What Is a Research Paper?

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Creativity requires input, and that’s what research is. You’re gathering material with which to build.

Gene Luen Yang

While studying in high school and university, you will be assigned to write a research paper. In fact, to conduct an investigation on various scientific, technical aspects is not so easy and if you have never done this before, the task may seem complicated. However, don’t be scared!  In this blog, we will tell you everything you need to know about research paper writing!

What Is a Research Paper?

A thesis or a research paper is a huge scientific work related to investigation and experiments. It is assigned to expand the existing knowledge of the students, to learn more, to test scientific hypotheses and to establish regularities that are manifested in nature and society.

The process of writing consists of several stages. Choosing the topic of the paper is the first and the most important step. It doesn’t matter if you like the topic or not. Before making the final decision you must think if there is any material on the topic you came up with. If you have an opportunity, pick up an issue that is interesting to you. Be original. If you are writing a paper according to a teacher’s assignment, think about other students as well. Will they also write about the same issue as you? Make your paper unique.

Research paper writing includes an empirical study. If there is a possibility, refer to the empirical study. Find an article or book written by a recognized expert on your subject and use it in your work. Such materials can be found in scientific journals or online. By collecting all the research materials, print them out (if they have been obtained from online sources) and mark all that is necessary. This step is extremely important: read the material, make the appropriate notes, highlight the main facts and statements. By the way, do not forget to write down the authors, year of publication, publishing house, number of pages and the very page on which you found the necessary info for the references. So you can substantially simplify your life in the future.

Types of Research Papers

Define the purpose of your work. Generally speaking, there are 6 main types of a research paper. Each of them requires a special approach, which should be taken into account at the beginning.

When writing an analytical research paper, you must have a fresh look at an important issue. The topic may not cause any controversy, but you should try to convince your listeners that your ideas deserve attention. In the analytical research paper, it is appropriate to present your own unique ideas based on the material studied.

The argumentative paper represents two points of view of the controversial issue. A good argumentative paper includes quotes from the previous speculation on the dilemma and contains logical facts on both sides of the problem. When writing such a paper, you have to make an analysis of advantages and disadvantages regarding each position.

Cause and effect report is one more type of research paper writing. It requires the author to analyze a specific situation or event and to prove a cause-effect relationship. You will have to understand the situation in detail and provide strong arguments.

In order to write an compare and contrast paper, you have to start by identifying two subjects that have common and different peculiarities and can be compared (for instance, you can compare two government systems).

Then, find at least two or three ideas that can be compared by means of research and facts.

Definition papers describe a thing or an issue from the factual standpoint. There is no place for the author’s opinion.

One more type is interpretive paper. It is assigned mostly to the students of humanities. For example, to analyze a novel, poem or any other type of literature. The name speaks for itself, just interpret it.

Tips for Writing a Research Paper

Research paper writing is a long process, so we will tell you a few tips on how to make the whole process efficient.

  1. Go to the library. The local college library is waiting for you! Someone may say that this is old kind of method, however, libraries are full of useful materials! Do not be afraid to appeal for assistance from librarians. Their job is to help visitors like you.
  2.  Google. Remember, clicking on first three links received in response to the first query. Do not hurry up. Read everything that the search engine offers, then draw conclusions. Sites, blogs, and forums are not the most reliable sources of information.
  3. Use scientific databases. There are special search engines and scientific databases, where you can find thousands of indexed scientific articles, journals, and books. There are such databases where collected data is based upon the specific topic. For example, PsycInfo is a special database dedicated only to psychological and sociological work. Searching for such databases will give you more reliable results.
    Most scientific databases allow you to set search parameters (for example, search only books or magazines). Do not underestimate the power search parameters configuration!
  4. Be creative! If you find a book that is perfect for you, do not be too lazy to strain your brain and open references. There you can find dozens of wonderful books on your topic!

All in all, research paper writing is not very difficult. All you have to do is to follow the instruction and requirement. Good luck!

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