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Writing a Research Paper: 2nd Edition

For researchers in the natural sciences looking to write effective research papers

With insights from 12 experts in scientific writing, including Nature Portfolio Editors

14.5 hours of learning

10-50-minute lessons

5-module course with certificate

  • About this course

Writing research papers allows you to contribute to the scientific record, and is critical for advancing your career. To ensure that the findings you have invested so much effort in have an impact on your scientific community, it is pivotal that the paper you write is effective. In other words, it needs to be informative, concise, well structured and engaging . An effective research paper makes it easier to convey to editors and reviewers the significance of presented outcomes. It also provides researchers with the information they need, boosting dissemination of your work.

This course will introduce you to powerful narrative tools and principles of scientific writing. It will also teach you how to apply them to your next manuscript. Don’t miss out and start learning today!

This is the second edition of our highly popular ‘Writing a Research Paper’ course. We recommend you take this updated version even if you have already started the first edition . However, the previous version of the course is still available, if you wish to continue it to obtain your certificate. If you have already completed the first edition of the course you will still be able to access your certificate on the progress page under “My dashboard”. 

The benefits of this new 2nd edition

  • Restructured content for a better learning experience
  • Enriched content with extensive real-world examples
  • Bite-size lessons on each topic to fit busy schedules
  • Strategies to apply narrative tools when writing research papers
  • Detailed examples for explaining concepts, taken from real papers where possible
  • Step-by-step strategies and how to apply them to your research paper
  • Portfolio activities that empower you to transfer knowledge into practice.

What you'll learn

  • Understand what makes an effective research paper
  • Gain insights on the preferred structure of a Nature published paper
  • Leverage narrative tools and their application to scientific writing
  • Master the principles of scientific writing style
  • Write a research paper section by section
  • Develop effective titles and abstracts
  • Finalise your research paper for submission.

Free Sample Understanding the elements of an effective research paper

9 lessons 2h

Free Sample Applying narrative tools to your research paper

7 lessons 3h

Free Sample Using the principles of scientific writing style for your research paper

22 lessons 2h

Free Sample Writing your research paper section by section

32 lessons 5h 30m

Free Sample Finalising your research paper for submission

6 lessons 2h

Free Sample Writing a Research Paper: 2nd Edition: Free Sample

No subscription yet? Try this free sample to preview lessons from the course

8 lessons 2h

Start this module

Select the dropdown to explore an overview of the content for each module

Module 1: Understanding the elements of an effective research paper

  • Welcome to the course
  • The structure of a research paper
  • What makes an effective research paper
  • Strategies to write an effective research paper
  • Overview of the strategies for writing an effective research paper
  • Narrative tools and research papers – how they work together
  • Principles of scientific writing style
  • Key points about the strategies for writing an effective research paper
  • Module summary

Module 2: Applying narrative tools to your research paper

  • Introduction
  • The key message
  • The audience
  • The story arc
  • Steps to develop your story arc
  • The evidence

Module 3: Using the principles of scientific writing style for your research paper

Informative writing

  • Introduction to informative writing
  • Pitfalls that can undermine the informativeness of your research paper
  • Master the basics of informative writing
  • Take informative writing to the next level
  • Apply the key points of informative writing to your research paper

Concise writing

  • Introduction to concise writing
  • Pitfalls that can undermine the conciseness of your research paper
  • Master the basics of concise writing
  • Take concise writing to the next level
  • Apply the key points of concise writing to your research paper

Well-structured writing

  • Introduction to well-structured writing 
  • Pitfalls that can undermine the structure of your research paper
  • Master the basics of well-structured writing
  • Take well-structured writing to the next level
  • Key takeaways for ensuring well-structured writing

Engaging writing

  • Introduction to engaging writing
  • Pitfalls that can undermine the engaging of your research paper
  • Master the basics of engaging writing
  • Take engaging writing to the next level
  • Key takeaways for writing engagingly

Module 4: Writing your paper section by section

  • Tools to help you plan and write the sections of your paper

The methods section

  • The purpose of the methods section
  • What to include in the methods section
  • How to structure the methods section
  • The specific writing style of the methods section
  • Common pitfalls in the methods section
  • Key points about writing the methods section

The results section

  • The purpose of the results section
  • What to include in the results section
  • How to structure the results section
  • The specific writing style of the results section
  • Common pitfalls in the results section
  • Key points about writing the results section

The discussion section

  • The purpose of the discussion section
  • What to include in the discussion section
  • How to structure the discussion section
  • The specific writing style of the discussion section
  • Common pitfalls in the discussion section
  • Key points about writing the discussion section

The conclusion section

  • The purpose of the conclusion section
  • How to structure the conclusion section
  • The specific writing style of the conclusion section
  • Common pitfalls in the conclusion section
  • Key points about writing the conclusion section

The introduction section

  • The purpose of the introduction section
  • What to include in the introduction section
  • How to structure the introduction section
  • The specific writing style of the introduction section
  • Common pitfalls in the introduction section
  • Key points about writing the introduction section

Module 5: Finalising your research paper for submission

  • Assemble an appealing title
  • Compose an effective abstract
  • Revise your paper before submission
  • Course summary

Developed with experts in scientific writing

The course was developed and refined by an international panel of academics, editors and experts in writing research papers.

