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College-Level Research Paper Writing: Top Strategies For Getting Started
  • Jun 2022
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College-Level Research Paper Writing: Top Strategies For Getting Started

7th June 2022

As a college student, you will have to face the assignment of writing research papers sooner or later during your studies. It is very natural to get panic stricken when you've been assigned a research paper for the first time and you don’t know where to start. 

A research paper is essentially a form of academic writing where the author is expected to conduct their personal research on a given topic, or a topic of their choice, analyze the findings, write their interpretations, and integrating research writing a paper. 

When writing, make sure to use the proper research paper writing tools. This form of academic writing is something that portrays the level of your knowledge about a subject. It will not only influence your grades at college level, but also help you develop your abilities for in depth topic research.

How To Write Research Papers Quickly

Before jumping into tricks and tips for writing research paper quickly, let us address some of the important questions relating to the process of research writing.

Expert Opinions

1. Max, Survival GearShack

A) Whether I am doing simulations or experiments, I read as many papers as I deem necessary before or during the work. After I have completed my work and have published results (publishable ones), I stop reading papers. I usually do not read papers during the writing process, except when I am citing. In order to prevent plagiarism, I will choose only original ideas or my own interpretations of ideas already presented. In the event that I read papers while I am writing my own, I could be reflecting what I have learned from the authors that I am reading, which is not very cool at all.

B) The amount of writing that I do depends on my mental capacity. Depending on my writing schedule, I may write three pages in a day or a few sentences. I quit writing when I feel I can't find the right words or ideas. Keeping the quality of my writing high is important to me.

C) I always write the outline of my paper over a piece of paper before I begin writing, i.e. how I want the paper to flow. In addition, I list what results should be discussed and what figures or tables should be included. Whenever I start writing a paper, I title it first (it is a personal choice).

D) In technical writing, we all tend to use certain words a lot. When possible, I try to replace the words that I use very frequently in my papers with their synonyms. 

E) My results are edited (as in formatted) in Matlab, my figures are drawn in MS Visio, my references are managed in Zotero (and Jabref), and my writing is done in Latex. Occasionally, I will also merge figures using MS Paint. Always be sure to use high-resolution figures.

F) To ensure that the paper transitions smoothly and remains comprehensive throughout, I read and reread my entire paper (or at least the current section) after writing every paragraph.

G) Making a tradeoff between how much old information you actually write in the paper (that is not your contribution, but is based on other people's work) and how much you just reference without going into details is very important to the success of the paper. Writing down stuff from other people's works can sometimes be necessary to make your work more understandable.

H) Every time I add text and data to my paper, I drool over the beauty of latex documents.

I) Cite with honesty and integrity. I am not hesitant to cite an article that is more than 25 years old if that was the article that helped me instead of a review article written years later. 

J) When I am finished, I proofread to make sure there are no grammatical or spelling errors. 

After this, my supervisor performs a plagiarism check, followed by a technical review. 

My favorite part of research is writing papers. When testing and researching something, there is always the stress of "what if it doesn't work?" You only know you are in control of everything when you are writing papers. Having the results at my disposal allows me to produce my best work.

2. Robin Day, National Director of Academics at Herzing College

Research is a painstaking process of verification and support, critical to the validity of any formal writing in business, law, or the sciences. Faculties who teach research have a few tips for conducting research that fits almost every single research paper writing situation. First and foremost, make sure your academic paper has a strong thesis statement.

A strong thesis statement should be articulate, clear, specific, and demonstrate the position your paper will take. Do your research before writing anything else. There is little worse than getting halfway through your paper before you realize your thesis is wrong. Another tip I have is to follow the sources.

Some papers get the paper they are citing wrong. Before you quote the same thing, make sure that the paper they are referencing says what the authors say it does.

Write a Works Referenced list instead of just a Works Cited list, so you can go back to see where you might have found a thought or idea you later want to expand on. Check how many citations your sources have. If work is widely cited, there is often a greater sense of validity to the content. Be sure to check where it is being cited, and how they are using the reference. Finally, get as much actual data as you can but check the methodology.

Look for papers that provide statistical analysis to help bolster your claims. Be sure that the methodology they used to produce their data is sound and as free from bias as possible, however.

Research is a rewarding activity that is at the core of moving our understanding of the world. Done properly, it has the potential to dramatically change the way we live, work, and play.

3. Thomas, Dream Chasers XYZ

The best strategy for writing college research papers is to start from the end and work backward. This means that you should identify the conclusion and then focus on the process of writing it. Start with an outline and then fill in the details later.

Take a step back and break your paper into smaller pieces. Have a clear structure and a well-defined research question. This way, you can focus on each part without having to worry about the rest.

