Research Paper

A Step-by-Step Guide to Save Time and Energy

With all the issues you have going on as a student, writing a paper can appear like a daunting job. Many students opt to put off that daunting job, which in the end leads to bad grades on papers that would otherwise happen to be simple A’s.

On leading of that, papers often make up a sizable portion of a student’s overall grade in any class, which tends to make them even higher danger ventures.

Here, we’ll walk you through probably the most essential aspects of making a paper, from starting to end so you will not need to whip up a paper in an afternoon, plagiarize, or neglect to do the assignment.

This image and list-based, step-by-step tutorial is the closest factor to writing a plug and chug paper you will get. In this tutorial you will learn:


  • Techniques to clearly understanding assignments and what professors wish to see in your writing
  • Techniques for managing your time whilst you work on a long term research paper or brief term writing assignment
  • Approaches to producing strong subject ideas which will make your paper interesting and engaging
  • Suggestions for crafting a strong thesis statement that may be sustained throughout the whole of a lengthy assignment
  • Suggestions for crafting transitions between ideas, sentences and paragraphs
  • Methods for revising and editing your paper before you decide to hand it in

So, are you currently prepared to ace this paper of yours? Get out some paper along with a pencil and let’s get started!


The answer to this query is simple: look at the materials the prof gives you. But, it’s essential to get started the precise exact same day that the prof hands you the assignment, and it’ll only take 30 minutes. There’s no time for you to waste.

Let’s cope with the first one correct now: Looking at what the prof desires you to complete.

1. Create to the Rubric

The first important step in writing a paper is taking some time to comprehend what the professor is searching for. In the event you know that, you can create towards the rubric and pick up easy points along the way.

Universities mandate that professors given students rubrics or some form of assessment guideline. Remember, the rubric for the course on the assignment sheet you have been offered, you’ll discover a common rubric in the class syllabus, or the professor will consist of a rubric with an assignment sheet.

If the professor doesn’t offer these issues to you, don’t be afraid to ask for them. It is totally unfair to assess a student if the student doesn’t know what’s anticipated of them. When you ask, be courteous.

2. Start using the Finish in Mind

Once you have that rubric and assignment sheet in hand, you are prepared to discern the issues your prof will search for when grading the assignment. This means you are able to start using the finish in mind, crafting the paper around what you know the prof wants to see. To start using the end in thoughts, you need to adhere to 3 simple steps:

– Look at the Assignment Having a Crucial Eye

Take a couple of moments to evaluation the assignment and rubric having a pen and highlighter, creating notes and underlining key components the prof wants to see.

– Create an Anchor Sentence

Once you know what the prof desires, you can write a 1 sentence reference that you can refer to anytime you really feel like you’re going off course.

– Assess your Gaps

Make a list of three strengths and weaknesses you’ve as a writer. Be mindful of the pitfalls and confident about your higher points.

All this ought to take you no greater than 10 or 15 minutes. It may seem counter-intuitive, but using time to get organized saves you time later, and makes the writing procedure a lot simpler. So, right here it’s, step-by-step:

3.Look at the Assignment Critically

Now, let’s check out a sample assignment. Say you have to create a paper for your Linguistics class. Check out this assignment from an actual college professor:

Take note, these macro ideas are frequently ideas, not commands. They are the prof telling you how to be impressive, clear, or to raise your grade through a demonstration of one’s wits and knowledge.

Your profs know whenever you do not take time prewriting, and they know when you’re being wishy-washy or only reading to reinforce your opinion. This is your prof letting you know that.

Second, go micro. Go through and underline actionable products. These are the products that should be included within the paper for you to obtain a great grade. Generally they’re extremely particular:

Clearly, if your paper utilizes first-person pronouns, it’ll irk the individual providing you the grade-probably very best to remain away from that. Also, you should be utilizing scholarly research, which means no random Googling and choosing the first issues you ping.

Take a look at the first section from the assignment sheet. See exactly where the prof tells you precisely what your paper ought to be?

Also, check out the section at the “Requirements” section. This paper better be formatted inside a specific way!

Also, watch for specific requests about format changes and due dates. Circle them!

They are no-nonsense statements/compromises that the prof needs you to abide.

