Innovation and Inspiration: The Campaign for Kansas University

Writing a Research Paper

Use this guide to help you write your paper.

How Will This Help Me?

Developing a topic carefully will help you:

  • Save time and frustration
  • Think about the proper context for your topic
  • Cover most of the angles of your topic
  • Make your thesis easier to write

Here, you will learn to:

  1. Create a mind map
  2. Choose your topic
  3. Find background information
  4. Develop your thesis statement

Create a Mind Map

Mind mapping is a tool you can use to develop a research question or topic you want to explore in greater depth. For example, after creating a mind map about genetically modified foods, you might ask: 

  • Does eating commonly modified foods create adverse health affects? 
  • Are genetically modified foods important in expanding the world's food supply?

After doing more research on your topic, your thesis statement will help you talk about specific points you're exploring in your paper.

Mind map for genetically modified foods 

Mind map created with bubbl.us

This mind map is a sample. There are many free programs online that you can use to create a mind map. You can also use a piece of scratch paper. 

Choose Your Topic

Watch this K-State Libraries video (4:34) to get help choosing your topic.

Video transcript

Developing a Research Topic (K-State LibrariesCC BY-NC-ND 3.0

Find Background Information

Use the following sources to help you find background information:

Develop Your Thesis Statement

Use the following sources to help you write your thesis statement: