organize information for a research paper

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Organizing Research Papers: A Step-by-Step Guide

Writing research papers can be an arduous task, especially when it comes to organizing the materials needed for a successful paper. In order to simplify this process, this article will provide a step-by-step guide on how to effectively organize your research papers. It will discuss topics such as where and how to store information, proper citing practices, effective note taking strategies and more in depth guidance that is essential for producing quality work. By following these instructions you will not only save time but also produce better results from your efforts in writing comprehensive research papers.

I. Introduction to Organizing Research Papers

Ii. benefits of an effective research paper organization system.

  • III. Creating a Research Plan: A Step-by-Step Guide

IV. The Importance of Properly Formatting and Referencing Sources

V. utilizing index cards for topic outlining and categorization, vi. constructing file folders to store relevant materials efficiently, vii . conclusion: implementing structured strategies for long-term success.

Research papers can be a daunting task for any student. To make the process easier, it’s important to have an organized approach . A research paper organizer helps keep all of your notes and resources in one place so that you don’t miss anything or lose focus while writing. It also allows you to easily search for relevant information and quickly move between sources.

An easy way to start organizing is by using a basic outline format with headers and subheaders such as: I. Introduction; II. Background Information; III. Methodology & Results; IV Conclusion & Future Directions.

  • The introduction should provide context on why the topic is being discussed and how your work relates.
  • Background info should include prior works related to the topic from other authors, if applicable.
  • Methodology outlines what data was collected, how it was analyzed, etc..

Maximizing the Outcomes of Research Paper Writing Organization is a crucial part in producing an effective research paper. Having a systematic system to structure one’s work will yield results that are both productive and efficient, especially when it comes to meeting deadlines. A research paper organizer can help organize ideas before committing them onto written form. This allows for more structured thought process with better clarity on which information should be included or excluded from the final product. The use of an organized approach can lead to higher-quality outputs as well as increased productivity overall due to less time spent revising after submission deadline passes. It is also easier for readers or evaluators of the document follow through its content if there exists a logical flow between sections instead of having all arguments scattered throughout the entire page without any tangible direction linking these together.

Furthermore, organizing one’s thoughts with the aid of devices such as color coding makes it simpler to navigate within texts by visually highlighting important points while potentially disregarding those that may not be necessary at first glance; allowing researchers better efficiency in identifying which areas need further examination or expansion upon during their writing journey thus creating an effective organizational tool for researchers looking improve their quality and increase output timeliness.

  • Color Coding:

A simple yet highly useful organization technique used in arranging text.

  • Research Paper Organizer:

Developing a Research Plan: Creating an effective research plan is essential for successful execution of the project. It involves formulating questions, selecting appropriate sources and materials, establishing timelines and budgets, and outlining tasks that need to be completed. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you create your own customized research plan:

  • Establish Your Goals – Start by deciding what information or results you hope to gain from your project.
  • Research Paper Organizer – Use this tool to keep track of references used in the paper as well as other relevant resources.

Organize Resources & Collect Data – Establish parameters for data collection (e.g., type of source material). Gather all relevant documents, reports, articles etc that support your goal objectives.

  • Outline Tasks – Draft up a comprehensive list outlining steps necessary for completion.

Create Timeline/Set Deadlines – Set deadlines for each task along with due dates on key milestones such as drafts , revisions etc Finally , develop an efficient system so you can stay on top of everything . Monitor progress frequently while remaining flexible enough if changes have to be made midway through .

Correctly Citing Sources and Proper Formatting Enhance Academic Writing It is essential for students to properly cite sources when writing an academic paper. Proper citation allows readers to identify the origin of borrowed ideas, thoughts, and information used in a text. Additionally, correctly citing sources helps authors avoid accusations of plagiarism which can lead to serious consequences including failure on assignments or even expulsion from college. Referencing outside materials also provides authors with credibility since they are able to back up their work with reliable evidence that has been obtained by other well-respected professionals within a field of study. To ensure proper citations are utilized throughout an entire paper, writers should create a research paper organizer . This will help them remember all applicable references as well as provide them with accurate formatting information such as:

  • The typeface size.
  • Spacing between lines.

Moreover, correctly referencing sources can also add value to one’s own written work due it allowing others potential access into other related fields of research often generated by experts in those respective areas; thus providing readers with further points for consideration not originally included within the body itself. Therefore following correct source formats gives any writer additional insight into topics being discussed while strengthening his/her argument overall through useful contextual support sourced externally beyond their original scope of content generation alone.

Organizing Ideas with Index Cards Index cards are an excellent tool for organizing ideas and structuring research papers. Not only do they help keep information organized, but index cards also allow you to quickly move around pieces of your project as needed while keeping everything together in one place.

Using the right colors for different categories can make a big difference when it comes to sorting through data. For example, red could be used to designate all primary sources; yellow could denote secondary sources; green or blue might identify keywords associated with the topic being researched. Once each card has been properly labeled and categorized, using them becomes much easier because you know exactly where everything should go!

An easy way to organize multiple lines of thought is by writing a main idea on an individual card then taping several other related cards underneath it. This makes for quick access when trying to find certain notes at a later date – just flip over the original card and voila! It’s like having your own personal research paper organizer.

  • Create separate sections in notebooks (or on digital documents) so that changes can be made without compromising existing work.
  • Label each page according to its category—for instance: “Primary Sources” or “Secondary Sources”.

Having this system allows researchers not only track progress but easily refer back if necessary. Assembling topics into logical sequences is another key component when utilizing index cards during outlining stages — use numbering systems that connect subtopics under headings so they’re more cohesive upon completion

Organizing Your Research Materials

Research papers can quickly become overwhelming if materials are not stored in an organized manner. One of the most efficient ways to keep everything together is by constructing file folders for each research paper topic you cover. You can use any type of filing system such as manila files, plastic folders or online documents that all store information related to a particular project.

When making your folder, it’s important to remember what materials need to be included within the designated space. This may include:

  • Drafts and outlines of research papers
  • Notes from relevant books, articles and other sources
  • Audio recordings from interviews conducted

Any items that could help further support your paper should also be saved along with these above materials – creating a comprehensive research paper organizer. Keep all physical copies in labeled manilla envelopes so they don’t get mixed up while digital versions can stay sorted on different drives or external hard disks. Having this organized will save time when having to refer back at some point during the writing process.

Structured strategies are essential for achieving long-term success in any endeavor. To that end, there have been a number of research studies exploring the various elements of successful strategy implementation.

  • Motivation: What drives individuals and organizations to achieve success?

The key is not only setting realistic objectives but also having a comprehensive approach when it comes time for implementing those objectives. This requires an understanding of the particular context in which the organization finds itself—which means being aware of both internal and external factors such as technological advancements, changes in consumer tastes, or economic cycles—and taking steps toward bridging any gaps between current capabilities and desired outcomes. Companies should take a holistic view when constructing their strategies, making sure each element serves its own unique purpose while working together with others towards common goal attainment over time.

As this step-by-step guide to organizing research papers illustrates, a well thought out and organized approach can save time and ensure more successful research outcomes. By following the outlined steps from creating a preliminary structure to utilizing efficient information retrieval systems, researchers can easily refine their process in order to maximize productivity while still producing quality results. It is imperative that those conducting research remain cognizant of the importance of organization for not only successful completion but also for ethical considerations related to reproducibility and accuracy of data collection methods. Such intentional structuring should be applied consistently throughout all stages of the project’s lifecycle in order create greater efficiencies in both time management as well as resources used along the way—ultimately resulting in higher quality output with fewer missteps along the path toward success.

Proactive Grad

How to Organize Research Papers: A Cheat Sheet for Graduate Students

Aruna Kumarasiri

  • August 8, 2022
  • PRODUCTIVITY

how to organize research papers cover

It is crucial to organize research papers so that the literature survey process goes smoothly once the data has been gathered and analyzed. This is where a research organizer is useful.

It may be helpful to plan the structure of your writing before you start writing: organizing your ideas before you begin to write will help you decide what to write and how to write it.

It can be challenging to keep your research organized when writing an essay. The truth is, there’s no one “ best ” way to get organized, and there’s no one answer. Whatever system you choose, make sure it works for your learning style and writing habits.

As a graduate student, learning how to organize research papers is therefore essential.

This blog post will cover the basics of organizing research papers and the tools I use to organize my research. 

Before you start

The importance of organizing research papers.

No matter how good your paper management system is, even if you keep all your literature in places that are easy to find, you won’t be able to “create” anything unless you haven’t thought about organizing what you get from them.

The goal of the research is to publish your own work to society for the benefit of everyone in the field and, ultimately, humanity.

In your final year of your PhD, when you see all the papers you’ve stored over the years, imagine the frustration you might experience if you hadn’t gathered the information from those papers in a way that allows you to “create” something with i.

This is why organizing research papers is important when starting your research.

Research with your final product in mind

It is very important to have a clear idea of what your research’s outcome will be to collect the information you really need.

If you don’t yet have all your information, consider what “subheadings” or chunks you could write about.

Write a concept map if you need help identifying your topic chunks. As an introduction to concept mapping, it involves writing down a term or idea and then brainstorming other ideas within it.

To gather information like this, you can use a mind map.

When you find useful information.

Come up with a proper file management system.

Sort your literature with a file management system. There’s no need to come up with a very narrow filing system at this point. Try sorting your research into broader areas of your field. When you’re more familiar with your own research, you’ll be able to narrow down your filing system.

Start with these methods:

Don’t waste your time on stuff that’s interesting but not useful :  

In your own research, what’s the most important part of a particular paper? You won’t have to pay attention to other sections of that paper if you find that section first. 

What is the argument behind your research? Make notes on that information, and then throw everything else away.

Create multiple folders :

Create a file containing related topics if you’re using a computer. Bind the related articles together if you like to print out papers. In other words, keep related things together!

Color code your research papers:   

To organize notes and articles, assign different colors to each sub-topic and use highlighters, tabs, or font colors.

Organize your literature chronologically: 

Even in a short period of time, you might have missed overarching themes or arguments if you hadn’t read them previously. It’s best to organize your research papers chronologically.

If you want to do all this at once, I suggest using a reference manager like Zotero or Mendeley (more on reference managers later).

File renaming 

Make sure you rename your files on your computer according to your own renaming strategy. Taking this step will save you time and confusion as your research progresses.

My usual way of naming a pdf is to use the first author’s last name, followed by the first ten letters of the title and then the year of publication. As an example, For the paper “ Temperature-Dependent Infrared Refractive Index of Polymers from a Calibrated Attenuated Total Reflection Infrared Measurement ” by Azam et al., I renamed the file as “ Azam_Temperature-Dependent_2022.pdf “.

One thing to notice is that I don’t do this manually for all the papers I download. That wouldn’t be as productive, and I’d probably give up after some time renaming every single file. In my reference manager of choice (Zotero), I use a plugin called Zotfile to do this automatically. Zotfile automatically renames files and puts them in the folder I specify every time I add a new paper.

Organizing your research articles by the last names of the lead authors will simplify your citation and referencing process since you have to cite the names of the researchers everywhere. The articles will also be easier to find because they’ll be lined up alphabetically by any researcher’s name you can remember.

Use keywords wisely

Keywords are the most important part of sorting. It’s easy to forget to move a paper to a specific file sometimes because you’re overwhelmed. But you can tag a paper in seconds. 

When organizing research papers, don’t forget to develop a better keyword system, especially if you use a reference manager.

My reference manager, for instance, allows me to view all the keywords I have assigned in the main window, making life much easier.

Create annotations

When reading literature, it is very important to create your own annotations, as discussed in the blog post series, “ Bulletproof literature management system “.

This is the fourth post of the four-part blog series:  The Bulletproof Literature Management System . Follow the links below to read the other posts in the series:

  • How to How to find Research Papers
  • How to Manage Research Papers
  • How to Read Research Papers
  • How to Organize Research Papers (You are here)

The best thing to do is to summarize each section of the article/book you are reading that interests you. Don’t forget to include the key parts/arguments/quotes you liked.

Write your own notes

If you decide to read the whole paper, make sure you write your own summary. The reason is that 95% of the things you read will be forgotten after a certain period of time. When that happens, you may have to read the paper all over again if you do not take notes and write your own summary.

By writing your own summary, you will likely memorize the basic idea of the research paper. Additionally, you can link to other similar papers. In this way, you can benefit from the knowledge you gain from reading research papers.

After reading a paper, make sure to ask these questions:

  • Why is this source helpful for your essay?  
  • How does it support your thesis?  

Keep all the relevant information in one place so that you can refer to it when writing your own thesis.

Use an app like Obsidian to link your thinking if you keep all your files on a computer, making things much easier.

When you are ready to write

Write out of order .

Once you have all the necessary information, you can use your filing system, PDF renaming strategy, and keywords to draw the annotations and notes you need.

Now that you’re all set to write, don’t worry about writing the perfect paper or thesis right away.

Your introduction doesn’t have to come first.

If necessary, you can change your introduction at the end – sometimes, your essay takes a different direction. Nothing to worry about!