Why would a prof do this? Nicely, the answer is easy. Your profs are not attempting to bust your chops (they do, in fact, have other things to complete than make you miserable)-they’re trying to streamline the grading procedure. Envision you’ve 75 papers to grade written by your 75 students.

Imagine just just how much variation and diversity would occur between those 75 people and their papers if the prof left it all to chance-all of those students like various fonts, would cite issues differently based on their preferences, and would hand in extensively varied papers, at least doubling the time it would take to read those papers.

So, don’t you would like to help that prof out? Make that prof adore you by following these directions. In the event you adhere to the directions, this prof will direct their ire elsewhere.

Now that you understand why profs are such format sticklers, check out the rubric:

The rubric is really a list of direct touch points that will be examined by the professor as they grade your work. Take note, they’re specific and they break down your possible overall performance. Within this case, you can see five discrete categories, every with its own stakes, and the quantity value that corresponds to your performance:

The prof will take the rubric and maintain it within reach whilst grading. Together with creating notes in your paper, the prof may also verify off your overall performance in each category-summarizing your overall performance in that category:

f you’ve a hundred-point paper, each 1 of these categories is worth 20 points. The prof will add up the categories and multiply that quantity by 4 to obtain your grade: four + 5 + five + four + 5 = 23 x four = 92.

To get an A on this paper, you need to perform with excellence in three categories and above typical in at least two of the other categories.

Now you’ve a objective. Which three categories are you currently going to absolutely kill in?

At least one of them-formatting-is a gimmie. All it requires is interest to detail-Microsoft Word has all the tools you have to score perfectly there.

Concentrate on Improvement and Physique Paragraphs for your other two. They’re simple-almost completely made of a thesis statement and transitions.
Now that you have that figured out, let’s move on to the next step: Crafting a reminder that you can revisit whilst you write.

4. Writing an Anchor Sentence

It might seem like a silly factor to do, but an anchor sentence is as vital as a thesis statement. It is basically a thesis statement for the paper writing process. With this sentence you will remind yourself about what the prof wants and how you’re going to provide it to them.

– Summarize the Elements

It’s clear from the highlighting and underlining that the prof wants an argumentative paper that is well-organized and thoughtful. Note that there is absolutely nothing about originality within this rubric.

The prof is not asking you to reinvent the wheel or come up with some thing that will alter the field of Linguistics forever-they’re simply asking you to take some essential suggestions out of your linguistics class and apply them to some thing that you like.

– Understand the Idea

It is also clear that this prof wants you to synthesize the research in the field of linguistics, not conduct new research.

This goes back towards the originality idea-demonstrate you have been listening and can apply the ideas of the class to the practices and concepts in an additional field of study or individual interest.

– Create the Anchor

Now that you have an concept of what’s required, go ahead and create one or two sentences combining steps 1 and 2:

Within this paper, I will demonstrate my understanding of a linguistic idea I discovered this semester and how it relates to my field of study. I’ll demonstrate this understanding by staying organized, utilizing relevant study, and sticking to my thesis statement.

Yes, it seems a bit silly. But now you have an anchor. If you get stuck while writing, pull out this sentence and see where you have gone astray, or where you go to get back on track.

5. Assessing Your Gaps

You realize what the prof desires, you know how you’re going to give it to them. Now all you need to know is exactly where it could all fall off the rails. In this step, you name your strengths and weakness so you know precisely where you stand walking in.

It’s super-simple-all you do is answer two concerns, creating a list of two or 3 issues for each:

  1. As a writer, I know I’m not so great at… creating a thesis, staying organized, and conducting research.
  2. As a writer, I know I’m great at… coming up with interesting ideas, articulating my thoughts clearly, and utilizing good grammar.

Easy as that. Now all you need to do is play to those strengths and be cognizant of the weaknesses. You are prepared to move on to the next step, so get to it! Let’s discuss how you can execute.


1. Sit Down

Ernest Hemingway famously said that “the hardest component about writing is getting your ass within the chair.” And he’s completely correct. In the event you can sit down to create, you have got 90% from the work behind you already.

Finishing this second step immediately-before you go to bed around the day you get the assignment-is important to acing this paper.

