3 Simple Tips To Write An Effective Research Essay

for beginners starting their journey in researching and beyond…

Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

The journey in starting to write a research essay may be daunting to most who do not know where to begin. There are no actual classes to teach us on how to write one in universities but we are expected to submit them anyways.

Here are 3 easy tips for beginners who are stuck in the process of learning how to effectively write one for school or for work.

Tip 1: Academic Features

The Style of Language is an unqualified assent in writing a good and effective research essay.

Academic features are used in research essays, reports, thesis, journals and papers as they are formal and impersonal.

There are 4 key features of academic writing:

  1. No abbreviations

Although it may sound obvious, it can be neglected and overlooked by when writing as we are so used to writing using abbreviations.

Words such as admin (full form: administrative), fridge (full form: refrigerator), TV (full form: television) and so on… cannot be used. Only full forms of words and sentences should be written in the essay.

2. Passive voice

As we have learnt in English classes, Passive voice is an important feature in writing as it packs many ideas together in one phrase or sentence.

It is when the subject of a sentence is no longer active, but instead, the verb becomes the subject.

For example, John is learning a new language. This is an active voice since John is the subject of the sentence. We can change it to a passive voice by saying “The learning of a new language by John is (more ideas packed). As can be seen, by writing in passive sentences, more ideas can be written in one sentence instead of several, making the writing more efficient to read.

3. Norminalisation

Norminalisation is the extended noun groups where nouns are used in a sentence or as a phrase.

For instances,

“The implementation of the new rules can be seen by…” or

“a discussion of a potential blended working style in the context of the technological world…” or

“The importance of traditional cultures in conservative societies…”

are packed with many noun groups in one single phrase. Hence, norminalisation is a more constructive way of writing through conveying several ideas together in one single sentence and allowing the ideas to flow more precisely and effectively.

4. Impersonal reference

Avoid personal references such as pronouns (I, me, you, he, she, they, them…) and people references (people, humans, person, everybody, everyone…) in academic writing.

As this is a research paper, it is not your own personal diary or written in a journalistic manner like for a newspaper. It is recommended to use impersonal references to circumvent from emotive languages.

Impersonal reference is used to be subjective in addressing a situation.

For example, “It is widely acknowledged that plastics endanger marine animals.” or

“It is claimed that the North Atlantic Right Whale is categorised as one of the most critically endangered whales today”.

Notice how the sentence starts off with “It is…” This is a manner of reporting an idea without any emotive languages used.

Tip 2: Referencing sources

Referencing is essential in a research paper. It is necessary because the ideas written in your essay is not your very own (unless you are conducting your very own experiment and is writing the outcome of it). In most cases, many ideas are generated from other writers in books or from articles on the internet.

It is crucial to reference to avoid plagiarism.

How to reference a source?

Well, it depends on the type of referencing is required of you. There are several ways to reference a source.

APA Citation Style, MLA Citation Style or Chicago/ Turabian Citation Style are some common ways to cite a text from another author.

It is important to check which type is used by your organisation. If not specified, the general rule is:

APA Citation Style (commonly used by Education, Science and Psychology)

MLA Citation Style (commonly used by the Humanities)

Chicago/ Turabian Citation Style (commonly used by Business, Arts and History)

Tip 3: Adopting ideas from various authors

It can be seen that a research essay is written through thorough research and reading hundreds or thousands of articles by other authors to summarise and conduct your own thesis statement regarding a matter.

It is important to use ideas or concepts from a specific writer (that is writing his/her own idea) and not one where that writer cites from another.

To illustrate:

Writer A published an article about “Plastic waste affecting marine animals”, in A’s article, he/she mentioned Writer B’s idea on “Plastic is a danger to marine animals when they ingest it”. If you want to use B’s idea, it is necessary for you to find that article written by B and reference B’s article instead of A’s.

This makes your research more credible for readers as you are referencing directly to one writer instead of one writer who is referencing another writer.

To conclude, it is important to adhere to these 3 golden tips so that you will not have trouble starting your research essay and even have fun in beginning your journey towards writing one.

Thank you for reading my article -Karis Fang



Business Student specializing in Finance and Business Analytics. I write anything and everything.

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Karis Fang XT

Business Student specializing in Finance and Business Analytics. I write anything and everything.