The first and most important step in writing a research paper, before you are even able to look at other research paper examples is to choose a good topic. There is a delicate balancing act when choosing a good topic to write about, you do not want to choose a topic too broad as it might be overwhelming to research and write about, and you do not want to choose a topic too narrow as you would struggle to think of enough to discuss in your research paper. Instead, choose a topic that you might have some background knowledge of and that can be easily researched and written about.
Now it is a good time to start scouring for research paper examples. Many websites, including this one, will have research paper examples and where you can see how others have researched and written about their topic. Surf the internet or go to your local school or library where they are like to have research paper examples from previous years’ students. Your teacher or professor will also be able to point out a good research paper example when they see one.
Now that you know your topic and what makes up a good research paper, write a preliminary outline for your paper to help you organize it. The basic format should be: introduction, body, and conclusion although whatever institution you are writing this research paper for will have more specific guidelines. The outline will help you organize your ideas into a basic format for your upcoming research paper. Once you have a complete outline finished, it is time to write you first draft. When writing your first draft (often called rough draft), do not be too concerned about formatting and punctuation as the most important thing is to get your thoughts written out.
In your second and third drafts, refine your wording and strengthen your grammar until you are ready for your final draft. Your final draft should be edited by either a teacher or a professional editor depending on how important you paper is. For instance, if your paper is part of your thesis or dissertation, then you should have it professionally edited. Also, make sure you check your paper for citations and references as you do not want to commit plagiarism which could get you kicked out of school or in legal trouble.
So if you have chosen your research paper topic, scour this website and others for a research paper example that is in the format that your teacher or institution wants it written in. There are several formats including MLA, Chicago, and APA style. They all follow the basic format of introduction, body, and conclusion but each will have a different order of information that you should write and they will have you format citations and references differently.