As a college student, completing your research paper on time is always advisable to avoid the last-minute rush. However, sometimes you get caught up in several school activities and forget to start writing on time.

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What do you do when you have just a few hours to finish and submit a full research paper? The pressure can be too much.

Original: SourceWell, you’re not alone. We have all been there. Stop beating yourself over it, and look ahead.

If you ever find yourself in the craze of writing your paper at the last minute, this article will give you some valuable tips on writing a research paper fast and finishing it without losing your mind.

Review and understand the research question

The first thing to do before you start writing is to review the research question and understand the research objectives. Take a few minutes to review the question, and ensure you understand all the prompts.

This way, it will be easy to conduct research, collect relevant resources, and organize the information you’ll use to write the paper.

Brainstorm and choose a topic quickly

Once you understand the assignment, you’ll need to choose a topic if your professor did not provide one. Take the next few minutes to brainstorm and select your topic as fast as possible.

To save time, choose a topic you are familiar with and do a quick online search to see if there is enough reference information on the internet about it. If there are enough references, use the topic to form a research question and a thesis statement for your paper.

Going with a familiar topic will make the paper easy to write, and you can finish it within a short time.

Use keywords to research faster

Did you form a research question already? Type the exact question on Google search and identify related articles, journals, essays, or published research papers. You can also create a list of keywords from your research question and use them to search for relevant sources.

If you can’t find relevant references from the Google search results, go to scholarly databases like Google Scholar and JSTOR. Note that your references should be credible for a research paper, and these databases often have the most credible publications.

Once you find the relevant references, bookmark them so you can easily find them when you start writing.

Create a brief outline of the main ideas

Since you’ve done your research and found the relevant sources of information, use them to identify the main points of your research paper and create a brief outline. In your outline, list all the sections of your research paper and write short notes (one or two sentences) on what you’ll include in every section.

You can also save some time by using online tools like Dynalist to create effective outlines faster. This will make your work easy when you start writing, and you’ll finish your research paper within the shortest time.

Find a distraction-free writing environment

Before you start writing, find a distraction-free environment where you can concentrate on your paper for a few hours without being disturbed.

Some common distractions to avoid when you start writing include:

  • Noise or loud music;
  • Checking in on social media;
  • Notifications from email and other apps;
  • Taking calls or chatting with friends.

Ensure the sitting space is also comfortable and has adequate lighting to avoid straining. A distraction-free environment will help you stay focused, so you can write your research paper fast.

Start writing and write quickly

When you finally start writing, fold your sleeves and write as quickly as possible. As a rule of thumb, start with the most specific sections and finish with the most challenging ones.

One of the most accessible sections in a research paper that you can start with is the methods section. After the methods, go straight to the results and the discussion sections, then craft a logical conclusion that summarizes your main points.

Write the abstract and the introduction last since they are often challenging and require more effort to draft. Finally, cite your references on the references page. You can cite faster by utilizing free citation generators like BibMe or CiteThisForMe to create full citations.

Utilize the PEER system

Point - Evidence - Explain - Repeat (PEER) system will come in handy when writing the discussion section.

In every paragraph of the discussion, state the point (P), identify the evidence (E) from your research, explain the evidence (E), and repeat it in the next paragraph. Use the same PEER system to explain all the points in the outline for consistency and to make your paragraphs flow effortlessly.

Want to learn more about the PEER system? Here’s a video by David Stuckler that elaborates on it.

Use online tools to revise and edit

When you finish writing, you’ll need to proofread and edit your research paper to make it error-free before submitting it.

Some online tools you can utilize to fasten the process and save you much time and energy include:

  • Grammarly to identify and correct errors related to spelling, grammar, punctuation, and wrong choice of words.
  • Hemingway Editor: To improve the readability of your paper. It eliminates fluffy words and phrases and makes your paper clear and concise.
  • Turnitin: To identify plagiarism, which is a complete no-no when writing a research paper.

