How to Write a Research Paper in 11 Steps - AvadlInfo

How to Write a Research Paper in 11 Steps

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Blog How to Write a Research Paper in 11 Steps

How to Write a Research Paper in 11 Steps

September 16, 2015 This post was written by Todd VanDuzer

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It’s a beautiful sunny day, you had a big delicious breakfast, and you show up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed for your first class of the day. Just as you’re getting comfortable in your chair, your teacher hits you with it:

A 5-page, size 12 font research paper… due in 2 weeks. 

The sky goes black, your breakfast turns to a brick in your stomach. A research paper? FIVE pages long? Why???

Maybe I’m being a little over-dramatic here. But not all of us are born gifted writers. In fact, I think it’s safe to say that most of us struggle a little or a lot with writing a research paper.

But fear not!! I can help you through it. If you follow these 11 steps I promise you will write a better essay, faster.

Oh… and before we get started, I HAVE to share with you the # 1 tool needed to write your research paper…

It is the same tool I used to write this blog article and make sure my grammar errors were caught without having to hire an expensive editor!

What is it you may ask?


Seriously it is a lifesaver and best part… it is FREE! 🙂

Click here to quickly get it set up so when you write your research paper you don’t have any spelling or grammar errors!

1. Start early

We all do it. We wait until the LAST day to start an assignment, and then something goes wrong at the LAST minute, and Woops! We get a bad grade. 

ALWAYS start your essays early. This is what I recommend. Especially since writing a research paper requires more effort than a regular paper might.

I have a 3-week timeline you can follow when writing a research paper. YES, 3 weeks!! It may sound like waaay too early to start, but it gives you enough time to:

  1. Outline and write your paper
  2. Check for errors
  3. Get pointers from your teacher on what to improve essaytimeline

All of this = a better grade on your assignment. You’re already going through all the effort — why not be positive that you’ll get the best results??

2. Read the Guidelines

Ever taken a shirt out of the dryer to find it has shrunk 10 sizes too small? 

It’s because the shirt probably wasn’t meant to go in the dryer, and if you had read the tag, you’d have saved yourself one whole article of clothing!

Before you even START on writing a research paper, READ THE GUIDELINES.

  • What is your teacher looking for in your essay? 
  • Are there any specific things you need to include? 

This way, you don’t have to finish your essay only to find that it needs to be re-done!

3. Brainstorm research paper topics

Sometimes we’re assigned essays where we know exactly what we want to write about before we start.

Write an essay on my favorite place to travel?? I know where I’M going to choose!

But there are probably more times where we DON’T know exactly what we want to write about, and we may even experience writer’s block.

To overcome that writer’s block , or simply avoid it happening in the first place, we can use a skill called mind-mapping (or brainstorming) to come up with a topic that is relevant and that we’re interested in writing about!

Here’s an example of a mind-map I just did for Influential People!


By writing whatever came to my mind and connecting those thoughts, I was able to come up with quite a few influential people to write about — I could come up with EVEN MORE if I kept writing!!

See here I can choose to write about Hillary Clinton and how she may have an influence on women and women’s rights in society.

Following this method, you can determine your own research paper topics to write about in a way that’s quick and painless.

4. Write out your questions

To get the BEST research, you have to ask questions. Questions on questions on questions. The idea is that you get to the root of whatever you are talking about so you can write a quality essay on it.

Let’s say you have the question: “How do I write a research paper?” 

Can you answer this without more information?

Not so easy, right? That’s because when you “write a research paper”, you do a lot of smaller things that ADD UP to “writing a research paper”.

Break your questions down. Ask until you can’t ask anymore, or until it’s no longer relevant to your topic. This is how you can achieve quality research.


5. Do the research

It IS a research paper, after all. But you don’t want to just type all your questions into Google and pick the first source you see. Not every piece of information on the internet is true, or accurate. 

Here’s a way you can easily check your sources for credibility: Look for the who, what, and when.



  • Who is the author of the source? 
  • What are they known for? 
  • Do they have a background in the subject they wrote about? 
  • Does the author reference other sources?
  • Are those sources credible too?


  • What does the “Main” or “Home” page of a website look like?
  • Is it professional looking? 
  • Is there an organization sponsoring the information, and do they seem legitimate
  • Do they specialize in the subject? 


