How to skillfully ace an English 102 Research Paper

How to skillfully ace an English 102 Research Paper

Many students find writing their first English 102 papers challenging, stressful, and scary. Among the five or six essays, you will write in English 102 is a research paper that must be turned in on time. The main aim of the course is to introduce you to and test you on the conventions of academic writing. This means that you will be taught and tested on how to write convincing, researched, organized, and developed essays. These essays predominantly synthesize, document, and respond to the various sources on a topic in question.

Without understanding how to write an English paper, you will not understand its structure, nor will you be able to write fast. Therefore, you are probably here because you want to know how to write an English 102 research paper or the essays assigned during the course.

It could be your first time doing this. But, not to worry because we will cover all relevant aspects, techniques, methods, and tools you need to employ as you finally write your English 102 research papers.

Following the tips and tricks we have outlined in this guide, you will realize that our English writing experts have insights on how best it can be done.

Our research paper help service is also available if all you want is to English 102 research paper help. Otherwise, read through this guide, do it yourself, and excel at it. These concepts apply to those taking English 101 and 107 classes as well.

What is an English 102 Research Paper?

An English 102 Research paper is a literary research paper assignment assigned to students to test their competence and grasp of academic writing conventions. It is meant to evaluate students’ analytical, research, synthesis, creativity, and critical thinking skills. When writing the paper, a student must choose an appropriate topic, research and brainstorm ideas, develop coherent paragraphs that support the thesis, and write a befitting conclusion. While doing so, the student has to read widely to draw ideas from scholarly resources such as books, case studies, news articles, magazines, memos, periodicals, and scholarly journals. You are being tested on your ability to integrate multiple sources, conduct independent research, and then write a masterpiece.

It is a literary paper in the context that, unlike other English research papers focusing on poverty, euthanasia, school uniforms, or Climate change, it entails the interpretation, synthesis, or analysis of the meaning of literature. Moreover, it incorporates research from reputable secondary sources to support the main idea.

The ideal length of an English 102 literary research paper is at least eight pages with a minimum of 6-7 sources.

Qualities of a Good Research paper in English 102

Your research paper or essay will score an A if:

  • It is insightful, persuasive, and focuses on the thesis statement developed after considering the topic
  • It is coherent, logical, and organized in a manner that points flow from the start to the end
  • It has well-developed paragraphs, an effective introduction, and a wholesome concluding paragraph
  • Uses concrete and appropriate diction that demonstrates maturity
  • Shows that you have skillfully applied formal academic writing discourse through the use of citations where you have quoted, summarized, or paraphrased ideas
  • Demonstrates your excellent understanding of texts, critically analyzes the issues, and supports your main point of view through integrating examples and evidence from other sources
  • Has little to no grammatical errors, spelling mistakes, and punctuation errors.
  • Has appropriate title that attracts the attention of the reader off the bat
  • Has connected ideas from texts that support claims and generalizations
  • Demonstrates your rhetorical skills.
  • It is devoid of plagiarism.
  • Submitted early before the deadline.

Tips to Write an English 102 Research Paper like a Pro

Any literary research paper, such as an English 102 research paper, has its main scope and focuses on your synthesis, interpretation, and literature presentation. You are being tested on your research skills, creativity and critical thinking, analytical and organization skills, which form the core of academic and professional writing.

Suppose you want to write a good English 102 research paper. In that case, you must come up with a relatable, interesting, and relevant topic, a refined thesis statement or controlling idea, a perfect introduction, organized body paragraphs supporting the thesis, and a strong conclusion that wraps up everything. In the research paper, you must have relevant topic sentences, supporting facts to your thesis, and concluding sentences that make strong paragraphs. Besides, your paper needs to have a good transition from a paragraph to the next. Finally, the conclusion should not just be a repetition of facts; it has to be your personal reflection of the topic, refined thesis, and call to action, if necessary.

When writing your English 102 research paper, you will utilize credible scholarly material. These should mostly be books, journals, periodicals, magazine and newspaper articles, website content, and governmental website content. In addition, you should read, internalize, analyze, and present the ideas in support of your thesis. This means that you will have to cite every idea you paraphrase, summarize, or quote from a source.

