A research paper is not an essay, an editorial, or a story

An objective of organizing a research paper is to allow people to read your work selectively. When I research a topic, I may be interested in just the methods, a specific result, the interpretation, or perhaps I just want to see a summary of the paper to determine if it is relevant to my study. To this end, many journals require the following sections, submitted in the order listed, each section to start on a new page. There are variations of course. Some journals call for a combined results and discussion, for example, or include materials and methods after the body of the paper. The well known journal Science does away with separate sections altogether, except for the abstract.

A research paper is an essay in which you explain ..

A research paper is an academic paper that is produced by researching previously produced materials

A research paper is one where an original study has been performed

There will come a time in most students' careers when they are assigned a research paper. Such an assignment often creates a great deal of unneeded anxiety in the student, which may result in procrastination and a feeling of confusion and inadequacy. This anxiety frequently stems from the fact that many students are unfamiliar and inexperienced with this genre of writing. Never fear—inexperience and unfamiliarity are situations you can change through practice! Writing a research paper is an essential aspect of academics and should not be avoided on account of one's anxiety. In fact, the process of writing a research paper can be one of the more rewarding experiences one may encounter in academics. What is more, many students will continue to do research throughout their careers, which is one of the reasons this topic is so important.

A research paper is based on original research

A research paper is the culmination and final product of an involved process of research, critical thinking, source evaluation, organization, and composition. It is, perhaps, helpful to think of the research paper as a living thing, which grows and changes as the student explores, interprets, and evaluates sources related to a specific topic. Primary and secondary sources are the heart of a research paper, and provide its nourishment; without the support of and interaction with these sources, the research paper would morph into a different genre of writing (e.g., an encyclopedic article). The research paper serves not only to further the field in which it is written, but also to provide the student with an exceptional opportunity to increase her knowledge in that field. It is also possible to identify a research paper by what it is not.

A research paper is NOT...
An objective of organizing a research paper is to allow people to read your work selectively

My system for writing a research paper is not new or undocumented

The most important and most challenging task for students writing a research paper is developing a thesis. A thesis is a non-trivial, contestable, specific claim about political phenomena that can be proven or defended through the analysis of primary source material.

Sometimes the most difficult part of writing a research paper is just getting it started

How to write a research paper - Rice University

Writing a research paper is not a single action but a series of interlocked steps, a process. The aim of Writing a Research Paper is to define this process and to give reasons for including each step. The students who use this manual thoughtfully, understanding and mastering each stage of the paper-writing process, should acquire a tool they can employ in any discipline that requires written work. The goal is for students to discover that a system, a structure, can liberate rather than restrict, for mastering the means of communication is but a step toward a more important goal – the free exchange of ideas.

The best way to describe what a research paper is may be to describe what a research paper is not

Writing a Research Paper The research paper

For many people, the most difficult part about writing a research paper is getting started. The good news is, there are a few things that you can do in orrder to get started. Start by choosing a topic and that states what you are looking to prove with your research paper. This should be concise and straightforward. From there you will want to start doing your research. Take plenty of notes for information that you think you could use later on in your paper writing process. These are two things that will guide the rest of your writing process. Make sure that you have plenty of sources for your research and that you are always looking for information that will prove your idea or your thesis.