How to Write a Research paper: The Dos and Don’ts

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When Writing a research paper, you need to understand what a research paper is before you know the dos and don’ts of writing it.

Research Paper ||

What is a Research Paper?

A research paper is simply an extended essay that argues for or against a point. A research paper analyzes your perspective of a given topic or argument. Some research papers also analyze the perspectives of others using your point of view.  Hence, when thinking of writing a research paper, you should consider summing up credible sources to back up your thinking about a particular topic. In a research paper, you build upon what you know through looking into expert research, findings, and conclusions. Therefore, you need to present your data and writing style to show that you know what you are talking about.

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What are the dos and don’ts of writing a research paper?

When writing a research paper, make sure to use the following checklist of do’s and don’ts to get a high score

Writing your research paper

1. The dos

  • Follow the requirements and specifications given by your instructor

Go through the details within the given rubric to score maximum points from the reader. From the instructions, you get to understand the perspective you need to take, the length requirements of your paper, and the expectations of your reader who might be an instructor or different kinds of readers.

  • Use precision and conciseness
  • Precision

The condition, quality, and facts in your paper should be accurate and exact

  • Conciseness

The extent of your writing should communicate clear information in the fewest words possible

  • Use jargon that is common in your field

In case you write about a specific field, use the appropriate words that readers can understand.

  • Use an active voice

You can do this by using doing verbs instead of past tense. However, in history papers, you can use the past tense.

  • Highlight the methods of research and ideas used when researching your paper

Here, you should discuss and justify the specific reasons for using the ideas and techniques to meet your conclusion about that particular topic. It would be best to show readers why these ideas and methods are best at approaching your subject.

  • Vary the structure of your sentences

Use both short and lengthy sentences to keep the attention of the reader without overworking them.

  • Pay attention to your research paper presentation.

How you present your paper should communicate the extent to which you have explored the topic, hence giving the reader a clear conception of your paper’s communication. You can respectively include an introduction to your topic, provide a thesis, problem statement, background information, literature review, theoretical framework, methods used, findings, recommendations, future research, and conclusion.

  • Use consistent tenses

In most research papers, the present tense is the most common. Unless the instructor says otherwise, stick to present tense

  • Use up-to-date information through using sources that give different angles of your topic

Here, you should conduct extensive research using different points of views that back up your claims in the research paper

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Your paper should communicate the idea of experts from scholarly sources and studies. I highly recommend using peer-reviewed sources that use factual and evaluated data

  • Proof-read and edit your paper

You should take some time off the paper when you finish writing and then come back to proof-read while checking if your research paper meets the above checklist.

  • Have other people check you work

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2. The don’ts

  • Do not include any information that does not answer the research question
  • Do not make non proofable claims

Make sure that you cite the sources from which you gathered your points

  • Do not include incomplete justifications for writing the paper
  • Do not generalize

You should show meaningful points by avoiding generalizations which make the reader feel that you had nothing to say

  • Do not plagiarize

Always give credit to authors where credit is due

  • Do not exceed the word count and inappropriately lengthen your paper

Exceeding the word count makes you look like you cannot systematically use precise and concise words to express your point

  • Do not use any flowery language as this is not creative writing
  • Never use Wikipedia as a source


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As you can see, writing a research paper is as simple and easy as following the guidelines in the dos and don’ts above.

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