standards not only avoids potential issues but also underscores the responsible conduct of your research.

3. Gather preliminary research

Once you’ve landed on your topic, it’s time to explore it further. You’ll want to discover more about available resources and existing research relevant to your assignment at this stage. 

This exploratory phase is vital as you may discover issues with your original idea or realize you have insufficient resources to explore the topic effectively. This key bit of groundwork allows you to redirect your research topic in a different, more feasible, or more relevant direction if necessary. 

Spending ample time at this stage ensures you gather everything you need, learn as much as you can about the topic, and discover gaps where the topic has yet to be sufficiently covered, offering an opportunity to research it further. 

4. Define your research question

To produce a well-structured and focused paper, it is imperative to formulate a clear and precise research question that will guide your work. Your research question must be informed by the existing literature and tailored to the scope and objectives of your project. By refining your focus, you can produce a thoughtful and engaging paper that effectively communicates your ideas to your readers.

5. Write a thesis statement

A thesis statement is a one-to-two-sentence summary of your research paper's main argument or direction. It serves as an overall guide to summarize the overall intent of the research paper for you and anyone wanting to know more about the research.

A strong thesis statement is:

Concise and clear: Explain your case in simple sentences (avoid covering multiple ideas). It might help to think of this section as an elevator pitch.

Specific: Ensure that there is no ambiguity in your statement and that your summary covers the points argued in the paper.

Debatable: A thesis statement puts forward a specific argument––it is not merely a statement but a debatable point that can be analyzed and discussed.

Here are three thesis statement examples from different disciplines:

Psychology thesis example: "We're studying adults aged 25-40 to see if taking short breaks for mindfulness can help with stress. Our goal is to find practical ways to manage anxiety better."

Environmental science thesis example: "This research paper looks into how having more city parks might make the air cleaner and keep people healthier. I want to find out if more green spaces means breathing fewer carcinogens in big cities."

UX research thesis example: "This study focuses on improving mobile banking for older adults using ethnographic research, eye-tracking analysis, and interactive prototyping. We investigate the usefulness of eye-tracking analysis with older individuals, aiming to spark debate and offer fresh perspectives on UX design and digital inclusivity for the aging population."

6. Conduct in-depth research

A research paper doesn’t just include research that you’ve uncovered from other papers and studies but your fresh insights, too. You will seek to become an expert on your topic––understanding the nuances in the current leading theories. You will analyze existing research and add your thinking and discoveries.  It's crucial to conduct well-designed research that is rigorous, robust, and based on reliable sources. Suppose a research paper lacks evidence or is biased. In that case, it won't benefit the academic community or the general public. Therefore, examining the topic thoroughly and furthering its understanding through high-quality research is essential. That usually means conducting new research. Depending on the area under investigation, you may conduct surveys, interviews, diary studies , or observational research to uncover new insights or bolster current claims.

7. Determine supporting evidence

Not every piece of research you’ve discovered will be relevant to your research paper. It’s important to categorize the most meaningful evidence to include alongside your discoveries. It's important to include evidence that doesn't support your claims to avoid exclusion bias and ensure a fair research paper.

8. Write a research paper outline

Before diving in and writing the whole paper, start with an outline. It will help you to see if more research is needed, and it will provide a framework by which to write a more compelling paper. Your supervisor may even request an outline to approve before beginning to write the first draft of the full paper. An outline will include your topic, thesis statement, key headings, short summaries of the research, and your arguments.

9. Write your first draft

Once you feel confident about your outline and sources, it’s time to write your first draft. While penning a long piece of content can be intimidating, if you’ve laid the groundwork, you will have a structure to help you move steadily through each section. To keep up motivation and inspiration, it’s often best to keep the pace quick. Stopping for long periods can interrupt your flow and make jumping back in harder than writing when things are fresh in your mind.

10. Cite your sources correctly

It's always a good practice to give credit where it's due, and the same goes for citing any works that have influenced your paper. Building your arguments on credible references adds value and authenticity to your research. In the formatting guidelines section, you’ll find an overview of different citation styles (MLA, CMOS, or APA), which will help you meet any publishing or academic requirements and strengthen your paper's credibility. It is essential to follow the guidelines provided by your school or the publication you are submitting to ensure the accuracy and relevance of your citations.

11. Ensure your work is original

It is crucial to ensure the originality of your paper, as plagiarism can lead to serious consequences. To avoid plagiarism, you should use proper paraphrasing and quoting techniques. Paraphrasing is rewriting a text in your own words while maintaining the original meaning. Quoting involves directly citing the source. Giving credit to the original author or source is essential whenever you borrow their ideas or words. You can also use plagiarism detection tools such as Scribbr or Grammarly to check the originality of your paper. These tools compare your draft writing to a vast database of online sources. If you find any accidental plagiarism, you should correct it immediately by rephrasing or citing the source.

12. Revise, edit, and proofread

One of the essential qualities of excellent writers is their ability to understand the importance of editing and proofreading. Even though it's tempting to call it a day once you've finished your writing, editing your work can significantly improve its quality. It's natural to overlook the weaker areas when you've just finished writing a paper. Therefore, it's best to take a break of a day or two, or even up to a week, to refresh your mind. This way, you can return to your work with a new perspective. After some breathing room, you can spot any inconsistencies, spelling and grammar errors, typos, or missing citations and correct them. 

  • The best research paper format 

The format of your research paper should align with the requirements set forth by your college, school, or target publication. 

There is no one “best” format, per se. Depending on the stated requirements, you may need to include the following elements:

Title page: The title page of a research paper typically includes the title, author's name, and institutional affiliation and may include additional information such as a course name or instructor's name. 

Table of contents: Include a table of contents to make it easy for readers to find specific sections of your paper.

Abstract: The abstract is a summary of the purpose of the paper.

Methods : In this section, describe the research methods used. This may include collecting data , conducting interviews, or doing field research .

Results: Summarize the conclusions you drew from your research in this section.

Discussion: In this section, discuss the implications of your research . Be sure to mention any significant limitations to your approach and suggest areas for further research.

Tables, charts, and illustrations: Use tables, charts, and illustrations to help convey your research findings and make them easier to understand.

Works cited or reference page: Include a works cited or reference page to give credit to the sources that you used to conduct your research.

Bibliography: Provide a list of all the sources you consulted while conducting your research.

Dedication and acknowledgments : Optionally, you may include a dedication and acknowledgments section to thank individuals who helped you with your research.

  • General style and formatting guidelines

Formatting your research paper means you can submit it to your college, journal, or other publications in compliance with their criteria.

Research papers tend to follow the American Psychological Association (APA), Modern Language Association (MLA), or Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS) guidelines.

Here’s how each style guide is typically used:

Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS):

CMOS is a versatile style guide used for various types of writing. It's known for its flexibility and use in the humanities. CMOS provides guidelines for citations, formatting, and overall writing style. It allows for both footnotes and in-text citations, giving writers options based on their preferences or publication requirements.

American Psychological Association (APA):

APA is common in the social sciences. It’s hailed for its clarity and emphasis on precision. It has specific rules for citing sources, creating references, and formatting papers. APA style uses in-text citations with an accompanying reference list. It's designed to convey information efficiently and is widely used in academic and scientific writing.

Modern Language Association (MLA):

MLA is widely used in the humanities, especially literature and language studies. It emphasizes the author-page format for in-text citations and provides guidelines for creating a "Works Cited" page. MLA is known for its focus on the author's name and the literary works cited. It’s frequently used in disciplines that prioritize literary analysis and critical thinking.

To confirm you're using the latest style guide, check the official website or publisher's site for updates, consult academic resources, and verify the guide's publication date. Online platforms and educational resources may also provide summaries and alerts about any revisions or additions to the style guide.

Citing sources

When working on your research paper, it's important to cite the sources you used properly. Your citation style will guide you through this process. Generally, there are three parts to citing sources in your research paper: 

First, provide a brief citation in the body of your essay. This is also known as a parenthetical or in-text citation. 

Second, include a full citation in the Reference list at the end of your paper. Different types of citations include in-text citations, footnotes, and reference lists. 

In-text citations include the author's surname and the date of the citation. 

Footnotes appear at the bottom of each page of your research paper. They may also be summarized within a reference list at the end of the paper. 

A reference list includes all of the research used within the paper at the end of the document. It should include the author, date, paper title, and publisher listed in the order that aligns with your citation style.

10 research paper writing tips:

Following some best practices is essential to writing a research paper that contributes to your field of study and creates a positive impact.

These tactics will help you structure your argument effectively and ensure your work benefits others:

Clear and precise language:  Ensure your language is unambiguous. Use academic language appropriately, but keep it simple. Also, provide clear takeaways for your audience.