Meet the expert panel that have helped shape and refine the content of the course:

Davide Esposito

Chief Editor, Nature Catalysis

Peter Gorsuch

Linguistic Design Manager, Springer Nature

Joshua Schimel

Professor of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology, University of California Santa Barbara and author of Writing Science

Sadaf Shadan

Biological Sciences Team Manager and Senior Editor, Nature

Advice from experienced science editors and researchers

The course contains additional insights from other experts in scientific writing:

Magdalena Skipper

Editor-in-Chief, Nature   and Chief Editorial Advisor,  Nature Portfolio

Malena Rice

Assistant Professor, Department of Astronomy, Yale University and named to the Forbes 30 under 30 list in science

Alexia-Ileana Zaromytidou

Chief Editor, Nature Cancer

Xiaodong Zou

Professor, Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry, Stockholm University

Anna Ploszajski

Freelance materials scientist and storyteller

Tamara Goldin

Chief Editor, Nature Geoscience

Zoë Doubleday

Australian Research Council (ARC) Future Fellow, University of South Australia

Senior Editor, Nature Nanotechnology

Why should you take this course?

Discover related courses, research integrity: publication ethics.

Examine ways you can handle ethical arises that can arise as you publish your research

Publishing a Research Paper

Learn about the publication process and the things you need to consider

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Grad Coach

How To Write A Research Paper

Step-By-Step Tutorial With Examples + FREE Template

By: Derek Jansen (MBA) | Expert Reviewer: Dr Eunice Rautenbach | March 2024

For many students, crafting a strong research paper from scratch can feel like a daunting task – and rightly so! In this post, we’ll unpack what a research paper is, what it needs to do , and how to write one – in three easy steps. 🙂 

Overview: Writing A Research Paper

What (exactly) is a research paper.

  • How to write a research paper
  • Stage 1 : Topic & literature search
  • Stage 2 : Structure & outline
  • Stage 3 : Iterative writing
  • Key takeaways

Let’s start by asking the most important question, “ What is a research paper? ”.

Simply put, a research paper is a scholarly written work where the writer (that’s you!) answers a specific question (this is called a research question ) through evidence-based arguments . Evidence-based is the keyword here. In other words, a research paper is different from an essay or other writing assignments that draw from the writer’s personal opinions or experiences. With a research paper, it’s all about building your arguments based on evidence (we’ll talk more about that evidence a little later).

Now, it’s worth noting that there are many different types of research papers , including analytical papers (the type I just described), argumentative papers, and interpretative papers. Here, we’ll focus on analytical papers , as these are some of the most common – but if you’re keen to learn about other types of research papers, be sure to check out the rest of the blog .

With that basic foundation laid, let’s get down to business and look at how to write a research paper .

Research Paper Template

Overview: The 3-Stage Process

While there are, of course, many potential approaches you can take to write a research paper, there are typically three stages to the writing process. So, in this tutorial, we’ll present a straightforward three-step process that we use when working with students at Grad Coach.

These three steps are:

  • Finding a research topic and reviewing the existing literature
  • Developing a provisional structure and outline for your paper, and
  • Writing up your initial draft and then refining it iteratively

Let’s dig into each of these.

Need a helping hand?

courses on research paper writing

Step 1: Find a topic and review the literature

As we mentioned earlier, in a research paper, you, as the researcher, will try to answer a question . More specifically, that’s called a research question , and it sets the direction of your entire paper. What’s important to understand though is that you’ll need to answer that research question with the help of high-quality sources – for example, journal articles, government reports, case studies, and so on. We’ll circle back to this in a minute.

The first stage of the research process is deciding on what your research question will be and then reviewing the existing literature (in other words, past studies and papers) to see what they say about that specific research question. In some cases, your professor may provide you with a predetermined research question (or set of questions). However, in many cases, you’ll need to find your own research question within a certain topic area.

Finding a strong research question hinges on identifying a meaningful research gap – in other words, an area that’s lacking in existing research. There’s a lot to unpack here, so if you wanna learn more, check out the plain-language explainer video below.

Once you’ve figured out which question (or questions) you’ll attempt to answer in your research paper, you’ll need to do a deep dive into the existing literature – this is called a “ literature search ”. Again, there are many ways to go about this, but your most likely starting point will be Google Scholar .

If you’re new to Google Scholar, think of it as Google for the academic world. You can start by simply entering a few different keywords that are relevant to your research question and it will then present a host of articles for you to review. What you want to pay close attention to here is the number of citations for each paper – the more citations a paper has, the more credible it is (generally speaking – there are some exceptions, of course).

how to use google scholar

Ideally, what you’re looking for are well-cited papers that are highly relevant to your topic. That said, keep in mind that citations are a cumulative metric , so older papers will often have more citations than newer papers – just because they’ve been around for longer. So, don’t fixate on this metric in isolation – relevance and recency are also very important.

Beyond Google Scholar, you’ll also definitely want to check out academic databases and aggregators such as Science Direct, PubMed, JStor and so on. These will often overlap with the results that you find in Google Scholar, but they can also reveal some hidden gems – so, be sure to check them out.

Once you’ve worked your way through all the literature, you’ll want to catalogue all this information in some sort of spreadsheet so that you can easily recall who said what, when and within what context. If you’d like, we’ve got a free literature spreadsheet that helps you do exactly that.

Don’t fixate on an article’s citation count in isolation - relevance (to your research question) and recency are also very important.

Step 2: Develop a structure and outline

With your research question pinned down and your literature digested and catalogued, it’s time to move on to planning your actual research paper .

