How to Write a Documented Essay: Helpful Ideas & Examples

Are you wondering what a documented essay is? It’s a form of academic writing in which the author bases his or her argument on secondary sources. A research report is written by the writer, who incorporates data and evidence from other sources.

The following are the elements of a successful documented essay:

  • an excellent subject;
  • detailed investigation of a problem;
  • a comprehensive set of references.

As a result, congratulations! Now you understand what a documented essay is. Consider the sections below, which have been provided by our professionals, for further information on the subject.


  1. How to Write a Documented Essay?
    1.  Pick a Topic
    2.  Find Sources
    3. Outline and write
    4. Document Sources
  2.  References

What is the Best Way to Write a Documented Essay?

Of course, this work will be more difficult than the past papers you have written. If you’ve seen documented essay examples, you’ll realize that they’re not quite like standard essays.

With the documented essays, all declarations should be supported by compelling evidence from a variety of sources while with a standard essay, the majority of assertions are based on the writer’s observations, ideas, and beliefs.

Documented essay’s main purpose is to conduct research on a specific topic and report the findings in a unique manner while the other essay’s purpose is to analyze previously written research papers and present the writer’s perspective on the subject.

Standard essays tend to have more concise pieces of writing, typically, 5 to 8 paragraphs while documented essays are a more extensive piece of writing, usually, 5 to 8 pages. Documented essays necessitate a comprehensive view of the researched issue while standard essays do not necessitate a multifaceted understanding of the subject. But it may address specific aspects of the larger issue. A documented essay is based on the knowledge of others who are experts in a particular specialty. As a result, it is reliant on a plethora of secondary sources. The standard essay only reflects the author’s thoughts on the subject. It is not reliant on outside sources.

In documented essays, the author chooses a raw material and transforms it into a research paper. In standard essays, there is no research done by the author. They rely on previously completed literature

To write a documented essay, you must complete the following steps:

Choose a Topic

A list of essay topics that have been documented can be virtually limitless. One of the most difficult aspects of your research will be deciding on a good topic. You can either develop some research that you already have or choose something new.

The topic of your documented essay should be:

  • catchy;
  • insightful;
  • understandable to the reader.

However, there is a golden rule.:

Your topic selection should be based on your interests, preferences, and knowledge. If the topic appeals to you, writing an essay will become a pleasurable experience. As a result, choose one with care for your documented essay. A great idea is essential to the success of the paper.


  • Use this opportunity if you are seriously interested in business and want to start your own company one day!
  • Examine various management models for businesses.
  • Investigate the impact of social media on product promotion.
  • Examine the organization’s cash flow operation.

You can go in any direction you think is most exciting. However, we do not advise you to write a documented essay on psychology, philosophy, or medicine.

Firstly, you will struggle with the topic in which you have no interest.
, you will not use what you have learned in the long run. The business skills obtained while writing a paper, on the other hand, will be important in establishing a company.

Here are a few examples of well-documented essay topics:

  • The impact of various types of advertising on different age groups.
  • The health dangers of excess sugar consumption.
  • Methods for dealing with corrupt practices in third world countries.
  • New opportunities or new threats in internet banking?

The installation of parental controls on children’s mobile phones: advantages and disadvantages. Is it worthwhile?

Find Sources

The sources you use to write your documented essay are critical to your success. You will need to use primary and secondary sources, as well as data from books and publications. Alternatively, you will devise experiments and conduct surveys to collect the required data.


  • Investigate your problem thoroughly.

    You must consider numerous sources and data to make your paper powerful and outstanding. Illustrate to the readers your brilliance and professionalism.
  • Only use scholarly publications and academic papers.

    Choose with extreme caution! All of the supporting facts should be true and directly related to your theme. When it comes to sources, consider their validity.
  • Avoid using any info from random websites.

    Eliminate Wikipedia and personal blogs from your list of potential sources. Authorized e-newspapers (New York Times, BBC), government pages (.gov), and educational websites (.edu) are regarded as reliable. Obtaining legitimate sources can be difficult. So, to make it easier, try utilizing internet research tools.

Outline and Write

The majority of students underestimate the importance of outlining. Don’t make this blunder! Evaluate the following essay structure suggestions.:

  1. Your documented essay sketch should have an introduction, a conclusion, and body paragraphs.
  2. The final sentence of an introduction should be your thesis statement. Because it is an important part of your research paper, make it well-developed and concise.
  3. An introductory and summarizing sentence should be included in each paragraph. This type of framework will efficiently structure your thoughts.
  4. Determine the order of your arguments and select the appropriate evidence for each point while creating an outline. Make absolutely sure your paper is coherent and logically structured.
  5. If you believe something is incorrect, make a note of it and consider rephrasing it later, once the entire picture of the essay is visible.

Begin polishing the paper after you have finished the draft version. Check all of the references. Ensure that appropriate transitions are used to connect the paragraphs. Check to see if the arguments and supporting evidence are logically structured.

In general, your documented article should address the research issue and explain your position. Develop your ideas properly and follow them up with credible evidence from outside sources. Each point must be connected to your thesis statement. Finally, the conclusion should leave room for further research into the topic.

Document Sources

That is the essence of writing documented essays. All sources must be cited and organized in a bibliography. Check that it is free of errors and follows the essay format. Keep in mind that you’ll need to learn the rules of MLA, APA, and other citation styles. Because each style has different formatting requirements, students are frequently perplexed.

The primary suggestion is:

To ensure that your works cited list is absolutely perfect, cautiously read the instructions for the essay format you are using. Always comply with the guidelines and double-check all details. The conception of the reference list is a difficult task. However, if you concentrate and are cautious enough, you will succeed!

We highly recommend reading articles about the MLA and APA formats. They are the most common citation styles, so you should learn more about them.











  1. The Documented Essay/Research Paper: Hunter College

  2. What is a Research Paper: Online Writing Centre, SUNY Empire State College

  3. 5 Steps to Create the Perfect Outline: Brandon Ramey, Herzing University

  4. Making an Outline, Organizing Your Social Sciences Research Paper: Research Guides at University of Southern California

  5. How Can I Find Good Sources for My Research Paper: University of Louisville Writing Centre