Write down ideas as they come to you

As you complete your research, many full-sentence paragraphs will come to your mind. Do not forget to write these down – even in your notes or annotations. Keep a notebook or your phone handy to jot down ideas as you get them. You can then find the information and revise it again to develop a better version if you’re working on the same project for a few days/weeks.

My toolbox to organize research papers

Stick with the free stuff.

Trying to be a productive grease monkey, I’ve tried many apps over the years. Here’s what I learned.

  • The simplest solution is always the best solution (the Occam razor principle always wins!).
  • The free solution is always the best (because they have the best communities to help you out and are more customizable).

As someone who used to believe that if something is free, you’re the product, I’ve learned that statement isn’t always true.

Ironically, open-source software tends to get better support than proprietary stuff. It’s better to have millions of enthusiasts working for free than ten paid support staff.

There are a lot of reviews out there, and EndNote usually comes out at the bottom. I used EndNote for five years – it worked fine, but other software improved faster. Now I use Zotero, which I like for its web integration. 

Obsidian, my note-taking app of choice, is also free software. Furthermore, you own your files; also, you’ve got a thriving community.

There are a lot of similarities between the software as they adopt each other’s features, and it’s just a matter of preference.

In any researcher’s toolbox, a reference manager is an essential tool.

A reference manager has two important features: the ability to get citation data into the app and the ability to use the citation data in your writing tool.

It should also work on Windows just as well as macOS or Linux, be free, and allow you to manage PDFs of papers or scanned book chapters.

Zotero , in my opinion, gives you all of this and more.

Zotero is one of the best free reference managers for collecting citation data. It includes a browser plugin that lets you save citation information on Google Scholar, journal pages, YouTube, Amazon, and many other websites, including news articles. It automatically downloads a PDF of the associated source when available for news articles, which is very convenient.

One of the things I really like about Zotero is that it has so many third-party plugins that we have almost complete control over how we use it.

With Zotero 6, you can also read and annotate PDFs, which is perfect for your needs.

My Research paper organizing workflow in Zotero :

  • Get References and PDF papers into Zotero : I use Zotero’s web plugin to import PDFs directly 
  • Filing and sorting : I save files from the web plugin into the file system I already have created in Zotero and assign tags as I do so.
  • File renaming : When I save the file, the Zotero plugin (Zotfile) automatically renames it and stores the pdf where I specified.
  • Extracting Annotations and taking notes : I use Zotero in the build pdf reader to take notes and annotate, and then I extract them and link them in Obsidian (next section).

You need to keep your notes organized and accessible once you’ve established a strong reading habit. For this purpose, I use Obsidian . I use Obsidian to manage everything related to my graduate studies, including notes, projects, and tasks. 

Using a plugin called mdnotes , Obsidian can also sync up with my reference manager of choice, Zotero. It automatically adds new papers to my Obsidian database whenever I add them to Zotero.

Obsidian may have a steep learning curve for those unfamiliar with bi-directional linking , but using similar software will make things much easier. Thus, you may be better off investing your time in devising a note-taking system that works for you.

You can also use a spreadsheet! Make a table with all the papers you read, whatever tool you choose. Include the paper’s status (e.g., whether you’ve read it) and any relevant projects. This is what mine looks like.

how to organize research papers

I keep all my notes on an associated page for each paper. In a spreadsheet, you can write your notes directly in the row or link to a Google document for each row. Zotero, for example, allows you to attach notes directly to reference files.

While it might seem like a lot of work, keeping a database of papers you’ve read helps with literature reviews, funding applications, and more. I can filter by keywords or relevant projects, so I don’t have to re-read anything.

The habit of reading papers and learning how to organize research papers has made me a better researcher. It takes me much less time to read now, and I use it to improve my experiments. I used this system a lot when putting together my PhD fellowship application and my candidacy exam. In the future, I will thank myself for having the foresight to take these steps today before starting to write my dissertation.

I am curious to know how others organize their research papers since there is no “ right ” way. Feel free to comment, and we will update the post with any interesting responses!

Images courtesy : Classified vector created by storyset – www.freepik.com

Aruna Kumarasiri

Aruna Kumarasiri

Founder at Proactive Grad, Materials Engineer, Researcher, and turned author. In 2019, he started his professional carrier as a materials engineer with the continuation of his research studies. His exposure to both academic and industrial worlds has provided many opportunities for him to give back to young professionals.

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  • Library Home
  • Research Guides

Writing a Research Paper

  • Organize Your Information

Library Research Guide

  • Choose Your Topic
  • Evaluate Sources
  • Draft Your Paper
  • Revise, Review, Refine

How Will This Help Me?

Organizing will help you:

  • Simplify citing sources
  • Avoid plagiarism
  • Make the works cited page easy

Links for More Help

These links help with organization.

  • Quoting, Paraphrasing, & Summarizing From the OWL at Purdue, this link can help you summarize, paraphrase, and quote effectively.
  • Honor System - Tips for students The site for K-State's Honor and Integrity System can help you make wise choices about your research.
  • Avoiding Plagiarism This resource from the OWL at Purdue can help you understand plagiarism and how to avoid it.
  • Taking Notes EasyBib takes a look at four popular note-taking systems and the differences between them.

Create a Working Bibliography

A working bibliography, or list of potential sources, helps you track your information.

  • Keep a list and add sources as you find them.
  • Include sources from your background reading, Search It, library databases, or the web.
  • Include all citation information for sources.
  • Record URLs and dates of access for online sources.

Read Sources and Take Notes

Read sources you didn't get to yet and re-read sources if needed.

Taking notes helps you manage your sources and identify information you want to use in the paper. Use the system that works best for you. 

organize information for a research paper

The system you choose for taking notes is critical to help you track your use of sources and avoid plagiarism. Even professional writers have run into problems in this step of the process, so be careful. Remember these tips:

  • Note clearly whether you quoted, paraphrased, or summarized the source
  • Track the page numbers for the information in the source

Adjust Your Thesis

After studying your sources in detail, your original thesis statement may work fine, and that is super. However, you may find you need to adjust the focus of your paper and, as a result, your thesis statement. This is OK! It means you learned something from your research!

If you adjust your thesis, some of your research material may no longer be relevant. This is OK too. This is a good time to eliminate those sources from your working bibliography (unless your assignment requires you to cite all consulted sources). 

Identify Support for Main Ideas

Now that you've read your sources and, if needed, adjusted the focus of your paper, you're ready to identify how you will support the main ideas of your paper. 

  • Synthesize (combine parts to make a whole) the information from your sources.
  • Add to the information or draw conclusions from the information to make your own contribution to the conversation about this topic.
  • Resist the temptation to use one source exclusively to support each main idea of your paper. 

The amount of support your main ideas need depends on the length of your paper and how new or controversial a stance your paper is taking. In general, each idea should have at least a few pieces of evidence to support it.

  • << Previous: Evaluate Sources
  • Next: Draft Your Paper >>
  • Last Updated: Feb 27, 2024 1:56 PM
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Organizing Papers and References without Losing your Mind

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In January, Ulrike Träger wrote a great PLOS ECR post describing how to stay on top of reading during graduate school. If you haven’t read it yet, go take a look, as it’s relevant for people at all career stages. As a follow up, here are a few tips on how to keep track of the papers you want to read without losing your mind.

Choose a reference manager. Sure, you can get by creating a poster or two without a reference manager, but it’s incredibly risky to cite references by hand for manuscripts and grant proposals. Choosing and using a reference manager is also a great way to track papers as you collect them, particularly because reference managers often have powerful search functions. There are many to choose from. Some are free, like Zotero and some versions of Mendeley . Others, like Papers and EndNote , are not, though some paid programs may be free through your institution. Spend some time researching which manager fits your needs, but don’t get bogged down, you can always switch later. Personally, I have transferred references from RefWorks to Zotero to Mendeley to EndNote over the past several years without much trouble.

Choose a place to keep unread papers. Whether it’s a physical folder on your desk or a virtual folder on your desktop, it’s important to have a designated place for unread papers. This folder is more than just a storage space, it should also be a reminder for you to review unread papers. It’s tempting to download papers and forget about them, falling prey to PDF alibi syndrome , wherein you fool yourself into thinking that by downloading a paper you’ve somehow read it. So, set aside some time every few weeks (on your calendar if you need to) to review papers. You won’t necessarily read each paper in detail, but you should complete a quick skim and take a few notes. Try to resist the urge to leave notes like “finish reading later.” However, if needed, consider using notes like “need to read again before citing” for papers that were skimmed particularly quickly.

Choose how to keep track of your notes. It’s a great idea to create a summary of each paper as you read it, but where do you keep this information? Some people write separate documents for each paper (e.g., using the Rhetorical Précis Format ), others write nothing at all, but tag papers (virtually or physically) with key words. The exact components of your system matter less than having a system. Right now, I keep a running document with a few sentences about each paper I read. I also note whether I read it on paper or as a PDF so that I can find notes taken on the paper itself later. If I’m doing a deep read on a specific topic, I might also start another document that has in-depth summaries. I usually keep notes in Word documents, but it’s also possible to store these notes in many reference managers.

Choose how to file read papers. Again, having a system probably matters more than which system you choose. Given the interdisciplinary nature of science, it can be complex to file by topic. Therefore, I find it easiest to file papers by last name of the first author and the publication year. It’s also useful to include a few words in the file name that summarize its content. This will help you differentiate between articles written by authors with similar last names. So, for example, using this method, you might label this blog post as Breland_2017_tracking refs. I keep articles I’ve read in a folder labeled “Articles” that includes a folder for each letter of the alphabet. Therefore, I’d file this blog post in the “B” folder for Breland.

TL;DR. The goal of creating a system to organize papers and references is to be able to easily access them later. If you follow the steps above, it’s relatively easy to keep track of and use what you’ve read – if you want to find a paper, you can search for a key word in your reference manager and/or in your running document of article summaries and then find a copy of the paper in the appropriate alphabetized folder. That said, there is no right way to organize references and I’m curious about how others manage their files. Chime in through the comments and we’ll update the post with any interesting answers!

Pat Thomson (2015) PDF alibi syndrome , Patter blog. Accessed 2/27/17.

Ulrike Träger (2017) Ten tips to stay on top of your reading during grad school , PLoS ECR Community Blog.

Sample Rhetorical Précis: http://oregonstate.edu/instruct/phl201/modules/rhetorical-precis/sample/peirce_sample_precis_click.html

Featured image available through CC0 license.

[…] Organizing Papers And References Without Losing Your Mind – Jessica Breland […]

You have a great organizing skills! I appreciate your tips!

Fantastic tips! Thank you for sharing.

Great tips! It helps me a lot while I’m doing my final diploma project. Thank you.

This is great, very helpful. Nicely written and clearly organized [like your ref lib 😉 ] C

im at the start of my phd and already feeling that i have a lot of literature. i am taking your notes onboard and going to spend some time to organise my files asap. thanks

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How to Write a Research Paper | A Beginner's Guide

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. Writing a research paper requires you to demonstrate a strong knowledge of your topic, engage with a variety of sources, and make an original contribution to the debate.

This step-by-step guide takes you through the entire writing process, from understanding your assignment to proofreading your final draft.

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Table of contents

Understand the assignment, choose a research paper topic, conduct preliminary research, develop a thesis statement, create a research paper outline, write a first draft of the research paper, write the introduction, write a compelling body of text, write the conclusion, the second draft, the revision process, research paper checklist, free lecture slides.

Completing a research paper successfully means accomplishing the specific tasks set out for you. Before you start, make sure you thoroughly understanding the assignment task sheet:

  • Read it carefully, looking for anything confusing you might need to clarify with your professor.
  • Identify the assignment goal, deadline, length specifications, formatting, and submission method.
  • Make a bulleted list of the key points, then go back and cross completed items off as you’re writing.

Carefully consider your timeframe and word limit: be realistic, and plan enough time to research, write, and edit.

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organize information for a research paper

There are many ways to generate an idea for a research paper, from brainstorming with pen and paper to talking it through with a fellow student or professor.

You can try free writing, which involves taking a broad topic and writing continuously for two or three minutes to identify absolutely anything relevant that could be interesting.

You can also gain inspiration from other research. The discussion or recommendations sections of research papers often include ideas for other specific topics that require further examination.

Once you have a broad subject area, narrow it down to choose a topic that interests you, m eets the criteria of your assignment, and i s possible to research. Aim for ideas that are both original and specific:

  • A paper following the chronology of World War II would not be original or specific enough.
  • A paper on the experience of Danish citizens living close to the German border during World War II would be specific and could be original enough.

Note any discussions that seem important to the topic, and try to find an issue that you can focus your paper around. Use a variety of sources , including journals, books, and reliable websites, to ensure you do not miss anything glaring.

Do not only verify the ideas you have in mind, but look for sources that contradict your point of view.

  • Is there anything people seem to overlook in the sources you research?
  • Are there any heated debates you can address?
  • Do you have a unique take on your topic?
  • Have there been some recent developments that build on the extant research?