  • When was the source generated — today, last week, a month, a year ago?
  • Has there been new or additional information provided since this information was published?

Double-check all your sources this way. Because this is a research paper, your writing is meaningless without other sources to back it up.

Keep track of your credible sources!

When you find useful information from a credible source, DON’T LET IT GO. You need to save the original place you found that information from so that you can cite it in your essay, and later on in the bibliography.

You don’t want to have to go back later and dig up the information a second time just to list the source you got it from!

To help with this, you may be familiar with the option to “Bookmark” your pages online — do this for online sources.


There IS another tool you can use to keep track of your sources. It’s called Diigo , and it’s what we use at Student-Tutor to build an online database of valuable educational resources!

You can create a Diigo account and one free group for your links. Check out this video on how to use Diigo to save all your sources in one convenient location.

Now, of course there are other ways besides the Internet to get information, and there’s nothing wrong with cracking open a well-written book to enrich your essay’s content!

Ways to get information when writing a research paper

  • The Internet
  • Books
  • Newspapers
  • Magazines
  • Journals
  • Interviews

6. Create a Thesis Statement

How to write a thesis statement is something that a lot of people overlook. That’s a mistake.

The thesis statement is part of your research paper outline but deserves its own step. That’s because the thesis statement is SUPER important! It is what sets the stage for the entire essay. 

How do you write a thesis statement? 

Here’s a color-coded example: ts 2

7. Create an outline

Once you have constructed your thesis, the rest of the outline is pretty simple. It should mimic the structure of your thesis!

Here’s a color-coded research paper outline you can follow:

research outline

8. Write your research paper

Here it is — the dreaded writing. But see how far we’ve already come? 

We already know what we’re going to write about, and where we’re going to write it. That’s a lot easier than taking a pen straight to your paper and hoping for some magical, monk-like inspiration to come, am I right?

As you write, be sure to pin-point the places where you are inserting sources. I’ll talk about in-text citations in just a moment!

Here are some basic tips for writing your essay from International Student :

  • Generally, don’t use “I/My” unless it’s a personal narrative
  • Use specific examples to support your statements
  • Vary your language — don’t use the same adjective 5 times in a row

PRO TIP: Write is using a FREE app like Grammarly so it catches all your grammar and spelling mistakes! Click here to download it for FREE!

9. Cite your sources

This goes along with the second step — make sure to check your essay guidelines and find out BEFOREHAND what kind of citation style your teacher wants you to use.

Like I promised earlier, Purdue University has a great article that provides instructions on and examples on how to cite different types of sources WITHIN your text. Reference this when you’re not sure what to do.

As a general rule of thumb, in-text citations usually go AFTER the sentence drawing from the source, but BEFORE the period of that sentence, in parentheses. If more than one sentence is referencing the same source, try to place it at the last of those sentences.

intext cite

However, no matter what you cite INSIDE your writing, all the sources you use for the paper need to be included in your bibliography.

This goes on a separate page, after your main essay and may be titled “Works Cited” or “Bibliography”. (Make sure to check the guidelines, and ask your teacher!)

For this, I’m going to introduce you to an awesome, totally free citation tool called EasyBib .

Important Tip: Make sure that when you use EasyBib, you are filling in a template provided by EasyBib and NOT asking EasyBib to pull information directly from the source. EasyBib can’t always find information that is there, and your citation will be incomplete without it!

manual cite

By selecting “Manual Cite”, EasyBib will provide you with a template for filling in the necessary information to create your citation.

You can then ask EasyBib to generate the source in the citation format you’ve selected. Copy and paste that source into your bibliography — easy!

10. Read your essay

Why do I need to read my essay if I wrote it? 

You’d be surprised what you’ll catch the second, third, and bazillionth time around reading your own writing! Not that you have to read THIS a bazillion times… just once or twice over will do.

I recommend that you read your essay once-through, and the second time read it aloud. Reading your essay aloud reinforces your words and makes it easier to recognize when something is phrased strangely, or if you are using a word too often.

And if you use a tool like Grammarly it will even give you tips on using active vs. passive voice. Not sure what that means? It tells you!

Seriously… I know I keep talking about this app but it is a lifesaver!

Click here to get the app for FREE! 

