10 Tips for Writing the Perfect Research Paper

It’s that time of the semester and you probably have at least one class that is requiring a research paper to be turned in. These research papers can be stressful, if you wait until the last minute. There are several tips that will help you to make your research paper less stressful and may even allow you to get your paper done early. I hope these ten tips help you when writing your research paper.

1. Write down the due date. When your instructor first tells you when the research paper will be due, write that date down. Having this date will help to keep you on track. Nothing is worse than forgetting that date, only to have your instructor remind you that the paper is due in a week.

2. Break the research paper assignment into chunks. Once you know the due date, you can break this assignment into chunks and work on a section each week. For example, one week you could gather your information and go over it. The next week you could make notes. The next week you could do your outline and rough draft and so on. This really makes writing your research paper easier.

3. Set smaller dates. Once you have broken the assignment apart, you can set dates to have each section done. For example, after receiving the due date, you could plan to have the information gathered in the next week. You could set a date to have your outline done in two weeks, etc.

4. Gather your information. After getting your research paper topic you will need to gather information on that topic. One of your best sources is the internet, but you will also find great books in your school’s library. Use several different sources so that you have enough information to write your research paper.

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5. Read the information. Rather than skimming over the information you have gathered, actually read it. With most of the books you’ve gather, you will not need to read the entire book, you will only need to read the sections that will help you to write your research paper. With websites and magazines, be sure to read the entire articles to ensure you receive enough information in order to use that source.

6. Highlight important information. As you read the sources that you gathered, be sure to highlight any important information. Of course, you cannot highlight the library books, so you will need to make copies of the important pages and then highlight them.

7. Make an outline. After you have gathered, read, and highlighted the sources you will be using, you will need to make an outline for your paper. An outline will help you to remember to cover all the information that you have found. An outline will also help you to organize you research paper before you write it.

8. Write a rough draft. Once you have made an outline, you will need to write the rough draft of your research paper. A rough draft allows you to get your ideas on paper and then allows you to go back and make changes.

9. Have someone check your paper. After you have your research paper, the way you want it, have someone read over it. This will ensure that any mistakes you missed will be caught. They will also be able to offer suggestions to make your paper better.

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10. Make sure the formatting is correct. You spent all that time writing the perfect research paper, only to find out that the formatting wasn’t correct. Your instructor will usually tell you how they want your research paper to be formatted. Make sure you follow these formatting directions when you write your research paper.


  • Answers.com is a great place to find information for your research paper.