Steps and Resources for Writing a Research Paper

This article has useful guidelines that will help students write impactful and effective research papers and earn a good grade in the process. In the article, we provide resources and steps for writing a strong research paper.


The following steps are useful in writing an effective and impactful research paper by starting with a prompt or assignment and end up with a well-grounded paper.

  • Familiarize yourself with the assignment. This first step is obvious yet significant in understanding the requirements of your teacher. The majority of the students fail this initial step and end up with low grades.
  • Select a topic. Having understood your teacher’s requirements, then go ahead and choose an appropriate topic that meets the requirements. Choose a topic you are passionate about and generates a lot of interest.
  • Research. People have different strategies for researching the selected topic. However, remember to move fast and pay attention to the task since you still need to write your paper.
  • Plan your research. Get a plan on how you will attack your research. Different students or teachers have different preferences.
  • Formulate your thesis. Once you fully understand your assignment requirements and have selected an appropriate topic;
    Together with adequate research and a concise plan, then articulate your assertion, argument, and opinion.
  • Develop an outline. Similar to the bibliography, the structure of your outline depends on the assignment. If an outline is part of the requirements, then create one.
  • Write. This step is about writing your research paper. The other steps are essential in ensuring that you write an interesting, clear, and strong research paper.
  • Edit the content of your paper. It is a milestone to have the initial draft of your research paper ready. However, it is not yet ready for you to submit. It is now time that you check the correctness of your content.
  • Edit the grammar. Apart from editing the content, it is essential that you also edit the grammar. To complete grammar editing, many tools are available on your way.
  • Re-read your paper before submitting. After editing content and grammar, the final task of proofreading is necessary. Depending on the available time, you can spend a day or an hour. Proofreading is effective with a printed copy.


  1. Your teacher. Before you write the assignment, consider your teacher’s objective. Essay assignments are an opportunity for students to learn or perfect their skills.
  2. Research librarians. Research librarians are an essential human resource when doing research. Apart from tons of online materials and books, University and college libraries have personnel who can help answer research questions.
  3. Writing centers. Many University and college libraries do have writing centers. Staffs in writing centers are resourceful when it comes to your research paper’s actual writing since they are vast with many writing requirements.
  4. Wikipedia is a useful resource for writing the introduction of a research paper. However, you should exercise caution when using Wikipedia since anyone can edit and even publish content.
  5. Academic repositories. Some teachers or professors prefer that their students get their literature from peer-reviewed journals. University and college students have access to many academic databases that publish peer-reviewed papers.
  6. Grammarly. It is a powerful spell checker tool. For those who use the Chrome browser, this tool comes with an extension that allows users to write easily. To make it even better, you can paste your paper content to Grammarly editor, have grammar and spelling checked, and advise spelling and grammar.

Sensational Hooks That Grab The Attention Of The Readers

Do you want to write an essay that will make your audience to have the zeal to read your work? First and foremost, you must write an attractive introduction. To write a very attractive introduction, one needs to look for statements that capture the readers’ attention. Someone will ask, “What are hooks?” hooks are pieces of writing at the start of one’s essay. Hooks engage your readers. A hook is not usually part of sentences or just a sentence that brings the reader’s attention to reading your essay. Hooks are those statements that spark the readers’ curiosity. Do you want your readers to have the curiosity of what happens after? 

If your essay hooks make your readers have the eagerness to read your essay, then your audience will love your essay.

Paper hooks

Below are some categories of essay hooks that will attract your audience to read your essay.

  • The question hook.
  • Strong declaration/statement hook.
  • Statistic/fact hook.
  • Simile/metaphor hook.
  • The description hook.
  • The quotation hook.
  • The story hook.

The question hook

Interesting question hooks are when one asks a question or questions related to one’s paper or essay. The question will make your readers read your work because the only way to find the answer to the questions is by going through your essay. People ask a lot of questions. When one reads or hears questions, they will want to either know or want to answer them. 

Strong declaration / statement hook

Strong declaration hooks are sentences that make assertive claims about one’s topic. The thesis statements connect to the strong declaration hook. The declaration hook shows how important your paper or essay is.

Strong declarations are great techniques because they do not matter whether your readers agree or disagree with your declaration. Your readers will want to find out how you support your declaration.

Statistic or fact hook

Statistics and facts hook your readers because they provide valid information about topics. One can impress their readers with evidence and knowledge from the start of a paper. One needs to add facts that are accurate, reliable, and interesting. Make sure that you get your information from a good source.

The simile/metaphor

Simile or metaphor hooks engage one’s audience because they make the audience think about topics differently. One’s readers will wonder what one means and how one compares topics to some things that do not connect. 

Description hooks

These are hooks where vivid descriptions of scenes draw one’s attention to reading your essay. Good descriptions hooks will entice one’s audience to need to know what happens next in one’s essay.

Quotation hooks

These are hooks where one begins an essay with quotations. Quotations can come from famous people, but they do not have to. One can get anyone’s quotes, that is, if it connects to someone’s essay topic. If you want to apply the quotation hook, you have to make sure that you quote the exact words.

The story hook

These are hooks where one begins with a brief story that connects to one’s topic.

Most readers enjoy reading stories, mostly when the storyteller writes well. A story must directly connect to the topic. A story hook can be someone’s story or personal.


Writing an essay hook is an excellent method to give your audience the zeal to read your essay. Choose any two categories of paper hooks. Then write hooks for each category you select.

Research paper Topics and How to Pick Them

Identifying a good topic for your research paper is the secret to successful writing. Therefore, you need to know how to develop your topic before writing your assignment. Research paper topics are developed from intense study and assessment of past studies where a writer identifies gaps that should be addressed.

In your efforts to develop a topic for your research paper, it will be important for you to pick an area of interest. Most importantly, ensure you have a wider approach to your topic before narrowing down to the specifics. That way, you will stand a good chance of making the most out of your writing.

Sample Research Paper Topics 

Research papers can be written in various disciplines. Therefore, you can draw topics from different backgrounds to help you develop your paper. Here are sample topics that you can write about:

  1. Decriminalization of Medical Marijuana
  2. Politics and women leadership
  3. The Power of Democracy in Developing Nations
  4. Technology and its impact on modern businesses
  5. Adolescents and teenage pregnancies 
  6. Taking care of the elderly in society 
  7. Religion and the State. What roles do these two play in governments
  8. Online Learning vs the conventional mainstream classes
  9. The economic impact of COVID-19 in Africa
  10. Rising Democracies in Africa

Developing a topic for your Research Paper

When writing a topic of your research paper, you should identify the area that you want to focus on. After that, invest time and efforts in studying and reading to find more about what has been done in that field of study. There are a lot of things to look at and in the process, you will easily get to find something to write about.

Drawing your topic from a well-informed point of view is highly recommended because it gives you a wider look into your area of interest. It gives you many options to have read extensively about something. Here is how to proceed:

  • Explore your field of interest. Check all possible options for topics that you could write about 
  • Make sure you highlight the significance of the subject. Why is it important to study such a field?  
  • Look at various resources to help you develop your paper.  Check what others have done in the past 
  • Refine your chosen idea and make it your topic. Out of the many ideas and findings from past research, you can narrow to one of them and write about it.
  • Make your topic precise and specific. Avoid generalizing ideas. It should be clear to your readers. Therefore, narrow your research topic to a specific idea.

Final Advice

The best way to come up with your research paper topic is by making sure that you have thoroughly read different materials. This approach will help you pick the best of the best ideas to write on. Most importantly, it will help you write your topic without repeating what others have been able to do in the past. Make sure that your topic is unique and specific to something that is of interest in that field.