Effective idea separation:  Organize the vast amount of information and sources in your paper with paragraphs and titles. Create easily digestible sections for your readers to navigate through.

Compelling intro:  Craft an engaging introduction that captures your reader's interest. Hook your audience and motivate them to continue reading.

Thorough revision and editing:  Take the time to review and edit your paper comprehensively. Use tools like Grammarly to detect and correct small, overlooked errors.

Thesis precision:  Develop a clear and concise thesis statement that guides your paper. Ensure that your thesis aligns with your research's overall purpose and contribution.

Logical flow of ideas:  Maintain a logical progression throughout the paper. Use transitions effectively to connect different sections and maintain coherence.

Critical evaluation of sources:  Evaluate and critically assess the relevance and reliability of your sources. Ensure that your research is based on credible and up-to-date information.

Thematic consistency:  Maintain a consistent theme throughout the paper. Ensure that all sections contribute cohesively to the overall argument.

Relevant supporting evidence:  Provide concise and relevant evidence to support your arguments. Avoid unnecessary details that may distract from the main points.

Embrace counterarguments:  Acknowledge and address opposing views to strengthen your position. Show that you have considered alternative arguments in your field.

7 research tips 

If you want your paper to not only be well-written but also contribute to the progress of human knowledge, consider these tips to take your paper to the next level:

Selecting the appropriate topic: The topic you select should align with your area of expertise, comply with the requirements of your project, and have sufficient resources for a comprehensive investigation.

Use academic databases: Academic databases such as PubMed, Google Scholar, and JSTOR offer a wealth of research papers that can help you discover everything you need to know about your chosen topic.

Critically evaluate sources: It is important not to accept research findings at face value. Instead, it is crucial to critically analyze the information to avoid jumping to conclusions or overlooking important details. A well-written research paper requires a critical analysis with thorough reasoning to support claims.

Diversify your sources: Expand your research horizons by exploring a variety of sources beyond the standard databases. Utilize books, conference proceedings, and interviews to gather diverse perspectives and enrich your understanding of the topic.

Take detailed notes: Detailed note-taking is crucial during research and can help you form the outline and body of your paper.

Stay up on trends: Keep abreast of the latest developments in your field by regularly checking for recent publications. Subscribe to newsletters, follow relevant journals, and attend conferences to stay informed about emerging trends and advancements. 

Engage in peer review: Seek feedback from peers or mentors to ensure the rigor and validity of your research . Peer review helps identify potential weaknesses in your methodology and strengthens the overall credibility of your findings.

  • The real-world impact of research papers

Writing a research paper is more than an academic or business exercise. The experience provides an opportunity to explore a subject in-depth, broaden one's understanding, and arrive at meaningful conclusions. With careful planning, dedication, and hard work, writing a research paper can be a fulfilling and enriching experience contributing to advancing knowledge.

How do I publish my research paper? 

Many academics wish to publish their research papers. While challenging, your paper might get traction if it covers new and well-written information. To publish your research paper, find a target publication, thoroughly read their guidelines, format your paper accordingly, and send it to them per their instructions. You may need to include a cover letter, too. After submission, your paper may be peer-reviewed by experts to assess its legitimacy, quality, originality, and methodology. Following review, you will be informed by the publication whether they have accepted or rejected your paper. 

What is a good opening sentence for a research paper? 

Beginning your research paper with a compelling introduction can ensure readers are interested in going further. A relevant quote, a compelling statistic, or a bold argument can start the paper and hook your reader. Remember, though, that the most important aspect of a research paper is the quality of the information––not necessarily your ability to storytell, so ensure anything you write aligns with your goals.

Research paper vs. a research proposal—what’s the difference?

While some may confuse research papers and proposals, they are different documents. 

A research proposal comes before a research paper. It is a detailed document that outlines an intended area of exploration. It includes the research topic, methodology, timeline, sources, and potential conclusions. Research proposals are often required when seeking approval to conduct research. 

A research paper is a summary of research findings. A research paper follows a structured format to present those findings and construct an argument or conclusion.

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Focus: Education — Career Advice

How to write your first research paper.

Writing a research manuscript is an intimidating process for many novice writers in the sciences. One of the stumbling blocks is the beginning of the process and creating the first draft. This paper presents guidelines on how to initiate the writing process and draft each section of a research manuscript. The paper discusses seven rules that allow the writer to prepare a well-structured and comprehensive manuscript for a publication submission. In addition, the author lists different strategies for successful revision. Each of those strategies represents a step in the revision process and should help the writer improve the quality of the manuscript. The paper could be considered a brief manual for publication.

It is late at night. You have been struggling with your project for a year. You generated an enormous amount of interesting data. Your pipette feels like an extension of your hand, and running western blots has become part of your daily routine, similar to brushing your teeth. Your colleagues think you are ready to write a paper, and your lab mates tease you about your “slow” writing progress. Yet days pass, and you cannot force yourself to sit down to write. You have not written anything for a while (lab reports do not count), and you feel you have lost your stamina. How does the writing process work? How can you fit your writing into a daily schedule packed with experiments? What section should you start with? What distinguishes a good research paper from a bad one? How should you revise your paper? These and many other questions buzz in your head and keep you stressed. As a result, you procrastinate. In this paper, I will discuss the issues related to the writing process of a scientific paper. Specifically, I will focus on the best approaches to start a scientific paper, tips for writing each section, and the best revision strategies.

1. Schedule your writing time in Outlook

Whether you have written 100 papers or you are struggling with your first, starting the process is the most difficult part unless you have a rigid writing schedule. Writing is hard. It is a very difficult process of intense concentration and brain work. As stated in Hayes’ framework for the study of writing: “It is a generative activity requiring motivation, and it is an intellectual activity requiring cognitive processes and memory” [ 1 ]. In his book How to Write a Lot: A Practical Guide to Productive Academic Writing , Paul Silvia says that for some, “it’s easier to embalm the dead than to write an article about it” [ 2 ]. Just as with any type of hard work, you will not succeed unless you practice regularly. If you have not done physical exercises for a year, only regular workouts can get you into good shape again. The same kind of regular exercises, or I call them “writing sessions,” are required to be a productive author. Choose from 1- to 2-hour blocks in your daily work schedule and consider them as non-cancellable appointments. When figuring out which blocks of time will be set for writing, you should select the time that works best for this type of work. For many people, mornings are more productive. One Yale University graduate student spent a semester writing from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. when her lab was empty. At the end of the semester, she was amazed at how much she accomplished without even interrupting her regular lab hours. In addition, doing the hardest task first thing in the morning contributes to the sense of accomplishment during the rest of the day. This positive feeling spills over into our work and life and has a very positive effect on our overall attitude.

Rule 1: Create regular time blocks for writing as appointments in your calendar and keep these appointments.

2. start with an outline.

Now that you have scheduled time, you need to decide how to start writing. The best strategy is to start with an outline. This will not be an outline that you are used to, with Roman numerals for each section and neat parallel listing of topic sentences and supporting points. This outline will be similar to a template for your paper. Initially, the outline will form a structure for your paper; it will help generate ideas and formulate hypotheses. Following the advice of George M. Whitesides, “. . . start with a blank piece of paper, and write down, in any order, all important ideas that occur to you concerning the paper” [ 3 ]. Use Table 1 as a starting point for your outline. Include your visuals (figures, tables, formulas, equations, and algorithms), and list your findings. These will constitute the first level of your outline, which will eventually expand as you elaborate.

1. What is the topic of my paper?
2. Why is this topic important?
3. How could I formulate my hypothesis?
4. What are my results (include visuals)?
5. What is my major finding?

The next stage is to add context and structure. Here you will group all your ideas into sections: Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion/Conclusion ( Table 2 ). This step will help add coherence to your work and sift your ideas.

1. Why is your research important?
2. What is known about the topic?
3. What are your hypotheses?
4. What are your objectives?
1. What materials did you use?
2. Who were the subjects of your study?
3. What was the design of your research?
4. What procedure did you follow?
1. What are your most significant results?
2. What are your supporting results?
1. What are the studies major findings?
2. What is the significance/implication of the results?

Now that you have expanded your outline, you are ready for the next step: discussing the ideas for your paper with your colleagues and mentor. Many universities have a writing center where graduate students can schedule individual consultations and receive assistance with their paper drafts. Getting feedback during early stages of your draft can save a lot of time. Talking through ideas allows people to conceptualize and organize thoughts to find their direction without wasting time on unnecessary writing. Outlining is the most effective way of communicating your ideas and exchanging thoughts. Moreover, it is also the best stage to decide to which publication you will submit the paper. Many people come up with three choices and discuss them with their mentors and colleagues. Having a list of journal priorities can help you quickly resubmit your paper if your paper is rejected.