That said, you should go back to your space, get out your calendar, and begin looking at specific pockets of time inside your days between when you are assigned the paper and when the assignment is due.

Adhere to these tips when making the schedule:

Make the time non-negotiable

It’ll be tough, but don’t let buddies or activities derail your schedule. Set the strategy and execute, execute, execute-this is the only way to attain the results you would like.

Be particular about how you invest the time

When making the schedule, set completion goals to ensure that the time is not open-ended. In case your time is nebulous, you will be much more likely to drop the ball. You’ve got a date having a chair and life-long studying.

Commit to the procedure

Bear in mind that 1 of the crucial ingredients of effective writing is time. You need time to believe, study, and produce. If you fail to acknowledge this, you will create a crumby paper every time.

You are operating toward something larger

It may be simple to fixate around the trees at the expense of seeing the entire forest, so make sure to remember that what you are doing is adding to your overall profession. If the paper is good, you are able to use it as a writing sample or try to publish it, which will develop your résumé. Resist the impulse to believe from the paper as a hurdle.

Make the most of assistance systems

You are not writing in a vacuum-you have academic assistance at your fingertips, also as friends who’re within the same boat. Make an appointment using the writing center to get a semi-professional set of eyes, and had that paper to a buddy for quick notes.

2. Get Organized

Your subsequent step would be to organize your time. You’re going to fill out an hour or two of function every day, accounting for other classes, social engagements, and priority requirements.

Make a specific tab for the paper, and fill within the occasions you can work:
Probably the most important part about this is that you are specific-setting tangible completion goals for every function session. Most of your sessions should be no more than an hour or two, but some activities-like research-might need to be a little longer:
If you notice, the majority of your writing time will be spent on the front end-creating the first draft of the paper. This really is because every thing after which will be revisionary.
Do not forget to find your revision buddy, and make an appointment in the writing center!

In the event you stick to this schedule, you will not just total your paper on time, you will total it well. Each writer around the planet will let you know that the schedule is the foundation of great writing-the much more time you spend in the chair, the better the writing gets.



So you’ve completed the first two actions prior to bed on the day your assigned the paper, now comes the difficult stuff. It will, nevertheless, be a bit simpler now that you know exactly what your prof wants and you’ve got a schedule in place.

To produce suggestions, you’ve got a couple of options. Free writing is frequently well-liked, but it can be really time consuming, and also not particularly helpful for research papers. As well, some profs advise speaking it out having a friend, which may be distracting.

But you don’t have a lot time, so you want to concentrate and narrow your ideas-it’s essential to success. The very best method for this is mapping. Mapping is really a technique that enables you to freely record your ideas inside a logical manner.

Mapping will provide you with powerful guiding concerns also as demonstrate how your ideas are connected, that is super helpful for writing a long research paper. Mapping looks something like this:

Note that the suggestions get much more specific the additional away they’re from the center subject. Also, note that they’re written as interrogatives-questions stimulate thought. Circle the ones which are most particular and utilizes them for the paper.
Pro tip: 1 simple angle that always appears to work is “how is your subject different, altered, or effected by technologies and also the modern trappings from the 21st century?” You are able to apply this idea to every paper you’ll write in college.

So, apply your field of study, your interests, or some thing topical towards the subject. Let’s say you are studying to be a teacher and are thinking about ESL students-that’s a lens every subject and query within this list can be examined via. Right here are some suggestions based upon that…

  • Language acquisition: How can new technologies help second language learners discover English faster?
  • Pragmatics: How do ESL students comprehend pragmatics in English contexts?
  • Universal Grammar: How does an ESL student learn to transition from one language to an additional?
  • Phonetics: How can ESL students discover English sounds more successfully?

Out from the above, which sounds like it has the most juice? Probably quantity one. Even with out performing any Googling, it seems evident that there will probably be research within this region that you can draw from. As well, you can depend on non-technical, non-academic observation to provide you better ideas-you can use your encounter to shape your subject matter. So go with number 1.

Now, plug the subject into Wikipedia to get an overview of what the topic is.

