Writing an Effective Research Paper: Just Follow these 10 Steps

Are you new to law school?

If yes, then you must have heard from your professors by now that you will be submitting a research paper.

Are you worried?

Please don’t be because we can assure that your research paper is just 10 steps away from completion.

Step 1: Get familiar with the subject

Before writing any research paper you should know about the subject. For instance, if it is a research paper on Torts you must know what this subject deals with and what research you can do on it. This step is important to understand the scope of the research.

Step 2: Pick a (narrow) topic and set a schedule

It is advisable to choose a topic with a narrow approach because this will make your research specific and streamlined. Another benefit is that you can research in depth and address possible research gaps. Choose a topic with an intent to provide value to your readers and the different perspective you can bring in on the similar topic.

Your research paper will not be completed if you do not stick to a schedule. It is not about completion but also about the quality content. You can set daily reminders to do research and record your progress. This will be of great help because there should be a progress everyday till the date of submission.

Step 3: Research all possible sources and form a preliminary bibliography

As you will be researching on the internet everyday you will come across various articles, blogs, journals, research paper and publications. You will be citing them in your research paper but the chances are that you are unable to find them at the end when you are writing your bibliography. In order to avoid this, maintain a separate document of bibliography during research and drafting. You can simply cut, copy and paste it later in your original document. Refer to only those sources which are mentioned by your professors but research from all the possible sources. If they have not specified any, please ask them. We are sure they will be more than happy to guide you.

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Step 4: Organise the Research

By now, you must have found many articles, textbooks, blogs, journals, etc., and we are glad you did. Not all the information you have collected is relevant to your topic and it is the time when you need to organize your research. You now have a fair idea about the data you wish to include in your research paper, select the content which is a replica of your ideas.

Step 5: Form a thesis/ objective/ research question

Once you have researched, there must be certain question which you must have intended to answer through this research paper. Those questions are your research questions. It is important to include them in your research paper so that the reader knows what answers he can expect from your research paper.

Step 6: Create a working outline and structure

Now, you have all the research content and objectives but information which is not structured can impact all your hard work. You must create a structure for your research paper to ensure systematic flow of information. You can now do chapterization for your research paper and divide the information accordingly.

Step 7: Write a rough draft

In this step, you will be writing all the contents of your research paper roughly to see whether the structure finalised turns out to be the same or not. It is important because here you will be removing so much of content which you thought was relevant from your draft.

Step 8: Edit for content- make sure it is up to date

Always check the applicability of the content you have used. It is important to include all the past developments and then write a research paper. The data used must be the latest one so that the reader does not have to look for another article to cross-check or for verification. Now, edit the final content of your research paper and move on to the next step.

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Step 9: Edit for grammar

Once your draft is completed, check for the grammatical errors. Proof-read the document to check sentence formations to ensure that the language used is readable. Read the research paper from the perspective of the reader and then make the changes.

Step 10: Re-read your research paper

Now read your research paper to make any changes or modifications, if required. You can ask your friends also to read the research paper and they can give their perspective or suggestions which will give you a scope of further improvement. 


You have now finalised your research paper.

Now you can submit it your professor on time, without fail.

We hope you have now understood the secret behind writing an effective research paper.