Rule 2: Create a detailed outline and discuss it with your mentor and peers.

3. continue with drafts.

After you get enough feedback and decide on the journal you will submit to, the process of real writing begins. Copy your outline into a separate file and expand on each of the points, adding data and elaborating on the details. When you create the first draft, do not succumb to the temptation of editing. Do not slow down to choose a better word or better phrase; do not halt to improve your sentence structure. Pour your ideas into the paper and leave revision and editing for later. As Paul Silvia explains, “Revising while you generate text is like drinking decaffeinated coffee in the early morning: noble idea, wrong time” [ 2 ].

Many students complain that they are not productive writers because they experience writer’s block. Staring at an empty screen is frustrating, but your screen is not really empty: You have a template of your article, and all you need to do is fill in the blanks. Indeed, writer’s block is a logical fallacy for a scientist ― it is just an excuse to procrastinate. When scientists start writing a research paper, they already have their files with data, lab notes with materials and experimental designs, some visuals, and tables with results. All they need to do is scrutinize these pieces and put them together into a comprehensive paper.

3.1. Starting with Materials and Methods

If you still struggle with starting a paper, then write the Materials and Methods section first. Since you have all your notes, it should not be problematic for you to describe the experimental design and procedures. Your most important goal in this section is to be as explicit as possible by providing enough detail and references. In the end, the purpose of this section is to allow other researchers to evaluate and repeat your work. So do not run into the same problems as the writers of the sentences in (1):

1a. Bacteria were pelleted by centrifugation. 1b. To isolate T cells, lymph nodes were collected.

As you can see, crucial pieces of information are missing: the speed of centrifuging your bacteria, the time, and the temperature in (1a); the source of lymph nodes for collection in (b). The sentences can be improved when information is added, as in (2a) and (2b), respectfully:

2a. Bacteria were pelleted by centrifugation at 3000g for 15 min at 25°C. 2b. To isolate T cells, mediastinal and mesenteric lymph nodes from Balb/c mice were collected at day 7 after immunization with ovabumin.

If your method has previously been published and is well-known, then you should provide only the literature reference, as in (3a). If your method is unpublished, then you need to make sure you provide all essential details, as in (3b).

3a. Stem cells were isolated, according to Johnson [23]. 3b. Stem cells were isolated using biotinylated carbon nanotubes coated with anti-CD34 antibodies.

Furthermore, cohesion and fluency are crucial in this section. One of the malpractices resulting in disrupted fluency is switching from passive voice to active and vice versa within the same paragraph, as shown in (4). This switching misleads and distracts the reader.

4. Behavioral computer-based experiments of Study 1 were programmed by using E-Prime. We took ratings of enjoyment, mood, and arousal as the patients listened to preferred pleasant music and unpreferred music by using Visual Analogue Scales (SI Methods). The preferred and unpreferred status of the music was operationalized along a continuum of pleasantness [ 4 ].

The problem with (4) is that the reader has to switch from the point of view of the experiment (passive voice) to the point of view of the experimenter (active voice). This switch causes confusion about the performer of the actions in the first and the third sentences. To improve the coherence and fluency of the paragraph above, you should be consistent in choosing the point of view: first person “we” or passive voice [ 5 ]. Let’s consider two revised examples in (5).

5a. We programmed behavioral computer-based experiments of Study 1 by using E-Prime. We took ratings of enjoyment, mood, and arousal by using Visual Analogue Scales (SI Methods) as the patients listened to preferred pleasant music and unpreferred music. We operationalized the preferred and unpreferred status of the music along a continuum of pleasantness. 5b. Behavioral computer-based experiments of Study 1 were programmed by using E-Prime. Ratings of enjoyment, mood, and arousal were taken as the patients listened to preferred pleasant music and unpreferred music by using Visual Analogue Scales (SI Methods). The preferred and unpreferred status of the music was operationalized along a continuum of pleasantness.

If you choose the point of view of the experimenter, then you may end up with repetitive “we did this” sentences. For many readers, paragraphs with sentences all beginning with “we” may also sound disruptive. So if you choose active sentences, you need to keep the number of “we” subjects to a minimum and vary the beginnings of the sentences [ 6 ].

Interestingly, recent studies have reported that the Materials and Methods section is the only section in research papers in which passive voice predominantly overrides the use of the active voice [ 5 , 7 , 8 , 9 ]. For example, Martínez shows a significant drop in active voice use in the Methods sections based on the corpus of 1 million words of experimental full text research articles in the biological sciences [ 7 ]. According to the author, the active voice patterned with “we” is used only as a tool to reveal personal responsibility for the procedural decisions in designing and performing experimental work. This means that while all other sections of the research paper use active voice, passive voice is still the most predominant in Materials and Methods sections.

Writing Materials and Methods sections is a meticulous and time consuming task requiring extreme accuracy and clarity. This is why when you complete your draft, you should ask for as much feedback from your colleagues as possible. Numerous readers of this section will help you identify the missing links and improve the technical style of this section.

Rule 3: Be meticulous and accurate in describing the Materials and Methods. Do not change the point of view within one paragraph.

3.2. writing results section.

For many authors, writing the Results section is more intimidating than writing the Materials and Methods section . If people are interested in your paper, they are interested in your results. That is why it is vital to use all your writing skills to objectively present your key findings in an orderly and logical sequence using illustrative materials and text.

Your Results should be organized into different segments or subsections where each one presents the purpose of the experiment, your experimental approach, data including text and visuals (tables, figures, schematics, algorithms, and formulas), and data commentary. For most journals, your data commentary will include a meaningful summary of the data presented in the visuals and an explanation of the most significant findings. This data presentation should not repeat the data in the visuals, but rather highlight the most important points. In the “standard” research paper approach, your Results section should exclude data interpretation, leaving it for the Discussion section. However, interpretations gradually and secretly creep into research papers: “Reducing the data, generalizing from the data, and highlighting scientific cases are all highly interpretive processes. It should be clear by now that we do not let the data speak for themselves in research reports; in summarizing our results, we interpret them for the reader” [ 10 ]. As a result, many journals including the Journal of Experimental Medicine and the Journal of Clinical Investigation use joint Results/Discussion sections, where results are immediately followed by interpretations.

Another important aspect of this section is to create a comprehensive and supported argument or a well-researched case. This means that you should be selective in presenting data and choose only those experimental details that are essential for your reader to understand your findings. You might have conducted an experiment 20 times and collected numerous records, but this does not mean that you should present all those records in your paper. You need to distinguish your results from your data and be able to discard excessive experimental details that could distract and confuse the reader. However, creating a picture or an argument should not be confused with data manipulation or falsification, which is a willful distortion of data and results. If some of your findings contradict your ideas, you have to mention this and find a plausible explanation for the contradiction.

In addition, your text should not include irrelevant and peripheral information, including overview sentences, as in (6).

6. To show our results, we first introduce all components of experimental system and then describe the outcome of infections.

Indeed, wordiness convolutes your sentences and conceals your ideas from readers. One common source of wordiness is unnecessary intensifiers. Adverbial intensifiers such as “clearly,” “essential,” “quite,” “basically,” “rather,” “fairly,” “really,” and “virtually” not only add verbosity to your sentences, but also lower your results’ credibility. They appeal to the reader’s emotions but lower objectivity, as in the common examples in (7):

7a. Table 3 clearly shows that … 7b. It is obvious from figure 4 that …

Another source of wordiness is nominalizations, i.e., nouns derived from verbs and adjectives paired with weak verbs including “be,” “have,” “do,” “make,” “cause,” “provide,” and “get” and constructions such as “there is/are.”

8a. We tested the hypothesis that there is a disruption of membrane asymmetry. 8b. In this paper we provide an argument that stem cells repopulate injured organs.

In the sentences above, the abstract nominalizations “disruption” and “argument” do not contribute to the clarity of the sentences, but rather clutter them with useless vocabulary that distracts from the meaning. To improve your sentences, avoid unnecessary nominalizations and change passive verbs and constructions into active and direct sentences.

9a. We tested the hypothesis that the membrane asymmetry is disrupted. 9b. In this paper we argue that stem cells repopulate injured organs.

Your Results section is the heart of your paper, representing a year or more of your daily research. So lead your reader through your story by writing direct, concise, and clear sentences.

Rule 4: Be clear, concise, and objective in describing your Results.

3.3. now it is time for your introduction.

