How to Write a Research Paper

The Research Paper differs from most other essays in that in these types of essays, you are writing about the research and analysis you have done on a given topic.

The research paper requires careful interpretation and analysis of facts, supported by legitimate research.

Key Prompt Words: Prompt words may just be the actual subject of the paper, i.e. “metamorphosis of a butterfly,” “Herbert Hoover,” “the Harlem Renaissance” or it could be prompted with the words research, find, find out, explore, investigate, examine


·         To research a topic, sharing the most important details and examples about the topic, supported with relevant and legitimate source information

Important Aspects

  • Source information
  • § know what you are looking for and what questions you want answered
  • § gather information from legitimate sources
  • § draw conclusions or make an analysis based on the information you have found
  • § connect and support the information you have found with appropriate legitimate source information
  • § cite your sources

Research papers can vary greatly in number of paragraphs and organization. Because you are gathering information and supporting this information with direct and indirect quotes from appropriate sources, you may decide not to stick so strictly to the five-paragraph essay model. However, you should use the five-paragraph essay model as a basis or basic skeleton of your essay, so that you include the important elements of a successful essay.

Many research papers are organized in the following way:

  1. Introduction
  2. Important Fact #1 with supporting source information

III. Important Fact #2 with supporting source information

IV. Important Fact #3 with supporting source information

V. Conclusion