It might sound obvious, but it’s really important to have some sort of rough outline in place before you start writing your paper. So often, we see students eagerly rushing into the writing phase, only to land up with a disjointed research paper that rambles on in multiple

Now, the secret here is to not get caught up in the fine details . Realistically, all you need at this stage is a bullet-point list that describes (in broad strokes) what you’ll discuss and in what order. It’s also useful to remember that you’re not glued to this outline – in all likelihood, you’ll chop and change some sections once you start writing, and that’s perfectly okay. What’s important is that you have some sort of roadmap in place from the start.

You need to have a rough outline in place before you start writing your paper - or you’ll end up with a disjointed research paper that rambles on.

At this stage you might be wondering, “ But how should I structure my research paper? ”. Well, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution here, but in general, a research paper will consist of a few relatively standardised components:

  • Introduction
  • Literature review
  • Methodology

Let’s take a look at each of these.

First up is the introduction section . As the name suggests, the purpose of the introduction is to set the scene for your research paper. There are usually (at least) four ingredients that go into this section – these are the background to the topic, the research problem and resultant research question , and the justification or rationale. If you’re interested, the video below unpacks the introduction section in more detail. 

The next section of your research paper will typically be your literature review . Remember all that literature you worked through earlier? Well, this is where you’ll present your interpretation of all that content . You’ll do this by writing about recent trends, developments, and arguments within the literature – but more specifically, those that are relevant to your research question . The literature review can oftentimes seem a little daunting, even to seasoned researchers, so be sure to check out our extensive collection of literature review content here .

With the introduction and lit review out of the way, the next section of your paper is the research methodology . In a nutshell, the methodology section should describe to your reader what you did (beyond just reviewing the existing literature) to answer your research question. For example, what data did you collect, how did you collect that data, how did you analyse that data and so on? For each choice, you’ll also need to justify why you chose to do it that way, and what the strengths and weaknesses of your approach were.

Now, it’s worth mentioning that for some research papers, this aspect of the project may be a lot simpler . For example, you may only need to draw on secondary sources (in other words, existing data sets). In some cases, you may just be asked to draw your conclusions from the literature search itself (in other words, there may be no data analysis at all). But, if you are required to collect and analyse data, you’ll need to pay a lot of attention to the methodology section. The video below provides an example of what the methodology section might look like.

By this stage of your paper, you will have explained what your research question is, what the existing literature has to say about that question, and how you analysed additional data to try to answer your question. So, the natural next step is to present your analysis of that data . This section is usually called the “results” or “analysis” section and this is where you’ll showcase your findings.

Depending on your school’s requirements, you may need to present and interpret the data in one section – or you might split the presentation and the interpretation into two sections. In the latter case, your “results” section will just describe the data, and the “discussion” is where you’ll interpret that data and explicitly link your analysis back to your research question. If you’re not sure which approach to take, check in with your professor or take a look at past papers to see what the norms are for your programme.

Alright – once you’ve presented and discussed your results, it’s time to wrap it up . This usually takes the form of the “ conclusion ” section. In the conclusion, you’ll need to highlight the key takeaways from your study and close the loop by explicitly answering your research question. Again, the exact requirements here will vary depending on your programme (and you may not even need a conclusion section at all) – so be sure to check with your professor if you’re unsure.

Step 3: Write and refine

Finally, it’s time to get writing. All too often though, students hit a brick wall right about here… So, how do you avoid this happening to you?

Well, there’s a lot to be said when it comes to writing a research paper (or any sort of academic piece), but we’ll share three practical tips to help you get started.

First and foremost , it’s essential to approach your writing as an iterative process. In other words, you need to start with a really messy first draft and then polish it over multiple rounds of editing. Don’t waste your time trying to write a perfect research paper in one go. Instead, take the pressure off yourself by adopting an iterative approach.

Secondly , it’s important to always lean towards critical writing , rather than descriptive writing. What does this mean? Well, at the simplest level, descriptive writing focuses on the “ what ”, while critical writing digs into the “ so what ” – in other words, the implications. If you’re not familiar with these two types of writing, don’t worry! You can find a plain-language explanation here.

Last but not least, you’ll need to get your referencing right. Specifically, you’ll need to provide credible, correctly formatted citations for the statements you make. We see students making referencing mistakes all the time and it costs them dearly. The good news is that you can easily avoid this by using a simple reference manager . If you don’t have one, check out our video about Mendeley, an easy (and free) reference management tool that you can start using today.

Recap: Key Takeaways

We’ve covered a lot of ground here. To recap, the three steps to writing a high-quality research paper are:

  • To choose a research question and review the literature
  • To plan your paper structure and draft an outline
  • To take an iterative approach to writing, focusing on critical writing and strong referencing

Remember, this is just a b ig-picture overview of the research paper development process and there’s a lot more nuance to unpack. So, be sure to grab a copy of our free research paper template to learn more about how to write a research paper.

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Writing for research

Research preparation is done. the next stage is to start writing "writing for research" is the second stage of your research journey. .

Learn the fundamentals of manuscript preparation and how to write them, including how to structure your article and write a great abstract. 

Complete the topics within "Writing for research" and increase your chances of getting published.

Modules in writing for research.