Once you have finished with this, it will be easier to put it all together into one coherent piece of work. It helps to stay organized during the process and makes sure that you don't get too carried away with ideas. Writing college research papers can be a difficult task for students. They need to organize their thoughts, conduct extensive research, and produce an in-depth piece of work.

How Does Writing a Research Paper Help in Academics

Research papers act as an excellent way to convey your subject matter knowledge to your professors and guide. Drafting a research paper not only helps you score good marks, it also helps in developing academic skills that will help you succeed not only in your college courses, but will help you going forward in life. 

Creating a research paper draft helps you hone the following skills essential for academic success-

1. Good reading and writing skills 

The process of research writing will help you fundamentally develop your reading and writing skills. It helps you learn how to read for critical evaluation and develop reasoning skills as you read any article or book. You develop the skills to derive conclusions from what you have read and ask questions about the findings. Writing a research paper helps you to understand the process of scientific discovery and then how to document the discovery in a way that it reaches people. 

2. Sense of achievement 

When you have a research paper due and you manage to finish it in time, you get a sense of achievement that you could do an exhaustive task all by yourself. Presenting a good research paper draft will also help you get good credentials among the professors.

3. Help you gain in depth knowledge 

You can only begin to write your research paper when you have done an in depth research about it. Research gives you an idea about how to explore different topics and in the process, builds up your knowledge about the topic you're researching for.

4. Develops habit of critical thinking 

The process of research writing helps develop your critical thinking skills. While researching, you come across the works of several scientists and researchers and you develop the skill to think critically and decide what is relevant for your research paper draft. 

Overall, the process of research writing at college level will help you prepare well for all the bigger academic writing assignments as well as help you ahead in your professional career. 

Why is Writing a Research Paper Important

Research papers can be leveraged as an excellent platform to share a novel or interesting finding to a focused or sometimes, even general pool of audience. The process of research writing may also help you replicate an experiment and find novel results, and popularize the findings in the world. 

Writing a research paper is important as it gives you an opportunity to gain expertise in the topic of your preference and understand what you have studied in a better manner. 

How to Start Writing a Research Paper 

If you are wondering how to get a research paper done fast, one thing you must consider is that the process of research writing takes time. There are several steps involved such as- 

1. Choosing a Topic 

Choosing a good topic is an essential step in the writing process. Sometimes, your guide will provide you with a topic or an idea to begin with, other times you may have to come up with it on your own. A good topic should fit the purpose of the assignment, and be interesting for your target audience to read. Reading subject related articles and papers proves vital in developing great ideas for choosing topics. Always make sure that you pose how, where, why, what and who kind of questions as you choose your topic. These questions will help you uncover aspects of the topic that you are not familiar with. 

2. Plan your research writing 

Creating a schedule is an efficient way to make sure that you don’t end up piling your work at the last minute. If you are wondering how long does it take to write a research paper, the correct answer is that writing a research paper draft is a time consuming process. It might take you days, weeks, or even months to come up with your first draft. Having a planned schedule will help you make sure you submit your paper within the deadlines. You can plan the process of writing by making flowcharts, elaborate network diagrams, and even through calendars. 

3. Brainstorm and research the topic

When writing research papers, you are likely to go through many documents, papers, and books. You might extend your research to videos and interviews. The sources for your research paper could be categorized as primary– personally conducted interviews, experiments, surveys, or any study that provides you with raw data, and secondary– other research papers, biography, results of other experimentations, literary reviews, etc. Analyze every document critically, and brainstorm over how to include the information obtained from these documents in your research paper. 

4. Organize your ideas

Once you are through with brainstorming and researching the content, it is time to organize your findings and decide what sources to use. You can make use of mindmaps and network diagrams to organize your raw data in a comprehensive form such that you understand how to proceed even if you start the writing process a few days after researching. Organizing content also gives you an opportunity to evaluate the evidence that you have collected and determine what supports your research paper. While organizing, keep in mind that working on a research paper draft is not set in stone. You can always change your content throughout the process of research writing if you feel that the organized evidence does not support your original topic. Never try to force evidence into fitting your argument. 

5. Create a research paper draft

Once your research findings are organized, you are equipped to combine the raw data with your critical analysis of the results and form the first draft. In this draft, you will write with an aim to incorporate primary and secondary source materials into your paper and elaborate on each source with an intention to relate your work with the purpose statement for your research paper. Create a well formatted draft with proper citations and acknowledgements of the references wherever used. 

6. Revise and proofread your paper

In the final step of the process of research writing, you must revise and polish your paper to make it more comprehensive and attractive for the readers. This process might need you to reorganize the structure of your paper, or revise for cohesion of information to ensure that each element of your research paper structure flows into the next in a logical and natural way. You must also make sure that the tone used in writing is consistent and appropriate. Check for grammatical errors and fix plagiarism if there is any. 

