Research Paper Template – Tips and Tricks!

A research paper is a pretty standard college assignment, and if you continue your education, you are going to see a lot of them in most subjects. They are a fine way of checking to see if a student is fully aware of the subject matter and concepts, and is also a way to force students to study in their own time. It gives students a broader and more diverse view of their subject as a whole.

If you are going to do a lot of them, then you may as well create some sort of template for your work. This will make planning go a little quicker and will help alleviate writer’s block because you are not staring at a blank screen you are staring at your template.

Start your template with a research paper structure

• Abstract
• Introduction
• Thesis
• Method
• Results
• Discussion
• Conclusion
• Recommendations
• Reference List

Now make a template for your work

These are starting points. You can create a different word processor document and use each question as a title for it. You then fill the documents with answers to the questions. It makes a great starting point for your work and will help you build your plan and add to your notes later.

• What do you already know?

This is not as general as it sounds. When you first get your project, you probably get a flash in your mind of how you may answer the question. There are few times when you receive a research paper question or problem that completely stumps you. Many times, you have thoughts about it and you already know pertinent details that may feature later. Put those thoughts onto this document. They may come in handy later when you are trying to think up new ideas and when you are trying to direct your research.

• What resources are you already aware of?

Your textbooks are probably always going to feature on this document under this question. What others do you know of? Your professor may have mentioned a few names during the lectures, and he or she may have given you a handout with a resource or two on. Do you now anymore? Do you remember things from previous books that may come in handy here?

• What are other people doing?

Getting together with your classmates for a brainstorming session is good if all the members put in their equal share of effort and good ideas. It is also good to see what direction your classmates are taking their work because you may be inspired by it. Note down on the word processor document all the things you remember about what your friends and classmates were writing about and doing

• What is relevant in the textbook that you have already covered in class?

There is a good chance that your professor has set this research paper because he or she has just covered something in class and he or she wants you to learn it more thoroughly. This means there are probably things in your textbooks that would be a big help for you. Check your other textbooks too, remember to read ahead. It may be that your professor is about to cover a certain subject and wants you to research it before he or she does, in which case there is a chance there will be details in your textbooks if you read ahead.

• What handouts did your professor give and can you expand on them?

The handouts may be full of things you can expand on if you give it some thought. It may only touch upon a subject, and you should ask yourself if you can relate it to your work. If you can, then how can you expand upon it? Are there research avenues and directions on the handout that you haven’t thought of? What are your first thoughts upon seeing those directions/avenues?

• What questions do I have that I need to find answers for?

There will probably be a lot of these. After all, it is a research paper and if you already knew the all that needs to be researched, then you could just write the research paper off the top of your head and put your name in the reference section. Obviously, you shouldn’t do something like that. What questions will your research paper need to answer? In order to answer the question, what questions are you going to ask?

• What questions do I have that only the professor can answer?

These are often technical things, such as how do you get the d.o.i number from a PDF online, or how do you open a PUB file. Note them down on this document so that you do not forget them, and you can get the answers to them the next time you are in class.