Generative AI in the Publishing Community

Generative AI in the Publishing Community

Author policies on the use of Generative AI

Author policies on the use of Generative AI

Generative AI: Q&A

Generative AI: Q&A

Generative AI in research evaluation

Generative AI: New policies, opportunities, and risks

1.	The why and how of data visualization

The why and how of data visualization

The why and how of data visualization part 2

Data visualization and choosing the right plot

Three contexts for data visualisation

Three contexts for data visualisation

1.	The why and how of data visualization

The evolution of data visualization

Visual Abstracts

From article to art: Creating visual abstracts - Parts 1 & 2: A Guide to Visual Abstracts

visual abstract

From article to art: Creating visual abstracts - Part 3: Designing

From article to art: creating visual abstracts - part 4: sketching the appropriate visual elements.

Rejected manuscripts - finding the right fit

Structuring your article correctly

Reference Managers

Guide to reference managers: How to effectively manage your references

How to prepare your manuscript

How to prepare your manuscript

How to write a killer scientific abstract

How to write an abstract and improve your article

How to prepare a proposal for review article

How to prepare a proposal for a review article

Cover letter illustration

Writing a persuasive cover letter for your manuscript

Turning your thesis into an article

How to turn your thesis into an article

5 diseases ailing research

5 Diseases ailing research – and how to cure them

Using proper manuscript language

Using proper manuscript language

10 tips for writing a truly terrible journal article

10 tips for writing a truly terrible journal article

How to write and review a methods article

How to write and review a methods article

How to design effective figures for review articles

How to design effective figures for review articles

How to write for an interdisciplinary audience

How to write for an interdisciplinary audience

An editor’s guide to writing a review article

An editor’s guide to writing a review article

Case Reports

How to write case reports

Systematic reviews

Systematic reviews 101

Beginners’ guide to writing a manuscript in LaTeX

Beginners’ guide to writing a manuscript in LaTeX

courses on research paper writing

ELSO courses provide space for multilingual and international multilingual graduate and professional students to learn strategies, practice skills, make progress toward their own goals, receive feedback from experienced instructors, and form community with peers from across Cornell in a supportive setting. ELSO courses are not required but are self-selected by students who want to excel as writers, speakers, and English users across academic and professional contexts and fields. 

We encourage students to look over sample course syllabus in our  Canvas site  (“English Support for Multilingual Graduate and Professional Students”) to determine if a course is right for you.

Questions about ELSO programs may be emailed to the  ELSO email account .

Course Announcements

Multilingual domestic students are now eligible to enroll in ELSO courses:  In the past, ELSO courses were restricted to international students (students in the U.S. on a visa). ELSO is now able to welcome multilingual domestic students into our courses (and all of our programs). Unsure if a course is right for you? You can review sample syllabi in the  ELSO program Canvas site  ("English Support for Multilingual Graduate and Professional Students") or request a meeting with an ELSO instructor ( email us ).

Course Eligibility and Policies

  • All matriculated Ithaca-campus Cornell multilingual domestic and international graduate and professional students who are able to enroll in courses through Student Center may enroll in ELSO courses. (Cornell students located at Cornell Tech and Weill are not eligible for ELSO courses.)
  • Students are not permitted to audit ELSO courses.
  • Typically, in face-to-face classes, students must be in attendance during the first or second class meeting to participate in the course. Instructors are being flexible during the COVID-19 pandemic, in keeping with ELSO's and Cornell's commitment to being caring communities.
  • If a course is full, you may  email ELSO  to be put on a waitlist. The instructor will contact waitlisted students if seats open.
  • ELSO courses are 7-weeks, S/U, and credit-bearing (1 credit). 
  • Though ELSO courses are credit-bearing, individual programs determine whether those credits may apply toward degree requirements or for elective credit. Questions about how these credits are applied should be directed to the director of your graduate program (DGS), graduate field assistant (GFA) or your advisor. 
  • ELSO courses have attendance policies. Typically, no more than one absence is permitted for 7-week courses that meet once a week and no more than two absences are permitted for 7-week courses that meet twice a week. If more absences are anticipated, speak to the course instructor before enrolling in the course to see if exceptions may be granted. 

Fall 2024 Course Schedule

Register for ELSO courses through Student Center. Students may enroll for courses during the pre-enrollment period or during the add period.  See the registration calendar here . The pre-enrollment period for fall 2024 begins May 1, 2024 at 7:30 a.m. EST and ends May 3, 2024 at 11:59pm.

If the course doesn’t appear in Student Center, it has reached its cap of twelve students. To be added to the waitlist,  email ELSO . 

*The following fall 2024 ELSO course sections are enrolled by permission of the instructor:

  • ELSO 6515.001/ 6515.002 Preparing to Write Workshop (Dr. Crow): Apply here
  • ELSO 6535.001 Research Paper Writing Workshop (Dr. Lindberg):  Apply here
  • ELSO 6565.001 Thesis and Dissertation Writing Workshop (Dr. Crow):  Apply here
  • ELSO 6595.001 Revising and Editing Workshop (Dr. Lindberg):  Apply here

First set of 7-week courses (7w1): August 26-October 11

Second set of 7-week courses (7w2): October 16-December 9

Past Course Schedules

See past ELSO course schedules here

Course Descriptions - Speaking

Elso speaking courses are designed to create a safe space to explore questions about the linguistic and cultural aspects of speaking english in u.s. academic settings, learn strategies, and practice oral communication..