In this stage, you might find it helpful to formulate some research questions to help guide you. To write research questions, try to finish the following sentence: “I want to know how/what/why…”

A thesis statement is a statement of your central argument — it establishes the purpose and position of your paper. If you started with a research question, the thesis statement should answer it. It should also show what evidence and reasoning you’ll use to support that answer.

The thesis statement should be concise, contentious, and coherent. That means it should briefly summarize your argument in a sentence or two, make a claim that requires further evidence or analysis, and make a coherent point that relates to every part of the paper.

You will probably revise and refine the thesis statement as you do more research, but it can serve as a guide throughout the writing process. Every paragraph should aim to support and develop this central claim.

Prevent plagiarism. Run a free check.

A research paper outline is essentially a list of the key topics, arguments, and evidence you want to include, divided into sections with headings so that you know roughly what the paper will look like before you start writing.

A structure outline can help make the writing process much more efficient, so it’s worth dedicating some time to create one.

Your first draft won’t be perfect — you can polish later on. Your priorities at this stage are as follows:

  • Maintaining forward momentum — write now, perfect later.
  • Paying attention to clear organization and logical ordering of paragraphs and sentences, which will help when you come to the second draft.
  • Expressing your ideas as clearly as possible, so you know what you were trying to say when you come back to the text.

You do not need to start by writing the introduction. Begin where it feels most natural for you — some prefer to finish the most difficult sections first, while others choose to start with the easiest part. If you created an outline, use it as a map while you work.

Do not delete large sections of text. If you begin to dislike something you have written or find it doesn’t quite fit, move it to a different document, but don’t lose it completely — you never know if it might come in useful later.

Paragraph structure

Paragraphs are the basic building blocks of research papers. Each one should focus on a single claim or idea that helps to establish the overall argument or purpose of the paper.

Example paragraph

George Orwell’s 1946 essay “Politics and the English Language” has had an enduring impact on thought about the relationship between politics and language. This impact is particularly obvious in light of the various critical review articles that have recently referenced the essay. For example, consider Mark Falcoff’s 2009 article in The National Review Online, “The Perversion of Language; or, Orwell Revisited,” in which he analyzes several common words (“activist,” “civil-rights leader,” “diversity,” and more). Falcoff’s close analysis of the ambiguity built into political language intentionally mirrors Orwell’s own point-by-point analysis of the political language of his day. Even 63 years after its publication, Orwell’s essay is emulated by contemporary thinkers.

Citing sources

It’s also important to keep track of citations at this stage to avoid accidental plagiarism . Each time you use a source, make sure to take note of where the information came from.

You can use our free citation generators to automatically create citations and save your reference list as you go.

APA Citation Generator MLA Citation Generator

The research paper introduction should address three questions: What, why, and how? After finishing the introduction, the reader should know what the paper is about, why it is worth reading, and how you’ll build your arguments.

What? Be specific about the topic of the paper, introduce the background, and define key terms or concepts.

Why? This is the most important, but also the most difficult, part of the introduction. Try to provide brief answers to the following questions: What new material or insight are you offering? What important issues does your essay help define or answer?

How? To let the reader know what to expect from the rest of the paper, the introduction should include a “map” of what will be discussed, briefly presenting the key elements of the paper in chronological order.

The major struggle faced by most writers is how to organize the information presented in the paper, which is one reason an outline is so useful. However, remember that the outline is only a guide and, when writing, you can be flexible with the order in which the information and arguments are presented.

One way to stay on track is to use your thesis statement and topic sentences . Check:

  • topic sentences against the thesis statement;
  • topic sentences against each other, for similarities and logical ordering;
  • and each sentence against the topic sentence of that paragraph.

Be aware of paragraphs that seem to cover the same things. If two paragraphs discuss something similar, they must approach that topic in different ways. Aim to create smooth transitions between sentences, paragraphs, and sections.

The research paper conclusion is designed to help your reader out of the paper’s argument, giving them a sense of finality.

Trace the course of the paper, emphasizing how it all comes together to prove your thesis statement. Give the paper a sense of finality by making sure the reader understands how you’ve settled the issues raised in the introduction.

You might also discuss the more general consequences of the argument, outline what the paper offers to future students of the topic, and suggest any questions the paper’s argument raises but cannot or does not try to answer.

You should not :

  • Offer new arguments or essential information
  • Take up any more space than necessary
  • Begin with stock phrases that signal you are ending the paper (e.g. “In conclusion”)

There are four main considerations when it comes to the second draft.

  • Check how your vision of the paper lines up with the first draft and, more importantly, that your paper still answers the assignment.
  • Identify any assumptions that might require (more substantial) justification, keeping your reader’s perspective foremost in mind. Remove these points if you cannot substantiate them further.
  • Be open to rearranging your ideas. Check whether any sections feel out of place and whether your ideas could be better organized.
  • If you find that old ideas do not fit as well as you anticipated, you should cut them out or condense them. You might also find that new and well-suited ideas occurred to you during the writing of the first draft — now is the time to make them part of the paper.

The goal during the revision and proofreading process is to ensure you have completed all the necessary tasks and that the paper is as well-articulated as possible. You can speed up the proofreading process by using the AI proofreader .

Global concerns

  • Confirm that your paper completes every task specified in your assignment sheet.
  • Check for logical organization and flow of paragraphs.
  • Check paragraphs against the introduction and thesis statement.

Fine-grained details

Check the content of each paragraph, making sure that:

  • each sentence helps support the topic sentence.
  • no unnecessary or irrelevant information is present.
  • all technical terms your audience might not know are identified.

Next, think about sentence structure , grammatical errors, and formatting . Check that you have correctly used transition words and phrases to show the connections between your ideas. Look for typos, cut unnecessary words, and check for consistency in aspects such as heading formatting and spellings .

Finally, you need to make sure your paper is correctly formatted according to the rules of the citation style you are using. For example, you might need to include an MLA heading  or create an APA title page .

Scribbr’s professional editors can help with the revision process with our award-winning proofreading services.

Discover our paper editing service

Checklist: Research paper

I have followed all instructions in the assignment sheet.

My introduction presents my topic in an engaging way and provides necessary background information.

My introduction presents a clear, focused research problem and/or thesis statement .

My paper is logically organized using paragraphs and (if relevant) section headings .

Each paragraph is clearly focused on one central idea, expressed in a clear topic sentence .

Each paragraph is relevant to my research problem or thesis statement.

I have used appropriate transitions  to clarify the connections between sections, paragraphs, and sentences.

My conclusion provides a concise answer to the research question or emphasizes how the thesis has been supported.

My conclusion shows how my research has contributed to knowledge or understanding of my topic.

My conclusion does not present any new points or information essential to my argument.

I have provided an in-text citation every time I refer to ideas or information from a source.

I have included a reference list at the end of my paper, consistently formatted according to a specific citation style .

I have thoroughly revised my paper and addressed any feedback from my professor or supervisor.

I have followed all formatting guidelines (page numbers, headers, spacing, etc.).

You've written a great paper. Make sure it's perfect with the help of a Scribbr editor!

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Research Paper Structure: A Comprehensive Guide

Sumalatha G

Table of Contents

Writing a research paper is a daunting task, but understanding its structure can make the process more manageable and lead to a well-organized, coherent paper. This article provides a step-by-step approach to crafting a research paper, ensuring your work is not only informative but also structured for maximum impact.

Introduction

In any form of written communication, content structure plays a vital role in facilitating understanding. A well-structured research paper provides a framework that guides readers through the content, ensuring they grasp the main points efficiently. Without a clear structure, readers may become lost or confused, leading to a loss of interest and a failure to comprehend the intended message.

When it comes to research papers, structure is particularly important due to the complexity of the subject matter. Research papers often involve presenting and analyzing large amounts of data, theories, and arguments. Without a well-defined structure, readers may struggle to navigate through this information overload, resulting in a fragmented understanding of the topic.

How Structure Enhances Clarity and Coherence

A well-structured research paper not only helps readers follow the flow of ideas but also enhances the clarity and coherence of the content. By organizing information into sections, paragraphs, and sentences, researchers can present their thoughts logically and systematically. This logical organization allows readers to easily connect ideas, resulting in a more coherent and engaging reading experience.

One way in which structure enhances clarity is by providing a clear roadmap for readers to follow. By dividing the research paper into sections and subsections, researchers can guide readers through the different aspects of the topic. This allows readers to anticipate the flow of information and mentally prepare themselves for the upcoming content.

In addition, a well-structured research paper ensures that each paragraph serves a specific purpose and contributes to the overall argument or analysis. By clearly defining the main idea of each paragraph and providing supporting evidence or examples, researchers can avoid confusion and ensure that their points are effectively communicated.

Moreover, a structured research paper helps researchers maintain a consistent focus throughout their writing. By organizing their thoughts and ideas, researchers can ensure that they stay on track and avoid going off on tangents. This not only improves the clarity of the paper but also helps maintain the reader's interest and engagement.

Components of a Research Paper Structure

Title and abstract: the initial impression.

The title and abstract are the first elements readers encounter when accessing a research paper. The title should be concise, informative, and capture the essence of the study. For example, a title like "Exploring the Impact of Climate Change on Biodiversity in Tropical Rainforests" immediately conveys the subject matter and scope of the research. The abstract, on the other hand, provides a brief overview of the research problem, methodology, and findings, enticing readers to delve further into the paper. In a well-crafted abstract, researchers may highlight key results or implications of the study, giving readers a glimpse into the value of the research.

Introduction: Setting the Stage

The introduction serves as an invitation for readers to engage with the research paper. It should provide background information on the topic, highlight the research problem, and present the research question or thesis statement. By establishing the context and relevance of the study, the introduction piques readers' interest and prepares them for the content to follow. For instance, in a study on the impact of social media on mental health, the introduction may discuss the rise of social media platforms and the growing concerns about its effects on individuals' well-being. This contextual information helps readers understand the significance of the research and why it is worth exploring further.

Furthermore, the introduction may also outline the objectives of the study, stating what the researchers aim to achieve through their research. This helps readers understand the purpose and scope of the study, setting clear expectations for what they can expect to learn from the paper.

Literature Review: Building the Foundation

The literature review is a critical component of a research paper, as it demonstrates the researcher's understanding of existing knowledge and provides a foundation for the study. It involves reviewing and analyzing relevant scholarly articles, books, and other sources to identify gaps in research and establish the need for the current study. In a comprehensive literature review, researchers may summarize key findings from previous studies, identify areas of disagreement or controversy, and highlight the limitations of existing research.

Moreover, the literature review may also discuss theoretical frameworks or conceptual models that have been used in previous studies. By examining these frameworks, researchers can identify the theoretical underpinnings of their study and explain how their research fits within the broader academic discourse. This not only adds depth to the research paper but also helps readers understand the theoretical context in which the study is situated.

Methodology: Detailing the Process

The research design, data collection methods, and analysis techniques used in the study are described in the methodology section. It should be presented clearly and concisely, allowing readers to understand how the research was conducted and evaluated. A well-described methodology ensures the study's reliability and allows other researchers to replicate or build upon the findings.

Within the methodology section, researchers may provide a detailed description of the study population or sample, explaining how participants were selected and why they were chosen. This helps readers understand the generalizability of the findings and the extent to which they can be applied to a broader population.

In addition, researchers may also discuss any ethical considerations that were taken into account during the study. This could include obtaining informed consent from participants, ensuring confidentiality and anonymity, and following ethical guidelines set by relevant professional organizations. By addressing these ethical concerns, researchers demonstrate their commitment to conducting research in an ethical and responsible manner.

Results: Presenting the Findings

The results section represents the study findings. Researchers should organize their results in a logical manner, using tables, graphs, and descriptive statistics to support their conclusions. The results should be presented objectively, without interpretation or analysis. For instance, for a study on the effectiveness of a new drug in treating a specific medical condition, researchers may present the percentage of patients who experienced positive outcomes, along with any statistical significance associated with the results.

In addition to presenting the main findings, researchers may also include supplementary data or sub-analyses that provide further insights into the research question. This could include subgroup analyses, sensitivity analyses, or additional statistical tests that help explore the robustness of the findings.

Discussion: Interpreting the Results

In the discussion section, researchers analyze and interpret the results in light of the research question or thesis statement. This is an opportunity to explore the implications of the findings, compare them with existing literature, and offer insights into the broader significance of the study. The discussion should be supported by evidence and it is advised to avoid speculation.

Researchers may also discuss the limitations of their study, acknowledging any potential biases or confounding factors that may have influenced the results. By openly addressing these limitations, researchers demonstrate their commitment to transparency and scientific rigor.

Conclusion: Wrapping It Up

The conclusion provides a concise summary of the research paper, restating the main findings and their implications. It should also reflect on the significance of the study and suggest potential avenues for future research. A well-written conclusion leaves a lasting impression on readers, highlighting the importance of the research and its potential impact. By summarizing the key takeaways from the study, researchers ensure that readers walk away with a clear understanding of the research's contribution to the field.

Tips for Organizing Your Research Paper

Starting with a strong thesis statement.

