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How to Write a College Research Paper

March 27, 2017 - Posted toWriting Tips

Content how to write a college research paper

How are your research paper grades? If you’re cringing at the thought, don’t lose hope. While writing college level research papers is difficult, there are a few tips and tricks that you can use to take your academic writing skills to the next level. Keep reading. By the time you finish this post, you’ll have a lot of tools in your college paper writing arsenal.

Pick a Topic You Can Work With

Some people will tell you that the best research topic is one that you already know. This isn’t necessarily true. It can help, but the best topic is one that’s really interesting to you. Trust us, you’ll have a much better time if you are researching something that you want to learn about.

Another important consideration is whether or not your subject is too broad or too narrow. If you choose a topic that is too broad, your paper will be too long and you won’t be able to form a solid thesis. Too narrow, and you’ll have the opposite problem.

Do Research The Right Way

Quality research is the primary ingredient in good research papers. In fact, take some time to look at example research papers online. Don’t just read the content, take a close look at the resources used. You won’t see links or references to blog posts or magazine articles. You’ll also notice a lack of commercial sources as well.

What you will see are academic articles, studies from reputable sources, and lots of links ending in .gov and .edu. This is because these are the kinds of sources that professors and other academics consider to be most valid.

Organize Your Thoughts Your Notes Your Arguments

I’ll just jot some notes down and worry about organization later. These are the words of a student who is likely to be in for a long night of digging through their notes and trying to make heads or tails of things. Writing a college paper  is  hard enough. Don’t make things more difficult by failing to stay organized. Consider using an app such as Evernote to keep your research notes and tasks well organized.

Get Help When You Need It

If you have trouble with the subject matter, your best bet is to contact your instructor or TA. You can also join a study group. These are all great resources for students who need help. If you need help writing a research paper, get that help as soon as you can. Whether you use your instructor, student writing center, or other resource if you wait too long, you may not get the quality help that you need.

Never Miss a Peer Review

If your professor has scheduled a peer review, don’t skip class that day. You will benefit in two ways. First, you will get honest feedback from your peers about your research methodologies, the strength of your arguments, even your approach to writing. Second, you can use what you read from other students for ideas and inspiration.

Break The Job Down

Writing college papers can be a daunting task. Don’t overwhelm  yourself by trying to tackle the job as a monolithic task. Instead, break the job down. One way to do this is to use a to do list app. You can then create separate line item for each of the tasks you need to complete in order to finish your paper. Then, just work through them one at a time.


There you have it. Research paper assignments will never be easy. In fact, they are a ton of work no matter how you slice it. Fortunately, by using the advice here, you are much more likely to hit your next assignment out of the park.


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