Now that you are almost half through drafting your research paper, it is time to update your outline. While describing your Methods and Results, many of you diverged from the original outline and re-focused your ideas. So before you move on to create your Introduction, re-read your Methods and Results sections and change your outline to match your research focus. The updated outline will help you review the general picture of your paper, the topic, the main idea, and the purpose, which are all important for writing your introduction.

The best way to structure your introduction is to follow the three-move approach shown in Table 3 .

a. Show that the general research area is important, central, interesting, and problematic in some way;
a. Indicate a gap in the previous research, or extend previous knowledge in some way.
a. Outline purposes or state the nature of the present research;
b. List research questions or hypotheses;
c. Announce principle findings;
d. State the value of the present research;
e. Indicate the structure of the research paper.

Adapted from Swales and Feak [ 11 ].

The moves and information from your outline can help to create your Introduction efficiently and without missing steps. These moves are traffic signs that lead the reader through the road of your ideas. Each move plays an important role in your paper and should be presented with deep thought and care. When you establish the territory, you place your research in context and highlight the importance of your research topic. By finding the niche, you outline the scope of your research problem and enter the scientific dialogue. The final move, “occupying the niche,” is where you explain your research in a nutshell and highlight your paper’s significance. The three moves allow your readers to evaluate their interest in your paper and play a significant role in the paper review process, determining your paper reviewers.

Some academic writers assume that the reader “should follow the paper” to find the answers about your methodology and your findings. As a result, many novice writers do not present their experimental approach and the major findings, wrongly believing that the reader will locate the necessary information later while reading the subsequent sections [ 5 ]. However, this “suspense” approach is not appropriate for scientific writing. To interest the reader, scientific authors should be direct and straightforward and present informative one-sentence summaries of the results and the approach.

Another problem is that writers understate the significance of the Introduction. Many new researchers mistakenly think that all their readers understand the importance of the research question and omit this part. However, this assumption is faulty because the purpose of the section is not to evaluate the importance of the research question in general. The goal is to present the importance of your research contribution and your findings. Therefore, you should be explicit and clear in describing the benefit of the paper.

The Introduction should not be long. Indeed, for most journals, this is a very brief section of about 250 to 600 words, but it might be the most difficult section due to its importance.

Rule 5: Interest your reader in the Introduction section by signalling all its elements and stating the novelty of the work.

3.4. discussion of the results.

For many scientists, writing a Discussion section is as scary as starting a paper. Most of the fear comes from the variation in the section. Since every paper has its unique results and findings, the Discussion section differs in its length, shape, and structure. However, some general principles of writing this section still exist. Knowing these rules, or “moves,” can change your attitude about this section and help you create a comprehensive interpretation of your results.

The purpose of the Discussion section is to place your findings in the research context and “to explain the meaning of the findings and why they are important, without appearing arrogant, condescending, or patronizing” [ 11 ]. The structure of the first two moves is almost a mirror reflection of the one in the Introduction. In the Introduction, you zoom in from general to specific and from the background to your research question; in the Discussion section, you zoom out from the summary of your findings to the research context, as shown in Table 4 .

a. State the study’s major findings.
b. Explain the meaning and importance of your finding.
c. Consider alternative explanations of the findings.
a. Compare and contrast your findings with those of other published results.
b. Explain any discrepancies and unexpected findings.
c. State the limitations, weaknesses, and assumptions of your study.
a. Summarize the answers to the research questions.
b. Indicate the importance of the work by stating applications, recommendations, and implications.

Adapted from Swales and Feak and Hess [ 11 , 12 ].

The biggest challenge for many writers is the opening paragraph of the Discussion section. Following the moves in Table 1 , the best choice is to start with the study’s major findings that provide the answer to the research question in your Introduction. The most common starting phrases are “Our findings demonstrate . . .,” or “In this study, we have shown that . . .,” or “Our results suggest . . .” In some cases, however, reminding the reader about the research question or even providing a brief context and then stating the answer would make more sense. This is important in those cases where the researcher presents a number of findings or where more than one research question was presented. Your summary of the study’s major findings should be followed by your presentation of the importance of these findings. One of the most frequent mistakes of the novice writer is to assume the importance of his findings. Even if the importance is clear to you, it may not be obvious to your reader. Digesting the findings and their importance to your reader is as crucial as stating your research question.

Another useful strategy is to be proactive in the first move by predicting and commenting on the alternative explanations of the results. Addressing potential doubts will save you from painful comments about the wrong interpretation of your results and will present you as a thoughtful and considerate researcher. Moreover, the evaluation of the alternative explanations might help you create a logical step to the next move of the discussion section: the research context.

The goal of the research context move is to show how your findings fit into the general picture of the current research and how you contribute to the existing knowledge on the topic. This is also the place to discuss any discrepancies and unexpected findings that may otherwise distort the general picture of your paper. Moreover, outlining the scope of your research by showing the limitations, weaknesses, and assumptions is essential and adds modesty to your image as a scientist. However, make sure that you do not end your paper with the problems that override your findings. Try to suggest feasible explanations and solutions.

If your submission does not require a separate Conclusion section, then adding another paragraph about the “take-home message” is a must. This should be a general statement reiterating your answer to the research question and adding its scientific implications, practical application, or advice.

Just as in all other sections of your paper, the clear and precise language and concise comprehensive sentences are vital. However, in addition to that, your writing should convey confidence and authority. The easiest way to illustrate your tone is to use the active voice and the first person pronouns. Accompanied by clarity and succinctness, these tools are the best to convince your readers of your point and your ideas.

Rule 6: Present the principles, relationships, and generalizations in a concise and convincing tone.

4. choosing the best working revision strategies.

Now that you have created the first draft, your attitude toward your writing should have improved. Moreover, you should feel more confident that you are able to accomplish your project and submit your paper within a reasonable timeframe. You also have worked out your writing schedule and followed it precisely. Do not stop ― you are only at the midpoint from your destination. Just as the best and most precious diamond is no more than an unattractive stone recognized only by trained professionals, your ideas and your results may go unnoticed if they are not polished and brushed. Despite your attempts to present your ideas in a logical and comprehensive way, first drafts are frequently a mess. Use the advice of Paul Silvia: “Your first drafts should sound like they were hastily translated from Icelandic by a non-native speaker” [ 2 ]. The degree of your success will depend on how you are able to revise and edit your paper.

The revision can be done at the macrostructure and the microstructure levels [ 13 ]. The macrostructure revision includes the revision of the organization, content, and flow. The microstructure level includes individual words, sentence structure, grammar, punctuation, and spelling.

The best way to approach the macrostructure revision is through the outline of the ideas in your paper. The last time you updated your outline was before writing the Introduction and the Discussion. Now that you have the beginning and the conclusion, you can take a bird’s-eye view of the whole paper. The outline will allow you to see if the ideas of your paper are coherently structured, if your results are logically built, and if the discussion is linked to the research question in the Introduction. You will be able to see if something is missing in any of the sections or if you need to rearrange your information to make your point.

The next step is to revise each of the sections starting from the beginning. Ideally, you should limit yourself to working on small sections of about five pages at a time [ 14 ]. After these short sections, your eyes get used to your writing and your efficiency in spotting problems decreases. When reading for content and organization, you should control your urge to edit your paper for sentence structure and grammar and focus only on the flow of your ideas and logic of your presentation. Experienced researchers tend to make almost three times the number of changes to meaning than novice writers [ 15 , 16 ]. Revising is a difficult but useful skill, which academic writers obtain with years of practice.

In contrast to the macrostructure revision, which is a linear process and is done usually through a detailed outline and by sections, microstructure revision is a non-linear process. While the goal of the macrostructure revision is to analyze your ideas and their logic, the goal of the microstructure editing is to scrutinize the form of your ideas: your paragraphs, sentences, and words. You do not need and are not recommended to follow the order of the paper to perform this type of revision. You can start from the end or from different sections. You can even revise by reading sentences backward, sentence by sentence and word by word.

One of the microstructure revision strategies frequently used during writing center consultations is to read the paper aloud [ 17 ]. You may read aloud to yourself, to a tape recorder, or to a colleague or friend. When reading and listening to your paper, you are more likely to notice the places where the fluency is disrupted and where you stumble because of a very long and unclear sentence or a wrong connector.

Another revision strategy is to learn your common errors and to do a targeted search for them [ 13 ]. All writers have a set of problems that are specific to them, i.e., their writing idiosyncrasies. Remembering these problems is as important for an academic writer as remembering your friends’ birthdays. Create a list of these idiosyncrasies and run a search for these problems using your word processor. If your problem is demonstrative pronouns without summary words, then search for “this/these/those” in your text and check if you used the word appropriately. If you have a problem with intensifiers, then search for “really” or “very” and delete them from the text. The same targeted search can be done to eliminate wordiness. Searching for “there is/are” or “and” can help you avoid the bulky sentences.

