How To Do Research To Write A Credible Paper?

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When you write a paper, you’re essentially making an argument. Your main goal is to convince the reader that your viewpoint is the right one. But how do you do this effectively? The answer is simple yet incredibly important – research.

Why Research Matters?

Without a doubt, research is a critical part of writing a strong, persuasive paper. This is true whether you’re crafting a simple essay for your English class, compiling a complex report for work, or even writing an in-depth thesis for a graduate degree. 

Here’s why:

Demonstrates Knowledge

By conducting thorough research, you’re showing your audience that you understand your topic deeply. It makes you seem like an expert, and it helps your readers trust you. 

Adds Substance 

Research adds depth and detail to your paper. Instead of merely sharing your opinions, you’re presenting factual evidence that supports your viewpoint. This makes your argument more convincing.

Protects Against Misinformation 

In today’s digital age, misinformation is everywhere. By conducting research, you’re making sure that the information you’re sharing is accurate and reliable. 

How to Conduct Effective Research?

Research can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are some tips to get you started:

1. Understand your topic: Before you begin your research, make sure you fully understand what you’re researching. If you’re unsure, ask your teacher, supervisor, or colleague for clarification. 

2. Identify reliable sources: Not all sources are created equal. Look for information from respected institutions, well-known experts, and trustworthy news outlets. Websites ending in “.edu” or “.gov” are generally reliable, as they are associated with educational institutions and government entities.

3. Keep track of your sources: As you conduct your research, keep careful notes of where you’re finding your information. This will make citing your sources easier later on.

4. Analyze and evaluate: Once you have your information, take the time to analyze it. Is it biased? Is it backed up by other sources? Asking these questions will ensure the information you include in your paper is credible.

Remember that research is not a one-size-fits-all process. The methods and resources you’ll need will vary depending on your topic and the nature of your paper. For a more in-depth guide to conducting research, consider consulting resources like the Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue University.

Moral Values in Research

Research is not just a tool to accumulate knowledge; it’s a process grounded in certain moral values. These values uphold the integrity of research and ensure its trustworthiness.

Truth and Honesty

A researcher should always present the findings truthfully and honestly. Distorting facts or presenting incorrect data undermines the credibility of the research.

Respect for Intellectual Property

Researchers should always give due credit to the original authors while citing their works. Using someone else’s work without proper acknowledgment is unethical and amounts to plagiarism.


Researchers dealing with sensitive data or personal information must respect the confidentiality and privacy of their subjects. Consent should always be sought before using such information.


Researchers should approach their work objectively, without allowing personal bias or emotions to influence their methods or findings. All assumptions should be clearly stated and research should be transparent and replicable.

Different Methods of Research

Research methods broadly fall into two categories: qualitative and quantitative. Both methods serve different purposes and are often used in conjunction depending on the research question.

Qualitative Research

Qualitative research focuses on understanding human behavior and the reasons behind such behaviors. It’s exploratory in nature and often involves methods such as:

1. Interviews: One-on-one conversations between the researcher and the participant to gather in-depth insights.

2. Focus Groups: Discussions among a group of people facilitated by the researcher.

3. Observations: The researcher watches and records behaviors or events without directly interacting with the participants.

4. Case Studies: Detailed investigations of a single individual, group, or event.

Quantitative Research

Quantitative research, on the other hand, focuses on gathering numerical data and generalizing it across groups or to predict future events. Methods often involve:

1. Surveys: Structured questionnaires distributed to a large number of people.

2. Experiments: Controlled scenarios where researchers manipulate variables to observe the effect.

3. Longitudinal Studies: Research conducted over a long period to observe changes over time.

4. Correlational Research: Identifying relationships between different variables.

Helping Online Tools In Research 

Fortunately, a plethora of online research tools are available to aid researchers. These include:

1. Google Scholar: A freely accessible web search engine that indexes scholarly literature across many disciplines and formats.

2. EndNote: A reference management tool used for bibliographies and references during writing.

3. Mendeley: A free reference manager and academic social network that helps organize research, collaborate with others online, and discover the latest research.

4. JSTOR: A digital library filled with academic journals, books, and primary sources on various disciplines.

5. Zotero: A free and open-source reference management software to manage bibliographic data and related research materials.

6. Paraphrasing Tool: A paraphrasing tool that can assist in avoiding plagiarism and understanding complex language

Each of these tools has its unique capabilities, and researchers often utilize a combination of them based on their specific requirements.

Using Paraphrasing Tools in Research 

When conducting research, paraphrasing tools can be incredibly useful. These tools can help you understand complex language, make information easier to digest, and avoid plagiarism by helping you rephrase information in your own words. 

However, while these tools can be helpful, they should be used with caution. Always double-check the output to ensure the meaning has not been changed or distorted. A good example of a paraphrasing tool is

paraphrasing tool


Effective research is a cornerstone of a credible paper. It demonstrates your understanding of the topic, adds depth to your argument, and ensures the accuracy of your information. Whether you’re a student, a professional, or a casual writer, taking the time to conduct thorough research will greatly enhance the quality and credibility of your paper.

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