In most cases, a good English 102 paper has an ideal length of 6-8 pages. Therefore, utmost a minimum of 1500 words for an English 102 paper is not so bad. However, your instructions, research paper prompt, and/or email from your instructor or professor will specify the definite word count.

When writing the paper, you need to use academic citation formats such as APA, Chicago, or MLA. This is because the main aim of writing the research paper is to expound on ideas. You can only do so using credible sources, which must be cited.

In terms of sources, you can use a minimum of 5 to 6 sources. These sources should be scholarly, with peer-reviewed academic journals being top in the list. The sources are written on a separate last page titled “References” for APA and Harvard formatting and “Works Cited” for MLA formatting. You can see how to write such a paper by ordering an English 102 Research Paper example through our homepage. We will assign your paper to our top writers, who will research, write, and advise you on the way forward.

Writing Steps of an English 102 Research Paper

For ease of understanding, we will divide the research paper writing process into three stages: prewriting, writing, and post-writing.

Prewriting Stage

The prewriting stage comprises all the initial activities that a student does before writing the first draft.

Read the Assignment Prompt

During the prewriting stage, you begin by reading the assignment prompt. Your English 102 professor, teacher, or instructor will send you paper instructions via canvas, blackboard, or email. They can equally give the assignment during their lectures. It would help if you had to keenly look at the instructions to determine the scope of the paper, the topics provided, the possibility of selecting a topic by yourself, and the word count of the paper.

Determine/Define your Audience

Once you have read the instructions, it is prudent to understand the expectations, characteristics, attitudes, and knowledge of your audience as you anticipate the writing process. It helps you organize your thoughts well, provide enough evidence, and trim your scope. As you write an academic paper, you need to meet all the academic writing conventions because your professor, teacher, or lecturer is your major audience. The level of knowledge of your audience also matters as it defines the choice of words, delivery, clarity, and readability aspects of your paper.

Decide the authors to write about

You will know the author (s) of focus by reading the assignment prompt. In most cases, you will be allowed to choose from any of the authors that you have discussed in the course of the semester. However, you are also allowed to pick authors whom you have interacted with outside of the class or syllabus. This applies if you are writing a literary analysis research paper. By now, you should have already chosen the text of focus.

Choose and define a topic

Like a typical research paper, topic selection is critical in the prewriting stage of an English 102 research paper. Your instructions or the assignment prompt play a crucial role in selecting the topic. Your professor might be inclined to a given set of articles or reading materials. To choose a great topic, select one after preliminary research so that you can have a feel of the topic and connect with the ideas. Initial research also helps you develop an angle for your English research paper. The choice of the topic, although a challenging task, is guided by reading and getting knowledgeable about the text. As you read the text, the chances are that you will select an angle of analysis and thus a topic.

Read the text as you take notes

After choosing a topic, you have to research for insights from other scholars. You also need to read and reread your main text several times. Make sense of what the texts are and what scholars are saying about the topic. Check how the authors express ideas, organize thoughts, create particular effects, and assess your personal response. When you are comfortable with the topic and your research, you need to develop an angle of analysis. The angle of analysis is your preferred approach to organizing your research paper. You can decide to organize it by critical approach, themes, or literary elements.

Writing Stage: Writing the Research Paper

So now that you have everything in place, you need to get down to work. Real work begins when you begin to organize and write your first draft. Our advice is that you focus on writing first then editing later. Follow these steps:

Choose a thesis statement

With the angle of analysis already determined, it is easier to select a thesis statement for your English 102 research paper. The thesis is the main idea or the controlling idea of your research paper, usually relating to your title and topic. It is the idea that the body paragraphs of your research paper will support. A good thesis statement should be argumentative and must be supported by a detailed interpretation of texts. It must not be factual or speculative or one that states an opinion only.

Weigh the evidence at hand

With your tentative or preliminary thesis, you need to evaluate the importance of the pieces of evidence you had collected earlier. Then, you can further gather scholarly articles that support the central idea. Next, distinguish between general and specific ideas so that you can confirm the logical sequence of presentation that your audience can relate to and grasp. Finally, ensure that you select resources that fill the gap in research.