11. Have someone else read your essay

Lastly it is always important that someone else besides you read your essay before you submit it.

Find a professional who can give you constructive feedback on how to improve your essay — this may be a tutor or a teacher. It can also be someone who specializes in the subject you are writing about.

The absolute BEST person to review your essay would be the teacher that assigned it to you.

And yes, many teachers WILL read the essay they assigned before it is due and give you pointers on how to make it better. They want you to succeed and they’re the ones grading it — I think it’s safe to say they know what they’re talking about!


For most of us, writing a research paper is no walk in the park. Unfortunately, it’s important that you know how to do it!

Let’s review the steps to make this process as PAINLESS as possible:

  1. Start early — 3 weeks in advance!
  2. Read the guidelines
  3. Mind map/Brainstorm research paper topics
  4. Write out your questions
  5. Do the research (Remember to keep track of your sources!)
  6. Create a Thesis Statement
  7. Create an outline
  8. Write your essay
  9. Cite your sources (In-text and in your bibliography)
  10. Read your essay (twice and once aloud!)
  11. Have someone ELSE read your essay — try your teacher first.

Do you have experience writing a research paper? What process did you use, and was it effective? Tell us about it in the comments below!

In addition, if you haven’t already… please download Grammerly! I would hate for you to hand in your research paper and for it to have all these grammar and spelling errors that Microsoft Word doesn’t catch!

Bonus… it is FREE! Click here to download now! 

Co-authored by Renae Hintze

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Todd VanDuzer

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Hello! My name is Todd. I help students design the life of their dreams by ensuring college, scholarship, and career success! I am a former tutor for seven years, $85,000 scholarship recipient, Huffington Post contributor, lead SAT & ACT course developer, host of a career exploration podcast for teens, and have worked with thousands of students and parents to ensure a brighter future for the next generation. I invite you to join my next webinar to learn how to save thousands + set your teenager up for college, scholarship, and career success!

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Latest posts by Todd VanDuzer ( see all )

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Don’t write too quickly, take as much time as possible as to gather the best information available. And if you have time, you could always change certain parts to include better info, too!

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1 year ago

Todd VanDuzer

Todd VanDuzer

Thanks for the tip!

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11 months ago

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Step 1: Place Your Order For Research Paper Writing Services

The process starts when you place a new order for a sample on our web site. It takes about five to ten minutes and is required for us to collect information about your requirements. Here is a brief list of some information we need to collect from you:

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Should you require a revision or need some changes, you can request a revision using the form we have. Revisions are free when you order a revision deadline of three or more days. Revisions due earlier may require a payment because we may have to ask another writer to work on it faster on your behalf. Please make sure to include only your feedback when adding comments in the form.

From there, we will upload the revision in the drafts section and you can download it after receiving another email notification.

Features and Benefits of Research Paper Writing Services From Ultius

When you work with Ultius, you are tapping into the expertise of thousands of qualified American freelance writers. Using the Ultius service to connect you with a writer also entitles you to many features and benefits that you won’t find anywhere else. Ultius writers can cover any subject matter or citation style. We know how important citation styles are for completing research paper models, so we even offer free online resources to our writers and the public. Finally, you should know that every Ultius writer on the platform has gone through a very intense onboarding and training process. This ensures that when you place an order, you are working with the best people.

We Cover Every Subject and Every Citation Style

From art history to the social sciences – and every subject in between – model research paper writing services from Ultius can help you get a head start on doing your work. Our writers are well-versed in all subject matters, disciplines and citation styles. After all, it’s our talented writers who have helped us craft the extensive citation style and writing help sections on our site. If you are worried that your topic or requirements are obscure, have no fear because we have seen it all.

  • Supported Citation Styles
  • MLA;
  • APA;
  • CMS;
  • Turabian;
  • Oxford;
  • ASA;
  • CBE;
  • AMA;
  • McGill Guide.

Highly Trained and Qualified American Research Paper Writers

Working with an Ultius writer is a privilege that we’ve worked very hard to provide and uphold. We don’t just hire anyone that applies – in fact, we only hire writers that can show proficiency in producing the best possible work. Ultius hires writers 24/7 and maintains ongoing quality improvement guidelines that ensures that only the best model research paper writers stick with us. See some of our hiring requirements below and/or head over to the careers section to learn more about our recruiting efforts.