ELSO 6210 Improving Pronunciation:  When we think about pronunciation, we often think about individual sounds, but other features of speech are often more important for making oneself understood. These features, such as pausing, intonation and stress, make up the melody of English. By the end of this course, students will increase their awareness of and control over the aspects of spoken English that most affect intelligibility, gain confidence for being understood by listeners, and develop strategies for more self-directed learning beyond the course.

ELSO 6220 Taking Part in Discussions:  In academia, students participate in discussions to share knowledge, create new knowledge, and challenge ideas. This course gives students strategies and practice working in range of discussion contexts, from one-on-one to planning and leading class discussions. By the end of this course, students will have learned strategies for preparing for, entering in, responding to, and leading different types of discussions, as well as gain more confidence to assert their voices.  

ELSO 6230 Designing and Delivering Effective Presentations:  Whether presenting for seminars, journal club meetings, conferences, or in classes, being comfortable presenting is an essential part of graduate studies. This course will provide students with strategies for preparing and delivering presentations that are clear, compelling, persuasive, concise, and visually effective, as well as offer opportunities to practice delivering presentations in front of a supportive audience.

Course Descriptions - Writing

In fall 2020, ELSO revised its set of writing courses. These writing courses target specific phases in the writing process—from preparing to write (ELSO 6515), to generating drafts (ELSO 6535 and 6565) to revising and editing drafts (ELSO 6595).    Read more about the new writing courses here .

ELSO 6515 Preparing to Write Workshop:  This course is designed for multilingual and international graduate and professional students who are in the early stages of a writing project or who want to learn strategies in preparation for future writing projects. During this course, students will explore general and discipline-specific writing processes, approaches to understanding types of writing in their field, strategies for reading and note-taking, library resources specific to their field, and approaches for generating ideas and prose with more ease. Students will have time during class to apply the strategies to a current or upcoming writing project.

ELSO 6535  Research Paper Writing Workshop:  This course is designed to assist multilingual and international graduate and professional students in making progress on drafting a research paper (e.g. article for publications, dissertation chapter, seminar paper, or conference paper). Students will learn strategies for setting and meeting writing goals as well as strategies for developing particular sections of research papers. Class meetings may consist of a lecture/discussion on an aspect of research paper writing, class exercises, quiet writing time, meetings with the instructor, and/or group discussions. It is advised (but not required) that students take ELSO 6515 before enrolling in this course. This course is enrolled by permission of the instructor. The application link may be found above, with the semester schedule. 

ELSO 6565 Thesis and Dissertation Writing Workshop:  This course is designed to assist multilingual and international graduate and professional students in making progress on drafting parts of their theses and dissertations. This course provides structured writing time, a supportive writing community, and access to writing resources. Class meetings consist of small group discussions on aspects of thesis/dissertation writing, quiet writing time, and consultations with the instructor. It is advised (but not required) that students take ELSO 6515 and/or ELSO 6535 before taking this course. This course is enrolled by permission of the instructor. This course may be repeated for course credit. The application link may be found above, with the semester schedule. 

ELSO 6595 Revising and Editing Workshop:  This course is designed to assist multilingual and international graduate and professional students who want to learn how to review the effectiveness of their writing and learn strategies for improving their papers. Class topics may include: guiding the reader, analyzing the structure of a paper, editing for style, including flow, cohesion, and sentence structure, improving overall readability, and evaluating the effectiveness of online tools for editing.   It is advised (but not required) that students take ELSO 6515, ELSO 6535, and/or ELSO 6565 before enrolling in this course. This course is enrolled by permission of the instructor. The application link may be found above, with the semester schedule. 

Course Descriptions - Professional Communication and the Job Search

ELSO 66xx courses intentionally blend writing and speaking instruction to focus on communication contexts outside of the classroom.

ELSO 6610 Communicating in the Workplace:  This course is designed for multilingual and international graduate and professional students who will need to communicate in English in professional contexts. Students will learn about differences between academic and workplace communication, explore communication strategies effective for different workplace situations, consider cultural aspects of workplace communication, and gain experience with oral and written professional communication.  

ELSO 6620 Preparing for the Professional Job Search:  This course introduces a series of professional job application steps, including the giving elevator pitches, networking, searching for jobs, interpreting job ads, attending job fairs, making digital profiles, writing resumes and cover letters, interviewing, and becoming familiar with relevant resources. By the end of this course, students will be aware of the different dimensions of applying for professional jobs, including their cultural and linguistic implications.  This course will be useful to students to develop their job application documents and skills. 

ELSO 6630 Preparing for the Academic Job Search:  This course is designed to assist advanced multilingual and international doctoral students as they prepare to apply for academic positions. Students will learn strategies for planning an academic job search, developing application materials (i.e. CVs, application letters, teaching statements, and research statements), and preparing for first- and second-stage interviews. This course is most useful to students who are preparing to apply for positions but may also be useful to those just starting to explore the process. This course is enrolled by permission of the instructor.

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Writing for Inquiry and Research

courses on research paper writing

Jeffrey Kessler, University of Illinois Chicago

Mark Bennett, University of Illinois Chicago

Sarah Primeau, University of Illinois Chicago

Charitianne Williams, University of Illinois Chicago

Virginia Costello, University of Illinois Chicago

Annie R. Armstrong, University of Illinois Chicago

Copyright Year: 2023

ISBN 13: 9781946011213

Publisher: University of Illinois Library - Urbana

Language: English

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Learn more about reviews.