Once you are confident in your revised draft, revisit the paper and check for mechanics and formatting. Your paper is now ready for submission. If you feel like you need a second pair of eyes to proofread your work and give constructive feedback, you may share the draft with your guide or fellow classmate and ask for their inputs before submission. 

Importance of Creating an Outline for Research Paper

The key to a well written research paper is not how long does it take to write a research paper, but creating an outline for the topics you wish to discuss before you start writing. Creating an outline will help you in developing and organizing ideas in a sequential manner to channelize the flow of your thoughts.

Creating an outline also enables you to pick up relevant information and quotes from several sources very early on into the writing process. Begin the outline with writing the topic at the top of a blank sheet. If you do not have an explicit piece ready, you may brainstorm over how to go about structuring the research paper. Next, think about the direction where you wish to lead your readers to.

Develop a structure around your argument, how you plan to support it, and how you would defend these ideas. Outlining also enables you to draft a concise and organized research paper with a smoother reading transition across the content.

The focus and transition brings about the optimal order of content which enables readers to understand your main argument or finding in a coherent manner. 

Structure of a Research Paper

Whether you are submitting a research paper for History major, or any other subject, for undergraduate studies, or for post graduate degree, it is highly likely that you would be required to write and submit the work as per format provided in the APA or the American Psychological Association guidelines. 

A complete research paper for an experimental study styled in the APA format will traditionally consist of a title page, an abstract, introduction, methodology, result and discussion, conclusion, and Bibliography or reference section. 

These sections are detailed below–

Title Page

This page should provide all the answers for the question- what is this paper called, and who wrote it? The first page of your research paper should include the name or title of your research, a running head, name of the authors, and institutional affiliation of the authors.

The institutional affiliation is generally placed as an author's note at the bottom of the title page. In some cases, author's note might contain acknowledgements of any funding received for the research. 

What is An Abstract

An abstract is essentially a concise summary of your research paper.  It helps you go about how to write overview in research paper. An abstract is an original work, it should not be an excerpted passage from other's works.

Abstracts are usually self-contained and make sense by themselves, without the reader having to look for references further or having to refer to the paper itself. It highlights the key content areas, purpose of your research, the relevance of your work, and its importance in the current scenarios of your field of study.

Abstract also briefs about the main outcome of your research. The content structure is a well developed single paragraph, usually not longer than 250 words in length, with indents and single space.

Although the placement of the abstract is right after the title page, it should ideally be written as the last part of your research writing process. It should only be written once you are sure about how you are concluding your research paper. 


This section provides answer to the question of what is the topic about, and why is it worth researching. Introduction summarizes the topic under study and discusses relevant prior research to establish its importance.

It also emphasizes on identifying unresolved issues in prior researches, that this paper is going to address. Introduction also provides an overview of the research and methodologies that are described in detail in the sections that follow. 


The methodology section of your research paper details how was the research performed. It essentially features a description of elements involved in research study design, the materials, equipment, and processes used. If there are multiple procedures used to obtain the results, each method is defined under separate heading.

A rule of thumb is that methodology section should be detailed enough with thoroughly mentioned procedures so that another researcher is able to duplicate your research. 

Results and Discussions

This section should describe what you found after conducting a thorough research. Result section can be prefaced by a brief description of method used. It should essentially dictate the data you found and the results of statistical analysis done in your study.

In case there are multiple results to be mentioned, each result can be mentioned under a separate heading. 


This is the most important section of your paper. Here you essentially describe the significance of your result. The conclusion commonly elaborates on the results of the research that was conducted, and describes how that result is relevant to the topic under research.

In the conclusion section, you can also elaborate on the issues that your research was supposed to address, and the implications of your findings on the said issue. The conclusion should also include limitations of your findings and give a way forward and direction for future research. 

Citations and Bibliography

A citation helps to identify the original source for an idea or finding for the readers, or even an image that is referred to in your research paper. Citations should be made in the body of the paper as well as at the end of the paper. The in-text citations acknowledge the source of information that was used, and the compiled list at the end of paper helps to represent acknowledgements in a comprehensive form that is easily accessible to the readers and gives due regards to the original author of the referenced work. 

Depending on the style of your research writing, there are 3 citation styles you can follow- 

A) APA format- generally used for education, psychology, and science research papers.

B) MLA (Modern Language Association) format- generally used for humanities research papers. 

C) Chicago/Turabian format- generally used for business, history and fine arts papers. 

Formatting Your Research Paper

A well formatted research paper will not only help you get good grades, but will help you gain credibility as a good researcher and attract audience to read, refer and cite your paper in their published works. Some general rules for formatting your research paper in APA style are mentioned below-

A) The pages of your document should have at least 1 inch margin on all sides.

B) All the text should be double spaced except for the abstract which needs to be written as a single spaced, indented paragraph.