A strong and clear thesis statement serves as the backbone of your research paper. It provides focus and direction, guiding the organization of ideas and arguments throughout the paper. Take the time to craft a well-defined thesis statement that encapsulates the core message of your research.

Creating an Outline: The Blueprint of Your Paper

An outline acts as a blueprint for your research paper, ensuring a logical flow of ideas and preventing disorganization. Divide your paper into sections and subsections, noting the main points and supporting arguments for each. This will help you maintain coherence and clarity throughout the writing process.

Balancing Depth and Breadth in Your Paper

When organizing your research paper, strike a balance between delving deeply into specific points and providing a broader overview. While depth is important for thorough analysis, too much detail can overwhelm readers. Consider your target audience and their level of familiarity with the topic to determine the appropriate level of depth and breadth for your paper.

By understanding the importance of research paper structure and implementing effective organizational strategies, researchers can ensure their work is accessible, engaging, and influential. A well-structured research paper not only communicates ideas clearly but also enhances the overall impact of the study. With careful planning and attention to detail, researchers can master the art of structuring their research papers, making them a valuable contribution to their field of study.

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  • 07 July 2022

How to find, read and organize papers

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15 Best Free Web Tools to Organize Your Research

How to stay organized when researching and writing papers

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Organizing research is important not only for your own sanity, but because when it comes time to unfold the data and put it to use, you want the process to go as smoothly as possible. This is where research organizers come in.

There are lots of free web-based organizers that you can use for any purpose. Maybe you're collecting interviews for a news story, digging up newspaper archives for a history project, or writing a research paper over a science topic. Research organizers are also helpful for staying productive and preparing for tests.

Regardless of the topic, when you have multiple sources of information and lots to comb through later, optimizing your workflow with a dedicated organizer is essential.

Patrick Tomasso / Unsplash

Many of these tools provide unique features, so you might decide to use multiple resources simultaneously in whatever way suits your particular needs.

Research and Study

You need a place to gather the information you're finding. To avoid a cluttered space when collecting and organizing data, you can use a tool dedicated to research.

  • Pocket : Save web pages to your online account to reference them again later. It's much tidier than bookmarks, and it can all be retrieved from the web or the Pocket mobile app .
  • Mendeley : Organize papers and references, and generate citations and bibliographies.
  • Quizlet : Learn vocabulary with these free online flashcards .
  • Wikipedia : Find information on millions of different topics.
  • Quora : This is a question and answer website where you can ask the community for help with any question.
  • SparkNotes : Free online study guides on a wide variety of subjects, anything from famous literary works of the past century to the present day. 
  • Zotero : Collect, manage, and cite your research sources. Lets you organize data into collections and search through them by adding tags to every source. This is a computer program, but there's a browser extension that helps you send data to it.
  • Google Scholar : A simple way to search for scholarly literature on any subject.
  • Diigo : Collect, share, and interact with information from anywhere on the web. It's all accessible through the browser extension and saved to your online account.
  • GoConqr : Create flashcards, mind maps, notes, quizzes, and more to bridge the gap between your research and studying.

Writing Tools

Writing is the other half of a research paper, so you need somewhere useful to go to jot down notes, record information you might use in the final paper, create drafts, track sources, and finalize the paper.

  • Web Page Sticky Notes : For Chrome users, this tool lets you place sticky notes on any web page as you do your research. There are tons of settings you can customize, they're backed up to your Google Drive account, and they're visible not only on each page you created them on but also on a single page from the extension's settings.
  • Google Docs or Word Online : These are online word processors where you can write the entire research paper, organize lists, paste URLs, store off-hand notes, and more.
  • Google Keep : This note-taking app and website catalogs notes within labels that make sense for your research. Access them from the web on any computer or from your mobile device. It supports collaborations, custom colors, images, drawings, and reminders.
  • Yahoo Notepad : If you use Yahoo Mail , the notes area of your account is a great place to store text-based snippets for easy recall when you need them.
  • Notion : Workflows, notes, and more, in a space where you can collaborate with others.

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Writing a Paper: Organizing Your Thoughts

Stacks of notes, books, and course materials in front of a blank computer screen may cause a moment of writer's block as you go to organize your paper, but there is no need to panic. Instead, organizing your paper will give you a sense of control and allow you to better integrate your ideas as you start to write.

Organizing your paper can be a daunting task if you begin too late, so organizing a paper should take place during the  reading and note-taking process . As you read and take notes, make sure to group your data into self-contained categories . These categories will help you to build the structure of your paper.

Take, for example, a paper about children's education and the quantity of television children watch. Some categories may be the following:

  • Amount of television children watch (by population, age, gender, etc.)
  • Behaviors or issues linked to television watching (obesity, ADHD, etc.)
  • Outcomes linked to television watching (performance in school, expected income, etc.)
  • Factors influencing school performance (parent involvement, study time, etc.)

The list above holds some clear themes that may emerge you as read through the literature. It is sometimes a challenge to know what information to group together into a category. Sources that share similar data, support one another, or bring about similar concerns may be a good place to start looking for such categories.

For example, let's say you had three sources that had the following information:

  • The average American youth spends 900 hours in school over the course of a school year; the average American youth watches 1500 hours of television a year (Herr, 2001).
  • "According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), kids in the United States watch about 4 hours of TV a day - even though the AAP guidelines say children older than 2 should watch no more than 1 to 2 hours a day of quality programming" (Folder, Crisp, & Watson, 2005, p. 2).
  • "According to AAP (2007) guidelines, children under age 2 should have no screen time (TV, DVDs or videotapes, computers, or video games) at all. During the first 2 years, a critical time for brain development, TV can get in the way of exploring, learning, and spending time interacting and playing with parents and others, which helps young children develop the skills they need to grow cognitively, physically, socially, and emotionally" (Folder, Crisp, & Watson, 2005, p. 9).

With these three ideas, you might group them under this category: Amount of television children watch.

Each of these source quotations or paraphrases supports that category. For each group of information, repeat this process to group similar categories together. Then you can move on to order the information you gather.

Once you have read your sources, taken notes, and grouped your information by category, the next step is to  read critically , evaluate your sources , determine your thesis statement , and decide the best order in which to present your research. Note that as you begin to narrow your topic or focus, you will find some sources are not relevant.  That is fine! Do not try to squeeze every source mentioning "children" and "television" into your paper.

Let's say you have come up with the following categories from the sources you have read:

  • Children watch more than the recommended amount of television.
  • The more television children watch, the less likely they are to study.
  • Certain groups of children watch more television than others.
  • Students whose grades are poor in high school are 56% less likely to graduate from college.
  • Poor performance in middle school correlates to poor high school performance.

You will want the order of your material to advance and prove your thesis. Every thesis needs to be capable of advancement. Let's assume that your thesis is Children who watch more than the recommended amount of television are less likely to receive a college education. In this case, it seems that you will want to start off by showing that there is a problem, and then giving examples of that problem and its consequences.

The best order for these categories would be the following:

  • Poor performance in middle school correlates to poor high school performance

The way a paper is organized is largely the result of the logical and causal relationships between the categories or topics apparent in the research. In other words, each category's placement is specifically chosen so that it is the result of the previous theme and able to contribute to the next, as the previous example shows. It is often a good practice to save your strongest argument or evidence until the end of the paper and build up to it. Using careful organization to advance your thesis will help guide your reader to your conclusion!

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Note that this video was created while APA 6 was the style guide edition in use. There may be some examples of writing that have not been updated to APA 7 guidelines.

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Getting started with your research paper outline

organize information for a research paper

Levels of organization for a research paper outline

First level of organization, second level of organization, third level of organization, fourth level of organization, tips for writing a research paper outline, research paper outline template, my research paper outline is complete: what are the next steps, frequently asked questions about a research paper outline, related articles.

The outline is the skeleton of your research paper. Simply start by writing down your thesis and the main ideas you wish to present. This will likely change as your research progresses; therefore, do not worry about being too specific in the early stages of writing your outline.

A research paper outline typically contains between two and four layers of organization. The first two layers are the most generalized. Each layer thereafter will contain the research you complete and presents more and more detailed information.

The levels are typically represented by a combination of Roman numerals, Arabic numerals, uppercase letters, lowercase letters but may include other symbols. Refer to the guidelines provided by your institution, as formatting is not universal and differs between universities, fields, and subjects. If you are writing the outline for yourself, you may choose any combination you prefer.

This is the most generalized level of information. Begin by numbering the introduction, each idea you will present, and the conclusion. The main ideas contain the bulk of your research paper 's information. Depending on your research, it may be chapters of a book for a literature review , a series of dates for a historical research paper, or the methods and results of a scientific paper.

I. Introduction

II. Main idea

III. Main idea

IV. Main idea

V. Conclusion

The second level consists of topics which support the introduction, main ideas, and the conclusion. Each main idea should have at least two supporting topics listed in the outline.

If your main idea does not have enough support, you should consider presenting another main idea in its place. This is where you should stop outlining if this is your first draft. Continue your research before adding to the next levels of organization.

  • A. Background information
  • B. Hypothesis or thesis
  • A. Supporting topic
  • B. Supporting topic

The third level of organization contains supporting information for the topics previously listed. By now, you should have completed enough research to add support for your ideas.

The Introduction and Main Ideas may contain information you discovered about the author, timeframe, or contents of a book for a literature review; the historical events leading up to the research topic for a historical research paper, or an explanation of the problem a scientific research paper intends to address.

  • 1. Relevant history
  • 2. Relevant history
  • 1. The hypothesis or thesis clearly stated
  • 1. A brief description of supporting information
  • 2. A brief description of supporting information

The fourth level of organization contains the most detailed information such as quotes, references, observations, or specific data needed to support the main idea. It is not typical to have further levels of organization because the information contained here is the most specific.

  • a) Quotes or references to another piece of literature
  • b) Quotes or references to another piece of literature

Tip: The key to creating a useful outline is to be consistent in your headings, organization, and levels of specificity.

  • Be Consistent : ensure every heading has a similar tone. State the topic or write short sentences for each heading but avoid doing both.
  • Organize Information : Higher levels of organization are more generally stated and each supporting level becomes more specific. The introduction and conclusion will never be lower than the first level of organization.
  • Build Support : Each main idea should have two or more supporting topics. If your research does not have enough information to support the main idea you are presenting, you should, in general, complete additional research or revise the outline.

By now, you should know the basic requirements to create an outline for your paper. With a content framework in place, you can now start writing your paper . To help you start right away, you can use one of our templates and adjust it to suit your needs.

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After completing your outline, you should:

  • Title your research paper . This is an iterative process and may change when you delve deeper into the topic.
  • Begin writing your research paper draft . Continue researching to further build your outline and provide more information to support your hypothesis or thesis.
  • Format your draft appropriately . MLA 8 and APA 7 formats have differences between their bibliography page, in-text citations, line spacing, and title.
  • Finalize your citations and bibliography . Use a reference manager like Paperpile to organize and cite your research.
  • Write the abstract, if required . An abstract will briefly state the information contained within the paper, results of the research, and the conclusion.

An outline is used to organize written ideas about a topic into a logical order. Outlines help us organize major topics, subtopics, and supporting details. Researchers benefit greatly from outlines while writing by addressing which topic to cover in what order.

The most basic outline format consists of: an introduction, a minimum of three topic paragraphs, and a conclusion.

You should make an outline before starting to write your research paper. This will help you organize the main ideas and arguments you want to present in your topic.

  • Consistency: ensure every heading has a similar tone. State the topic or write short sentences for each heading but avoid doing both.
  • Organization : Higher levels of organization are more generally stated and each supporting level becomes more specific. The introduction and conclusion will never be lower than the first level of organization.
  • Support : Each main idea should have two or more supporting topics. If your research does not have enough information to support the main idea you are presenting, you should, in general, complete additional research or revise the outline.

organize information for a research paper

Kahana

How to Organize Research: Notes, PDF Files, & Documents

Topics covered ✅.

  • How to organize research papers and PDF files
  • How to organize research projects
  • Organizing research notes
  • Organizing research notes software
  • Organizing research tools
  • Research organizer template
  • How to organize research material

If you are a busy college student, creator, or blogger your life can get really cluttered. But the messiness in our lives can extend much farther than just a dorm room or office. As active researchers, we can often struggle to organize research in the form of copious amounts of articles, journals, academic writings, thesis, rough drafts, etc.

It gets pretty exhausting.

But where do you even begin?

What's the best way to organize research?

We believe we have created the best recipe for organizing your research and you will never go back to your old ways.

1. Note-taking and Mind mapping – How to Hack Your Mind

First, start by organizing your notes into categories. You can do this on a sticky note or on a mind map.

Even though you may feel like a middle school kid using colorful sticky paper, sticky notes are proven to be one of the most effective ways to organize research.

You'll want to do some research before you begin writing.

Use sticky notes to organize the information you find, and write down any thoughts or ideas that come up as you read or listen.

Also, sticky notes are great if you want to jot down quick notes during a lecture or discussion with friends about the topic at hand.

You can write down important points and make connections between them on sticky notes.

