How to Write a Research Paper Fast
When you’re a student, you might be faced with a time when you’ve got a research paper to write. You might have been putting it off for weeks and then suddenly the reality hits and pressure mounts. You need to know how to write a research paper fast. Quit asking yourself if you can “” because it can be done! How long does it take to write a research paper? That depends on many factors including how long it needs to be. If you’re asking how to write a paper in one night, you’re in a very different position to someone asking how to write a research paper in 5 days.
Unless you’ve saved your research paper until the very last hour, you can get it done. Want to know how to write a paper fast? The first thing you need to do is start it. Starting the task is often the biggest hurdle. Once you’ve understood the assignment and gathered a few thoughts together, you’ll feel much more ready to take it on.
Firstly, you need to make sure you know what a research paper is. If you don’t, you might write in the wrong style. Essentially, it’s what its name suggests: a paper that requires an argument or thesis that is backed up by research. Typically, a research paper will draw on a range of cited sources, analyze an argument, and pull many ideas together to prove – or disprove – a point.
Now you know what you’re doing, it’s time to start preparing. Here are the steps you need to take (in the order you need to take them) to write your research paper fast
Step 1: Pick a Topic That Is Researched a Little Bite
Depending on the specifics of your assignment, you’ll either choose your own topic or be given one. If you need to choose one yourself, it can be a really positive thing. There are lots of techniques you can use to help you choose a good, relevant topic to the guidelines. Choosing your own research topic means you can also pick something that truly interests you.
Good advice would be to choose a broad topic that you can write lots about. If you choose something narrow, rare, or unusual, you might find it difficult to find resources, which is the last thing you need when you’re pushed for time. If you want to know how to write papers faster, choose a topic that interests you and that you already know a little about.
Here are some steps that might help you choose a topic to research:
- Use brainstorming and mind mapping techniques
- Check there is enough content out there by searching a few key points online
- Write out ideas for a possible research question
- Write a list of keywords that you think might be important
Step 2: Do In-Depth Research Taking Quick Notes
If you’ve got a broad topic sorted, it’s now time to start researching. Don’t worry about having a thesis question in mind yet. This will come as you research more broadly into the topic. If you develop the thesis idea too early, you might end up not being able to find enough information or evidence to prove it.
Wikipedia is a good place to start for broad ideas (as long as you keep in mind that it can have inaccuracies). Other good sources of information are government publications, scientific journals, Google Scholar, online broadsheet newspapers, and encyclopedias.
When looking for sources, you need to review what you find and evaluate any information you collect. At this time, it’s a good idea to make quick notes of things you might want to reference or cite when writing papers. Always remember, though, to keep track of your sources while you’re writing to help build accurate references and bibliography pages.
Research is as simple as using an internet search engine. However, it is important to evaluate each source’s validity. As previously mentioned, Wikipedia is not reliable because it can be edited easily by anyone. You should, instead, rely on trustworthy publications like the New York Times and TIME magazine, for example.
Step 3: Create an Outline of Your Essay in Advance
When you’re pushed for time, it’s easy to think you’ll just get straight into paper writing and skip the outline to save time. However, skipping the process of creating an outline on your papers will do quite the opposite. If you’re interested in how to write a paper quickly, you need to spend time planning.
When you spend time organizing your thoughts in an outline, you will only have to focus on getting your ideas into words when you begin writing. The ideas, thoughts, and structure will already be there. You will save time this way!
The thesis statement needs to be simple, concise, and specific. Your outline is like a map to help you write a response to it. When you’ve done a detailed outline, you will know exactly what you’re going to write in all parts of the essay, and you’ll know what evidence you’re going to use to support the arguments.
The outline needs to lay out the main points your research paper is going to argue. Each point needs relevant evidence to support it, which you can also include briefly in the outline. Don’t forget, you need to try and make your points and paragraphs flow well.
In terms of your available time, you should dedicate 15% of your time to structuring and outlining your research paper. So, if you have fifteen days until your deadline, you should spend an entire day structuring and outlining the paper. This might seem like a lot of time spent just on writing the outline, but it will save time in the long run.
Step 4: Write the Abstract and Introduction First
When you have narrowed down your topic to a thesis, it’s time to start writing. Begin with the abstract and introduction. The abstract should summarize your main ideas as well as the research paper’s purpose.