Reviewed by Angelica Rivera, Director, Northeastern Illinois University on 4/16/24

This book consists of a Preface, Introduction, Chapters I thru Chapter IV. and it also has an Appendix I to Appendix III. Chapter I covers the Annotated Bibliography, Chapter II covers the Proposal, Chapter III covers the Literature Review and... read more

Comprehensiveness rating: 5 see less

This book consists of a Preface, Introduction, Chapters I thru Chapter IV. and it also has an Appendix I to Appendix III. Chapter I covers the Annotated Bibliography, Chapter II covers the Proposal, Chapter III covers the Literature Review and Chapter IV covers the Research Essay. Each section is broken down into smaller sections to break down each topic. The book is written by 3 different authors who are experts in their field and who write about different writing genres. The authors are interdisciplinary in their approach which means students in various disciplines can use the manual to begin their inquiry process and continue with their research process. This book also has short videos that provide explanations, and references after every chapter to provide additional learning resources. Appendix I covers Reading Strategies, Appendix II covers Writing Strategies and Appendix III covers Research Strategies. Appendix I and Appendix II also have additional resources for reading and writing strategies. This book will help most first year students who are transitioning from high school to college.

Content Accuracy rating: 5

This book is accessible for first year students who are in English, Composition or First year experience courses. However, the authors note that there are some limits to the topics addressed as the text does not cover research methods, databases, plagiarism and emerging writing technologies. The authors believe that writing is a human based process regardless of the tools and technologies that one uses when writing.

Relevance/Longevity rating: 5

This book is well researched and will survive the test of time as it is accessible and will serve as a reference tool for a student who is looking to develop their writing question and develop their research approach.

Clarity rating: 5

This book is well researched, well organized and well written.

Consistency rating: 5

There was consistency throughout the text as all of the authors had experience with working with first year students and/or with the writing process.

Modularity rating: 5

The first 3 chapters can be assigned in any order but the fourth chapter should be the 4th step as that part consists of writing the actual research essay. This book is not meant to be used by itself and thus provides additional bibliographic sources and topics to further develop one’s knowledge of the writing process.

Organization/Structure/Flow rating: 5

This book is written in the logical process of developing a research question and then conducting the research. An instructor can easily assign these chapters in chronological order and it will help the student to brainstorm to create their question and then follow the steps to conduct their research.

Interface rating: 5

There were no issues with the books interface.

Grammatical Errors rating: 5

I found this manuscript to be well written and it contained no visible grammatical errors.

Cultural Relevance rating: 5

I found this book to be neutral and accessible to all students irrespective of their various backgrounds.

I give this book 5 stars because it helps students and instructors break down the research process into smaller steps which can be completed in a semester-long course in research writing.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1: Annotated Bibliography
  • Chapter 2: Proposal
  • Chapter 3: Literature Review
  • Chapter 4: Research Essay
  • Appendix I: Writing Strategies
  • Appendix II: Reading Strategies
  • Appendix III: Research Strategies

Ancillary Material

About the book.

Writing for Inquiry and Research guides students through the composition process of writing a research paper. The book divides this process into four chapters that each focus on a genre connected to research writing: the annotated bibliography, proposal, literature review, and research essay. Each chapter provides significant guidance with reading, writing, and research strategies, along with significant examples and links to external resources. This book serves to help students and instructors with a writing-project-based approach, transforming the research process into an accessible series of smaller, more attainable steps for a semester-long course in research writing. Additional resources throughout the book, as well as in three appendices, allow for students and instructors to explore the many facets of the writing process together.

About the Contributors

Jeffrey C. Kessler is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Illinois Chicago. His research and teaching interrogate the intersections of writing, fiction, and critical university studies. He has published about the works of Oscar Wilde, Henry James, Vernon Lee, and Walter Pater. He earned his PhD from Indiana University.

Mark Bennett has served as director of the University of Illinois Chicago’s (UIC) First-Year Writing Program since 2012. He earned his PhD in English from UIC in 2013. His primary research interests are in composition studies and rhetoric, with a focus on writing program administration, course placement, outcomes assessment, international student education, and AI writing.

Sarah Primeau serves as the associate director of the First-Year Writing Program and teaches first-year writing classes at University of Illinois Chicago. Sarah has presented her work at the Conference on College Composition and Communication, the Council of Writing Program Administrators Conference, and the Cultural Rhetorics Conference. She holds a PhD in Rhetoric and Composition from Wayne State University, where she focused on composition pedagogy, cultural rhetorics, writing assessment, and writing program administration.

Charitianne Williams is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Illinois Chicago focused on teaching first-year composition and writing center studies. When she’s not teaching or thinking about teaching, she’s thinking about writing.

For more than twenty years, Virginia Costello has been teaching a variety of English composition, literature, and gender studies courses. She received her Ph.D. from Stony Brook University in 2010 and is presently Senior Lecturer in the Department of English at University of Illinois Chicago. Early in her career, she studied anarcho-catholicism through the work of Dorothy Day and The Catholic Worker Movement. She completed research at the International Institute of Social History in Amsterdam and has published articles on T.S. Eliot, Emma Goldman, and Bernard Shaw. More recently, she presented her work at the Modern Studies Association conference (Portland, OR, 2022), Conference on College Composition and Communication (Chicago, Il, 2023) and Comparative and Continental Philosophy Circle (Tallinn, Estonia, 2022 and Bogotá, Columbia, 2023). Her research interests include prison reform/abolition, archē in anarchism, and Zen Buddhism.