The final strategy is working with a hard copy and a pencil. Print a double space copy with font size 14 and re-read your paper in several steps. Try reading your paper line by line with the rest of the text covered with a piece of paper. When you are forced to see only a small portion of your writing, you are less likely to get distracted and are more likely to notice problems. You will end up spotting more unnecessary words, wrongly worded phrases, or unparallel constructions.

After you apply all these strategies, you are ready to share your writing with your friends, colleagues, and a writing advisor in the writing center. Get as much feedback as you can, especially from non-specialists in your field. Patiently listen to what others say to you ― you are not expected to defend your writing or explain what you wanted to say. You may decide what you want to change and how after you receive the feedback and sort it in your head. Even though some researchers make the revision an endless process and can hardly stop after a 14th draft; having from five to seven drafts of your paper is a norm in the sciences. If you can’t stop revising, then set a deadline for yourself and stick to it. Deadlines always help.

Rule 7: Revise your paper at the macrostructure and the microstructure level using different strategies and techniques. Receive feedback and revise again.

5. it is time to submit.

It is late at night again. You are still in your lab finishing revisions and getting ready to submit your paper. You feel happy ― you have finally finished a year’s worth of work. You will submit your paper tomorrow, and regardless of the outcome, you know that you can do it. If one journal does not take your paper, you will take advantage of the feedback and resubmit again. You will have a publication, and this is the most important achievement.

What is even more important is that you have your scheduled writing time that you are going to keep for your future publications, for reading and taking notes, for writing grants, and for reviewing papers. You are not going to lose stamina this time, and you will become a productive scientist. But for now, let’s celebrate the end of the paper.

  • Hayes JR. In: The Science of Writing: Theories, Methods, Individual Differences, and Applications. Levy CM, Ransdell SE, editors. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum; 1996. A new framework for understanding cognition and affect in writing; pp. 1–28. [ Google Scholar ]
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How to Write a Research Paper

Academic Writing Service

If you already have a headache trying to understand what research paper is all about, we have created an ultimate guide for you on how to write a research paper. You will find all the answers to your questions regarding structure, planning, doing investigation, finding the topic that appeals to you. Plus, you will find out the secret to an excellent paper. Are you at the edge of your seat? Let us start with the basics then.

  • What is a Research Paper
  • Reasons for Writing a Research Paper
  • Report Papers and Thesis Papers
  • How to Start a Research Paper
  • How to Choose a Topic for a Research Paper
  • How to Write a Proposal for a Research Paper
  • How to Write a Research Plan
  • How to Do Research
  • How to Write an Outline for a Research Paper
  • How to Write a Thesis Statement for a Research Paper
  • How to Write a Research Paper Rough Draft
  • How to Write an Introduction for a Research Paper
  • How to Write a Body of a Research Paper
  • How to Write a Conclusion for a Research Paper
  • How to Write an Abstract for a Research Paper
  • How to Revise and Edit a Research Paper
  • How to Write a Bibliography for a Research Paper
  • What Makes a Good Research Paper

Research Paper Writing Services

What is a research paper.

How to Write a Research Paper

Academic Writing, Editing, Proofreading, And Problem Solving Services

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You probably know the saying ‘the devil is not as black as he is painted’. This particular saying is absolutely true when it comes to writing a research paper. Your feet are cold even with the thought of this assignment. You have heard terrifying stories from older students. You have never done this before, so certainly you are scared. What is a research paper? How should I start? What are all these requirements about?

Luckily, you have a friend in need. That is our writing service. First and foremost, let us clarify the definition. A research paper is a piece of academic writing that provides information about a particular topic that you’ve researched . In other words, you choose a topic: about historical events, the work of some artist, some social issues etc. Then you collect data on the given topic and analyze it. Finally, you put your analysis on paper. See, it is not as scary as it seems. If you are still having doubts, whether you can handle it yourself, we are here to help you. Our team of writers can help you choose the topic, or give you advice on how to plan your work, or how to start, or craft a paper for you. Just contact us 24/7 and see everything yourself.

5 Reasons for Writing a Research Paper

Why should I spend my time writing some academic paper? What is the use of it? Is not some practical knowledge more important? The list of questions is endless when it comes to a research paper. That is why we have outlined 5 main reasons why writing a research paper is a good thing.

  • You will learn how to organize your time

If you want to write a research paper, you will have to learn how to manage your time. This type of assignment cannot be done overnight. It requires careful planning and you will need to learn how to do it. Later, you will be able to use these time-managing skills in your personal life, so why not developing them?

  • You will discover your writing skills

You cannot know something before you try it. This rule relates to writing as well. You cannot claim that you cannot write until you try it yourself. It will be really difficult at the beginning, but then the words will come to your head themselves.

  • You will improve your analytical skills

Writing a research paper is all about investigation and analysis. You will need to collect data, examine and classify it. These skills are needed in modern life more than anything else is.

  • You will gain confidence

Once you do your own research, it gives you the feeling of confidence in yourself. The reason is simple human brain likes solving puzzles and your assignment is just another puzzle to be solved.

  • You will learn how to persuade the reader

When you write your paper, you should always remember that you are writing it for someone to read. Moreover, you want this someone to believe in your ideas. For this reason, you will have to learn different convincing methods and techniques. You will learn how to make your writing persuasive. In turns, you will be able to use these methods in real life.

What is the Difference between Report and Thesis Papers?

A common question is ‘what is the difference between a report paper and a thesis paper?’ The difference lies in the aim of these two assignments. While the former aims at presenting the information, the latter aims at providing your opinion on the matter. In other words, in a report paper you have to summarize your findings. In a thesis paper, you choose some issue and defend your point of view by persuading the reader. It is that simple.

A thesis paper is a more common assignment than a report paper. This task will help a professor to evaluate your analytical skills and skills to present your ideas logically. These skills are more important than just the ability to collect and summarize data.

How to Write a Research Paper Step by Step

Research comes from the French word  rechercher , meaning “to seek out.” Writing a research paper requires you to seek out information about a subject, take a stand on it, and back it up with the opinions, ideas, and views of others. What results is a printed paper variously known as a term paper or library paper, usually between five and fifteen pages long—most instructors specify a minimum length—in which you present your views and findings on the chosen subject.

How to Write a Research Paper

It is not a secret that the majority of students hate writing a research paper. The reason is simple it steals your time and energy. Not to mention, constant anxiety that you will not be able to meet the deadline or that you will forget about some academic requirement.

We will not lie to you; a research paper is a difficult assignment. You will have to spend a lot of time. You will need to read, to analyze, and to search for the material. You will probably be stuck sometimes. However, if you organize your work smart, you will gain something that is worth all the effort – knowledge, experience, and high grades.

The reason why many students fail writing a research paper is that nobody explained them how to start and how to plan their work. Luckily, you have found our writing service and we are ready to shed the light on this dark matter.

We have created a step by step guide for you on how to write a research paper. We will dwell upon the structure, the writing tips, the writing strategies as well as academic requirements. Read this whole article and you will see that you can handle writing this assignment and our team of writers is here to assist you.

How to Start a Research Paper?

How to Start a Research Paper

It all starts with the assignment. Your professor gives you the task. It may be either some general issue or specific topic to write about. Your assignment is your first guide to success. If you understand what you need to do according to the assignment, you are on the road to high results. Do not be scared to clarify your task if you need to. There is nothing wrong in asking a question if you want to do something right. You can ask your professor or you can ask our writers who know a thing or two in academic writing.

It is essential to understand the assignment. A good beginning makes a good ending, so start smart.

Learn how to start a research paper .

Choosing a Topic for a Research Paper

How to Choose a Topic for a Research Paper

We have already mentioned that it is not enough to do great research. You need to persuade the reader that you have made some great research. What convinces better that an eye-catching topic? That is why it is important to understand how to choose a topic for a research paper.

First, you need to delimit the general idea to a more specific one. Secondly, you need to find what makes this topic interesting for you and for the academia. Finally, you need to refine you topic. Remember, it is not something you will do in one day. You can be reshaping your topic throughout your whole writing process. Still, reshaping not changing it completely. That is why keep in your head one main idea: your topic should be precise and compelling .

Learn how to choose a topic for a research paper .

How to Write a Proposal for a Research Paper?

How to Write a Proposal for a Research Paper

If you do not know what a proposal is, let us explain it to you. A proposal should answer three main questions:

  • What is the main aim of your investigation?
  • Why is your investigation important?
  • How are you going to achieve the results?