An option similar to this is creating a mind map.

If you are a very visual learner, this style of research may appeal to you because you can visually see where you will be taking this research into categories and subcategories.

Plus it’s fun making them!

organize information for a research paper

2. The Hard Part – Research & Writing

You should be familiar with the different types of sources that you can use when writing a research paper.

5 Examples of Sources

Here are a few examples of sources:

  • Primary sources (original documents like letters or speeches)
  • Secondary sources (articles, books, etc.)
  • Audio files (podcasts, interviews, etc.)
  • Online databases (Academic Search Complete, JSTOR, LexisNexis)
  • Tertiary sources (reviews of other people's research and analysis of your topics

organize information for a research paper

Bibliographies

When conducting research for your essay, be sure to use academic sources only!

Academic sources are those written by experts in their field who have been published in peer-reviewed journals or books and are therefore considered credible resources for learning more about any given topic.

Academic sources will always include citations at the end of each paragraph (or chapter) so that readers can easily identify where they can go if they'd like to learn more about the topic being discussed in each section of the text.

You can use secondary sources for information about your topic, but make sure that they are academically-reputable sources.

Primary sources are also great for finding information, but they provide only one side of the story and should be used with caution.

Overall, try to use a variety of sources as this will strengthen the argument you are defending.

We recommend putting a lot of emphasis on option five (tertiary sources) because it is something that we were not previously familiar with and we believe it should become more known as it is super helpful.

Tertiary sources are those that have been compiled by other people, such as academic journals and published books.

They can be great resources for getting more background information on a topic, but they aren't original works of scholarship—so be sure to cite them accordingly!

organize information for a research paper

Quick Bibliographies

As you organize research, there’s no need to get bogged down in how you structure or create your bibliography.

For starters, here’s a simple list of tools for quick bibliographies:

  • Bibliography.com

3. Putting Your Thoughts On Paper

One of the hardest parts is the beginning of the writing process. You should always keep in mind your thesis statement when you write.

It's easy to get carried away with details and forget what you're trying to say—but if you can keep your thesis statement in mind, it will help you stay focused on the main point of your work.

The writing process is a great way to get started with your research because it helps you organize your thoughts before writing them down into sentences and paragraphs.

You'll be able to take notes faster because everything is already written down for you!

Moving on, an excellent strategy that works best for me is just word vomiting onto a page to get a basis of everything you want to say, and then after that is done, organize and clean up what was written.

This is especially useful if you have collected all the data and you just don't know how to put your thoughts into actual words.

organize information for a research paper

Claim My Free Research Organizer Template

This free research organizer template comes pre-built with folders, subfolders, aesthetic formatting, and much more.

4. The Finishing Touches

If there is anything you should take away from this, it’s to use a reference manager.

Reference managers help ensure that all your citations are correct and up-to-date.

When choosing one, make sure it's compatible with whatever citation style is required by your instructor or institution.

Research doesn't have to be something that you dread or bores you out of your mind.

Being organized can make this process fun and exciting.

So now it's time to put on your thinking cap and get to work.

Notion user? You might also like...

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Research Process :: Step by Step

  • Introduction
  • Select Topic
  • Identify Keywords
  • Background Information
  • Develop Research Questions
  • Refine Topic
  • Search Strategy
  • Popular Databases
  • Evaluate Sources
  • Types of Periodicals
  • Reading Scholarly Articles
  • Primary & Secondary Sources
  • Organize / Take Notes
  • Writing & Grammar Resources
  • Annotated Bibliography
  • Literature Review
  • Citation Styles
  • Paraphrasing
  • Privacy / Confidentiality
  • Research Process
  • Selecting Your Topic
  • Identifying Keywords
  • Gathering Background Info
  • Evaluating Sources
  • Zotero Guide by Morgan Rowe-Morris Last Updated Jun 6, 2024 4030 views this year
  • EndNote Guide by John Bayhi Last Updated Jun 12, 2024 1804 views this year

organize information for a research paper

Focus on the information in the article that is relevant to your research question (you may be able to skim over other parts).  Think critically about what you read and build your argument based on it.

Organize your Notes

  • After you take notes, re-read them. 
  • Then re-organize them by putting similar information together. Working with your notes involves re-grouping them by topic instead of by source. Re-group your notes by re-shuffling your index cards or by color-coding or using symbols to code notes in a notebook. 
  • Review the topics of your newly-grouped notes. If the topics do not answer your research question or support your working thesis directly, you may need to do additional research or re-think your original research. 
  • During this process you may find that you have taken notes that do not answer your research question or support your working thesis directly. Don't be afraid to throw them away. 

It may have struck you that you just read a lot of "re" words: re-read, re-organize, re-group, re-shuffle, re-think. That's right; working with your notes essentially means going back and reviewing how this "new" information fits with your own thoughts about the topic or issue of the research.

Grouping your notes will enable you to outline the major sections and then the paragraphs of your research paper.

https://www.esc.edu/online-writing-center/resources/research/research-paper-steps/taking-notes/

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  • Next: Writing & Grammar Resources >>
  • Last Updated: Jun 13, 2024 4:27 PM
  • URL: https://libguides.uta.edu/researchprocess

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How To Organize A Research Paper? Expert’s Guide 2022

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You might have written several research papers up till now and you know well what’s the standard research writing pattern. Apart from researching and writing a paper, there are more things that students tend to avoid unintentionally. There is a lot more than just writing a paper such as editing, proofreading, formatting, and organizing. We know you are thinking about how to organize and  write a research paper .

It is a question that isn’t frequently asked because students do not pay enough attention to it. Organizing a paper contains some specific tasks such as setting the topic, making an outline, and collecting information to assemble it in a sequence. There is so much to know about organizing a paper, so here we go with a complete blog for you on this topic.

Table of Contents

What Does Organizing a Research Paper Mean?

First, you need to have a proper research plan to make sure you’ll be able to accomplish the required goals from the paper. Organizing a paper means writing every detail and information within a proper sequence.

A particular pattern of research is strictly followed and every single heading is arranged as per the standards. The basic purpose of organizing a paper is to present all the arguments, thoughts, and data with a proper flow.

It’s a pre-writing process that is usually done after completing the research and during the creation of the outline. An outline is responsible for keeping the valuable details in an aligned way that’s why it is one of the approaches used in organizing the paper. Students take care of this part previously before writing so they add only the required information in every heading.

It is very important to provide the information stepwise to the readers. It is never good to read the methodology part instead of the introduction at first in the research. That’s why a sequence that is already set must be followed for presenting better research every time to your readers.

What is a Research Paper?

A research paper is an extended form of essay which continues discussing the arguments of the author. It contains one thesis statement which is supported by conducting either qualitative or quantitative research on any of the given topics. The purpose of research paper writing is to justify a stance and bring valuable arguments to make sure it happens.

Benefits of Organizing a Research Paper

There are several benefits of organizing research that you must have been ignoring since long ago. Here we go with some of the advantages of organizing a paper.

  • It saves your time and makes your writing process fast
  • It provides a direction for your research
  • It also saves your energy
  • Helps in building your focus on the research
  • Doesn’t let you get distracted since you have one guideline to follow
  • It sets all the major ideas of each heading into a particular order
  • The whole process becomes simpler and enjoyable when you have great organizing skills

How to Organize a Research Paper

Finally, we are going to have a look at what’s the ideal method of organizing research. There are a few steps involved such as suggesting a topic, finishing the research, making an outline, following the outline to create the first draft, and so on.

  • Find a Topic
  • Start Your Research
  • Make an Outline
  • Create the First Draft
  • Cite the Sources

All of these steps are explained below so you know how things work in this method.

how to organize a research paper

1. Find a Topic

This is the most basic step that you must take before doing literally any other thing in research paper writing. Without a topic, you can’t even begin doing research, although you absolutely can research to find a topic of your choice.

In organizing a research paper it is significant to derive a topic first, and then move on to the further parts. The topic must be thoughtful, interesting, and researchable. It is always better to study research that adds value to the existing pool of knowledge. Hence, as an author, you must keep it in mind and do the same.

2. Start Your Research

One cannot organize a research paper if they do not have anything to write inside. These pre-writing tasks are a must since you need a lot of sources to quote in your research. That’s where your journey of digging in actually starts and you start finding useful information.

In this part, you should look for past research papers, interviews, surveys, and everything which can help you write your research. Writing a paper is something we all are aware of but organizing it might be new for you. That’s why we are going step by step to give you a better insight into the entire activity.

3. Make an Outline

Why do we always suggest creating an outline? We have a healthy obsession with research and paper outlines because they cut short your writing effort and make things much easier for you. Don’t believe us? Let us give you an example.

You have completed research and now you have so much stuff in front of you. You don’t know how to organize it or shift each of the sources into the section they are supposed to be in. Now if you directly start writing you are doing so wrong to yourself. You are kind of allowing yourself to work double when it can be done in the simplest way.

If you create a rough outline by mentioning all the important headings of the research, then assembling all the sources one by one into their assigned sections you will automatically get rid of so much struggle. Once you have mentioned all the sources and some of their content in each heading, you can take a breath of relief.

You’re no more tangled in a number of papers and research data. You have the vision to follow, and a complete outline that will work as a guideline for you. So during writing the paper, you will find this step so easy and fun. That’s why we always emphasize making the paper outline so you can enjoy an organized writing approach.

4. Create the First Draft

Now as you have finished outlining, it’s time to move toward the first draft of your research. Just start writing, by extending the given ideas in each heading of the outline. One by one you can finish the writing part of each section.

It will give your mind more satisfaction that you have finally completed 80% of your research. And the best part is that you have written everything within a flow. There is always correct information shared with the readers in a certain section. There will be no irregularity or confusion for someone who reads your draft because every detail is written in the part it’s supposed to be in.

5. Cite the Sources

It is one of the most significant parts of the research that nobody can deny. You can never write a research or a paper without mentioning the sources you have used. Research is always completed when you look into the past work on the same topic and quote them into yours for building a trustworthy relationship with the readers.

As you are using someone’s work to sound authentic you must give those authors their credits. For this purpose, you must complete the  in-text citations  and bibliography of your paper. Once it’s done, you can revise your document, add more information that you might have forgotten earlier, or proofread your draft.

Afterward, you can just edit the first draft and see if everything is fine or if it needs to be rewritten. This entire procedure allows the students to finish their research writing task within a day or so. It never takes too long when you go along with an organized method that saves time and gives a refined product.

How to Organize a Research Paper Outline

All our readers have always heard us speaking a lot about paper or essay outlines. In the previous heading, you must have realized once again how much we like the idea of creating a research outline before moving to the writing part. A lot of reasons provided by us must have given you the answer to why we want you to create an outlook.

There is another thing called organizing a research paper outline. It is not so different from organizing a paper since an organized outline can lead you towards organized research. Let’s learn about how to organize a paper outline. You can also get the help of a world-class  paper writing service  to ace your research paper.

1. Select a Topic

It all starts with selecting a topic since you cannot go around and conduct research without having a vision in front of you. A topic is the same as the vision that you will make first to jump to the next parts. So select a topic and move towards organizing the outline of your research.

2. Form a Thesis Statement

To make your research authentic and more impactful, it is always better to have a thesis statement. It’s a compulsion in writing a paper. A thesis can make or break your entire research so think more and select one which sounds suitable for your research.

It’s going to be mentioned at the top of your research outline that’s why it must be created as soon as possible. After you are done designing one, you can step ahead and see what’s the next thing to do in organizing a research outline.

3. Add Sequenced Headings

It is very important to follow a sequence into an outline because this outline is going to be the first draft of your research. Organizing a paper means adding everything into it in a certain way. It doesn’t mean adding any information without a sequence such as discussing the  abstract of the research paper  in place of the literature review, or focusing on the methodology later but giving the findings first.

That’s not how things work! Therefore your headings must be aligned in a sequence in your outline. You may further add personalized details into those headings to make sure you have achieved the level of an organized pattern in research outlining. 

4. Write Paragraphs

Yes, there are paragraphs in the outlines too. You can write them along with the source you have used to find the information. Writing paragraphs within each heading allows you to track down the content very easily. You already know which source you have quoted in a particular heading of your research.

When writing the paper you can extend them and properly organize them as per the standards. Afterward, your process of organizing research will be completed so you can start writing the research and finish the paper. A paper written by creating an outline turns out to be much more effective and suitable than one which doesn’t have a research outline.

How to Organize Information for a Research Paper

As you have learned enough about organizing a research paper or an outline, you may utilize your time in learning the technique of organizing information for research. You may use these techniques as a  history research paper help , nursing paper help, or any research paper help. We have some steps to share that can teach you how to organize information for a paper. .

how to organize information for a research paper

1. Finalize a Topic

It is the first thing to be done without any doubt. We have been mentioning it repeatedly due to its major significance in the research. You simply cannot start without a topic so it’s better to finalize a topic first, and then think about the next stuff such as researching and organizing the information.

