If you are not diligent and committed enough, don't pay due attention to your academic assignments, or fail to keep up with the pace of any given course, you may easily produce substandard work. 

On the other hand, if you manage to study well, get high marks, and make a good impression before or during an exam, a much-needed degree that will be of great value for any of your future employers is guaranteed.

Seems like a good reward for all the efforts to be taken, doesn't it? If so, get ready to sweat! 

Read our tips on how to write a research paper worthy of an A+ and also Oxford and Cambridge university standard. The process is pretty much the same for every institution, so this article might be of interest to any learner no matter where you are studying!


What Is a Research Paper? 

There are lots of difficult tasks that you're going to be assigned at the university, and among the most demanding ones will be the writing assignments. While undergraduate students write essays that are 5-6 pages long, graduate students have to deliver more complex works. Particularly, you will have to submit research papers. 

A research paper is a piece of academic writing based on the student's own research and analysis of the subject or a phenomenon. There's no way you're going to get a degree without having to write a pile of these, so it's important to learn how to prepare and write a research paper early on. 

You can get help from tutors, the library or turn for help online. Although you still need to know how to write and edit your essays yourself. 


Pick the Right Topic 

Good academic writing starts with selecting a great topic. When you are assigned to prepare a research paper, you usually have a lot of freedom in choosing what to write about. 

You will most probably be given the broader area of focus with something you've been studying during your term or semester highlighted. So, your job in such cases will be to narrow your topic and make it specific enough so that you'll be able to make your research concise and to-the-point. 

Try not to choose something that you won't enjoy writing about. Also, keep in mind the availability of sources and information for your research. 


Make Sure You Understand Your Topic 

Whether you're writing an essay on a given topic or on the one chosen by yourself, this step is essential. 

Here's a very useful tip from Dr. Peter Judge that he gives in his "Tutorial Essays For Science Subjects" essay: "The first thing to do is to make sure that you understand the title, and in particular try to write concise definitions for each of the key terms." 

Sticking to such an approach will guarantee that you will avoid misconceptions regarding what exactly you're supposed to write about. 


Use Reliable Sources 

Doing your research, you're free to use anything you find on the subject, but with one essential condition: each source must be reliable.

It's a safe bet to choose:

  • Books and articles from your course readings;
  • Books and articles from the university library;
  • Printed scholarly works from other offline libraries.

There's nothing wrong about using the Internet, too. Except that there's a lot of unreviewed, self-published information out there, so you should be very careful with web resources. 


Make an Outline

Never skip this step when working on your academic writing task. Without an outline, such a complex work will simply fall apart. 

If you wonder about how to write an outline for a research paper, think of all the essays that you've already written. After all, many academic papers have a similar structure.

The typical research paper outline should include:

  • An introduction;
  • Body paragraphs;
  • Conclusion. 

Of course, these large sections should be divided into subsections. Study several sample outlines to grasp the idea of how your work should be structured. Don't forget to consult your tutor to check if you got everything right. 


Be Careful and Avoid Plagiarism 

All universities have very strict rules regarding plagiarism. So, you'd better cite all the sources accurately and list them in the bibliography section. 

If you don't approach this part carefully, you risk getting into serious trouble. This ranges from the deduction of marks to expulsion from the university. 

Of course, it's best to do all the work on your own. Still, if you happen to decide to use the help of professional academic writers from an essay writing service, be careful to select the most reliable ones. Here's a hint - real pros always check the papers for plagiarism and provide reports.


Check and Edit Your Paper 

Always check your final draft before submitting it! Failing to do so may result in getting a lower grade than your work really deserves. 

When you revise your work, it's essential to check: 

  • The overall coherency of the piece;
  • Proper citing and referencing of all the resources used;
  • Compliance with the university's style guide; 
  • Grammar, spelling, and punctuation. 


Final Words

In this article, we've mentioned the best tips for writing an A+ research paper. Of course, there are more useful tricks, but even if you put to good use the ones listed above, you'll be able to write a truly impressive essay. 

So, get down to work. Remember - even if writing an academic paper seems like a daunting task at the beginning, you can do it all if you find the right approach that will work for you. Our tips will certainly help you with this! 

If you have any recommendations we have missed let us know in the comments section below.