Writing a Research Paper

There usually comes that time in virtually every student’s academic career when they are given a research paper to write. Assignments of this type often cause the student a lot of unnecessary anxiety, which may lead to them feeling confused and inadequate with the result they start procrastinating. These feelings of anxiety often come about because a lot of students do not have the required experience and are not familiar with this type of writing. However, they need not worry because knowledge and experience can be achieved with practice.

Being asked to write a research paper is usually a non-negotiable part of academic life and it not a good idea to try and avoid it because one feels anxious. Indeed, the act of producing a worthwhile research paper may well be among the most rewarding activities of one’s academic career. Furthermore, a lot of students will go on to do a considerable amount of research in the course of their professional careers, a fact that makes the practice they get at college so valuable.

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Acquiring experience in the art of researching and writing for any field of study requires plenty practice. This process does not come naturally to very many people. Do not forget that research paper writing is a skill that even experienced students were obliged to learn at one stage or another. So with a bit of practice, patience, hard work, good organization, an open mind towards learning, and an acceptance that they will make some mistakes, most students should find they can accomplish amazing things when it comes to researching a topic and writing about it.      

There are several articles on WritingsCentre.com’s website with tips on writing research papers.

These articles cover:

  • Types of research papers: This useful section provides a description of the different genres of research paper, e.g., how an analytical research papers differs from the argumentative type.
  • Selecting a suitable topic: In this article, we guide you through the minefield of selecting a good topic, whether a topic is assigned to you by your tutor or whether you must choose your own.
  • Identifying and understanding your audience: This article is designed to help students understand their audiences or readership. While this area is often confusing, we provide basic advice on the process.

Where to start: This article offers a number of tips and links to resources offered by WritingsCentre.com. We also give you advice on completing the last stages of a research writing project.