Acing Your 10 page Research Paper in 5

It is a strange truth, universally acknowledged by vacant eyed, sleep deprived college students, that a 10 page research paper is much more difficult to write than one of a hundred pages. While a large word count allows the student to wade comfortably into his various topics, with a moment or two to dwell on those that he considers particularly important, a short 10 page research paper demands the skill of conciseness above any other. And this skill is certainly not commonly found among academics. How does one include all the demands of a profound academic document in any paper, let alone a 10 page research paper?

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The art of writing any short college paper lies in simply breaking up the task into the simplest, most manageable pieces possible. In other words, the student must keep his 10 page research paper to the very bare and vital bones possible. The following is the suggestion of a breakdown that should enable students to limit an entire research project into a 10 page research paper.


The First 5 Steps


  1. The first step for a student seeking to write a 10 page research paper is to make an extensive list of whatever points, relevant or irrelevant, that he thinks need to be included into the paper.


  1. The second step is to revise that list of 10 page research paper points, removing anything that is unlikely to make his professor put a tick by it, thus adding to the marks already accumulated. It may be a good idea for the student to take a break in between each vital revision, in order to come back to the list with a freshly critical eye.


  1. The third step, and the most important, is to

1)      Pack these points into 3 sections, to fit neatly into your 10 page research paper. These may generally be i) The Positive or Pro side of the issue; ii) The Negative or Opposing side; iii) The Balance or Solution or Findings.


2)      Writing the 3 sections, the student now needs to reorder these points in a logical manner, so that the 10 page research paper argument is easy to follow. It may be a good idea at this stage, though it may be done later, to draft the opening sentence for each point, as the points generally represent the number of paragraphs that will be included in the 10 page research paper.


  1. The fourth step is to slot supporting data, or references to the research material used for the 10 page research paper, under each approved point on the reordered list.


  1. The fifth a final preparation step is for the student to write up an extremely punchy introduction, then a comprehensive conclusion, which two will bracket his 10 page research paper, and give him a firm thread to follow, as he writes the body of the research paper.


The Breakdown


The breakdown method in composing a 10 page research paper is essentially to assign a paragraph to each of the vital points identified during the preparations stage, so that the final product is structured as follows:


  • The Introduction: The student can allow 2 paragraphs for his 10 page research paper introduction, wherein the first will serve to state the topic that he is addressing (“In 2008, the International ‘Credit Crunch’ reached its zenith, the bailout measures seeming not to have had the expected effect on the American credit flow.”) and the second paragraph seeming to answer it (“The bailout measures would have been effective, had they been introduced in 2005.”)


  •  The 10 page research paper main body: This should consist in the write up of the points sectioned out during the preparation.


  • The Conclusion: The 10 page research paper conclusion should mirror the Introduction, and will have 2 paragraphs reiterating the student’s argument, and finalizing the reader’s understanding of what he has read. It may also include the ramifications of the student’s observations, leaving the reader with food for thought.
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