Annie Armstrong has been a reference and instruction librarian at the Richard J. Daley Library at the University of Illinois Chicago since 2000 and has served as the Coordinator of Teaching & Learning Services since 2007. She serves as the library’s liaison to the College of Education and the Department of Psychology. Her research focuses on enhancing and streamlining the research experience of academic library users through in-person and online information literacy instruction.

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Amanda Hoover

Students Are Likely Writing Millions of Papers With AI

Illustration of four hands holding pencils that are connected to a central brain

Students have submitted more than 22 million papers that may have used generative AI in the past year, new data released by plagiarism detection company Turnitin shows.

A year ago, Turnitin rolled out an AI writing detection tool that was trained on its trove of papers written by students as well as other AI-generated texts. Since then, more than 200 million papers have been reviewed by the detector, predominantly written by high school and college students. Turnitin found that 11 percent may contain AI-written language in 20 percent of its content, with 3 percent of the total papers reviewed getting flagged for having 80 percent or more AI writing. (Turnitin is owned by Advance, which also owns Condé Nast, publisher of WIRED.) Turnitin says its detector has a false positive rate of less than 1 percent when analyzing full documents.

ChatGPT’s launch was met with knee-jerk fears that the English class essay would die . The chatbot can synthesize information and distill it near-instantly—but that doesn’t mean it always gets it right. Generative AI has been known to hallucinate , creating its own facts and citing academic references that don’t actually exist. Generative AI chatbots have also been caught spitting out biased text on gender and race . Despite those flaws, students have used chatbots for research, organizing ideas, and as a ghostwriter . Traces of chatbots have even been found in peer-reviewed, published academic writing .

Teachers understandably want to hold students accountable for using generative AI without permission or disclosure. But that requires a reliable way to prove AI was used in a given assignment. Instructors have tried at times to find their own solutions to detecting AI in writing, using messy, untested methods to enforce rules , and distressing students. Further complicating the issue, some teachers are even using generative AI in their grading processes.

Detecting the use of gen AI is tricky. It’s not as easy as flagging plagiarism, because generated text is still original text. Plus, there’s nuance to how students use gen AI; some may ask chatbots to write their papers for them in large chunks or in full, while others may use the tools as an aid or a brainstorm partner.

Students also aren't tempted by only ChatGPT and similar large language models. So-called word spinners are another type of AI software that rewrites text, and may make it less obvious to a teacher that work was plagiarized or generated by AI. Turnitin’s AI detector has also been updated to detect word spinners, says Annie Chechitelli, the company’s chief product officer. It can also flag work that was rewritten by services like spell checker Grammarly, which now has its own generative AI tool . As familiar software increasingly adds generative AI components, what students can and can’t use becomes more muddled.

Detection tools themselves have a risk of bias. English language learners may be more likely to set them off; a 2023 study found a 61.3 percent false positive rate when evaluating Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) exams with seven different AI detectors. The study did not examine Turnitin’s version. The company says it has trained its detector on writing from English language learners as well as native English speakers. A study published in October found that Turnitin was among the most accurate of 16 AI language detectors in a test that had the tool examine undergraduate papers and AI-generated papers.

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Schools that use Turnitin had access to the AI detection software for a free pilot period, which ended at the start of this year. Chechitelli says a majority of the service’s clients have opted to purchase the AI detection. But the risks of false positives and bias against English learners have led some universities to ditch the tools for now. Montclair State University in New Jersey announced in November that it would pause use of Turnitin’s AI detector. Vanderbilt University and Northwestern University did the same last summer.

“This is hard. I understand why people want a tool,” says Emily Isaacs, executive director of the Office of Faculty Excellence at Montclair State. But Isaacs says the university is concerned about potentially biased results from AI detectors, as well as the fact that the tools can’t provide confirmation the way they can with plagiarism. Plus, Montclair State doesn’t want to put a blanket ban on AI, which will have some place in academia. With time and more trust in the tools, the policies could change. “It’s not a forever decision, it’s a now decision,” Isaacs says.

Chechitelli says the Turnitin tool shouldn’t be the only consideration in passing or failing a student. Instead, it’s a chance for teachers to start conversations with students that touch on all of the nuance in using generative AI. “People don’t really know where that line should be,” she says.

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IMAGES

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  3. Writing Good Research Paper

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VIDEO

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  5. Online Workshop on Research Paper Writing & Publishing Day 2

  6. What is Research Paper Writing. #learn #learningvideos #learning

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  1. Writing a Research Paper: 2nd Edition course

    The benefits of this new 2nd edition. Restructured content for a better learning experience. Enriched content with extensive real-world examples. Bite-size lessons on each topic to fit busy schedules. Strategies to apply narrative tools when writing research papers. Detailed examples for explaining concepts, taken from real papers where possible.

  2. Project: Writing a Research Paper

    There are 6 modules in this course. Welcome to the capstone project for the Academic English: Writing Specialization! This project lets you apply everything you've learned and gives you the practice you need for college classes by having you write a research paper. You'll have several due dates throughout the capstone to help you stay on ...

  3. How to Write and Publish a Scientific Paper (Project-Centered Course)

    Module 1 • 3 hours to complete. In this section of the MOOC, you will learn what is necessary before writing a paper: the context in which the scientist is publishing. You will learn how to know your own community, through different exemples, and then we will present you how scientific journal and publication works.

