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How to Write a Research Paper in Only a Day

Updated on June 19, 2013
Smiling: must have started early.
Smiling: must have started early. | Source

How did we get here?

Research comes from the Latin words "re" and "search." Re means to do something over again, such as looking for your phone charger or making the minimum payment on your Visa bill. Search is what we do when we go online to find something. The ancient Latins had it right: research is a vital component of any research paper.

If you have any hope of passing college courses, research must be mastered. A typical college curriculum will include numerous papers to be shared and written by you and your classmates. Without question, waiting until the last minute to start crucial assignments is as common as poorly written run-on sentences, and Google probably won't index this exposé,

Sources. You need sources.

Although a research paper can come from your head, that's also called fiction and most teachers can tell the difference. You need sources. Italicized sources are also nice.

Online offers numerous opportunities for sources because no one goes to the library any more. Sit down on the couch with your iPad and connect to the neighbor's insecure wireless network: you're ready to begin locating sources.

Real researchers prefer authoritative sources. These are anything without the words blog or Wikipedia in the web address. represents about 93.6% of the web conveniently copied into easily digested snippets, but try not to rely on it. Real researchers frown upon anonymously written sources. Their facial expressions aren't usually a big deal, but bad grades almost always follow.

So, you've connected to the 'Net, checked Reddit, Facebook,Tumblr, Twitter, and Pintrest. You're ready to begin surfing for sources. Start with Fox News: they never lie and their site is always up. Their facts are straight and they use small words that are easily understood by English teachers. You can't go wrong.

After exhausting, browse over to The Huffington Post for more stellar facts. Your research is almost complete because now you have two sources.

Do not let this happen to you. Sleep in your own bed.
Do not let this happen to you. Sleep in your own bed. | Source

Always cite your sources

Citations make your research paper seem official. There are many ways to implement citations including MLA, APA, Turabian, and Chicago. Any format you choose is fine because your teacher will expect something completely different.

In the old days of pen and paper we researchers were obligated to actually compose properly formatted citations by hand. We struggled mightily with correct comma placement along with abbreviations and capitalization. Writing our assignments consumed about 10% of our time: the remaining effort was devoted to accurate citations.

Times have changed. Happy writers such as yourself can go online for convenient sites automatically generating correctly constructed citations. All you must do is copy and paste, which you probably learned in Kindergarten or at the Senior Center.

It's time to write fast

Knowing that your research paper is due tomorrow provides tremendous impetus for completion. We all work well under pressure: that's how diamonds are made. Recycled cans are also made that way, but not as romantically as diamonds.

Waiting until the last minute to begin writing is perfectly OK. In the real world we operate under the same conditions. We purchase birthday presents and we rent tuxedos that way. We only change our oil when the little red light comes on. There's no reason for you, as a student with massive loan payments looming, to plan ahead for a piddling research paper upon which your entire college career hinges.

How do you write fast? Spinning works. The advent of high-speed copy and paste features in modern work processors allows us to conveniently transfer entire paragraphs of text from our sources into our original papers written by us. Simply change every other word to a similar but different word. Thousands of words are out there: just pick a few of them and get to work. Words such as 'and', 'the', and 'Quiznos' can be left un-spun. Every other word is relatively up for grabs.

You can't help but be helped by these tips

Here are more handy tips:

  • Read your paper backwards. Your brain will process your words differently. This strategy removes implied meanings and nuances from your composition. You'll have a much better shot at identifying misspelled words.

  • Get help. Show your work to your best friend/roommate/significant other/nameless drifter. Another set of eyes always makes a huge difference. Don't be offended when they find a grammar error in the first paragraph.

  • Get professional help. Take yourself and your research paper to the college tutoring center. Put your work in the hands of the writing tutor, then stroll away for a luscious latte at the Student Union. If you're truly fortunate the tutor will rewrite it for you.

I learned alot from this handy article on writing research papers

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    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 4 years ago from Ohio, USA

      drbj: Some of my best critics are nameless drifters!

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 4 years ago from south Florida

      What significant research tips, nicomp. Especially submitting one's work for review to a nameless drifter. Am off to buy a Hazmat suit and rubber gloves beforehand.

    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 4 years ago from Ohio, USA

      phdast7: Thanks! Now get back to grading.... ;)

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      I enjoyed this and I am a college professor. Have a great day. :)