How to Write a Research Paper in a Week


Writing research papers develops your research, critical thinking, and writing skills. Writing a good one under time constraints is not ideal, but there are ways to research properly and communicate your ideas effectively under pressure. A week can be an adequate amount of time to develop your ideas and present them clearly and logically. After practicing the tactics needed to produce a good paper in a short amount of time, your writing and research skills in general might become more efficient.

  • Narrow your topic on the first day. Consult your professor about your paper's topic choice if you have not already done so. Finding out after a few days that your chosen topic is inappropriate for the specific assignment will leave you more stressed and pressed for time. After doing about an hour of background reading on the topic as soon as you have it nailed down, think about the approach your paper will take.

  • Formulate a research plan, also on the first day, as soon as you have decided on an approach. Verify how many sources you will need. With your thesis in mind, find sources that will be helpful to you as you write the paper. Because you will have a limited amount of time, stick to articles and encyclopedia entries, if possible. If your sources are books, skim them first, and only read the chapters directly relevant to your subject. Ask your librarian to help find appropriate sources. Spend the remainder of the first day and the second day reading through your sources and taking notes.

  • Come up with a plan before you begin writing on the third day. Although you may want to jump right in and start writing because of the time limit, it will actually be much easier and faster to write a good paper once you have laid the groundwork. Spend about an hour creating a rough outline. Having a structure to refer to will help you remember to include all the important information and structure it in a logical way. An outline will also help your writing flow, because you will have a sense of what comes next and won't struggle with writers block.

  • Begin writing your paper on the third day, according to the type of research paper you are writing. A paper that presents an argument will begin with a thesis statement, which is a summary of that argument. An analytical research paper explores an issue without bias and begins with a statement of your intent of what you hope to accomplish with the paper. A scientific research paper's introduction will briefly describe the significance of the research, and if you are writing on an experiment you performed, it should include your hypothesis and conclusion, as well. Spend the third, fourth, fifth, and sixth day writing your paper.

  • Leave enough time to revise your work on the last day. You be able to polish your writing and you will also be able to find and correct any flaws in your logic, edit extraneous material, and make sure your paper is appropriate for your audience.

Tips & Warnings

  • Include a Works Cited page. This fundamental part of any research paper credits the sources you have used.

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