Writing Style in a Research Paper

The writing style in a research paper needs to be conventional and should abide by the guidelines provided by the institute. The aim of your writing should be to communicate properly to the audience. The text should feel organized and should flow smoothly. A good piece of writing follows a rhythm and flow and it has some sequence of ideas. A research paper should also be a smoothly written and well-organized piece of writing. Your’s and other peoples’ thoughts should be organized in a manner that creates harmony.

You should keep in mind that before finalizing your research paper you have to revise it several times. The reason for each revision can be different because there are so many components of writing that you have to check before finalizing it. You need to revise punctuations and grammatical mistakes, your flow of writing, the organization of ideas, and the wording or language. The revision or drafting gives you the confidence to present your research paper in front of the jury or the audience.

Writing style in a research paper

There are many conventional rules that you need to follow in order to write a good research paper. Keep in mind that a good research paper is not just what you have reviewed, compiled and concluded but it is also how you have presented it in your paper—-your writing style. The writing style in a research paper makes the first impression on the reader, it should be academic and conventional. There are certain general writing conventions that you can follow, your supervisor or teacher can help you with more details.


Clarity is very important for any piece of academic writing and more for a research paper. A research paper is written for an audience so it should have clear wordings, sentences, and paragraphs to convey the message properly. Write in an active voice so that the readers can easily move along with your writing.

Specificity rather than general terms

The use of too many general terms in your research paper can make it less academic and less credible. The use of specific terms makes your research paper authentic and trustworthy. There are certain general notions we use in our daily life like young, old, wise, beautiful etc, avoid such general catchall terms that can make your research less credible. In a research paper, you should use terms that can be proven by some yardstick and that has a specific meaning.

Keep your audience in mind

While deciding about the writing style in a research paper you should also consider your audience. You do not need to use a lot of technical terms in a research paper that has to be read by an audience that does not understand it. Write in a manner that the audience can understand and comprehend.

Third Person

It is a general convention that a research paper is addressed in the “third person”. This convention is useful in many ways because in a research paper you do not want to make yourself the focus of the audience but you want the readers to focus on your findings. The quotations can be written in the language they have appeared on the source otherwise you can write everything else in the third person.


A simple straightforward language can help any type of audience understand your research paper easily. The goal of the research paper is to convey your message properly so your writing style should help you achieve your goal. When you write in a very decorative language your language itself becomes the center of attention and the reader could not focus on what you have described in the research paper.

Guard against biased wording

Guard yourself against biased wording, there are certain topics that are controversial and you might have an opinion but do not assert any opinion without any proof. Whatever you write in your research paper should have sound reason and should not be declared from your own past experiences. Your research paper should be a logical, reliable and credible source of information for the readers.


  • Roth, J. A., The Research Paper: Process, Form, and Content, 8th Ed., Wadsworth Pub Co., CA., 1999, Pp-161-164
  • Organizing Your Social Sciences Research Paper: Academic Writing Style,

    http://libguides.usc.edu/writingguide/academicwriting, viewed on 01, 25, 2018, Last Updated: 01, 24, 2018 



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