Double-check the structure and content with the guidelines

You don’t want to submit your research paper only for the professor to decline it for not meeting the set standards. Therefore, before submitting, spare a few minutes to review the entire paper again and check if its structure and contents comply with the assignment prompts and guidelines.

If you missed something, be sure to incorporate it before submitting it. This will save you the time and headache of going over your research paper again if it gets declined by the professor.

How to Avoid the Last-Minute Rush

Writing a research paper at the last minute can be stressful considering the long process involved, such as researching, writing, editing, proofreading, and revising.

Now that you know how to write a research paper fast, here are some things you can do to avoid losing your mind in the last-minute rush:

1. Start early

Once you receive the research prompt from your professor, start brainstorming and making draft notes about the research topic as soon as possible. Identify resources early and create an outline. You can then allocate a few hours daily to work on the paper so you can finish early.

2. Stop procrastinating

Procrastination can be addictive and prevent you from finishing your work on time. Once you draw out a plan for your research paper, stick with it and resist the urge to procrastinate.

3. Consult

A lot is involved in writing a research paper, and it's possible to get stuck somewhere in the middle. If you do, consult your professor, classmates, or senior college students. This will prevent you from wasting time trying to crack a tricky part of the research.

4. Seek help if you need it

If you can’t finish your paper alone, seek help from a fast essay writing service.

For instance, Writers Per Hour has fast essay writers trained to deliver essays within the stipulated deadline. One page research paper in 5 hours will cost you $33.99 if you are in high school. Similarly, if you are a college student, the price will range from $41.99 to $47.99, depending on your course.

We also run promotional offers, so check out our prices and keep an eye out for discounts.

How much time does it take to write a research paper?

The longer the research paper and the more complex the topic, the longer it will take to complete. However, you can take 40 hours to achieve a good research paper. For example, our essay writer can do it within 5 hours.

How long does it take to write a 5-page research paper?

You can take 10-14 hours to complete a 5-page research paper. The more time you spend preparing, the less time you’ll take to write and complete the research paper.

How do you finish a research paper in 2 hours?

Here’s how you can aim to finish a research paper in 2 hours:

  • Craft the thesis statement: First 15 minutes;
  • Outlining: 10 minutes;
  • Research: 30 minutes;
  • Writing: 30-40 minutes;
  • Proofread and edit: 20 minutes;
  • Cite references: 10 minutes.

Is it possible to write a research paper in one day?

While it’s not ideal, a research paper can be done in a day. Spend a few hours brainstorming, researching, and creating a brief outline. After preparing everything, find a distraction-free environment and start writing. Remember to write quickly so you can finish the paper by the end of the day.


Knowing how to write a research paper fast can save you time. When you finish your paper quickly, you can have more time to study, complete other assignments, attend classes with less worry, or have social time with your peers at college.

While it is never advisable to put yourself through stress and anxiety by putting off research papers till the last minute, we do understand that life does come the way, and there will be times when you will have a research paper due the next day and find yourself in a complete mess.

So, if you have a research paper due tomorrow, approach the situation in an organized manner by following these smart tips – that is the best to deal with it.

Last edit at Mar 03 2023

Adela Belin

Written by

Adela Belin

Adela Belin is a content writing & marketing expert at Writers Per Hour. She writes about motivation, education, personal development, and everything in between. She hopes to make a difference in people’s lives by sharing relevant stories inspired by her journey. As a seasoned expert, Belin is a frequent contributor to Lifehack, AllBusiness, and LiveChatINC and runs her blog.
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Adela Belin

Written by

Adela Belin

Adela Belin is a content writing & marketing expert at Writers Per Hour. She writes about motivation, education, personal development, and everything in between. She hopes to make a difference in people’s lives by sharing relevant stories inspired by her journey. As a seasoned expert, Belin is a frequent contributor to Lifehack, AllBusiness, and LiveChatINC and runs her blog.
View all my posts
Enjoy reading?Write for our blog