• Emily Yeung

Tips to Write a Good Research Paper

It's midterm and paper season which means that you probably have a big pile of research papers that you have procrastinated starting on. Here are six tips that might help you write a successful research paper.

stack of papers

  • Use the UBC library website and add peer reviewed articles as a filter. For most classes, your research needs to be from peer reviewed papers and articles and the library website lets you filter for the exact content you need which is why I prefer it over google scholar. 

screenshot of ubc library website

  • Use the citation guides from UBC library. The library website has a list of citation guides on their websites that you can use to proofread or create your citations. To find it, click “get research help” in the top bar, then “how to cite” then “major styles” on the left. They have every type of citation guide that UBC uses and you can download the ones you need.

  • Another reason to do your research on the library website is that they do the citations for you. First search an article then click on the quotation mark symbol on the right of the title and choose which style you need the citation in. It's not always right so you need to double check the results, but for the most part it saves a lot of time. 

screenshot of ubc library website

  • When writing a paper I would recommend having 2 documents. One document will be to take notes on all your research including citations, quotes and page numbers. Then on the second document, you write your paper. This is a good way to stay organized and always have a document of your narrowed down research to reference to if you need to. Also, comparing direct quotes and your actual writing side by side can help to avoid accidental plagiarism. 

  • For reviewing your paper, peer review is always the best option, but if that's not available you can use grammarly. Put your paper through https://www.grammarly.com, which is an AI proofreader. Another thing I like to do is copy and paste my paper intro google translate and then play it out loud. When listening to the paper you might catch errors that you missed when reading it over. 

  • Finish your paper early and get whoever is marking it to read it over. Go to the prof or TA and ask them if you’re on the right track. Since they know exactly what they're looking for,  they are the best people to edit your paper.