C) The font used must be Times New Roman, sized 12.

D) All the lines of text should be flushed left and not justified unless instructed.

E) The first line of every para should be indented except for in abstracts, titles, and headings.

F) Pages to be numbered at the top right, with title page numbered as 1. 

G) An abbreviated title also called a 'running head' should be placed on the top left corner of every page, flushed left, in uppercase letters.

H) For the title page, the title should be placed in the centre of the upper half of the title page, with the first letter of all but minor words capitalized. Next line should include the name of the author(s) followed by their institutional letter in successive lines. 

I) The reference should be formatted as per the APA guidelines, with the in text reference written as the last name followed by year of publication of the paper, and a consolidated list should be included at the end.

Types of Research Paper

Though most of the research papers follow the same format, there are slight variations in the pattern of writing. This pattern gives rise to different types of research paper which are not limited to, but include-

A) Literature Reviews- Literature review or review article, or review paper is published when a researcher is reviewing prior published and available research, and is not presenting any new research of their own. In such papers, the author may forgo the methodology and result sections. The structure of such papers include the Introduction section, followed by sections for all individual aspects of the research paper being reviewed, and then perhaps, a conclusion and way forward. 

B) Multi-experiment papers- When you are required to report multiple experiments in your research papers, you can make use of multi-experiment research paper style to publish your study. The format generally includes an introduction section, followed by separate sections for experiments 1,2,3,4… with each experiment section containing methodology, result and discussion subsections. Towards the end of the paper, a generalized conclusion section is added which is followed by reference sections and appendices, if any.

Do’s and Don’t of Research Paper Writing

When writing a research paper, how well you have written it will convey your hard work to your readers. The way you present data and your writing style together create a holistic image of you to the readers. Owing to the significance that writing a good research paper carries, here are some dos and don’ts for writing a research paper

Do’s of research writing

A) Do communicate your work in a precise and clear way. Remember that the work you are presenting is novel, this means you do not need to sit and create unnecessary stories around your research.

B) Keep the content to the point. 

C) Highlight the ideas and methodologies involved in the research process. Discuss the reasons for usage and justify your findings. 

D) Doubly verify the accuracy of data presented as your published paper might be used by other researchers for creating their work. 

E) Refer and quote authentic and up-to-date information in your research papers.

F) Employ critical thinking while brainstorming for information to include in your paper.

G) Provide enough proofs and solid evidence to support the arguments you make in your paper, and to reinstate the credibility of your findings.

H) Maintain a track of all the references that you use for your paper. Work on your bibliography simultaneously as you write your paper and keep a mark on your notes to remember where a fact as quoted in your paper, came from. 

I) Proofread your paper several times before you submit it. Take help from your friends, colleagues, family members, or guide to proofread and fine tune your paper. 

Don’ts of research writing

A) Do not misinterpret any fact and elaborate on it just to fill your paper with some content.

B) Be honest with your readers about your findings. If the result for some research is not as expected, do not try to manipulate it to make the paper look good. This will heavily affect credibility of your research, as well as yourself as an author or researcher.

C) Do not include information that does not serve the purpose of adding to your topic. 

D) Do not use or reveal absurd reasons for doing any research or conducting an experiment in your paper. 

E) Do not fill your paper with a general overview of someone else’s work. This will give an impression that you do not have any argument to make, and you may end up losing credibility as a researcher. 

F) Do not write anything in your paper if you don’t have any credible evidence to back up what you are writing. Writing in vacuum will depreciate the quality of your work even if it is written with good grammar and in a perfect language. 

G) Do not cite unreliable sources such as Wikipedia in your bibliography. 

I) Avoid plagiarism. Wherever you are using some other researcher’s work or content, give them proper credit. Proofread for plagiarism before hitting submit on your college research paper writing assignment. 

Still Struggling with the Process of Research Writing?

If you still have this question in mind about how to proceed to write my research papers for college, you can seek help from academic writing experts at Your online research paper writer at will provide you with the best paper draft and guide on how to create an outline for your paper. The online research paper writer will also guide you about how to write overview in research paper. 

Our subject matter experts will learn about your project background and subject, brainstorm the thesis proposal and topics with you, and give you a step-by-step and easy-to-follow walkthrough of creating a research paper draft.

With the help of our online research paper writer experts, you will get a well-crafted, precise, and easily perceivable research paper to proudly submit for your degree requirements. Our online research paper writer help services are available to students round the clock to help them meet the deadlines without any delay. Our writers are well versed in diverse subject matters, including English, History, law, mathematics, Physics, Biosciences, and geography. The in-house experts know how to brainstorm and create a perfect structure for your research paper, and will help you craft a clear and concise abstract as well as paper that fits your needs.

To avail of the best round-the-clock online research paper writer services, reach out to us at, and we will get you started right away.



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