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How to Write a Research Paper

picture of computer and notebook used to write a research paper

Research Papers

  1. Establish your topic.
  2. Look for sources of information.
  3. Read your sources and take notes.
  4. Organize your ideas.
  5. Write a first draft.
  6. Use footnotes or endnotes to document sources.
  7. Write a bibliography.
  8. Revise the first draft.
  9. Proofread the final draft.

Take a look at your paper with fresh eyes

Revise the First Draft

  1. Try to set aside your draft for a day or two before revising. This makes it easier to view your work objectively and see any gaps or problems.
  2. Revising involves rethinking your ideas, refining your arguments, reorganizing paragraphs, and rewording sentences. You may need to develop your ideas in more detail, give more evidence to support your claims, or delete material that is unnecessary.
  3. Read your paper out loud. This sometimes makes it easier to identify writing that is awkward or unclear.
  4. Have somebody else read the paper and tell you if there's anything that's unclear or confusing.


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