Discover How to Write a Research Essay Like a College Nerd

14 April 2020

Writing a research essay, also known as a dissertation, can be a challenging undertaking. Do you have what it takes to write such a paper and score highly? Worry not, our custom writing professionals are experts on the topic and are willing to share with you all you need to know to write an excellent research paper. 

Typically, research essays are any type of academic writings that are based wholly on original research, which entails analysis as well as interpretation from an author. It is overwhelming when you commence with it. 

As such, we’ve prepared a detailed guide that will aid you in writing your research essay. No need to stress. In addition to providing helpful tips, we’ve also provided links to our collection of research essay examples for your convenience.

Always Understand Your Assignment

The first thing you do before embarking on writing your dissertation is critical. Do you rush in and attempt to complete the assignment as fast as possible? Or are you the type of student who takes their time to understand the research essay prompt? Hopefully, you’re one of the latter.

You want to look out for the following things before you can get started.

  • Identify areas that may need the instructor’s clarification
  • Familiarize with the assignment’s instructions
  • List crucial requirements and refer to them after you’re done writing

More importantly, consider the following:

Project Timeframe

You must be realistic as well as plan for the time required in the researching, writing, and editing. 

Word Limit

You must focus on one precise topic to curb covering too much information. 


Every purpose contains a different requirement. This is to imply if you’re aiming to persuade, inform, or even encourage people. 

Comprehend Your Audience

Considering your audience is the most vital thing you need when writing a research paper. The level of knowledge will influence your style of writing, the details required to explain as well as your word choice. Usually, the thesis for masters is for expert audiences; however, you might need to make it easily accessible to broader audiences. Should you be penning your undergraduate paper, perhaps you can assume that your audience is between experts and generalists.

Select Your Research Essay Topic

There are several ways of generating an idea to culminate in your paper regardless of your preference, be it discussing with fellow students, writing notes, or even with a professor. This will go a long way in aiding you in approaching your preferred topic.

Alternatively, you can attempt freebie writing that entails taking a vast topic and then continuously writing for about five minutes. This will aid you in unequivocal identifying anything worthy of interest. Besides, this will assist you in achieving inspiration from research. The recommendation and discussion research sections of a paper are often inclusive of ideas for an examination of other related topics.

After you have the area of the main subject, you can now narrow down to selecting a topic which:

  • Appeals to you
  • Is easy to research on
  • Meets your assignment criteria
  • Is original

Always remember that it has to specific and unique. For instance, a paper that’s talking of World War II chronology cannot be sufficiently accurate or original. However, an article on Danish citizen experiences on bordering Germany in World War II is unique and specific too.

Conduct Preliminary Researches

Jot down discussions that are seemingly vital to that topic. Then attempt finding issues that you will focus on around your paper. Take plenty of sources that are inclusive of reliable websites, journals, references, and books to ascertain that you don’t miss anything. 

Not only should you verify your mind’s ideas but also search for sources that contradict your perspective of view. This will help in avoiding confirmation bias.

  • Are there things that people tend to overlook in your research’s sources?
  • Is there any heated existential debate that you may want to address?
  • Do you possess a peculiar take on the topic?
  • Are there recent developments that could build extensive extant research? 

At this particular stage, it is recommended that you might need to formulate some queries that would guide you in the process. They are usually used in a dissertation or thesis and not essays. To pen down these queries, you might want to complete this sentence: I would like to know why/what/how….”

Additionally, the stage will assist you in determining if there will be a flaw in the essay argument. Should you get blemishes, you should adjust the topic of discussion in this stage. This is where fellow researchers mess up. They fail to conduct intensive research for the essay, which is essential in ensuring that you are on track. 

Developing Your Research Essay Thesis Statement

The thesis statements are statements of the central argument, and it aims to establish the position and purpose of the research paper. Should you have commenced with the essay question, then the thesis statement will answer it. Besides, it shows the reasoning and evidence that you will use to support the answer. The hypothesis needs to be coherent, contentious, and concise. You have to summarize the argument, make a claim which requires evidence, and make sound points relatable to the paper. You will refine and revise the statement with more research. Each paragraph needs to develop and support the central claim.

Prepare A Research Essay Outline

This functions as an authoritative guide that you use when writing a research essay. It’s necessarily a crucial topic list evidence and arguments that are divided into parts with headings. Hence you will have a research essay format. With research essay outlines, the hectic process becomes efficient; thus, it’s worth the time dedicated to making one.  

Paragraph Structure

These are primary building blocks for your research essays. Each paragraph needs to focus on one idea or claim, which aids in establishing the overall argument or the essay’s purpose.