After writing the abstract, write the introduction. This should state the context of the topic and should begin with a strong sentence opener to grab attention. Remember, this is just a first draft so if you can’t think of anything punchy, leave it until you’re reviewing and editing. Following the hook, you need to provide background information and explain why the topic you’ve chosen is important. The introduction should close with the thesis statement.
Step 5: Write the Body Next
After writing your detailed outline, you’ll find writing the main body of papers. Not only will thoughts be already down on paper, but you’ll be able to concentrate more on making it flow and keeping it focused.
Begin each main body paragraph with a sentence on the topic and go on to analyze why it is true and what evidence you have to support it using relevant examples and facts from your research. Remember to cite and reference these appropriately as per the writing conventions. Don’t go overkill with quotes, though. Your reader wants to know what you think and what your ideas are.
Step 6: Create a Logical Conclusion
When writing your conclusion, you need to make sure it analyzes your thesis question and is logical. Many people prefer to summarize briefly the points they’ve made in the paper and restate their thesis in other words. It’s best to avoid repeating any ideas and facts that you’ve already included, and you should also avoid including anything new in the conclusion too. That said, you can include suggestions for some further research points and ideas and explain how they could be interesting or important.
Step 7. Do not skip editing and proofreading
Even those who are best at writing make mistakes and typos in their writing. No matter how much effort and attention you put into your paper, you probably have made a mistake or two. Whenever you feel you’ve finished writing, you haven’t. The first paper you always write is simply a draft. This only becomes your final draft when you’ve fine-tuned it with thorough editing and proofreading.
It is not uncommon for students to seek proofreading and editing services, especially when English is not their first language. This can be a good idea because you’re often unable to see your own mistakes. If you have no one to check over your work, you can use useful tools like Grammarly for Microsoft Word Editor to find mistakes. It’s also useful to use the ‘read aloud’ option so you can see how it sounds. A professional research paper writer could spend hours on this.
Step 8. Focus on quality over quantity
If you’ve got a tight deadline, it can be tempting to just keep the thoughts flowing and write everything that comes into your head. This can end up being detrimental to your grade. If you’re asked to write a five-page paper and you write ten pages, you likely won’t be providing your lecturer or teacher with the concise level of detail they are looking for. As a rule, a standard Microsoft Word page (12pt font, one-inch margin, double spacing) has as many as 300 words. With this knowledge, you can divide your pages and words into minutes according to your typing speed. If you’re needing an essay quickly, you’ll need to type it quickly. Quality is much more important than quantity so make sure you stick close to the word count. A good rule of thumb that many universities use is that you can be 10% under or over the set number of words. So, if you are required to write 1000 words, anything between 900 and 1000 words would be acceptable.
Step 9. Write the paper as per the desired standard
Whenever you’re developing your paragraphs during the writing process, you should write the opening sentences of each section or the key sentences first. You might have even done this to some extent on the outline – and if you have, that’s great! Your key sentences need to be concise, coherent, and strong and so you’ll need to spend longer getting the wording of these just right.
You should only include one idea or topic in each paragraph. This will help you to focus on the single idea and make conclusions from it. It also means transitioning to the next paragraph is easier.
In terms of time, you should allocate around 40% of your deadline to writing and developing your main paragraphs. If we use the previous example of 15 days, this means spending six days working on this. This work would include writing statements that support the thesis, inserting correct and relevant in-text citations, and summing up the paragraphs.
How to Finish a Research Paper Fast
After your first draft is complete, you should look at the paper quickly as a whole. Look at its structure and content and double-check you’ve got the order and flow right. Once you’re happy with these things, it’s time to do a final edit and finish your research paper.
The final process involves reading your paper with the thesis constantly in mind. Ask yourself if everything is relevant and ties in with the thesis statement. You should also consider if it is logical.
Other things to look for include filler words or phrases, and repetitive words, sentences, or ideas. If you find yourself using the same sentence starters over again, use a thesaurus to look for synonyms. An example would be to use “generally” instead of “in general”. To spot problems with syntax, read the research paper out loud.
Writing papers is tough. Many students who search the internet for how to write a research paper in a day, don’t want to be where they’ve ended up. When deadlines are looming many people reach the internet searching forservices. But, now you’re aware that it is possible to write a research paper fast! Of course, if you were to always write your academic papers in this way, you’ll find yourself to be very stressed indeed. Take the stress on board for next time and make sure you start earlier! Having more time usually means a better outcome. Ultimately, the best way to write a research paper is with time. So next time, you won’t need to head to Google and ask how to write a research paper in one day or how to write a research paper in one night!