Develop an Outline

A research paper outline is a final product you should have after weighing the evidence you have gathered. A formal outline will outline the research paper structure, making it easier to scoop the top grades in English 102. When developing your formal outline, systematically draft what you want in the introduction, body, and conclusion. You must label the parts of an outline structure for ease of filling them when writing your first draft.

Draft your English 102 Paper

In the drafting step, you will be converting the one-sentence ideas in your outline to complete paragraphs and, eventually, your research paper. There is no single preferred or best method to do so; you can do it anyhow. However, from our experience, writing the body paragraphs first and the conclusion and introduction last ensures that your paper flows from top to the end. Start by writing straightforward paragraphs, sentences, or ideas. This means that you should free write and open your mind to new ideas. As you draft, convey meaning more than correct. You can leave perfection for the post-writing stage. As you write the draft, read your sources, reread them, refine ideas, and cite as you write. You can use online citation management tools for the same.

Post-writing Stage

Now that you have something concrete, it is time to ensure that everything is correct. It is best to take a break after the writing stage to develop an objective mind.

Revise the paper

You can revise the paper in two ways: individual and collaborative revision. As for the individual revision process, rethink, reorganize, and rewrite your English 102 research paper as you read it out loud to yourself. You will be reviewing the paper yourself from the perspective of an independent reader. Ensure that the diction is right and that the organization of paragraphs, supporting facts, examples, and general paper is right. Check for coherence, completeness, conciseness, and clarity of your paper.

As it pertains to collaborative revision, you will be seeking the insights of others. Instead of self-criticism during individual revision, you rely mostly on external criticism in joint revision. You can approach a professional editing and proofreading company, your friends, or a family member. This approach limits bias and ensures that your paper is fully polished. Peer review allows you to turn in a paper that meets the instructions from the perspective of an independent and unbiased reader.

Edit and proofread

In the editing stage, examine the styling, correctness, and clarity of your English research paper. You should review your paper and ascertain that it ticks the parts of the guidelines of formal research paper writing and the English language.

Check sentence fragments, spelling, subject-verb agreement, pronouns and nouns, punctuation, parallelism, run-on sentences, vague sentences, misplaced examples and ideas, and common grammatical errors. As well, check your referencing style, including titling, in-text citation, indentation, and alignment. Finally, ensure that the bibliographic information is well arranged alphabetically or otherwise.

Submit before the deadline

The final stage of the post-writing stage is hitting the submit button. In most cases, you can submit your complete English 102 paper through Canvas or Blackboard. Whatever channel it is, ensure that you have the right document named as preferred by your markers. Also, ensure that you have the right format: PDF, Word document, or Google Doc.

English Research Paper Outline or Template

If you have been assigned an English research paper and want to break down the components, here is a basic structure of what your 102 papers should look like. Check out examples of other detailed research paper outlines as well, which you can adapt and make work easier.


  • Hook
  • Background information
  • Thesis statement
  • Research paper outline: This paper discusses, then…

Body Paragraph 1

  • Topic sentence
  • Supporting facts
  • Conclusion sentence
  • Transition

Body Paragraph 2

  • Topic sentence
  • Supporting facts
  • Conclusion sentence
  • Transition

Body Paragraph 3

  • Topic sentence
  • Supporting facts
  • Conclusion sentence
  • Transition

Body Paragraph 4

  • Topic sentence
  • Supporting facts
  • Conclusion sentence
  • Transition


  • Refined thesis statement
  • Summary of the entire research paper
  • Call to action, if applicable

Parting Shot!

Professors assessing 102 are as strict as those of English 101 or 107/8. Therefore, you need to make no mistake as you write a research paper because any omission will definitely lead to a poor grade. With that in mind, if you divide your work into the three stages of writing an English 102 research paper as we have outlined, everything flows and becomes easier.

The steps above have been employed by top students and further tested by our English Literature writers. As a result, you can write a perfect essay or research paper for English 102 and overcome the fear that comes with the process.

If writing a great paper is not your cup of tea, you can choose to hire a versatile paper writer from our website. We guarantee you a learning opportunity because you will get a well-researched sample, written and polished. In addition, we can help solve all your writing woes in college. Our writers can handle complex tasks, which 102 is all about.