2. Find Past Research Papers

This is the next step in which you need to find the past research papers. By finding the past research you will have enough information to quote in your work. It is really important to find sources that match your topic and support your thesis statement. You can start by keeping in mind the introduction of your research. Gradually you may move forward to writing the  conclusion of the research paper  and keep searching for the work done in the past.

Don’t forget to do the research sequence-wise. For instance, find data for the background first, then literature review, methodology, and so on. Information collected in order works way better than doing it randomly and staying puzzled throughout the whole process of researching.

3. Write Down Ideas Out of Past Work

Now as you have found all the sources it’s time to quote them. You can start it by reading every paper and writing the core idea of it on a separate sheet. Mentioning the main idea from the past work one by one will help you a lot. Instead of reading every paper during the writing part, you can do it earlier and save your time.

4. Organize the Information

Now it’s time to organize the information properly within the headings. Start with the introduction and add the ideas which are related to this part. Then one by one move to each heading and assemble the required information into it.

Doing so will finally get you an organized set of information for your research. You won’t have to worry about anything in guessing which information must be written in every part of the research. Everything has been finally organized including the paper, outline, and information.

How to Organize Research Paper PDF Files

There is another thing nobody has told you about ever which is called organizing a research paper PDF files. So how exactly is it effective and what purpose does it fulfill? It is the skill of finding the past research and organizing them in a way to add value to your research task.

What you can do is start by finding the PDF files of different research from the past. The internet is full of the work done by the previous authors and researchers who have done quality work in their fields. You need to seek help from their work to make your research more valid. That’s why you use the past work of the researchers.

So what does organizing research paper PDF files mean? It means going through the internet by searching your topic and finding the most approach papers to make your work more authentic. You can do it by selecting the best papers and reading them first. Next, you can write down the main ideas of those papers on a sheet.

What is required next is giving those PDF files a sequence so you can use their details in the right order. There is a new fact given in every other research, so it’s better to organize them properly and set them into a basic order. With this technique, you can use good sources, and quote them in your research by making sure you haven’t used a certain detail in place of another one.

Organizing the paper helps in fastening the process of writing and researching both. Many students who have used this technique experienced better results and an enjoyable writing process. It is a myth that you have to spend days and hours on a paper when you also have a better and alternative method to conduct the same research.

You just have to learn the art of organizing the information, PDF files of past research, outline, and your entire paper. Putting everything in order will help and work out for you like no other thing. Therefore every student is suggested to take organizing skills seriously and implement them into research writing to get the best results.

Hence organizing research can be so useful that it saves half of the time. You can write a better paper within less time just by following this amazing technique. An organized thing is always better, and so do the research papers and their information.

If you want to share your opinions with us or have any questions, feel free to comment below and let your voice  reach us .

What are the 5 parts of a research paper?

The 5 parts of a research paper are

  • Introduction
  • Literature review
  • Methodology

What are the 10 steps to writing a research paper?

The 10 basic steps to writing a research paper are given as

  • Find a topic
  • Form a thesis statement
  • Do the research
  • Make an outline
  • Organize the information
  • Start writing
  • Make the first draft
  • Rewrite the stuff
  • Proofread 
  • Cite the sources 

What is organizing in research?

Organizing research means providing all the information in an order that builds the right flow of giving details to the readers in each section of the research.

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Organizing Academic Research Papers: 2. Preparing to Write

  • Purpose of Guide
  • Design Flaws to Avoid
  • Glossary of Research Terms
  • Narrowing a Topic Idea
  • Broadening a Topic Idea
  • Extending the Timeliness of a Topic Idea
  • Academic Writing Style
  • Choosing a Title
  • Making an Outline
  • Paragraph Development
  • Executive Summary
  • Background Information
  • The Research Problem/Question
  • Theoretical Framework
  • Citation Tracking
  • Content Alert Services
  • Evaluating Sources
  • Primary Sources
  • Secondary Sources
  • Tertiary Sources
  • What Is Scholarly vs. Popular?
  • Qualitative Methods
  • Quantitative Methods
  • Using Non-Textual Elements
  • Limitations of the Study
  • Common Grammar Mistakes
  • Avoiding Plagiarism
  • Footnotes or Endnotes?
  • Further Readings
  • Annotated Bibliography
  • Dealing with Nervousness
  • Using Visual Aids
  • Grading Someone Else's Paper
  • How to Manage Group Projects
  • Multiple Book Review Essay
  • Reviewing Collected Essays
  • About Informed Consent
  • Writing Field Notes
  • Writing a Policy Memo
  • Writing a Research Proposal
  • Acknowledgements

Things to Think About Before You Begin

After you've determined the type of research design you will use, but before you sit down and begin to organize your paper, there are few things you should consider doing that will help make the actual writing process go much smoother.

Make a Schedule

If your professor has not already created a schedule to follow in developing and writing your research paper by requiring intermediary deadlines for completing the assignment, then drafting a schedule should be your first step. Drawing from key dates in your class syllabus, write in your calendar when the final paper is due, then work backwards from there. Choose specific dates for important steps along the way but focus on setting realistic goals, and then sticking to them . Make sure to give yourself enough time to find out what resources are available to you [including meeting with a librarian, if needed], to choose a research problem to investigate, to select and read relevant research literature, to outline your paper, to organize the information you are going to cite in your paper, and to write your first and final drafts [and any necessary drafts in between]. Developing a calendar will also help you manage your time in relation to assignments you receive in other classes.

Analyze the Assignment

Carefully analyze the assignment to determine what you are specifically being asked to do . Look for key terms, topics, subject areas, and/or issues that can help you frame a research problem that interests you. Also, be sure that you understand the type of paper you are being asked to write. Research papers discuss a subject in depth and cite to credible sources that can back up the evidence that you present in arguing a particular perspective.

The way in which your professor may ask you to frame your analysis can include any of the following approaches:

  • Comparison approach in which the task is to compare and contrast two ideas, constructs, or tangible things with one another.
  • Definition approach that asks you to discuss in depth the cultural and associative meanings of, for example, a political theory, a policy proposal, or a controversial practice.
  • Descriptive approach where you choose a subject that you know well and help others to understand it.
  • Evaluative appoach that asks you to assess a theoretical concept, issue, person, place, or thing in a critical, but not necessarily critical, way.
  • Exploratory approach in which you are asked to pursue a specific line of inquiry, often with the purpose of making recommendations for further research or to advocate for specific actions to be taken.
  • Interpretive approach that requires you to apply the theoretical knowledge gained in a course to a particular case study, such as, a business situation in a management course or a psychological case profile.
  • Narrative approach written from a certain point of view, usually your own and written in the first person.
  • Persuasive approach in which you are asked to take a position in a scholarly argument and give the reader reasons why they should agree with your position.
  • Policy memorandum approach in which you are asked to write short factual sentences devoid of emotion that summarize a situation to date, identifiy the main issue of concern, provide a breakdown of the elements of this main issue, and then recommend how to address the issue based on research about the topic.

Composing Processes: Planning and Organizing . Writing@CSU. Colorado State University; Invention: Starting the Writing Process . The Writing Lab and The OWL. Purdue University; Invention: Overview of the Writing Process . The Reading/Writing Center. Hunter College; Williams, Joseph M. and Lawrence McEnerney. Writing in College 2: Preparing to Write and Drafting the Paper. Writing Program, The University of Chicago; Prewriting Strategies. Writing Center. University of Kansas; Prewriting Techniques. Hawley Academic Resource and Advising Center. Simpson College.

General Information

To make a paper readable :

  • Use a 12 point standard font, such as New Times Roman, Calibri, Geneva, Bookman, Helvetica, etc.
  • Text should be double spaced on 8 1/2" x 11" paper with 1 inch margins on all four sides.
  • Number pages consecutively. Do not number title page as page 1.

General mistakes to avoid :

  • Start each new section on a new page--avoid orphan headings [insert a page break!].
  • Dividing a table or figure--if possible, confine non-textual elements, such as a table or chart, to a single page.
  • Submitting a paper with pages out of order.
  • Not adhering to recommended page limits.

General  stylistic and grammatical mistakes to avoid :

  • Use normal prose ["a," "the," "an"].
  • Spell checkers and grammar checkers are helpful, but they don’t catch everything. Always proofread and, if possible, get someone to do it for you before submitting your final paper.
  • Indent the first line of each paragraph.
  • If a paragraph is nearly a page long, or longer, then it is probably too long for the reader.
  • Write in active voice, whenever possible.
  • Define all abbreviations the first time they are used but don’t use too many abbreviations. They shorten the text but make it more difficult to read. Never start a sentence with an abbreviation.
  • Do not use contractions in academic writing and do not start sentences with conjunctions (and, but, or) or numerals.
  • Avoid informal wording, addressing the reader directly, and using jargon, slang terms, or superlatives.

In all sections of your paper :

  • Stay focused on the research problem you are investigating [follow the steps in this guide].
  • Use paragraphs to separate each important point.
  • Present your points in logical order.
  • Use present tense to report well accepted facts [e.g., "The Prime Minister of Bulgaria is Boyko Borissov."]
  • Use past tense to describe specific results from your study [, e.g., "Evidence shows that the impact of the invasion was magnified by events in 1989."]
  • Avoid the use of superfluous non-textual elements [images/figures/charts/tables]; include only those necessary for presenting or enhancing an understanding of the results.

The Guide to Grammar and Writing . Capital Community College Foundation; Grammar . The Writing Lab and The OWL. Purdue University; Writing Tips . Writers Workshop.  University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign;  Handouts. The Writing Center. University of North Carolina.  

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How to Gather Information for Your Research Smartly

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A graduate student who works with me once remarked that he “wasn’t very good at doing literature searches.” I replied that researchers often spend as much time in the library as they do in the lab, and that he had better hone his skills at gathering information if he wanted to make a career as a researcher. When it comes to gathering information for research papers or research programs, it’s important to be as efficient as possible in order to free up more time for actual research and writing . Here are some of the best ways I have found to gather information smartly.

Keyword Searches

It has never been easier to do literature searches if you know how to use the Boolean system for keywords—keyword1 “and” keyword2; plus keyword1 “or” keyword2. The former narrows a search that might otherwise generate too many responses to manage; the latter broadens a search when you are uncertain which keywords might be used in articles of interest. An author’s name might substitute for one or more keywords. There are many combinations using advanced search options and a little experimentation will give you a feel for what works best to pull up articles of interest.

Citation Searches

Guessing at keywords can be a hit or miss affair. Searching for citations is often a simpler way to locate references in an area of interest. If there is a key paper in an area, subsequent researchers will reference it in their papers. Searching for citations will generate publications that may be of interest, not only for research ideas but to include as references an eventual research paper . This can be a real shortcut when it comes to documenting past work. Of course, a really key paper will be cited so often that you may need to narrow the search with “and” keywords or pick a citation in a narrower area.

Abstracting services can be a time saver to keep up to date with the literature. The CA Selects service offered by Chemical Abstracts is one I have used. It offers current abstracts on thirty-three topics ranging from adhesives to zeolites. This is a cost effective way for a whole research group to stay up to date on several topics. In graduate school our group leader subscribed to five topics in areas of silicon, phosphorus, sulfur, and halogen chemistry. Each abstract would circulate by turn to each of ten group members, to be checked off and handed on to the next person. Our group leader touted CA Selects as a “relatively painless way to stay current in research,” and for people who are good at skimming abstracts I agree.

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  • Research Note Cards

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You may have used Research Note Cards in the past to help your organize information for a research paper. Research Note Cards have you write out quotes or paraphrased information on a note card and include information such as the topic of the source and where you found the source.

There are five parts to Research Note Cards:

  • This is going to be the main idea from your research assignment that your quote will connect to. Creating and organizing your information will make it easier to focus your research and complete your assignment.
  • This will be the name of the source that your information is from.
  • This will be either the quote or your paraphrased sentence(s) from the source. What evidence in this source did you find that will support your thesis statement?
  • This is the page number that you found the quote on. If your source does not have page numbers (like an internet source)you can either leave this blank of include the section of the online source that you found this information in.
  • Include the complete citation for your source on the back of the note card.

*Note:  It is important to only put one quote or paraphrase per note card.

Sample research note cards

In the top left corner of the note card is the topic that the quote relates to in the research paper.

Underneath the topic in the top left corner of the note card is an abbreviated name of the source this quote came from.

In the center of the note card is the quote/paraphrased information from the source.

In the bottom right corner of the note card is the page number the information came from.

On the back of the note card is the full citation for the source.

*Note:  Keep in mind, your note card might not be organized the exact same way as the example. That is okay, as long as you make sure you have all the information needed listed on the note card.

Because the quotes and paraphrases are on their own note card, you can group and reorder them in the way you want them to appear in your research paper.

  • Use the topic at the top of each note card to group cards by subject.
  • Put the groups in the order they should appear in your paper to support your thesis.
  • Within each group of note cards, order the note cards in the way they'll appear in each paragraph of your paper.
  • Think about the order information needs to be presented in order to build a case for your thesis.

Once everything is organized by topic and in order, you will have created a map or guide to follow when writing your paper. It may also allow you to spot holes in your reasoning or evidence -- you can then return to your sources (or find additional sources) to fill in the needed information.

