Writing a Research Paper Guide

A research paper requires you to locate information about a topic from various places (books, internet, magazines, newspapers, etc.). You must track down information, evaluate it, organize it, and then put it all together in a research paper format. Although there are different techniques used in completing a research paper, this assignment breaks it down into eight steps.

Step 1: Choose a topic!

Using your teacher’s guidelines, choose a topic that interests and challenges you. Your attitude toward the topic may very well determine the amount of effort you put into your research. The amount of effort you put into your research will determine how good of a job you do writing your paper.

Step 2: Locate information

The internet is a wonderful tool for locating up-to-date information about a topic; however, you must remember that not all websites are accurate. Try to stick to URLs that end in the following: .edu (educational institution), .gov (government), or .org (non-profit organization). Be aware of potential bias information found on the internet. Most of the time, if the website has advertisements on the side, it’s not as accurate as you need it to be for a reliable research paper.

Another great tool for looking up research is the library! You can get information from books, magazines, newspapers, or any other resource they have available.

All information you use has to be documented on the Works Cited page of your paper.

Use the following websites to help:




Step 3: State Your Thesis

Your thesis statement is very important. It will guide your entire paper. Write your thesis statement on the following lines. Make sure it is one sentence that contains three parts like we’ve practiced in class.

Step 4: Write a tentative outline based on the Five Paragraph Paper Outline in the next article.

Research Information

Write notes from your research in the following box. If you take it directly from the source, remember to put it in quotation marks so you can reword it later.

Step 5: Check your text on plagiarism and grammar errors using professional online services. Bad grammar is a main problem, so you can avoid this mistake to get a better grades. Don’t forget that you can’t juct copy text in Internet or from books in your research paper. You have to write it yourself! If you use some quote, please, indicate the source of information, or book, or author of the quote.

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