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How to Write a Research Paper – You’re Not in High School Anymore

October 19, 2015 - Posted toCatchy topics for your research papers

Content how to write a research paper

How to Write a Research Paper – You’re Not in High School Anymore

You certainly wrote research papers in high school, and you may have received pretty good grades on them. It comes as a shock, then, when you submit one for a college course and end up with a very mediocre or poor grade. What happened? College happened, that’s what. And what you have just learned is this: the expectations for research and writing are now much higher and what your high school teacher may have allowed is no longer so.

Meeting the Stiffer Requirements

You already have the basics of how to write a research paper from high school, so take heart in that at least. But now, you will have to make some changes, if you want those good grades. And because research papers are such a big part of your course grade, you definitely want those good grades. Here are how the requirements have now changed:

1. The Resources You Use

Wikipedia is no longer an acceptable resource that you will actually cite. Of course, using this source to get some basic background information is certainly a good idea, but it should point you in the direction of scholarly resource material on a topic. Those are the sources you must use.

Anytime you can find primary rather than secondary source materials, you should use them. For example, if you are writing a U.S. history research paper on “The New Deal,” you need to read speeches that were given, newspapers, and journal articles that were written at the time. This gives your paper much great authenticity (and really impresses your professor).

2. You Must Have a Thesis

In high school, you may have been able to write a research paper that simply explored a topic and provided information on it. You did not have to develop a thesis that spoke to your response, thought, or reaction to the topic. Going back to the topic of “The New Deal,” ask yourself some questions as you wind up your research. What was the significance of this huge program? How did it affect lives? What has been its legacy in shaping federal programs that are in place today? When you answer these questions, you have a thesis for your research work.

3. The Process Has Not Changed

The methods for producing a research paper are the same. You pick a topic, refine that topic, conduct scholarly research, synthesize that research, develop your outline, write your rough draft, revise, and write your final draft, using the format requirements that you have been given. You know the process already. What you have to change is your approach.

Learning how to write a research paper at the college level takes some work. While you are engaged in that learning, however, the paper assignments keep coming. If you are worried about your grades or are feeling a bit overwhelmed by it all, seek some professional help with your research and writing. is always ready to supply you with a research paper writer in any field for the help you need.

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