  • Writer Hiring Requirements
  • Degree from an accredited four-year college/university in the United States;
  • Great writing sample;
  • Phone interview;
  • Ultius writer training program.

Model and Editing Research Paper Service Options

What kinds of research paper writing services do we offer? To answer that question, you should take a look at the table below. From standard model documents – to editing and proofreading –  Ultius writers can do it all. Whether you need a model to get started or just some additional help with an outline or some editing, we have reasonably priced services that can help you get your work done. 

See our most popular services below and click on the links to read more about them.

Popular Research Paper Services

  • Standard Research Paper A standard research paper document is between 6-8 pages long and provides evidence and/or an argument.
  • Research Outline Research outlines include a numbered list of the major sections of a research paper with brief descriptions.
  • Research Proposal The goal of a research proposal is to provide background information and context regarding your general topic.
  • Research Summary A good research summary will explain your research findings and analysis and present it to the reader for review.

Related Research Paper Services

  • Research Paper Editing
  • Proofreading
  • Formatting
  • Annotated Bibliography

Each of the above listed service options are designed to help you save time, money and get the most out of your experience with us. When placing order, we strongly recommend that you take the time to find out which exact service you need. This makes the process go a lot smoother.

Service Pricing

Are you wondering how much our services cost and how we determine the prices? Let’s take a look. First, you should know that pricing is different for every order and determined based on four factors:

Deadline: When do you need the work done by? The deadline impacts the price the most. If you need something in twelve hours, it’s going to be more expensive than if you needed it in ten or more days.

Number of Pages: Pricing is by the page, so each page you add is going to add to the cost. Keep in mind that any title or reference pages of your model research paper are not included in the price. These are free additions that we don’t charge for.

Academic Level: The academic level is the overall competency required for your order (high school, undergraduate, master or doctoral). While the High School option may be the least expensive, it is designed to connect you with a writer proficient in that level, so make sure to carefully choose this field wisely. 

Writer Type: The experience level of the writer is also a pricing factor. You have several writer type options to choose from, and we recommend considering your research paper writing service needs carefully before selecting one. Here is a breakdown of the options:

Best Available: Best available writers are writers we feel will do a good job based on your topic and level selection.

Graduate: Graduate writers make up the top 10% of our staff and are hand-picked by our writing manager. Although this writer option costs an additional 20%, it ensures that you are working with someone who is not only an Ultius writer, but a proven and seasoned veteran that has completed fifty or more orders without major issues.

Requested Writer: You can also choose to work with a writer from your favorites list or one you worked with before. This option allows you to directly connect and work with a specific writer. There is a 15% service fee for this option and the writer availability policy does apply. Click here to read this policy and our commitment to making sure that requested writer orders are honored.

Now that we have covered how our pricing model works, let’s review pricing for the most commonly ordered model research paper writing services. Below, you will see what customers usually order and the price point for it.

Pricing for Common Research Paper Services

  • Research Outline

    7 Days · 2 Pages · $40.00

  • Model Research Paper

    10 Days · 8 Pages · $156.00

  • Research Proposal

    12 Hours · 1 Page · $44.00

  • Model Research Paper

    5 Days · 6 Pages · $132.00

  • Research Paper Editing

    24 Hours · 6 Pages · $138.00

  • Annotated Bibliography

    3 Days · 2 Pages · $56.00


General Pricing Table

10 days7 days5 days3 days2 days24 hours8 hours
High school$18.00$19.00$20.00$25.00$30.00$34.00$45.00

Prices are subject to change without notice and this table may not be updated immediately. Deadline restrictions to apply for orders due in less than eight (8) hours. Please visit the pricing page for verification.

Read Samples of our Research Paper Writing Services

Before placing a research paper writing or editing service order for model work, we want you to have clear and reasonable expectations. That’s why we are happy and proud to offer samples of our work that you can review for yourself. The Ultius blog has over a thousand samples for different product types and you can literally get lost for hours reviewing them. However, in line with our mission of conveniently serving you, we have compiled some of the most relevant examples of our research writing services below.

Death Penalty Procedure in California: A Comprehensive Review Samples
9.5 Pages · MLA Format · 8 Sources
This sample research paper discusses the pros and cons of utilizing the death penalty as a form of punishment against offenders. It specifically looks at the procedure in California and relies on research from prominent scholars.

