How To Write A Research Essay: Topics And Tips

It’s time to write a research essay for one of your college courses and while you may have had some practice with the type of assignment in high school, you may feel a little nervous about having to this at a higher level. There are plenty of research essay examples you can refer to – in print and web writing guides – but you might be running out of time and went to quick and simple method on how to write a good essay this moment without sacrificing quality.

This guide will walk you through the writing process from answering the question “what is research” to proofreading the final draft of your assignment. Here’s everything you need to know:

What Exactly Is A Research Essay?

The most important reason for academic research is to make a contribution to the general knowledge of a specific discipline or area of study. Academic research articles seek to provide answers to questions or prove theories. Topics that are explored can be on a variety of issues and build upon prior work done by other professionals.

How to Write a Research Essay in Five Simple Steps

  • Step 1. Consider Good Research Essay Topics
  • The first step in how to start an essay is to choose an interesting topic that is challenging and pushes the envelope in a specific or area of study. It’s good to consider several good topics and to conduct some background research – trying to learn as much as possible about related questions and studies. You may find that some topics are too difficult to deal with given the limitations of an assignment done for a class, but you may be able to narrow these topics until you are focusing on just a handful of questions. Start working on a preliminary research essay outline and identify what it is you want to achieve through the study.

  • Step 2. Revise Research Essay Outlines
  • A good research report needs to be well-structured and organized to facilitate the reader’s understanding of the information that is being presented. You can use a research essay outline template and fill in the sections (e.g., title page, abstract, introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion) with phrases or short sentences to help guide your writing. All points should relate to the central topic or argument. Most students can usually work off of an informal outline, where all material is organized utilizing a combination of letters and numbers, and using it as a reference when writing each draft.

  • Step 3. Write the First Essay Draft
  • Reread all your notes and keep them with your research outline and then just start writing. Don’t focus on trying to convey your thoughts perfectly. Just get your ideas down on the page and try to write as much as possible, even if it seems repetitive. Try to stick to the research essay format you have established in your outline. It is okay to get off the course a bit but try to get back on track as you move through the different sections of the assignment. It may take you a couple of hours to write your draft, but aim to get it done in a single sitting.

  • Step 4. Revise Your Material Effectively
  • Your first draft will need to be revised. It’s recommended you don’t start the revising process until you have at least separated yourself from the first draft for a few days. This will let you approach your work with a more critical viewpoint. Start by rethinking and rearranging your research essay outline. Rewrite your main arguments so that you convey your information more logically. You may have to work on multiple drafts, so be sure you do this early.

  • Step 5. Edit and Proofread Extensively
  • We know that you’ve heard this piece of advice over and over again. But we are compelled to repeat it here because too many students skip this step altogether. You have to edit and proofread carefully and thoroughly Do this more than once and always work on a hard copy of your assignment instead of doing so on the computer. Print out a research essay example to compare your writing with – this will help you to effectively put together an assignment of the highest academic quality. After you’re done editing and proofreading ask someone to “check my writing” – a friend or classmate can provide a second pair of eyes to check that all your spelling, grammar, and punctuation is error-free.

Argumentative Research Essay Topics

Here are ten good research essay topics to help motivate and inspire your in-depth study. You can use these if you are stuck or better yet use these as a starting point towards brainstorming and coming up with your original ideas for an argumentative research essay.

  1. Have American politics become too corrupt to be considered a true democracy that is run by the country’s citizens?
  2. Have humans truly negatively impacted climate change to the point that the damage is no longer reversible?
  3. Should professional sports teams have the right to prevent their players from taking political stances?
  4. How effective is gun control in deterring or preventing violent crimes? What about Second Amendment rights?
  5. Are liberal arts a respectable discipline of study? How do professionals in this field reconcile aesthetic and individual preference?
  6. What can college students do to make a positive difference in conserving our natural resources and spaces?
  7. How can young adults maintain a healthy diet and nutritional habits when faced with increasing levels of stress because of school work?
  8. Should high schools ban or prevent students of a certain age play violent sports like football and hockey in light of recent CTE research?
  9. What political changes need to be made in order to help reverse the effects of global warming at an international level?
  10. Will people ever reach a point where there are no technological advancements needed to aid in production?

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