Ctrl + F to search the web page and search for key words, like technologies
No shock that there’s a entire section on Wikipedia to get you going. Take a look at these specific suggestions that you can use in your study phase:
Click the numbered hypertext to see sources. Looks like 23-26 will probably be helpful:
And appear, you are able to scroll towards the bottom from the page to get a jump on specific articles to make use of inside your study. As well, 51 mentions your keyword!
Now that you know-on a very common level-what’s taking place in the field, you can get going on creating your thesis and outline.


With our tutorial on writing a thesis statement, you’ll see thesis examples, methods to craft a thesis sentence, and how you can organize your paper around a thesis statement. Initial, you’ll need a decent grasp of your topic. Second, you will need particular examples to create about. Third, you’ll need to organize those 3 products successfully. And, fourth, you’ll need to make an outline.

For this step-by-step tutorial of thesis examples, we’re going to break issues down for super efficiency so you are able to create the backbone from the paper.

The writing from the thesis is broken into 4 components. Master these and the paper will probably be a cinch.

1. Making the Topic Overview

The very first step to making a effective thesis statement is producing a concise overview of the subject at hand. In this case, technology and also the ESL classroom will be the topic upon which the paper is primarily based. So the first portion of one’s thesis ought to be a generalized statement that describes the imperatives which make your paper relevant.
Start by making a list of why you believe your paper topic is relevant. In this case, we could say that…

  •  technology use inside and outdoors the classroom has increased within the previous decade.
  •  students use their phones in class, which is a distraction to learning.
  •  social media interaction is now just as essential to most students as face-to-face interaction.
  •  students are frequently taken from the expansive digital world outside from the classroom and are bored inside a classroom with walls.
  •  student studying is increasingly social and communal in nature, as opposed to being delivered by an professional.

Now, let’s take those suggestions and try to make them into 1 sentence:

Teachers who refuse to use technology within the classroom aren’t engaging their students and are disregarding their students’ natural methods of learning and their social requirements.

Sounds pretty great, eh? Yep! Now, let’s punch up that language a little, so we can sound a little smarter:

Teachers who do not embrace technologies in their classes risk losing students to academic boredom, not to mention that they’ll be perceived by their students as tedious and irrelevant. This really is simply because technology and sociability are not extracurricular-students’ lives are increasingly technologies oriented and social in nature in ways that weren’t about years ago.

Oh! Even better! But you will find nonetheless some simple issues we can do to punch up the language, like use Word’s synonyms function by right-clicking:
Be cautious as you do this-sometimes the tool may be a bit off since it cannot improvise nicely for word forms. But go through word by word and tighten, change, and you will get this:
That sounds fantastic, does not it? With adding then subtracting, expanding then consolidating, moving in the common towards the specific, you are able to craft an overview to become used within the thesis. Also, note the usage of old tricks, like opposing vocabulary (extracurricular v. intercurricular) which heighten the rhetoric.

So, verify the rubric-did we hit any goals? Yep! See Development, Language and vocabulary, and Sentence structure!

2. Constructing the Specifics

Now that you have nailed down the overview, switch gears into getting truly narrow. Right here, you are going to identify three solutions towards the problem that you presented within the crafting from the overview.

Whilst these issues will probably be more specific than the prior section, they aren’t going to become hyper-specific, but broad sufficient to act as a reference points for the rest from the paper.

The issue presented was that instructors take away learning tools from students and replace them with much less fascinating types of studying and stop social interaction with the classroom. Also, instructors give little attention to technology-based studying tools as an avenue for education.
How can this issue be fixed? Teachers should…

– Leverage technology to get students speaking about function when not in class

– Integrate unconventional technologies in class (like iPhones)

– Make technology use a classroom priority

Now, take these issues and combine them into a single statement:

ESL instructors ought to make utilizing technology a priority of education, each inside and outside the classroom.

But, let’s attempt massage it a little much more, just like the final one. Let’s attempt to maintain our triad of ideas intact, that way we are able to make a minimum of three different sections towards the paper:

ESL instructors ought to try to increase digital interactions between students outside of class, use digital technology inside of class, and make digital avenues of education a learning priority.

Fairly good, but we are able to make it sound even more academic. Again, use the Word synonym function, and try to bring out the parallel structure much more:
Yeah-that’s great!

