How to write a research paper up to the mark and within a given time limit has been bothering students for years. Each new semester there’re curious minds looking to streamline the process and yet deliver a pretty decent manuscript worth of a top grade. In this article, we’ll shed the light on the most crucial aspects of doing a paper of any type and difficulty. These are the universal hints which will help you follow in the right direction as to how to structure, format, cite and research your paper. Should we begin, now?
What is a research paper?
Definition of a research paper tells us it’s a complex academic piece tasked to students in schools and colleges to evaluate their knowledge of a currently studied subject matter or the materials of the entire course at the end of the term.
What is a research paper from a point of view of content type? It can be either a composition or an essay, everything depends on the prompt. As a rule, your average text is a classic 5-paragraph essay. However, there’re 5- and 10-page essays which are normally called research papers.
How many words are there in a research paper? By tradition, there’re normally 500 words to a page (1-inch margins, 12pt font, single-spaced). So, now you’re able to count how many words are there to be in an essay which has 5, 10, 15 pages, you name it. Note that in case an instructor commands double spaces, then there’re 250 words a page. Keep that in mind in order not to deliver more words than required, thus wasting own time and violating prompt requirements all at the same time.
Traditional format of a research paper
Research paper format includes Introduction, Main Body and Conclusion, just like any composition you’ve been doing before. Most of time, dealing with research papers you’ll be actually dealing with 10-page essays, that’s the most common format of a research paper in college.
Using calculations we’ve made recently, a 10-page paper will want you to deliver approximately 5000 words, which is nearly 22 paragraphs in total. How much will it take to deliver such paper? Let’s say, an average student needs an evening to produce a standard 5-paragraph essay. Consequently, 3 evenings are required to produce a solid 5000-word manuscript, plus one day to proofread the text A to Z. Having said that, make sure you take on the assignment one week prior to submission. The good news is, instructors are usually loyal in terms of deadlines regarding such assignments, so no haste here (unless you put a prompt in a cold storage).
Research paper outline template
In an essay, there’re but 3 major constituent parts (Introduction, Main Body, Conclusion). Writing a 10-page paper, you’ll have to consider adding subsections to your Main Body, as well as more paragraphs to Introduction and Conclusion. Take a look at how the paper outline will look like:
- Research paper title page
- Paragraph 1
- Paragraph 2
- Main Body
- Subheading 1
- Body paragraphs 1-6
- Subheading 2
- Body paragraphs 7-12
- Subheading 3
- Body paragraphs 13-18
- Paragraph 1
- Paragraph 2
This is the approximate structure of a college research paper you can rely on any given day. Decide on the number of paragraphs you need based on what is the word count specified in the prompt and you’ll deliver a well-structured paper which will live up to instructor’s expectations.
Introduction is key
Everyone knows that Main Body is the cornerstone of the whole piece. It delivers key argumentation and works to prove the thesis statement true. However, it’s research paper Introduction which introduces a thesis statement on the first place. All in all, there’re 5 essential things a good Intro does:
- Catches reader’s attention
- Tells why a topic is important and resonating
- Gives reasons why a reader should get familiar with a research
- Introduces a thesis statement
- Seamlessly leads reader to Main Body with a harmonious bridge
How to start a research paper is solely up to you, just make it catchy and memorable. If a prompt allows, start off with a topical quote or a… joke. But be careful with your sense of humor, as well as people you quote. Both have to be light and relevant, so don’t overstep here and mind your p’s and q’s in terms of narration tone.
What to list on a cover page for a research paper? Your full name, your instructor’s full name, topic of a paper and submission date. No biggie here. For more formatting details, consult a professor prior to commencing any work. Cover page is usually done last, when finishing touches to a paper are added prior to turning the manuscript in.
Do I need a research paper sample?
Basic research paper template will do you plenty of good. Go and download a free sample at any writing site and use as a reference. Websites usually upload quality samples done up to par, so you’ll be taken good care of. Check out how other students dealt with an assignment you’re struggling over at the moment, learn some writing hints and tips, get inspired and follow in the footsteps of competent college authors. For example, at Paper Rocket you’ll find a pretty nifty collection of samples of various paper types free of charge. And remember, at our site you can always take advantage of expert writing assistance anytime.