In other words, proposal should show why your topic is interesting and how you are going to prove it. As to writing requirements, they may differ. That is why make sure you find out all the details at your department. You can ask your departmental administrator or find information online at department’s site. It is crucial to follow all the administrative requirements, as it will influence your grade.

Learn how to write a proposal for a research paper .

How to Write a Research Plan?

How to Write a Research Plan

The next step is writing a plan. You have already decided on the main issues, you have chosen the bibliography, and you have clarified the methods. Here comes the planning. If you want to avoid writer’s block, you have to structure you work. Discuss your strategies and ideas with your instructor. Think thoroughly why you need to present some data and ideas first and others second. Remember that there are basic structure elements that your research paper should include:

  • Thesis Statement
  • Introduction
  • Bibliography

You should keep in mind this skeleton when planning your work. This will keep your mind sharp and your ideas will flow logically.

Learn how to write a research plan .

How to Do Research?

How to Do Research

Your research will include three stages: collecting data, reading and analyzing it, and writing itself.

First, you need to collect all the material that you will need for you investigation: films, documents, surveys, interviews, and others. Secondly, you will have to read and analyze. This step is tricky, as you need to do this part smart. It is not enough just to read, as you cannot keep in mind all the information. It is essential that you make notes and write down your ideas while analyzing some data. When you get down to the stage number three, writing itself, you will already have the main ideas written on your notes. Plus, remember to jot down the reference details. You will then appreciate this trick when you will have to write the bibliography.

If you do your research this way, it will be much easier for you to write the paper. You will already have blocks of your ideas written down and you will just need to add some material and refine your paper.

Learn how to do research .

How to Write an Outline for a Research Paper?

How to Write an Outline for a Research Paper

To make your paper well organized you need to write an outline. Your outline will serve as your guiding star through the writing process. With a great outline you will not get sidetracked, because you will have a structured plan to follow. Both you and the reader will benefit from your outline. You present your ideas logically and you make your writing coherent according to your plan. As a result, this outline guides the reader through your paper and the reader enjoys the way you demonstrate your ideas.

Learn how to write an outline for a research paper . See research paper outline examples .

How to Write a Thesis Statement for a Research Paper?

How to Write a Thesis Statement for a Research Paper

Briefly, the thesis is the main argument of your research paper. It should be precise, convincing and logical. Your thesis statement should include your point of view supported by evidence or logic. Still, remember it should be precise. You should not beat around the bush, or provide all the possible evidence you have found. It is usually a single sentence that shows your argument. In on sentence you should make a claim, explain why it significant and convince the reader that your point of view is important.

Learn how to write a thesis statement for a research paper . See research paper thesis statement examples .

Should I Write a Rough Draft for a Research Paper?

How to Write a Research Paper Rough Draft

Do you know any writer who put their ideas on paper, then never edited them and just published? Probably, no writer did so. Writing a research paper is no exception. It is impossible to cope with this assignment without writing a rough draft.

Your draft will help you understand what you need to polish to make your paper perfect. All the requirements, academic standards make it difficult to do everything flawlessly at the first attempt. Make sure you know all the formatting requirements: margins, words quantity, reference requirements, formatting styles etc.

Learn how to write a rough draft for a research paper .

How to Write an Introduction for a Research Paper?

How to Write an Introduction for a Research Paper

Let us make it more vivid for you. We have narrowed down the tips on writing an introduction to the three main ones:

  • Include your thesis in your introduction

Remember to include the thesis statement in your introduction. Usually, it goes at the end of the first paragraph.

  • Present the main ideas of the body

You should tell the main topics you are going to discuss in the main body. For this reason, before writing this part of introduction, make sure you know what is your main body is going to be about. It should include your main ideas.

  • Polish your thesis and introduction

When you finish the main body of your paper, come back to the thesis statement and introduction. Restate something if needed. Just make it perfect; because introduction is like the trailer to your paper, it should make the reader want to read the whole piece.

Learn how to write an introduction for a research paper . See research paper introduction examples .

How to Write a Body of a Research Paper?

How to Write a Body of a Research Paper

A body is the main part of your research paper. In this part, you will include all the needed evidence; you will provide the examples and support your argument.

It is important to structure your paragraphs thoroughly. That is to say, topic sentence and the evidence supporting the topic. Stay focused and do not be sidetracked. You have your outline, so follow it.

Here are the main tips to keep in head when writing a body of a research paper:

  • Let the ideas flow logically
  • Include only relevant information
  • Provide the evidence
  • Structure the paragraphs
  • Make the coherent transition from one paragraph to another

See? When it is all structured, it is not as scary as it seemed at the beginning. Still, if you have doubts, you can always ask our writers for help.

Learn how to write a body of a research paper . See research paper transition examples .

How to Write a Conclusion for a Research Paper?

How to Write a Conclusion for a Research Paper

Writing a good conclusion is important as writing any other part of the paper. Remember that conclusion is not a summary of what you have mentioned before. A good conclusion should include your last strong statement.

If you have written everything according to the plan, the reader already knows why your investigation is important. The reader has already seen the evidence. The only thing left is a strong concluding thought that will organize all your findings.

Never include any new information in conclusion. You need to conclude, not to start a new discussion.

Learn how to write a conclusion for a research paper .

How to Write an Abstract for a Research Paper?

How to Write an Abstract for a Research Paper

An abstract is a brief summary of your paper, usually 100-200 words. You should provide the main gist of your paper in this short summary. An abstract can be informative, descriptive or proposal. Depending on the type of abstract, you need to write, the requirements will differ.

To write an informative abstract you have to provide the summary of the whole paper. Informative summary. In other words, you need to tell about the main points of your work, the methods used, the results and the conclusion of your research.

To write a descriptive abstract you will not have to provide any summery. You should write a short teaser of your paper. That is to say, you need to write an overview of your paper. The aim of a descriptive abstract is to interest the reader.

Finally, to write a proposal abstract you will need to write the basic summary as for the informative abstract. However, the difference is the following: you aim at persuading someone to let you write on the topic. That is why, a proposal abstract should present your topic as the one worth investigating.

Learn how to write an abstract for a research paper .

Should I Revise and Edit a Research Paper?

How to Revise and Edit a Research Paper

Revising and editing your paper is essential if you want to get high grades. Let us help you revise your paper smart:

  • Check your paper for spelling and grammar mistakes
  • Sharpen the vocabulary
  • Make sure there are no slang words in your paper
  • Examine your paper in terms of structure
  • Compare your topic, thesis statement to the whole piece
  • Check your paper for plagiarism

If you need assistance with proofreading and editing your paper, you can turn to the professional editors at our service. They will help you polish your paper to perfection.

Learn how to revise and edit a research paper .

How to Write a Bibliography for a Research Paper?

How to Write a Bibliography for a Research Paper

First, let us make it clear that bibliography and works cited are two different things. Works cited are those that you cited in your paper. Bibliography should include all the materials you used to do your research. Still, remember that bibliography requirements differ depending on the formatting style of your paper. For this reason, make sure you ask you professor all the requirements you need to meet to avoid any misunderstanding.

Learn how to write a bibliography for a research paper .

The Key Secret to a Good Research Paper

Now when you know all the stages of writing a research paper, you are ready to find the key to a good research paper:

  • Choose the topic that really interests you
  • Make the topic interesting for you even if it is not at the beginning
  • Follow the step by step guide and do not get sidetracked
  • Be persistent and believe in yourself
  • Really do research and write your paper from scratch
  • Learn the convincing writing techniques and use them
  • Follow the requirements of your assignment
  • Ask for help if needed from real professionals

Feeling more confident about your paper now? We are sure you do. Still, if you need help, you can always rely on us 24/7.

We hope we have made writing a research paper much easier for you. We realize that it requires lots of time and energy. We believe when you say that you cannot handle it anymore. For this reason, we have been helping students like you for years. Our professional team of writers is ready to tackle any challenge.

All our authors are experienced writers crafting excellent academic papers. We help students meet the deadline and get the top grades they want. You can see everything yourself. All you need to do is to place your order online and we will contact you. Writing a research paper with us is truly easy, so why do not you check it yourself?

Additional Resources for Research Paper Writing:

  • Anthropology Research
  • Career Research
  • Communication Research
  • Criminal Justice Research
  • Health Research
  • Political Science Research
  • Psychology Research
  • Sociology Research


how to start off a career research paper

How to Start a Career Research Paper

Suhail rafidi.

Libraries and campus career centers are a valuable source of career information.

Career research papers are a thorough way to learn about an unfamiliar career which you may be considering. The purpose of a career research paper is to access your personality, research careers fitting to your personality and present a well documented report on a specific career covered by that research. It may be your ideal career or it may be a career you have not considered before.