Write the First Research Essay Draft

The first draft isn’t the last piece, and its primary goal is to:

  • Interpolate ideas to the arguments
  • Culminate the rough ideas to workable arguments
  • Get an overview of how the final piece should look like

Commencing the essay needn’t be done in your introduction. Do it where you feel more natural since some prefer first to tackle the hard sections while others prefer to tackle the easiest first. You shouldn’t delete large text sections – if you dislike some parts, move them to another document. However, you shouldn’t lose it since it might come handy later.

The priorities when doing the draft are:

  • Always maintain forward momentum. Write now and then perfection later. 
  • Abide by logical ordering and clear organization of sentences and paragraphs to aid in the subsequent draft. 
  • Expression of ideas. 
  • You are maintaining arguments flexibly. Get ready to abandon and alter arguments need be. If you’re stuck, go to other sections then embark on it later. 
  • Include clear citations. 

Write a Research Essay Introduction

As usual, the introduction addresses three queries - Why? What? How?

In a dissertation or thesis, the introduction possesses strict requirements of what needs to be included. While for essays, it functions like a hook designated to move your readers from their background knowledge to the information you plan to persuade them with. When done with the introduction, a reader needs to comprehend what it’s all about, and it is worth it.


You have to be concise about the research essay topics. Introduce background then define the essential items, historical, and theories details. Should you be writing an extended research essay that has a literature review, then it is wise to give sense to how the points conjoin with your available research.


It’s the most crucial and challenging part of your introduction. Attempt to offer brief answers to these queries. What new insight or material are you providing? What vital issues will 

your research essay answer or define?


A reader has to know as to which direction your paper is taking. Hence your introduction has to be inclusive of a research essay outline template that will briefly present vital elements in chronological order.  

 Write The Body Text

Most writers don’t know how they can organize information in a paper. This is why the research essay outlines are essential. Regardless you need to know that it is a writing guide only whereby the arguments and information are presented.

To remain on track, make use of the topic sentences. You need to look at the thesis statement against topic sentences to look for logical ordering and similarities. Do not let your sources make you rigid – use them naturally and relevantly. When done with the first draft, have the paragraphs condensed into topic sentences only then read them bit by bit. Get rid of sections discussing something similar and also look for smoother transitions between the sections.

 Write the Research Essay Conclusion

Congratulations on having reached so far. The essay conclusion is designated to aid readers out of the arguments hence providing them with the finality sense. Carefully trace the paper’s course by emphasizing how the entire essay conjoins to make proof of the essay statements. Give your essay a finality sense via ascertaining the reader comprehends how you have settled the paper’s issues that were raised initially in the introduction section. Recap the how, why, and what then attempt showing how your key ideas were mentioned earlier look in the fixed point.

You might also need to discuss the argument’s consequences, the outline of the essay, and what it offers to upcoming students about the topic. Then suggest queries that your essay’s argument raises and doesn’t answer.  

Do Not:

  • Take up extra space
  • Offer new essential information or arguments
  • Start with phrases which signal that you’re finishing the research essay

Work on the Second Draft

There are four primary considerations when it comes to your second draft.

1. Look at how the paper’s vision lines up with your first draft. However, you need to check still if your essay responds to the assignment.  

2. Look for assumptions that could require justification by keeping the readers’ view foremost in your mind. If you’re unable to substantiate these points, remove them.

3. Don’t be rigid about rearranging ideas. Check if some sections feel out of their place and if they can be organized better.

4. Should you find that the old ideas don’t fit as anticipated, condense them or cut them off.

Revision Process

Here, your main aim is to ascertain that all essential tasks are completed. Additionally, you must ensure that you’ve articulated your essay in the best way possible.

Global Concerns

Goal: counter check that the essay completes all the tasks that have been specified in the sheet.

Look for paragraph flow and logical organization of the entire sheet.

Check the paragraphs against thesis statements and the introduction.

Nitty-gritty Details

Look at each paragraph’s content while ensuring that:

  • Every sentence aids in supporting the topic sentence.
  • There is no fluff.
  • That all alien technical terms are well defined to your reader.

Then focus on the articulation, grammatical errors as well as formatting. Look out for typos, fluff, and consistency in regards to aspects like spellings and heading format. Below are some golden tips to aid you:

  • Read your essay aloud. This will force you to halt and focus on words.
  • Change the fonts, since they might aid in spotting mistakes via making texts less familiar.
  • Edit the printed copy of your essay. Follow every word with a pencil.
  • Let someone else go through then make notes

Last but not least, ensure that the sheet is correctly formatted regarding the rules of citation style. APA title or MLA heading page might help.   

Need Assignment Help with Your Research Essay?

Now that you know how to write a meticulous research essay care to give it a shot? If you need more inspiration or general ideas, you can always refer to our resource center. You’ll find lots of resources, including research essay samples.  

Here’s another excellent idea. If you need immediate homework help, custom writing bee is more than glad to sort you out. Order a custom essay or dissertation on any subject now and collect it in your email shortly. 

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