Legal Drinking Age: Unintended Consequences and Feasible Solutions Samples
10.5 Pages · MLA Format · 8 Sources
The legal drinking age in the United States is 21 years and the following research paper explores the positive impacts and negative consequences of lowering the age to 18. Statistical data and other evidence is included.

Research Paper on Gun Control Blog
8 Pages · MLA Format · 9 Sources
This research paper explores the controversial topic of gun control and takes the position that an unlimited right to bear arms (courtesy of the 2nd amendment) is fundamentally bad for the country and the well-being of its citizens.

Research Paper on the Industrial Revolution Blog
9.5 Pages · MLA Format · 8 Sources
The industrial revolution began in England during the 1800s and sparked a wave of innovations that would be replicated around the world. This sample paper outlines its history, impact, and includes historical analysis.

Sample Research Paper on Gay Marriage: Legalize Gay Blog
4 Pages · MLA Format · 4 Sources
Gay marriage is another controversial topic in American political and social discourse. This sample research paper argues that gay marriage should be legal and criticizes biblical teachings while outlining the impact on the GOP.

Research Paper on Business and Social Media Blog
10 Pages · CMS Format · 5 Sources
With the rise of social media, businesses have been greatly impacted. This paper explores what social media is and how it has increased access to consumers, changed marketing demands, and resulted in government intervention.

FAQ – Before Trying our Research Paper Writing Services

You have questions and we have answers. Before you place an order, we wanted to highlight some important questions and answers that previous customers have asked us before placing research paper writing service orders. While the following FAQ section is not exhaustive, we do offer a full frequently asked questions page so that you can get even more answers. 

How do revisions work?

If you are not happy with your order, we can make changes for you once you request a revision. You have seven days from completion to request one and the free revision deadline is three or more days. We will surely address any items and correct mistakes where we didn’t follow your original instructions. Please read the full Ultius revision policy for more information.

Where do you get sources?

Our writers gather sources from trusted journal databases like JSTOR, EBSCOHost, ProQuest, Google Scholar and others. If you require a specific book, we can usually find it on Google Books or the Kindle Store. You can also upload your own sources in the messaging interface once you’ve placed an order.

Is the Ultius site secure and private?

Yes, using the Ultius platform is secure and private. We use 256 Bit SSL encryption and don’t handle payment processing on our site; instead, we rely on trusted payment vendors like Authorize.NET and PayPal to securely handle your payment data. We also take your privacy very seriously and do not share information with third parties, unless required to do so by federal law.

Is the sample work I order original? How do you guys make sure it is?

Ultius takes lots of steps to ensure that your order is original and written just for you. We use a tool called Copyscape to screen orders for originality issues. While it’s not perfect, it does catch most matches on the internet and has proved to be reliable. 

What’s included with my order?

When you order from Ultius, you are granted free amenities and features without an extra charge. For example, title pages, reference pages and formatting based on your citation style doesn’t add to the page account. Additionally, you get access to 24/7 customer support via any channel you prefer.

My question wasn’t answered here, who can I talk to?

If we didn’t answer your question and it wasn’t included in the dedicated Ultius FAQ page , you can always contact our 24/7 support team and get an answer from a real person.

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The Ultius Promise

With every order, you can count on the following:

  • Delivered on time
  • 100% original
  • Free revisions
  • Awesome 24/7 support
  • World-class writers

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Fair Use Policy

Ultius provides an online platform where we connect you with a freelance writer for sample writing, editing and business writing services. The company encourages and expects fair use of our services. Here are the guidelines.

  • Order Revisionsi

    The company offers free revisions, but there are some limitations like the deadline and whether we met the original instructions.

  • Sample Writingii

    Custom sample services are for model and reference use only. When referencing our work, you must use a proper citation.


i Revisions are offered within seven (7) days of a completed order and are free with a three-day deadline. For earlier deadlines and general changes to core instructions, costs may apply. Explore the full Revision Policy .

ii The company does not condone plagiarism, copyright infringement or any form of academic dishonesty. All provided sample services must only be used for reference purposes while being cited properly. Please read the Fair Use Policy .

Fair Use Policy


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