Five Tips for Writing the Perfect Research Paper

So you need to write a research paper, and you don’t know where to begin. If you are a university student, you’re going to be spending a lot of time getting to know this form of writing. There are a few crucial factors to keep in mind that will help to smooth the process and make it  less stressful. 

Remember those five-paragraph expository essays you wrote in high-school? Take those and ramp it up to a whole new level. A well-written research paper is essential for academic success. The style of writing should be academic and backed by significant data and in-depth research. 

In this article, we’ll provide three tips that will help you impress your professor. You will be delving into the wonderful world of academic research, and if you do it right, you may just come up with a groundbreaking idea!

Nail the Topic

The most important, yet often overlooked step in the process of writing a research paper is topic selection. You want to make sure that the topic you choose is interesting and inspirational for you and the reader.

What problems do you see in the world? Do you ever wonder why something is the way that it is, but you don’t know why? Each day our minds are racked with new questions. Take some time to yourself, consider these questions, and meditate on finding the answers

Whether you are studying the humanities, sciences, or business, the research process is the same. You start with an educated guess, your hypothesis or thesis, which forms the core statement upon which all of your efforts will be focused. 

Sometimes, you will be assigned a research paper topic, in this case, narrow it down to specific concepts or ideas. If a topic is too broad, it can be hard to cover adequately. 

Obsess Over Research

The most successful individuals in their field are driven by passion. If you have chosen a topic that triggers your curiosity, make it your short-term, full-time job to read as much as you can about it. 

You have access to a world of information at all times through the internet, but consider conducting your research in the local library. Not only are there stacks of information, but it is also a quiet place where you can get away from distractions. 

Try using notebooks and index cards to track data and sources, so when it comes to your citations, you don’t miss a reference.

Make sure that your sources are valid and include as much bibliographic information in your notes as you possibly can. 

For example: If you are writing about a lawsuit and you want to include information from, you will have to include the following information: 

  • Article Title: “Personal Injury Lawyer Calgary: Car Accident Lawyer Calgary”
  • URL
  • Website Title: Diamond and Diamond AB
  • Date that you accessed the site

If you cannot find enough reliable sources of information, make sure that you change your topic as early as possible. Giving yourself enough research time will ensure that you don’t end up not being able to finish your masterpiece. 

Organize Your Thoughts With Pen & Paper

Taking hand-written notes is a great way to have martial your random thoughts and ideas. Try organizing your information by color-coding with highlighters or indexing in a binder. Physically taking notes increases your ability to focus and enhances the writing process. 

Stick to the Outline 

After conducting some research, write an in-depth outline so you can start organizing your information. Use your notes to brainstorm where the topics and data points are relevant. What are the most valuable arguments that you will make, and do they support your overarching thesis?


Include all of the elements in your outline. A typical research paper structure includes


  • A title page
  • An abstract
  • Introduction
  • Methodology
  • Findings/Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion

Draft Once, Twice, or Three Times

Practice makes perfect. When it comes to the art of writing, drafting is how you fine-tune your skills and structure your sentences so they fit together in beautifully composed prose. Structure your paragraphs and try to form phrases that are easily understood by the reader. 

A Final Word

Follow these tools, and your paper will be closer to that elusive A+. Keep in mind that It is helpful to have friends or family read over your work before you submit it. Sometimes, when you look at something too many times, you will miss small errors and otherwise obvious mistakes. There are many online services that you can take advantage of for proofreading, but it always helps to have an additional human perspective.