Research Papers

How to Write a Research Paper – Most Essential Skills

A research paper! Probably not the first thing you’d like to hear. But as an academic, you’ll not only hear the phrase, but you’ll also be assigned the task of writing one more times than you can recall. Therefore, you must learn how to write a good research paper as soon as now.

This type of paper presents an author’s original interpretation or arguments on a particular topic. It aims at demonstrating the author’s (student in this case) knowledge on the subject. Additionally, it builds on existing knowledge in an attempt to find out more than what experts know. To write an effective research paper, one is expected to research the topic, take a stand, and provide supporting facts for their position. As intimidating as it may sound, with the right research paper writing skills and also tips to guide you, such as the ones shown below, writing an effective research paper can be a breeze.

Steps to Write a Research Paper

Looking to write A+ research papers? If yes, check out the steps below

    Skip that all-nighter.
  1. Familiarize with the Assignment

This might not seem necessary, but it’s an incredibly vital step if you’re working towards professional-grade research papers. Familiarizing yourself with the assignment means going through the assignment sheet and analyzing the rubric, prompts, and any other resources your professor might have included in it. This helps you understand what exactly is expected of you. As a result, you work on your research paper in a way that meets the expectations of your professor, resulting in excellent grades.

  1. Choose and Define your Research Question

Once you understand what your instructor expects of you, the next step on how to write a research paper is understanding your research question. If you’ve been assigned a specific one, great. But if not, review your assignment sheet again, and from the suggested subjects, choose one you find most appealing. Writing a research paper can be quite hectic; therefore, it helps to have a question that interests you.

  1. Get Down to Work

Here is where all the work starts. Reviewing the different sources available at your disposal enables you to understand what the topic is all about, come up with ideas for your paper and develop a thesis statement that will guide the rest of the paper.

While you can conduct your research in any way that suits you, it helps to have a research strategy. Instead of researching aimlessly from all sources, you could have a systemic process where you start by reviewing your institution’s website for any suitable material. If you find any useful info, jot it down, then head over to the internet and browse useful sites like Google scholar and note anything valuable down. Having a research strategy helps you stay focused and speeds up the information-hunting process.

  1. Create an Outline

Using the information you collected from the step above, create an outline for your research paper by noting down which points will fit your introduction, the body, and the conclusion. Outlining helps you formulate a suitable thesis. Additionally, it makes the writing process smooth sailing as you already have an idea of what goes where and what points to research further for a well-detailed paper. It also helps you create an appealing and readable structure for the actual paper. Also, it’s at this point that you have a chance to review your ideas, merge those that seem to imply the same thing and remove those that don’t add value to your paper.

  1. Write your Research Paper

With the ideas on your outline, bring your paper to life by further explaining them and how they relate to your thesis. Also, if needed, conduct more research to make the points in your outline more informational. Once you’re done, proofread to remove any grammatical errors. Proofreading also helps you identify any gaps that need to be filled. At the same time, you’ll note repetitive points and remove them and make your paper more premium quality.

Essential Skills to Write a Research Paper

Now that you know how to write a good research paper, here are research paper skills that you need for premium quality output

Strong Research Skills

If you’re going to be doing more research papers in the future, then you need to have strong research paper writing skills. This means you need to create a research strategy that will guide you when finding information for your paper. It also involves knowing where to go to when looking for info about a specific topic and differentiating credible from unreliable sources.

Great Organizing and Structuring Skills

Organizing and structuring are super necessary research paper skills. Why? You might have the best argument on the topic in your class, but if you don’t structure it in a readable way, then it will do your grades no justice. These skills are particularly crucial during outlining as they enable you to arrange the information you gathered during step 3 in a more sensible manner. If this is your first research paper, develop these skills by keeping in mind the required formatting structure.

Critical Thinking

As noted earlier, a research paper aims to build on existing knowledge in an attempt to find out what experts don’t know yet. In other words, research is all about finding new knowledge. To come up with new conclusions from a particular topic, the writer needs critical thinking as they ought to look beyond the existing knowledge and come up with entirely new facts. Also, once they come up with the new findings, they need to present them in a justified way.

For instance, if your research topic is how humans cause global warming, and you find out it’s through greenhouse emissions; you can’t put it vaguely. You need to justify your argument by explaining how greenhouse emissions contribute to the alarming rates of global warming as well as point out the human activities that cause emissions.

Great Explanation Skills

As noted above, you need to justify your points so the reader can believe in the new findings you came up with during your research process. Otherwise, your conclusions will be of no good use as they don’t have anything to back them. You can only do so if you have excellent explanation skills. It’s easy to assume that explanation skills are natural, but you’d be surprised to know not everyone can explain their thoughts.

In the instance above, for example, a person who lacks excellent explanation skills might have an idea of how humans and greenhouse emissions are connected, but they just can’t put it into words. This means that even though they have a good argument, it’ll not help strengthen their essay because they cannot justify the claim. Therefore, work on your explanation skills today.

Analytical Skills

While researching your paper, you’ll come across many sources, all with great information about your subject. However, not all of them will be relevant to your research questions. Additionally, even the source you choose will have lots of info, and it’ll be up to you to extract only the most useful to what you’re doing. To do this, you need to have strong analytical skills.


What to Write Your Research Paper on

There are times your professor will ask you to write a research paper but will not give you a specific topic. If you have no idea what to write it on, then we got your back covered. Our extensive list of how to write a research paper example list includes topics from different fields to make it easier for you to choose one that suits you best

How to Write a Good Research Paper; Great Topic Examples in Medicine

  • Vaccines for kids; Useful or damaging?
  • What is the role of placebo treatment
  • Should prescription drugs be marketed directly to consumers?
  • How does obesity affect our health

How Do I Write a Research Paper; Topic Examples on Politics

  • Should the death penalty be legalized?
  • Gun control policies
  • How to avoid a workforce reduction
  • Immigration

Research paper Topics on Business

  • Impact of climate change on international business strategies
  • How to build a successful startup
  • Define and give examples of dirty business tactics


Even though writing a research paper is intimidating, once you get the hang of it, you’ll find that it can be quite fulfilling. To do so, ensure you understand what’s expected of you on the assignment sheet, have a research strategy, and always outline. Also keep the research paper writing it can be pretty overwhelming at first, so connect with us today for professional assistance.

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