Work Cited

"The Note Card System."  Gallaudet University , 2021, www.gallaudet.edu/tutorial-and-instructional-programs/english-center/the-process-and-type-of-writing/pre-writing-writing-and-revising/the-note-card-system/.

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Expert Commentary

Organizing your research: A scientist’s tips for journalists

Maya Gosztyla, a Ph.D. candidate in the Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program at the University of California San Diego, provides an overview of literature mapping tools, RSS feeds, research management software and databases to help journalists organize their research.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License .

by Naseem S. Miller, The Journalist's Resource March 21, 2023

This <a target="_blank" href="https://journalistsresource.org/home/organizing-your-research/">article</a> first appeared on <a target="_blank" href="https://journalistsresource.org">The Journalist's Resource</a> and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.<img src="https://journalistsresource.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/cropped-jr-favicon-150x150.png" style="width:1em;height:1em;margin-left:10px;">

Journalists collect a lot of stuff while reporting, especially for big stories and projects: interviews, documents, research papers, articles. It can be overwhelming at times.

Academics too must collect a large number of documents. They use a variety of tools to organize their work, some of which journalists can also use to organize materials. 

During a panel at the 2023 Association of Health Care Journalists conference in St. Louis, Missouri, Maya Gosztyla , a Ph.D. candidate in the Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program at the University of California San Diego, shared her organizational approach as a scientist, which journalists can easily adopt. She’s the authors of 2022 Nature career columns, “ How to Find, Read and Organize Papers ” and “ How to Manage Your Time as a Researcher .”

Below is a list of tips and tools that Gosztyla shared during the panel.

1. Find related research with literature mapping tools.

When journalists report on a new study, it’s important to consider where that study fits into the larger body of research.

Pubmed and Google Scholar are go-to research platforms to find academic research . But they’re not the most efficient tools for finding research related to a specific academic study.

A better approach is using literature mapping tools , which show the connection between research papers.

“Imagine papers like nodes in a network,” Gosztyla said. “Each paper will cite other papers, and what you can do is make a giant map of all the papers in a specific subject area. And then you can see the hubs — what are the papers that everyone cites that you should probably read.”

Some of the popular literature mapping tools, which offer free versions, include ResearchRabbit, Inciteful, Connected Papers and Litmaps .

2. Stay on top of current research with RSS feeds.

Many journalists, especially those who write about academic research, subscribe to journal email lists. But that may not be the best option for organizing research.

“It kind of overwhelms your inbox after a while,” said Gosztyla.

Another common method is setting up keyword email alerts. Both Pubmed and Google Scholar let you set up email alerts for specific keywords. But that too can crowd your email inbox.

Gosztyla’s solution is using an RSS feed reader .

RSS stands for “really simple syndication.” An RSS feed reader — or RSS feed aggregator — gets all the new articles or studies published on a website and brings them together in a timeline that you can quickly scroll through.

Many websites have RSS feeds. Once you have a link for the RSS feed, you can then add it to a free or paid RSS feed reader.

Here’s a good explainer by Lifewire on how to find RSS feeds and add it to a reader.

Gosztyla spends a few minutes every morning scrolling through her RSS feed reader — her favorite is Feedly — to check for new published research in her field.

This August 2022 article from Wired lists some of the more popular RSS feed readers.

3. Use research management software to file your research.

10 things we wish we’d known earlier about research: Tips from The Journalist’s Resource

There are several free online tools that can help you store what you find during your research instead having dozens of open tabs on your browser.

A popular tool developed by and for journalists is DocumentCloud , where you can upload documents, search the text, annotate, extract data , redact and edit.

Another option, popular among academics, is Zotero . It’s a free, open-source reference management tool and can store and organize your research material, including PDF files.

You can use Zotero in a browser, but for a more powerful experience, download it and install the Zotero plugin for your browser. When you come across a study or article that you want to save, click the plugin. It will save the item to your desired Zotero folder. You can create many folders and subfolders, and also share folders. You can also highlight and annotate PDFs.

“If you’re not using a reference manager, I highly, highly recommend them,” said Gosztyla.

You can integrate Zotero to several apps and programs, including, Word, Google Docs and literature mapping tools like ResearchRabbit.

Some of the alternatives to Zotero include, Mendeley , EndNote , RefWorks and Sciwheel .    

4. Routinely read your research pile.

To stay on top of what you’re collecting, Gosztyla offered this advice:

Block out a time each week, like two hours on Fridays, to read. If you have a big pile, maybe devote a couple of days to reading.

And decide how you’re going to spend that reading time: are you going to devote it to do a deep dive, or just scan what you’ve collected, take notes and decide what to keep and what to toss.

“Maybe it’s your routine that every week you buy yourself a nice cup of coffee. You go to a certain cafe and you just read,” Gosztyla said. “So find a routine that you really look forward to and it’s something you want to do.”

5. Don’t forget to take notes while reading documents .

“Don’t ever read without highlighting or taking notes,” Gosztyla said. “Otherwise, you will forget it. I guarantee it.”

Write a small note, a blurb, on the material you read to remind you of its main takeaways and where it fits into your project. Do you need to email or interview the author with follow-up questions? Or read the authors’ previous work? Make a note of those.

In the next step, you’ll learn about organizing those notes.

6. You have collected. You have read. Now organize your work in a database.

Research management software can help you organize your documents, but it’s helpful to create a database of what you’ve collected, your tasks for each item, and maybe a summary and key points. You can use Google Sheets of Microsoft Excel to create your list.

If you want something other than a classic spreadsheet, you can try web applications like Notion.

Notion is a powerful program, which Gosztyla described as a “multi-use database tool.” Notion describes itself as an all-in-one workspace. You can use it to organize your research, manage projects and tasks, note-taking and even your daily journals. You can also integrate Notion with many other apps and tools.

It has a steep learning curve. Give yourself time to learn to use it before integrating it into your workflow. Notion has tutorials on YouTube and a wiki page . Gosztyla recommended Thomas Frank Explains YouTube tutorials. Frank is an author, YouTuber, and Notion expert.

Some alternatives to Notion include Airtable , Trello and Coda .

7. Go one step further with automation tools.

If you want to go a step further in your Notion journey, you can link a Zotero folder to Notion with a tool called Notero . Every time you add an item to your Zotero folder, it populates your Notion database.

Notion has many templates you can choose from. Or you can use Gosztyla’s template .

You can automate and integrate other apps too, to create a better workflow for your work. Some of the popular options are IFTTT — Short for If This Then That — which integrates apps, devices and services to create automated workflows, and Zapier , which connects web applications and allows users to create automated workflows.

Keep in mind, you don’t have to use all the tools listed above.

“Take the pieces that work for you and apply them to your life,” advised Gosztyla.

If you want to share a tool that’s helped you organize your research, you can reach me at [email protected] . You can reach Gosztyla on Twitter @MayaGosztyla .

About The Author

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Naseem S. Miller

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Research papers.

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Writing research papers allows you to take a  deeper dive into a topic  while relying on credible sources   for information.  A research paper should be original work from you, the writer. This means that the vast majority of the research paper content should be your ideas, analysis, and words and should avoid an overreliance on direct quotations from outside sources.

organize information for a research paper

This research process also hones the skills that so many employers find valuable, like researching for information, applying the information, prioritizing and organizing information, and more.

Breaking the process down into  steps  will make it more manageable.

Components of a Research Paper

  • ​ Introduces the topic covered in the paper 
  • States the thesis or position to be supported   in the body of the paper
  • Usually one or two paragraphs in length
  • ​The main  part of the paper
  • Points presented in logical order to support the thesis, one point per paragraph
  • length of this section varies; usually, a minimum of three paragraphs
  • ​ Restates the thesis 
  • Reinforces significant points made in the body of the paper

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Consistency in the order, structure, and format of a paper allows readers to focus on a paper’s content rather than its presentation.

To format a paper in APA Style, writers can typically use the default settings and automatic formatting tools of their word-processing program or make only minor adjustments.

The guidelines for paper format apply to both student assignments and manuscripts being submitted for publication to a journal. If you are using APA Style to create another kind of work (e.g., a website, conference poster, or PowerPoint presentation), you may need to format your work differently in order to optimize its presentation, for example, by using different line spacing and font sizes. Follow the guidelines of your institution or publisher to adapt APA Style formatting guidelines as needed.

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Organizing Your Social Sciences Research Paper

  • Choosing a Title
  • Purpose of Guide
  • Design Flaws to Avoid
  • Independent and Dependent Variables
  • Glossary of Research Terms
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  • Narrowing a Topic Idea
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The title summarizes the main idea or ideas of your study. A good title contains the fewest possible words needed to adequately describe the content and/or purpose of your research paper.

Importance of Choosing a Good Title

The title is the part of a paper that is read the most, and it is usually read first . It is, therefore, the most important element that defines the research study. With this in mind, avoid the following when creating a title:

  • If the title is too long, this usually indicates there are too many unnecessary words. Avoid language, such as, "A Study to Investigate the...," or "An Examination of the...." These phrases are obvious and generally superfluous unless they are necessary to covey the scope, intent, or type of a study.
  • On the other hand, a title which is too short often uses words which are too broad and, thus, does not tell the reader what is being studied. For example, a paper with the title, "African Politics" is so non-specific the title could be the title of a book and so ambiguous that it could refer to anything associated with politics in Africa. A good title should provide information about the focus and/or scope of your research study.
  • In academic writing, catchy phrases or non-specific language may be used, but only if it's within the context of the study [e.g., "Fair and Impartial Jury--Catch as Catch Can"]. However, in most cases, you should avoid including words or phrases that do not help the reader understand the purpose of your paper.
  • Academic writing is a serious and deliberate endeavor. Avoid using humorous or clever journalistic styles of phrasing when creating the title to your paper. Journalistic headlines often use emotional adjectives [e.g., incredible, amazing, effortless] to highlight a problem experienced by the reader or use "trigger words" or interrogative words like how, what, when, or why to persuade people to read the article or click on a link. These approaches are viewed as counter-productive in academic writing. A reader does not need clever or humorous titles to catch their attention because the act of reading research is assumed to be deliberate based on a desire to learn and improve understanding of the problem. In addition, a humorous title can merely detract from the seriousness and authority of your research. 
  • Unlike everywhere else in a college-level social sciences research paper [except when using direct quotes in the text], titles do not have to adhere to rigid grammatical or stylistic standards. For example, it could be appropriate to begin a title with a coordinating conjunction [i.e., and, but, or, nor, for, so, yet] if it makes sense to do so and does not detract from the purpose of the study [e.g., "Yet Another Look at Mutual Fund Tournaments"] or beginning the title with an inflected form of a verb such as those ending in -ing [e.g., "Assessing the Political Landscape: Structure, Cognition, and Power in Organizations"].

Appiah, Kingsley Richard et al. “Structural Organisation of Research Article Titles: A Comparative Study of Titles of Business, Gynaecology and Law.” Advances in Language and Literary Studies 10 (2019); Hartley James. “To Attract or to Inform: What are Titles for?” Journal of Technical Writing and Communication 35 (2005): 203-213; Jaakkola, Maarit. “Journalistic Writing and Style.” In Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Communication . Jon F. Nussbaum, editor. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2018): https://oxfordre.com/communication.

Structure and Writing Style

The following parameters can be used to help you formulate a suitable research paper title:

  • The purpose of the research
  • The scope of the research
  • The narrative tone of the paper [typically defined by the type of the research]
  • The methods used to study the problem

The initial aim of a title is to capture the reader’s attention and to highlight the research problem under investigation.

Create a Working Title Typically, the final title you submit to your professor is created after the research is complete so that the title accurately captures what has been done . The working title should be developed early in the research process because it can help anchor the focus of the study in much the same way the research problem does. Referring back to the working title can help you reorient yourself back to the main purpose of the study if you find yourself drifting off on a tangent while writing. The Final Title Effective titles in research papers have several characteristics that reflect general principles of academic writing.

  • Indicate accurately the subject and scope of the study,
  • Rarely use abbreviations or acronyms unless they are commonly known,
  • Use words that create a positive impression and stimulate reader interest,
  • Use current nomenclature from the field of study,
  • Identify key variables, both dependent and independent,
  • Reveal how the paper will be organized,
  • Suggest a relationship between variables which supports the major hypothesis,
  • Is limited to 5 to 15 substantive words,
  • Does not include redundant phrasing, such as, "A Study of," "An Analysis of" or similar constructions,
  • Takes the form of a question or declarative statement,
  • If you use a quote as part of the title, the source of the quote is cited [usually using an asterisk and footnote],
  • Use correct grammar and capitalization with all first words and last words capitalized, including the first word of a subtitle. All nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs that appear between the first and last words of the title are also capitalized, and
  • Rarely uses an exclamation mark at the end of the title.

The Subtitle Subtitles are frequently used in social sciences research papers because it helps the reader understand the scope of the study in relation to how it was designed to address the research problem. Think about what type of subtitle listed below reflects the overall approach to your study and whether you believe a subtitle is needed to emphasize the investigative parameters of your research.