  4. Best Scientific Writing Courses Online with Certificates [2024]

    Writing in the Sciences: Stanford University. How to Write and Publish a Scientific Paper (Project-Centered Course): École Polytechnique. Effective Communication: Writing, Design, and Presentation: University of Colorado Boulder. Write Smarter with Overleaf and LaTeX: Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center. Academic Information Seeking: University of ...

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    Learn Research Paper Writing, earn certificates with paid and free online courses from UC Irvine, Arizona State University, IIT Kharagpur and other top universities around the world. Read reviews to decide if a class is right for you.

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    Online research writing courses for researchers on Upskill. Get a step by step guide on writing a research paper, with beginner, advanced and expert level research writing course modules. Get access to a complete guide on research writing with online courses to support your learning journey. Click here to know more.

  7. How to Write a Research Paper

    A research paper is a piece of academic writing that provides analysis, interpretation, and argument based on in-depth independent research. Research papers are similar to academic essays , but they are usually longer and more detailed assignments, designed to assess not only your writing skills but also your skills in scholarly research.

  8. How To Write A Research Paper (FREE Template

    We've covered a lot of ground here. To recap, the three steps to writing a high-quality research paper are: To choose a research question and review the literature. To plan your paper structure and draft an outline. To take an iterative approach to writing, focusing on critical writing and strong referencing.

  9. Writing & Publishing a Research Paper

    What you'll learn. Important parts of a research paper, instructions for writing every part. Choose an appropriate journal to which you'll submit the finished research paper for publication. Prepare a checklist that will allow you to independently judge whether your paper is ready to submit. Outline a complete research paper.

  10. Elsevier Researcher Academy

    Writing for research. Research preparation is done. The next stage is to start writing! "Writing for research" is the second stage of your research journey. Learn the fundamentals of manuscript preparation and how to write them, including how to structure your article and write a great abstract. Complete the topics within "Writing for research ...

  11. Writing in the Sciences I Stanford Online

    In the second four weeks, we will examine issues specific to scientific writing, including: authorship, peer review, the format of an original manuscript, and communicating science for lay audiences. Students will watch video lectures, complete quizzes and editing exercises, write two short papers, and edit each others' work.

  12. Online Course: Academic English: Writing from University of California

    Course 2: Getting Started with Essay Writing This is the second course in the Academic ... Enroll for free. Course 3: Advanced Writing. - Offered by University of California, Irvine. Course 3: Advanced Writing This is the third course in the Academic English: Writing ... Enroll for free. Course 4: Introduction to Research for Essay Writing.

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    Top Research Paper Writing Courses Online - Updated [April 2024] Development. Web Development Data Science Mobile Development Programming Languages Game Development Database Design & Development Software Testing Software Engineering Software Development Tools No-Code Development. Business.

  14. Writing a Research Paper Introduction

    Table of contents. Step 1: Introduce your topic. Step 2: Describe the background. Step 3: Establish your research problem. Step 4: Specify your objective (s) Step 5: Map out your paper. Research paper introduction examples. Frequently asked questions about the research paper introduction.

  15. How to Write a Successful Research Paper

    Writing effective research papers is vital for academic success. However, obsessing aimlessly over every detail is rarely the winning strategy. A better strategy is to invest your limited time strategically in the points that truly matter. Whether you are writing a Master thesis, doctoral thesis, or manuscript for scientific publication, this ...

  16. Courses

    ELSO 6535 Research Paper Writing Workshop: This course is designed to assist multilingual and international graduate and professional students in making progress on drafting a research paper (e.g. article for publications, dissertation chapter, seminar paper, or conference paper). Students will learn strategies for setting and meeting writing ...

  17. Introduction to Research for Essay Writing

    There are 5 modules in this course. Course 4: Introduction to Research for Essay Writing. This is the last course in the Academic Writing specialization before the capstone project. By the end of this course, you will be able to complete all the steps in planning a research paper. After completing this course, you will be able to: - choose ...

  18. Project: Writing a Research Paper

    1700 Coursera Courses That Are Still Completely Free. Welcome to the capstone project for the Academic English: Writing Specialization! This project lets you apply everything you've learned and gives you the practice you need for college classes by having you write a research paper. You'll have several due dates throughout the capstone to ...

  19. Writing for Inquiry and Research

    Writing for Inquiry and Research guides students through the composition process of writing a research paper. The book divides this process into four chapters that each focus on a genre connected to research writing: the annotated bibliography, proposal, literature review, and research essay. Each chapter provides significant guidance with reading, writing, and research strategies, along with ...

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  21. Writing a Research Paper Introduction (with 3 Examples)

    In any academic writing, including essays and research papers, an introduction is the first paragraph that the reader will encounter. This paragraph should both attract the reader's attention and give them the necessary information about the paper. In any academic paper, the introduction paragraph constitutes 10% of the paper's total word count.

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  23. ENGL 590 A: Master of Arts Essay

    Research and writing project under the close supervision of a faculty member expert and with the consultation of a second faculty reader. The field of study is chosen by the student. Work is independent and varies. The model is an article in a scholarly journal. Prerequisite: graduate standing in English.

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  27. Best Academic Writing Courses Online with Certificates [2024]

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    This paper presented a didactic strategy for interlinking grammar and writing lessons at the macro, meso, and micro levels. This strategy was developed and evaluated using an example from the BA in German/English degree program at UJ. The progression and the delayed start of the writing and grammar courses are particularly relevant.