Explore this article

  • Choose a career
  • Gather a short list
  • Take notes on your interests and strengths
  • Gather basic information about your chosen career
  • Conduct internet
  • Start with simple questions
  • Formulate more detailed questions more
  • Interview a professional in your chosen career field
  • Formulate even more specific
  • Locate someone
  • Write the paper
  • Collate your data
  • Be to include paragraphs

1 Choose a career

2 choose a career.

Choose a career based on personal interest or personal aptitude factors. A common starting place is to take a personality assessment quiz, like the Myers-Briggs, to outline some of your general personality traits and derive suggested careers for those traits. Personal reflection also works.

3 Gather a short list

Gather a short list of questions to ask yourself to help you decide on the best career. Are you good with people? Perhaps a career in sales, teaching or non-profit public services. Or do you prefer working alone with data? Perhaps a career in laboratory research. Do you have strong writing skills? Perhaps a career as a writer or editor.

4 Take notes on your interests and strengths

Take notes on your interests and strengths, then link those characteristics to different jobs and careers. In many classroom environments, teachers assign subjects to students for a career research paper, making the decision for them. In this way, the student can cut directly to the research process.

5 Gather basic information about your chosen career

6 conduct internet.

Conduct internet, career center and library research to acquire basic facts and figures about your career choice. Campus career counselors and librarians are reliable resources and will point you in the right direction.

7 Start with simple questions

Start with simple questions. How old is the career? Doctors have been around longer than computer programmers or welders. What are the responsibilities of the career? Some careers are a lot more demanding than others, either physically or intellectually.

8 Formulate more detailed questions more

Formulate more detailed questions about the career to answer during additional research. Does the career require a degree or other advanced certification? If so, what kind and how much? A mechanical engineer will need more schooling than a salesman. What is the average pay grade for the career? Is there room for advancement?

9 Interview a professional in your chosen career field

10 formulate even more specific.

Formulate even more specific, personal interview questions that will generate information beyond what is available at a library or career center.

Gear your questions toward finding out things like how long they've been working in the field, how they like the work, how many hours per week the career requires and what the day-to-day life in that career is like.

12 Locate someone

Locate someone who works in your chosen career field, make an appointment and conduct an interview. If you are going to record the interview, get express permission to record from the person you are interviewing. Recorded interviews will be more useful for qualitative information about the quality of the career, the demands it makes on a personal life and the career's prospects for the future.

13 Write the paper

14 collate your data.

Collate your data and turn it into a coherent research paper. This article is designed to get you started. Like any research paper.

15 Be to include paragraphs

Be sure to include paragraphs that describe the career, explain what it takes to enter it, report the pay range and other relevant statistics. Also include at least one paragraph based on your interview, reporting the actual experiences and perspectives of someone working in the field.

16 Conclude

Conclude by touching on the highlights of the previous paragraphs and giving the paper closure. Some analysis of the information you gathered and how well the career fits you will also work in the conclusion.

  • 1 Essay Town: Academic Writing Blog: Career Research Paper

About the Author

Suhail Rafidi is a novelist and educator who has been writing professionally since 2007. He has published hundreds of articles on scores of subjects at Web sites including, i-newswire, bloggervenue, prlog, and presentationsolutions. Rafidi possesses a Master of Arts in humanities from San Francisco State University.

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Career Essay

Career essay generator.

how to start off a career research paper

How do you see yourself 5 or 10 years from now? That question kicks start your imagination and make you visualize yourself in your future career. Maybe you are thinking about it now, but you are likely confused about expressing it in words. Unlike other essay writing , writing your career essay is exciting because you are writing about yourself, your plans, passion, and aspiration. Learn how to make your career essay impressive by reading this article.

10+ Career Essay Examples

1. career pursuing essay.

Career Pursuing Essay

Size: 324 KB

2. Career Interest Essay

Career Interests Essay

Size: 642 KB

3. Career Goals Essay

Career Goals Essay

Size: 429 KB

4. Career Research Essay

Career Research Essay

Size: 186 KB

5. Career Scholarship Essay

Career Scholarship Essay

Size: 96 KB

6. Career Personal Essay

Career Personal Essay

Size: 95 KB

7. Career Needs Essay

Career Needs Essays

Size: 73 KB

8. Career Teaching Essay

Career Teaching Essay

Size: 59 KB

9. Formal Career Essay

Formal Career Essay

Size: 42 KB

10. Career Project Essay

Career Project Essay

Size: 29 KB

11. Career Plan Essay

Career Plan Essay

Size: 230 KB

What Is a Career Essay?

A career essay is a text people write to detail their goals or plans for the future. In this essay, people talk about the career they want in the future and the things they have achieved so far. People often ask you to write a career essay when you send an application letter for a scholarship or submit your resume for a job.

How To Write a Rousing Career Essay

You should write your career essay seriously because it might be a deciding factor for your future. That said, in writing your essay, there are a lot of things to consider and a process you need to follow. Your end goal in writing your essay is to convince people that you are determined to walk the talk and make the things you wrote in your descriptive essay to reality.

1. Devise an Engrossing Title

The first thing to think about when writing an essay is coming up with an attention-grabbing title. When people read your essay, they pay the most attention to your title. Also, another benefit of coming up with your title first is that it will serve as a guide for you for the whole essay. 

2. Introduce With a Hook

After devising a title, deliver the next blow with an introduction that piques their curiosity. To do that, begin your essay with a hook. Your hook can be a quote, a question, or you can even provide a statistic. If your introduction is good enough, it will secure the engagement of your readers.

3. Organize Your Ideas

Writing an essay is like taking your readers for a ride. You need to set the vibe and organize the flow of your thoughts. Don’t start too strong it might make the rest of your essay bland. You need to properly build up the development of excitement and make sure the order of your ideas makes sense. 

4. Polish Your Essay

Finalize your essay by proofreading it. When people talk about their passion, they tend to talk too much and include several unnecessary things. Make sure not to do that. Omit all the details that don’t contribute to the overall impact of your reflective essay. Also, don’t forget to review your text for grammatical errors. 

Why is career planning important?

People hustle every day to reach their dream careers. Having a target career gives you a direction and sets your path. Planning your career is essential because being indecisive about it might negatively impact your life. Not having a fixed goal is like not having an end destination. Preparing for it would also make your career action plan achievable.

What is a career genogram?

A career genogram traces back an individual’s family tree and examines the career timeline they pursued. The scope of this genogram reaches the grandparents, extended family, and even the person’s close friends. This graphic representation is helpful when a person has a hard time deciding about his or her career development plan .

What is career assessment?

Career assessment is the process of identifying what career would work best for you. Most assessments are in the form of a questionnaire . It includes questions about your interests, your skills, your hobbies, and your strengths. These are some examples of questions that would help assess your future career. The result of your career assessment might give you ideas on what path to take.

The moment people read your career essay, they often rate how likely you are to succeed. Show them a piece of your mind that would erase all their doubts about your success. They say manifesting works wonders, so manifest the future that you want best by composing a rousing career essay. 


Text prompt

  • Instructive
  • Professional

Write a career essay on the benefits and challenges of a career in medicine.

Discuss in a career essay the skills needed for success in the digital marketing field.

how to start off a career research paper

How to Start a Research Paper

how to start off a career research paper

Beginning is always the hardest part of an assignment. The introduction should not be the first thing you begin to write when starting to work on an essay. First, tons of research should be conducted — in order for your paper to be good. Only then you will be able to extract the main points of your work, and introduce them to your readers. A good introduction will also include your personal opinion of the problem, and, therefore, will make the writing easier overall. Let's dive into the details with admission essay writing services .

What Is a Research Paper?

A research paper is a type of writing in which the author does an independent analysis of the topic and describes the findings from that investigation. Furthermore, one will have to identify the weaknesses and strengths of the subject and evaluate them accordingly.

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A good way to write an introduction for a research paper is to introduce your reader to the topic by telling them what you are writing about. Then, make sure you include an interesting fact, or some surprising statistical data, so that your reader will be hooked and will continue to read your research paper. Treat your essay introduction like an advertisement for a product you want to sell—if your advertisement is bad, the sales won’t be great. The same goes for a bad introduction; if it does not intrigue readers, they might lose interest in your paper.

The beginning is always the hardest part of an assignment. Regardless of if you are writing a small resume education section or a full-blown research paper - following the correct steps is very important . The introduction should not be the first thing you begin to write when starting to work on an essay.