1.  Explains or provides additional context , e.g., "Linguistic Ethnography and the Study of Welfare Institutions as a Flow of Social Practices: The Case of Residential Child Care Institutions as Paradoxical Institutions." [Palomares, Manuel and David Poveda.  Text & Talk: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Language, Discourse and Communication Studies 30 (January 2010): 193-212]

2.  Adds substance to a literary, provocative, or imaginative title or quote , e.g., "Listen to What I Say, Not How I Vote": Congressional Support for the President in Washington and at Home." [Grose, Christian R. and Keesha M. Middlemass. Social Science Quarterly 91 (March 2010): 143-167]

3.  Qualifies the geographic scope of the research , e.g., "The Geopolitics of the Eastern Border of the European Union: The Case of Romania-Moldova-Ukraine." [Marcu, Silvia. Geopolitics 14 (August 2009): 409-432]

4.  Qualifies the temporal scope of the research , e.g., "A Comparison of the Progressive Era and the Depression Years: Societal Influences on Predictions of the Future of the Library, 1895-1940." [Grossman, Hal B. Libraries & the Cultural Record 46 (2011): 102-128]

5.  Focuses on investigating the ideas, theories, or work of a particular individual , e.g., "A Deliberative Conception of Politics: How Francesco Saverio Merlino Related Anarchy and Democracy." [La Torre, Massimo. Sociologia del Diritto 28 (January 2001): 75 - 98]

6.  Identifies the methodology used , e.g. "Student Activism of the 1960s Revisited: A Multivariate Analysis Research Note." [Aron, William S. Social Forces 52 (March 1974): 408-414]

7.  Defines the overarching technique for analyzing the research problem , e.g., "Explaining Territorial Change in Federal Democracies: A Comparative Historical Institutionalist Approach." [ Tillin, Louise. Political Studies 63 (August 2015): 626-641.

With these examples in mind, think about what type of subtitle reflects the overall approach to your study. This will help the reader understand the scope of the study in relation to how it was designed to address the research problem.

Anstey, A. “Writing Style: What's in a Title?” British Journal of Dermatology 170 (May 2014): 1003-1004; Balch, Tucker. How to Compose a Title for Your Research Paper. Augmented Trader blog. School of Interactive Computing, Georgia Tech University; Bavdekar, Sandeep B. “Formulating the Right Title for a Research Article.” Journal of Association of Physicians of India 64 (February 2016); Choosing the Proper Research Paper Titles. AplusReports.com, 2007-2012; Eva, Kevin W. “Titles, Abstracts, and Authors.” In How to Write a Paper . George M. Hall, editor. 5th edition. (Oxford: John Wiley and Sons, 2013), pp. 33-41; Hartley James. “To Attract or to Inform: What are Titles for?” Journal of Technical Writing and Communication 35 (2005): 203-213; General Format. The Writing Lab and The OWL. Purdue University; Kerkut G.A. “Choosing a Title for a Paper.” Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part A: Physiology 74 (1983): 1; “Tempting Titles.” In Stylish Academic Writing . Helen Sword, editor. (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2012), pp. 63-75; Nundy, Samiran, et al. “How to Choose a Title?” In How to Practice Academic Medicine and Publish from Developing Countries? A Practical Guide . Edited by Samiran Nundy, Atul Kakar, and Zulfiqar A. Bhutta. (Springer Singapore, 2022), pp. 185-192.

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Computer Science > Artificial Intelligence

Title: researcharena: benchmarking llms' ability to collect and organize information as research agents.

Abstract: Large language models (LLMs) have exhibited remarkable performance across various tasks in natural language processing. Nevertheless, challenges still arise when these tasks demand domain-specific expertise and advanced analytical skills, such as conducting research surveys on a designated topic. In this research, we develop ResearchArena, a benchmark that measures LLM agents' ability to conduct academic surveys, an initial step of academic research process. Specifically, we deconstructs the surveying process into three stages 1) information discovery: locating relevant papers, 2) information selection: assessing papers' importance to the topic, and 3) information organization: organizing papers into meaningful structures. In particular, we establish an offline environment comprising 12.0M full-text academic papers and 7.9K survey papers, which evaluates agents' ability to locate supporting materials for composing the survey on a topic, rank the located papers based on their impact, and organize these into a hierarchical knowledge mind-map. With this benchmark, we conduct preliminary evaluations of existing techniques and find that all LLM-based methods under-performing when compared to basic keyword-based retrieval techniques, highlighting substantial opportunities for future research.
Subjects: Artificial Intelligence (cs.AI); Computation and Language (cs.CL); Information Retrieval (cs.IR)
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COMMENTS

  1. Organizing Research Papers: A Step-by-Step Guide

    Here is a step-by-step guide to help you create your own customized research plan: Establish Your Goals - Start by deciding what information or results you hope to gain from your project. Research Paper Organizer - Use this tool to keep track of references used in the paper as well as other relevant resources.

  2. How to Organize Research Papers: A Cheat Sheet for Graduate Students

    It's best to organize your research papers chronologically. If you want to do all this at once, I suggest using a reference manager like Zotero or Mendeley (more on reference managers later). File renaming. Make sure you rename your files on your computer according to your own renaming strategy.

  3. Organize Your Information

    Taking notes helps you manage your sources and identify information you want to use in the paper. Use the system that works best for you. The system you choose for taking notes is critical to help you track your use of sources and avoid plagiarism. Even professional writers have run into problems in this step of the process, so be careful.

  4. Organizing Papers and References without Losing your Mind

    As a follow up, here are a few tips on how to keep track of the papers you want to read without losing your mind. Choose a reference manager. Sure, you can get by creating a poster or two without a reference manager, but it's incredibly risky to cite references by hand for manuscripts and grant proposals. Choosing and using a reference ...

  5. How to Create a Structured Research Paper Outline

    A research paper outline is a useful tool to aid in the writing process, providing a structure to follow with all information to be included in the paper clearly organized. A quality outline can make writing your research paper more efficient by helping to: Organize your thoughts; Understand the flow of information and how ideas are related

  6. How to Write a Research Paper

    A research paper is a piece of academic writing that provides analysis, interpretation, ... The major struggle faced by most writers is how to organize the information presented in the paper, which is one reason an outline is so useful. However, remember that the outline is only a guide and, when writing, you can be flexible with the order in ...

  7. PDF Organizing a Research Paper

    Organizing a Research Paper - Cornell University

  8. Research Paper Structure: A Comprehensive Guide

    A well-structured research paper not only helps readers follow the flow of ideas but also enhances the clarity and coherence of the content. By organizing information into sections, paragraphs, and sentences, researchers can present their thoughts logically and systematically. This logical organization allows readers to easily connect ideas ...

  9. How to start your research paper [step-by-step guide]

    Below is a step-by-step guide to starting and completing your research paper. Organize your papers in one place. Try Paperpile. No credit card needed. Get 30 days free. 1. Choose your topic. Choose a topic that interests you. Writing your research paper will be so much more pleasant with a topic that you actually want to know more about.

  10. How to find, read and organize papers

    Step 1: find. I used to find new papers by aimlessly scrolling through science Twitter. But because I often got distracted by irrelevant tweets, that wasn't very efficient. I also signed up for ...

  11. 15 Best Free Web Tools to Organize Your Research

    Zotero: Collect, manage, and cite your research sources. Lets you organize data into collections and search through them by adding tags to every source. This is a computer program, but there's a browser extension that helps you send data to it. Google Scholar: A simple way to search for scholarly literature on any subject. Diigo: Collect, share ...

  12. Academic Guides: Writing a Paper: Organizing Your Thoughts

    Categorize. Organizing your paper can be a daunting task if you begin too late, so organizing a paper should take place during the reading and note-taking process. As you read and take notes, make sure to group your data into self-contained categories. These categories will help you to build the structure of your paper.

  13. How to write a research paper outline

    The outline is the skeleton of your research paper. Simply start by writing down your thesis and the main ideas you wish to present. This will likely change as your research progresses; therefore, do not worry about being too specific in the early stages of writing your outline. Organize your papers in one place. Try Paperpile.

  14. PDF Recipe for Research: A Six-Step Process

    This guide ofers a six-step process for acquiring and organizing information for a research assignment, with emphasis on writing a paper. Choose a Topic. The ability to develop a good research topic is an important skill for high school and college students alike. Your instructor may assign you a specific topic or allow you to choose your own.

  15. Organizing Academic Research Papers: Making an Outline

    Writing an outline will also help you focused on the task at hand and avoid unnecessary tangents, logical fallacies, and underdeveloped paragraphs. Identify the research problem. The research problem is the focal point from which the rest of the outline flows. Try to sum up the point of your paper in one sentence or phrase.

  16. How to Organize Research: Notes, PDF Files, & Documents

    1. Note-taking and Mind mapping - How to Hack Your Mind. First, start by organizing your notes into categories. You can do this on a sticky note or on a mind map. Even though you may feel like a middle school kid using colorful sticky paper, sticky notes are proven to be one of the most effective ways to organize research.

  17. Organize / Take Notes

    It may have struck you that you just read a lot of "re" words: re-read, re-organize, re-group, re-shuffle, re-think. That's right; working with your notes essentially means going back and reviewing how this "new" information fits with your own thoughts about the topic or issue of the research.

  18. How To Organize A Research Paper? Expert's Guide 2022

    It all starts with selecting a topic since you cannot go around and conduct research without having a vision in front of you. A topic is the same as the vision that you will make first to jump to the next parts. So select a topic and move towards organizing the outline of your research. 2. Form a Thesis Statement.

  19. Organizing Academic Research Papers: Purpose of Guide

    Purpose of Guide. This guide is intended to help you organize and write a quality academic research paper. Also included are recommendations regarding how to manage specific course assignments. Note that, if you have specific questions about how to write a research paper, you should always seek advice from your professor before you begin.

  20. Organizing Academic Research Papers: 2. Preparing to Write

    To make a paper readable: Use a 12 point standard font, such as New Times Roman, Calibri, Geneva, Bookman, Helvetica, etc. Text should be double spaced on 8 1/2" x 11" paper with 1 inch margins on all four sides. Number pages consecutively. Do not number title page as page 1. General mistakes to avoid:

  21. How to Gather Information for Your Research Smartly

    It offers current abstracts on thirty-three topics ranging from adhesives to zeolites. This is a cost effective way for a whole research group to stay up to date on several topics. In graduate school our group leader subscribed to five topics in areas of silicon, phosphorus, sulfur, and halogen chemistry. Each abstract would circulate by turn ...

  22. Organizing Your Research

    Research Note Cards. You may have used Research Note Cards in the past to help your organize information for a research paper. Research Note Cards have you write out quotes or paraphrased information on a note card and include information such as the topic of the source and where you found the source. There are five parts to Research Note Cards:

  23. Organizing your research: A scientist's tips for journalists

    Below is a list of tips and tools that Gosztyla shared during the panel. 1. Find related research with literature mapping tools. When journalists report on a new study, it's important to consider where that study fits into the larger body of research. Pubmed and Google Scholar are go-to research platforms to find academic research.

  24. Research Paper Basics

    Writing research papers allows you to take a deeper dive into a topic while relying on credible sources for information.A research paper should be original work from you, the writer. This means that the vast majority of the research paper content should be your ideas, analysis, and words and should avoid an overreliance on direct quotations from outside sources.

  25. Paper format

    To format a paper in APA Style, writers can typically use the default settings and automatic formatting tools of their word-processing program or make only minor adjustments. Consistency in the order, structure, and format of a paper allows readers to focus on a paper's content rather than its presentation. To format a paper in APA Style ...

  26. Organizing Your Social Sciences Research Paper

    The Subtitle Subtitles are frequently used in social sciences research papers because it helps the reader understand the scope of the study in relation to how it was designed to address the research problem. Think about what type of subtitle listed below reflects the overall approach to your study and whether you believe a subtitle is needed to emphasize the investigative parameters of your ...

  27. ResearchArena: Benchmarking LLMs' Ability to Collect and Organize

    In particular, we establish an offline environment comprising 12.0M full-text academic papers and 7.9K survey papers, which evaluates agents' ability to locate supporting materials for composing the survey on a topic, rank the located papers based on their impact, and organize these into a hierarchical knowledge mind-map.

  28. Rotate, move, delete, and renumber PDF pages

    Open the PDF in Acrobat, and choose All tools > Organize pages, or choose Edit > Organize pages from the global bar. The Organize pages toolset is displayed in the left pane. The page thumbnails are displayed in the Document area.

  29. 2024 Conference

    The Neural Information Processing Systems Foundation is a non-profit corporation whose purpose is to foster the exchange of research advances in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, principally by hosting an annual interdisciplinary academic conference with the highest ethical standards for a diverse and inclusive community.

  30. 2022 Conference

    The Neural Information Processing Systems Foundation is a non-profit corporation whose purpose is to foster the exchange of research advances in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, principally by hosting an annual interdisciplinary academic conference with the highest ethical standards for a diverse and inclusive community.