• Select a topic if you have such a choice. Opt for a subject that seems compelling to you and makes you feel enthusiastic about having to read and write about it. The more enjoyable you find the topic, the easier will be the process of writing.
  • Compose an outline. The research paper should be based on something in order to be strong. The role of this foundation should be played by an outline, which will ensure that your paper is organized and logical.
  • Profit from a variety of pre-writing techniques. The outline alone might be not enough to discover the potential of your ideas for the research paper. Therefore, you might benefit from mapping out the thoughts, writing down the key points on separate cards, which simplifies the process of arranging them, or discussing the ideas with a friend or just someone whose opinion you trust. These techniques are capable of boosting your creative vision and inspiration. Besides, they might assist with refining the topic, for example, by making it a bit narrower or broader depending on your needs.
  • Create a thesis statement. A thesis statement is the principal sentence of the paper that introduces the main argument and gives an insight into what the structure of the paper will be. It is indeed an exhausting process to come up with it, but you do not have to do it at one sitting. You are advised to have a working thesis statement that will be altered and improved throughout writing. As a result, it will be clearly formulated and in harmony with the body of the research paper.
  • Take advantage of transitions. There are a tremendous number of transitional words and phrases in English, and you should not overlook this fact. If you want your paper to be smooth, coherent, logical, and easy-to-read, you should look up the transitions and introduce them to your paper.
  • Control quoting vs. paraphrasing ratio. No matter how tempted you are to just copy and paste a set of sentences from a source into your research paper because they perfectly fit, do not do that unless it is imperative for the task. Use paraphrasing strategies and comment on the "borrowed" claims in your own words. Direct quotes, on the other hand, should be used in exceptional cases. Nevertheless, regardless of whether you paraphrase or insert a direct quotation, do not forget to cite, i.e., provide an in-text citation. Otherwise, you will be accused of plagiarizing or cheating, fail the class, and be at risk of expulsion. It is just not worth it!
  • Note down the data on sources. In the end of the writing process, you will have to compile a bibliography or a reference list. To avoid the probable confusion, frustration, and annoyance, be sure to jot down main bibliographic data about sources while you read them. It might be useful to write down a few pieces of information about the content of the source too just not to forget anything or mix the things up.
  • Follows the style guidelines precisely. You will be provided with the requirement to follow a certain formatting style in your research paper. Do not neglect that request and diligently adhere to the standards of the style. Mind that the style is not only about the reference page. Be it MLA, APA or Chicago, it also touches upon a title page, in-text citations, font, indentations, header and footer, page numbers, capitalization, etc. Take all them into account.
  • Make up a title. Although many would think that a title should be composed at the very beginning, it is a common misconception. If one wants to have an indeed meaningful title, one should wait until the end since only then, he/she will know the complete and wholesome idea behind the research paper.