3. Crafting the Thesis Sentences

We’re so close to becoming carried out using the thesis! All we need now is to connect the two sentences together with some type of sentence, transitional phrase, or conjunction. In this case (as with nearly everything in writing, really) keep it easy:
A few of you are saying “Hey! Wait a sec! You cannot begin a sentence with because!” In fact, you can. You have been lied to if that’s what you think.

Many teachers tell students this simply because it prevents them from writing incomplete thoughts, or writing sloppily, but it is totally street legal and, in this case, quite fashionable as a prepositional phrase. So use it with abandon, so long as you total the sentence!

Now, check the rubric again!-clarity from the argument, arguable thesis, and well-organized suggestions! Verify and verify and check! You’re killing it.

You have a thesis!

4. Make an Outline

From there, you can also develop your outline, and break up your potential sources, like so:

Introduction/Hook (Engaging anecdote to transition you into the thesis)
Thesis sentences

Part 1 (first portion from the thesis)

– 3-4 sources

Component 2 (second portion of the thesis

– 3-4 sources

Component 3 (third portion of the thesis)

– 3-4 sources

Conclusion/Charge (Wrapping up, charging the reader to create a change)

It’s really just that simple. And, to top it all off, you now have 3 locations of research to focus on!

Now that we’ve got that square, let’s move on to some techniques for transitioning in between suggestions.


Frequently students writing lengthy, research-based papers struggle with smoothly connecting the related suggestions inside the paper. This is not uncommon, and-good news-is easily fixed! You will find three easy actions. Initial, you must determine the relationship between the two suggestions. Second, you must craft a transition. And, third, you have to be cautious of possible pitfalls.

1. Determine the Partnership

Let’s say you have this paragraph to open the very first section of your Linguistics paper:
You need to get from that truly broad concept to a much simpler concept: that individuals from different cultures have difficulty communicating, or-as it’s written within the paper, this:
See how jarring the logical jump is in the broad statement to the particular assertion? Take a look at the two statements with each other, as they’re color coded-red becoming broad, blue becoming particular:
You need something between them to link them logically together and to assist the reader make the leap with you, so you will require to create a sentence to go in between them-one that embodies both the broad and also the particular with each other.

Take a look at this, which logically fills within the gap for the reader, so that the reader does not need to fill within the gaps themselves:
Now give it a read all with each other:

2. Make the Connections

– The author identified the partnership

It’s clear right here that people’s abilities to communicate define their cultural significance. This idea is loosely connected to another idea the author is writing toward-that these unique cultural differences are frequently the culprit for communication breakdown.

The author sees that the partnership is 1 of contrasts, so they attempt to name the contrast to make a connection in the transition-the green text is the merging of contrasts:

– The author crafted the transition

Using a truly simple, but subtle writing ability, this author utilized word choice to make deeper connections in between the sentences. See the color coded portions:
The phrases “existing within the world” and “shared paradigm” imply nearly exactly the same factor. As do the phrases “mutual conventions” and “cultural overlap.” The author is essentially re-saying what was just previously stated, but inside a much more specific way or with different vocabulary. Not how the suggestions from each paragraph come with each other in the transition.

– The author is cautious to not fall into traps

Inside a paper, it is simple to use simple transition words-therefore, consequently, and so on. There’s absolutely nothing incorrect with a transition word here and there, but they are extremely simple to overuse. Most blogs, like this 1, this 1, and this 1 make using transition words an essential a part of this procedure.

And it is, sort of, but we’re teaching you how you can do this better than typical, remember?

You are attempting to ace this paper, which means you have to do a little extra and move past the things that all students can do into issues that exceptional students do.

The sophisticated transition based on nuanced vocabulary is an exceptional student move. Verify it against the rubric: readability/unity, logical/seamless transitions, demonstration of knowledge via word option, vocab, and logical thought-you got it! Bam!


After you have filled inside your outline and placed a few of your study into your paper, you’ll have completed first draft. This really is greater than most students have when they hand inside a paper. The editing portion has five steps: First, you revise to tighten and clarify. Second, you edit for grammar, usage, and mechanics. Third, you give a clean copy to a friend and go to academic support. Fourth, you do your final read through to clean issues up. And, fifth, recheck the paper against the rubric.

