How to Start a Research Paper

How to Start a Research Paper

How to start a research paper is a skill elusive for many students for the longest time. This scenario doesn’t need to keep playing out every year as new students find themselves reciting a similar chorus. Most students site the writers’ block and lack of experience as the reasons why they face challenges in starting and completing their research papers.

Several students have devised ways around this challenge by having professional writers handle research essays tasks for them. This scenario is a way around the problem but does not solve it. The solution to the problem comes from understanding the rules of writing research papers, and how to prepare and handle these assignments.

Here are steps of easily starting and how to do a research paper:

Keenly Read the Guidelines of the Research Essay Assignment

The first principle of how to start a research paper is reading and understanding your assignment’s guidelines. These rules of engagement stipulate the task at hand, and what expectations await you. Carefully read through all the instructions noting and highlighting the difficulty of each prompt and the areas you don’t understand.

The best way of how to write a good research paper is to ensure you have a clear picture of the expectations in the particular assignment. So, before you proceed to the next stage, make sure you clearly understand the question. If not, seek guidance from a classmate who understands the subject or you can request more clarifications from your tutor.

Choose a Suitable Topic for Your Research Essay

When you are learning how to write a research paper, you need to come up with a clear and concise topic for the research essay. The topic is critical because it sets out the pace and direction for the rest of the research paper. You must have a clear topic that meets the expectations of the guidelines and approved by your supervisor before you go to the next stage. These tips can help in creating a good topic:

  • A manageable subject
  • Limits the research scope
  • Interesting and attracts attention

A good topic makes the research essay A+ grade by setting a good pace and direction for the research to follow. A good topic requires a considerable amount of concentration to create.

Here are steps to help build the most interesting topics for your research papers:

Start in Good Time

All professors agree that time is the most critical resource for students, so assignments need all the available time to reflect it as high grades. As such, the task of creating the topic should immediately start as soon as the work gets issued. You will need to develop several topics and finally choose the most suitable. So spend as much time as possible creating and revising as many topics as possible.

Consult Previous Research on the Possible Topic

Referring to previous research is the best way to narrow down the focus of your research paper and how to write a good research paper. Accessing academic search engines like Google Scholar can provide information about the current trends on the possible topic.

Narrow Down on the Subject Matter

Narrow down the research paper question according to the requirements provided in the task guidelines. Match the topic according to the conditions from the instructions; such that a simple few page task reflects a narrower scope than a dissertation spanning several maybe hundreds of pages.

Pick the Most Suitable Topic

According to the scope of the assignment, you will need to decide on the most suitable topic for your research paper to begin work. If you are learning how to do a research paper, bear in mind that you might need to revise the topic during or after the researching phase to accommodate some new ideas.

Create a Thesis

A thesis statement is the part of the research paper that bears the research hypotheses which are the potential answers to the research question. The first step in creating the perfect thesis statement is formulating several hypotheses. In this stage, possible solutions to the research question get deduced from the existing information about the topic.

You can see how this section in any research paper example from a similar subject as your topic. You must have this section well-constructed before you can proceed to the gathering research essay information and creating the research paper outline. Students new to research tasks ought to check with their supervisors before moving to subsequent stages. So be sure to get your tutor’s approval for this stage.

An explicit thesis statement breathes life into the research paper. So yours should contain all the necessary information for the reader to know what and how you shall argue about in the rest of the article. Before you begin working on the rest of the research paper, you should share this section with your classmates to see if it can easily make sense to them. Also, having your tutor go through it ensures that you remain within the bounds of the assignment.

Information Gathering

Searching for relevant and reliable data to back up the arguments you propose in the research is the most tedious and complicated element of how to start a research paper. Gathering data on the various research facts adds more challenges to students on top of how to write a research paper. The information collected in this stage mainly serves the purpose of showing the necessity of the research and supporting various research viewpoints.

For science topics, you might need to set up experiments and collect data from them to support particular ideas. For social science research, primary and secondary sources of information mainly provide the research essay with the information required to support the various perspectives put forward. Primary sources are minimal regarding the available options and their accessibility but provide first-hand information about the idea of interest. Secondary sources bear information synthesized from the primary source and much fewer access and variety limitations than the primary sources.

While going through various information sources and analyzing and synthesizing data, keenly record down the many findings. Access the credibility of the authors for any possible bias before deciding to reference their information.

Finally, in this stage, assess the finding of the information gathered to judge whether it supports your thesis statement. Consequently, make adjustments to the thesis statement according to the conclusions of this stage to ascertain the authenticity of the sources of information and ensure they have no plagiarism. You should site only completed works in your research to uphold the credibility of your references.

How to Start a Research Paper Outline

Creating your research paper outline marks the official beginning of the writing process. This outline is a critical section of the research paper as it offers a tool for organizing thoughts and ideas before you begin working on the main body. The outline also provides an organizational medium where you assess and decide which research element comes before another.

The research paper outline creates the general idea of trajectory for your research paper which helps you introduce your central concept more efficiently. You can always refer to another research paper example with a similar topic for a more precise idea on how to structure your paper’s outline.

Write Your Research Paper

If you keenly followed these tips and steps, then you are ready to begin writing a research paper. Using the writing skills you have acquired so far, start with a working draft which you will later transfer to the final draft. If you prepare well and have your facts well organized then writing a research paper is equivalent to any other writing task.


Writing a research paper is as easy as a junior writing assignment or can turn out a nightmare. Follow these steps and tips, and soon you shall find yourself producing the A+ paper you yearn for so much. Despite having the necessary knowledge and skills to complete these tasks, it requires more dedication and a strong belief in achieving your goals.

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