How to Write a Top Grade Research Paper

What is a Research Paper?

“Research paper.” What image comes into mind as you hear those words: working with stacks of articles and books, hunting the “treasure” of others’ thoughts?  Yet a research paper is more than the sum of your sources, more than a collection of different pieces of information about a topic, and more than a review of the literature in a field. A research paper analyzes a perspective  or argues a point.

Regardless of the type of research paper you are writing, your finished research paper should present your own thinking backed up by others’ ideas and information. Therefore, a research paper is a piece of academic writing that provides analysis, interpretation, and argument based on in-depth independent research.

Research papers are similar to academic essays, but they are usually longer and more detailed assignments, designed to assess not only your writing skills but also your skills in scholarly research. Writing a research paper requires you to demonstrate a strong knowledge of your topic, engage with a variety of sources, and make an original contribution to the debate.