How to plan an analytic research paper

Plan and execute an analytical research paper the easy way.

Analytical research can be broken down into a simple series of steps to help you form your paper in a way that doesn't fall into the trap of merely summarizing existing content.

Let's have a go at visualising what exactly we need to do from beginning to end.

An easy research paper workflow
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By using this project plan, you can easily set yourself a timeline and break down the assignment into succinctly defined steps. Let's dig a little further into what to do at each step.


Starting from scratch can seem daunting at first. Here's how to get started:

  1. Pick a question. Pose yourself a question that you personally find intriguing enough to ask.
  2. Collect information. Find information from a wide range of sources relating to the question. This is probably going to be 50% of your time on this whole thing.
  3. Develop a thesis argument. Based on the information you've found, what is the most sound and logical conclusion? Develop one by coming up a few different angles or claims surrounding the conclusion.

The Article

Now for the easy part. We've more or less answered our own question by absorbing the information from a range of sources. Now we just need to organise our thoughts a little bit and knock everything out.

  1. Introduction
    1. Write a hook.
      The reader should be intrigued by your very first sentence. Make it so.
    2. Thesis Statement.
      Briefly state your overall conclusion based on a series of claims.
    3. Proof summary.
      Briefly summarise how you're going to prove your claims.
  2. The Body
    Here's the meat and potatoes of the paper. If a reader other than your teacher or professor has gotten this far, congratulations on finding a valuable or useful research topic!

    For each topic or angle supporting your argument, set out the claim, support it with evidence (citing sources) and then link that evidence back to your original statement of claim.

    1. Topic 1.
      1. Claim.
      2. Supporting Evidence.
      3. Proof of claim.

    2. Topic N..
      1. Claim.
      2. Supporting Evidence.
      3. Proof of claim.

  3. Conclusions & Recommendations
    Wrap it all up in a tidy bow, if you can. If not, what should we do in light of the proof you've just shown us? What further research could be done in future to further validate the conclusion?
  4. References
    Remember to cite everything where appropriate.


Further guidance