11 Fresh Ideas For Writing An Outstanding Research Paper

Follow the Instructions.

Make a checklist, right at the beginning as your teacher is handing out the assignment. That way you know what he or she wants instead of trying to guess.

Choose a topic you are enthusiastic about.

You’ve loved every play Shakespeare ever wrote, but narrow it down from Comic Relief in Shakespeare’s Tragedies to Comic Relief in Romeo and Juliet. Do not get too narrow, you may be fascinated by the ‘Comedic Aspects of the Nurse’ but can you produce enough evidence to support your argument?


Remember when researching on the internet to include the date you accessed a website: information on the web changes so fast. Don’t forget your library has encyclopedias, atlases, magazines and newspapers. Hunt out knowledgeable people in your community. Always document the source for your bibliography as you find it.

Write your Thesis Statement.

Imagine you are trying to convince your tutor that you have a valid subject that you would like to research but you only have the time it takes an elevator to move up one floor before the tutor says yes or no. Make it that powerful.


Consider color-coding your outline and your notes so that your notes are arranged in order. With a good outline and notes, your assignment will almost write itself.


Consider running your finished document through one of the free on-line plagiarism checkers before you hand it in; you can be sure the college will do so afterwards.

What to leave out.

Check back with your thesis. Unless a piece of evidence directly supports the thesis, kill it. Irrelevant evidence may give you those extra words, but it weakens your whole argument.

Present your evidence in a logical sequence.

Stream of consciousness writing belongs in the brainstorming part of the research paper process.

A good title is essential.

Remember when you were preparing for the task, eyes drooping, and suddenly a title perked you up to the point you wanted to change the whole topic that you were researching, just to include it here? That is how the marker of these papers feels.

Do you just regurgitate facts?

If you want to show originality, remember that there are two sides to every argument. Show the opposing viewpoint and why your evidence says it its invalid.


You’ve stared at the screen so long you could not tell if you had written it in Chinese. Change the format before doing that final read through: print it out or upload to your e-reader. The errors will leap out.