You might also be interested in getting more info about HOW TO WRITE A RESEARCH PAPER

Introduction Paragraph Outline

intro research paper

Present Your Essay Topic

The base of every essay is its topic. What you are writing about should always be a reflection of your topic. Simply start off your introduction by telling your readers, in a simple and accessible language, what it is you are writing your research paper about. Although, we suggest you include a “trigger” when introducing the topic of your paper. A personal reference, or a story that relates to the essay topic, are options for a good way to link plain text to people’s emotions. So, feel free to write sincerely, as if you were talking to a friend.

The best strategy to start your introduction is by writing a broad topic presentation, then gradually narrow it down to what you would like to focus on exactly. It will put your topic into perspective for readers’ general understanding. When writing your research paper, make sure to include your opinion on the issue in your introduction. This will make your topic sound more personal and it will likely become more important to your audience as well.

Provide Background Information and Context

The topic you begin writing about is likely very familiar to you, as it is expected that you have done plenty of research. But what about your readers? For the most part, the amount of context is determined by what your audience already knows—though, let’s focus on a bigger assortment of readers, to make sure everyone’s needs are met. Imagine that you are part of your audience. Read the information you provided in the introduction. Is this sufficient? Does it leave gaps and unanswered questions in your research? Your job as a writer is to provide the perfect background to your topic, which gives readers just enough information to be able to grasp your topic and enjoy your research paper to the fullest. Another extreme you should avoid is giving too much context—consequently making the audience feel bored right from the introduction. Write your essay as something that you would enjoy reading yourself, like a story, but not an academic research paper.

Explain the Importance of Your Research

There is no doubt that after plenty of research you are an expert in your field. But what about your readers? In the introduction you need to showcase the extent of your research and write about the work you have completed. This will also help your readers understand that your ideas are supported by other scholars, and you share their views in your paper.

Make sure to write about all the works you have studied in order to persuade readers of your expertise. For your introduction, simply use the names you are referencing, or their most important works, so that the audience does not feel overwhelmed. It is also necessary to cite all your sources—in order to avoid academic plagiarism.

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Make Your Rationale Work

Rationale is the most important part of the beginning of your paper. Explain to readers the reasoning behind your research paper—the importance of this is a guarantee that they will keep reading and appreciate your topic. In the introduction, you need to write an explanation of how your paper fits into all the research that has already been done in that field; this shows your audience the importance of your essay and the role your research plays in the field overall.

Show the Significance of Your Research

You, and only you, understand how important your research is. The next step of your introduction is to prove to your audience how important it is. Include the basic, and the most important literature, you support your ideas with. This will show the readers your solid analytical skills, your writing capabilities, and your ability to sort out information to deliver the most important points for your paper. And the final part of the introduction is to simply explain why your research is important to the field, to society, to the whole world, and, most importantly, to the readers. When a person can relate to an idea, it is almost always a guarantee that your argument will be persuasive and have a positive outcome.

Make Sure Your Thesis Is Clear

A research paper introduction uses primary sources and data to support its thesis statement. A research paper’s thesis statement has a lot in common with a thesis for an essay, or other non-research assignment. The difference lies in the fact that in a research thesis, you gather evidence from valid sources to prove your perspective on a topic. Despite the fact that you support your thoughts by sources, the idea for your thesis in your introduction should be original and your own, as it reflects the way you think.

Here is a quick checklist for writing a thesis statement:

  • Remember, the thesis is your argument. Make sure it sounds assertive.
  • Write two to three versions of your thesis and choose the best one.
  • Share your thesis with a neutral person—to get a different point of view.
  • Discuss your thesis with others; they might have good ideas as well.
  • It should appear in your introduction, and be restated in your conclusion.

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Research Paper Title Page

Mla title page.

Here are some tips from our writing team on how to format your research paper MLA title page:

  • The title page is double spaced and the text needs to be centred.
  • Write the name of your university or college.
  • Skip about one-third of the page down and type your research paper title—include a subtitle if you have one.
  • Skip several lines down and type your name, your course name and number, your instructor’s name, and your paper’s due date.


APA Title Page

  • Place a running head in your page’s header:
  • Use the label “Running head:” then, put your shortened title (IN UPPERCASE LETTERS), and align it all to the left.
  • Place the page number in this same header, but align it to the right, and begin with page number 1.
  • The header should be 1 inch from the top. Some teachers say 1/2 inch is okay as well.
  • Place your paper’s title in the upper half of the page, centred. Capitalize the first letter of all of the important words in your title.
  • Place your University’s name below your name, double-spaced.


Read also our research proposal example APA .

Final Thoughts

Congratulations on finishing your research paper! Answer these questions to avoid careless mistakes.

  • Are all of your quotations, paraphrases, and summaries accurate?
  • Are all of your references accurate?
  • Is your format the proper format assigned by your instructor?
  • Are all the concepts defined and easily understood by an average reader?
  • Is your “hook” good enough for the reader to become interested?
  • Is there a structure to your introduction that is easy to navigate for the reader?
  • Does your introduction give a good idea of what your paper is about?

And here are several tips for your help:

tips research paper

If you need, you can hire a coursework, buy research paper or other specialist at our research proposal writing service . All you need to do is just leave us a notice like ' write my paper for me ' or something else.

Research Paper Introduction Example

Now that you have a solid idea about the introduction of a research paper, let’s take a look at some examples from our writers. They will help you see how all of the rules we presented above work in practice. ‍

Research Paper Introduction Example: Should Parents Be Held Accountable for the Criminal Acts of Their Children? Recently, youth gang connected attacks have been occurring in an increasing prevalence, with some even causing deaths, such as the killing of a college student at Suburbs East. Such occurrences have made a lot of people to wonder about the origin of those violent actions, with much of the extent of guilt being put on the parents of such adolescents. In any event, one has to question whether the parents should be penalized for the offenses of their kids. Some people believe that parents should be held responsible for the criminal acts of their offspring because parents are mostly accountable for the education and upbringing of their kids, and frequently impact the actions and behavior of their children until they become mature and independent. This is because they are almost always the ones that raise their kids after birth. As such, it is believed that parents start to influence the ethical range of their children from a young age, and one’s ethics are critically impacted by the way parents act and their personalities (Gratz, 169). This logic can make parents responsible for their children if they do wrong later on — because they are understood to not have raised their child in the right way. Furthermore, there is an argument that children are virtually completely controlled by their parents, as they are apt to want to make their parents happy, and they would, therefore, listen to whatever they are told to do or how they are told to behave (Michael, Andrew and Michael, 4). This, in turn, makes many people think that parents should always be the ones to be blamed for the criminal acts of their children, as they believe that they have the power to warn and control them.

Need Some Help with Your Research Paper?

A research paper is a very challenging task to complete. The introduction is a crucial piece of it: it ensures that the reader is interested and will enjoy your paper. If you are still struggling with any part of your essay, remember that you can always pay for a research paper . We are always here to give you a helping hand to make your life easier.

Daniel Parker

Daniel Parker

is a seasoned educational writer focusing on scholarship guidance, research papers, and various forms of academic essays including reflective and narrative essays. His expertise also extends to detailed case studies. A scholar with a background in English Literature and Education, Daniel’s work on EssayPro blog aims to support students in achieving academic excellence and securing scholarships. His hobbies include reading classic literature and participating in academic forums.

how to start off a career research paper

is an expert in nursing and healthcare, with a strong background in history, law, and literature. Holding advanced degrees in nursing and public health, his analytical approach and comprehensive knowledge help students navigate complex topics. On EssayPro blog, Adam provides insightful articles on everything from historical analysis to the intricacies of healthcare policies. In his downtime, he enjoys historical documentaries and volunteering at local clinics.

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    Start strong. In your research, have you come across an odd factoid or interesting quote? Try starting your paper with that. How about starting with an anecdotal story or humor? Middle Sentences : The middle sentences cover the different points in your paper. If you've already planned which order to write the points in the paper, you already ...

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    1. Choose your topic. Choose a topic that interests you. Writing your research paper will be so much more pleasant with a topic that you actually want to know more about. Your interest will show in the way you write and effort you put into the paper. Consider these issues when coming up with a topic:

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    1. Devise an Engrossing Title. The first thing to think about when writing an essay is coming up with an attention-grabbing title. When people read your essay, they pay the most attention to your title. Also, another benefit of coming up with your title first is that it will serve as a guide for you for the whole essay.

  22. How to Start a Research Paper: Guide with Examples

    Write the name of your university or college. Skip about one-third of the page down and type your research paper title—include a subtitle if you have one. Skip several lines down and type your name, your course name and number, your instructor's name, and your paper's due date. MLA title page example.

  23. How To Start Off A Career Research Paper

    How to Start Off a Career Research Paper - Free download as PDF File (.pdf), Text File (.txt) or read online for free. how to start off a career research paper