Keep in mind whenever you had been 1 of those foolish plebes handing in a paper you wrote hours before it was due and hope for an C? Aren’t you glad you realize much better now?

You have completed your preliminary draft and now you need to get it searching sexy for your prof. There are two methods to do this-revising and editing.

Revising comes initial. Revising is when you actually re-vision the piece. You make large changes-fix transitions or pieces study alongside organization and structure.

Editing comes second. Editing is making little changes towards the piece-correcting the grammar, usage, and mechanics, altering the diction to alter the tone a little.

These terms aren’t interchangeable, although many people make mistakes and use them interchangeably.

Step 1: Revise

After you’ve completed that paper, it is important to go back and make large-scale changes. You are not going to change the bedrock of the paper-the thesis and the research to go together with it-but you’re going to alter issues that make the paper flow, like smoothing out the transitions, evening out the structure and order of the paragraphs, and make sure all the ideas link with each other naturally.

This is also a time to add ideas to the basic premise of each section or to eliminate tangents that you simply might have followed within the heat of the moment. Add what must be added and cut out something that doesn’t have to be there. Some typical issues to search for:

– Paragraphs have a logical unfolding order
– Rambling, overly lengthy sentences

– All sections echo back towards the thesis

– Suitable, academic tone

– Engaging to reader

– Claims contain evidence and assistance

– Transitions are clear

– All suggestions are totally developed

– Adding section headings

– Introduction and conclusion serve thesis well

Step 2: Edit

Now that the paper is set, your job is to go through and tighten all of the sentences, make modifications to word choice (keep in mind Word’s synonym function), and correct and errors in grammar or punctuation that you discover. Some typical things to look for:

– Get rid of contractions
– Spelling errors
– Clear pronoun reference
– Format specific (italics, bolds, and so on.)
– Quotation guidelines obeyed
– Apostrophes for plurals and possessives
– Effortlessly confused words (as well, to, and two)
– Misplaced or dangling modifiers
– Incomplete sentences
Pro reading tip: Whilst you’re re-reading for your edits, it may be great to move via the paper backwards, that way you can disorient yourself a bit and catch more mistakes. Begin using the final sentence, then study the second to final sentence, and so on until you get towards the initial sentence.

Step 3: Review

Next, you’re prepared to provide this paper to other individuals for them to examine. Initial, discover a friend you trust and share the paper with them. Next, make an appointment using the campus writing center. With each of those reviews, hand over this set of concerns for the reviewers to answer:

  • Summarize the primary points of this paper in your own words.
  • Will be the thesis clear and focused, does it match nicely with the introduction?
  • Is the end from the paper efficient? Does it summarize the content material well and invite the reader to action?
  • Has the argument from the paper been totally addressed?
  • Are there any locations exactly where the analysis within the paper falls short or is incomplete?
  • Would be the transitions fluid and succinct? Are you will find jarring jumps in between ideas?
  • Is the study well integrated towards the paper? Is there a good balance between my voice and the voices of my sources?
  • Do you see any inconsistencies with grammar, usage, or mechanics?

Your reviewer can answer these straight with by talking it out, or offer ideas by making notes. Once you have this feedback, make the recommended modifications you feel make sense.

Step 4: Final Pass

You have carried out so much function and you’re almost complete! You have one more important step: download the Natural Reader Pro app. This app will cost you $10 and is well worth the price. Natural Reader reads documents, PDFs, and web sites to you in a range of speeds and voices to ensure that you can hear your paper because it is written, not as you want it was written.

Print out your paper, fire up Natural Reader, and adhere to along. Mark any spots that do not really feel correct and correct any final mistakes.

Step 5: Check the Rubric

At this point, it might seem like it’s more than the top with all the superb work you just finished. But take one moment to take a look at the rubric one final time. And also the assignment sheet, as well.

Ask your self honestly: Did I fulfill these requirements?

Based on all of the work you did above, it’s extremely unlikely that you simply didn’t nail the assignment. Unless you will find any glaring errors, you’re finished!

Print that sucker out and hand it in! You are carried out! Get prepared to see a bump in your GPA!

We hope you have enjoyed this College Option tutorial on writing the perfect research paper. Remain tuned for more tutorials on all things associated to thriving in college.