Guide on Leadership Research Paper Writing at the Best Possible Level

Writing guide
Posted on December 27, 2018

Leadership is one of the most compound disciplines that holds a variety of aspects to research. It is no wonder that you’re asked to research exactly this field of study. Depending on the interest or need, a leadership research paper can represent a study of theories, styles of leadership or approaches to its development. The purpose of the research paper is to identify the topical factors impacting the understanding of the selected concept. Therefore, to succeed in completing research, it is necessary to use empirical and up-to-date sources, having strong metrics of issuing own variables and hypothesis. Research on leadership can represent an overview of theoretical frameworks or identification of new approaches supported by the valid research data.

Writing a leadership research paper requires strong organizational and substantial analytical work that will be simplified if you read this guide to the end.

How to Choose a Topic for a Leadership Research Paper?

The choice of topic for leadership research paper writing depends on the concept you want to focus on. For instance, it is possible to:

  • Examine the application of leadership theories to a particular setting,
  • Compare the appropriate leadership styles of two prominent leaders,
  • Identify the limitation of an approach to leadership,
  • Develop a system of adapting direction to the different setting, and others.

Therefore, to construct valid arguments, it is essential to primarily identify the most exciting and under-researched parts of the leadership field. The following topics represent the accurate examples of a leadership research paper topic:

  • Transformational Leadership;
  • Contrast and Comparison of Leadership Styles;
  • Gender Differences in Leadership;
  • Leadership Ethics;
  • Servant Leadership.

The broader topic can be specified based on your research needs. For instance, you can advance the issue by incorporating details about the specific research features. When researching leadership ethics of a company, you can add its name to the topic. Therefore, you will be limited to examining information connected directly to the firm.

How to Research the Topic?

Once you select the topic for your research, it is time to start the research process itself. There are several ways of integrating gradually into the research of the subject – starting from the identification of online publication relevant to the concept to scheduling an appointment at the library, identifying the books that will support the research. Before doing research subjected directly to the topic, it is necessary to understand the overall definition of leadership. In the Business Dictionary, it is an activity exercised by a group of people who provide a strategy of unification through the communication of vision and coordination of work to its achievement. The means of organization can vary depending on the style of the leader or the chosen theory of leadership applied to the setting.

topic for leadership paper

Online Databases Available for You Today

Nowadays, you may say, “Research is simpler and more convenient than ever before.” To study the assigned or exciting topic, you can type in a search engine the name of the concept and read everything related to it. But is all that information reliable? Let’s focus on reliable databases. If the websites of online databases are correctly structured, the search itself is convenient to navigate, set bookmarks and highlight the key ideas. Further, you would not doubt whether the source is credible, as such databases include only scholarly sources. The examples below are the proper online sources for a leadership research paper.

However, apart from such resources, other databases require a fee for access. Therefore, to avoid paying the additional price for information, you can turn to the university library for more information. Choosing research in the library setting is more challenging. However, libraries often cooperate with databases such as EBSCO that provide more information with the convenient navigation. Moreover, in the library, you can find books, apart from journals that offer an in-depth analysis of the literature issuing results of significant studies along with the reports. Therefore, by integrating such sources into the research paper, the quality and credibility of your writing would improve drastically. To simplify the process of research in the library, take notes that would hold the key aspects of the book or research for you to use in the further writing process.

How to Choose Sources for a References List?

The choice of sources is an entangled process that demands experience and practice. However, the critical advice on choosing a reference is by assessing its relevance to the selected topic. It would not harm to read a book or research that may not be directly subjected to your research paper. In fact, it would broaden your understanding of the concept. You should set a goal of using only scholarly sources. The credibility of the authors should not be a matter of bias. Furthermore, the empirical studies would be of greater use to the research paper, as the validity of the conclusions would be supported by an actual investigation that supports the theory. In fact, it can serve as a platform for ideas to your research of the argument.

The draft of an annotated bibliography for each source is the most useful mean of simplifying the further writing process. The advantages of an annotated bibliography range from remembering the usability of each source to the identification of argument that each reference would enhance into the further leadership research paper. A helpful annotated bibliography consists of the following parts.

  • Identifications of the authors;
  • Type of study;
  • Support of the source’s credibility;
  • Purpose of the study;
  • Summary of the main points;
  • Relevance to your research paper;
  • Identification of the useful content.

Moreover, a completed reference follows each annotation of the source by which you simplify the further construction of the bibliography. Therefore, such step is an essential means of coping with the process and streamline the research.

How to Structure an Outline of a Research Paper? Ask Our Writers

To get research paper help from experts you should know everything about outlining a research paper. The writing process should start with an outline. A basic overview consists of the introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. However, in a leadership research paper, it is essential to extend the outline to include more specific points. For instance, an excellent research outline will consist of the following points.

  • Title;
  • Introduction: hook and background;
  • Thesis statement;
  • Body paragraphs with supporting ideas and details;
  • Conclusion;
  • References;
  • Appendix if necessary.

As a result, the identification of each part in the research paper structure enables to draft a correct paper. An outline is the first step in the process of putting the researched information into the piece of writing. Therefore, it is significant to focus on its quality, logical flow of ideas and credible supporting details. A helpful hint for work on the leadership research paper is to organize the information visually. For example, take notes on your computer, put title with a separate color to each source. Separate the screen into parts to see the entire outline when constructing it. By visualizing your data and understanding the flow of ideas, the further process of filling the structure with information will be convenient and enjoyable.

Title Completing

A leadership research paper title depends directly on the choice of the topic. However, in contrast to the subject, a title is a specific set of researched aspects. For instance, when identifying the leadership style of a corporation, the title would hold the name of the firm. Further, a title implies shortened visualization of the thesis statement. Therefore, it should keep the fundamental idea of the research paper without referring to the supporting arguments and peculiarity of the topic.

Writing an Analytical Research Paper on Leadership

The target audience of the research and the scope of the assignment determine its type. It could be argumentative, persuasive, analytical, or other. However, the most common form of the preferred research paper on leadership refers to analytical writing. For example, to provide such texts, it is essential to issue an objective overview of facts. The title should direct the choice of supporting ideas. However, you should also include the limitations of the chosen aspect of leadership. For instance, when writing about transformational leadership, you can refer to the means of enhancing such leadership through the practice of proactive, cautious behavior.

Further, proceed with the identification of the common weaknesses that transformational leaders share, such as the lack of self-control and persistent cautiousness to issue the most suitable choices based on the Harvard Business Review. As a result, you will provide an objective overview of every aspect of the topic making the research objective.

Abstract and Introduction Writing

A research paper commonly starts with an abstract. In a leadership research paper, an abstract would include an overview of the purpose of the article, the main points and the summary of the results. An outline is a short overview of the critical arguments in the research. It does not require referencing or explanation of the relevance of the topic to the scientific discourse.

Writing an introduction after completing the central part of the research will simplify the process of identifying the critical points in the description. In a leadership research paper, an introduction reveals everything that the readers will learn from the article. Therefore, it is essential to elaborate on each argument and finalize the structure before writing an introduction.

Thesis Statement Writing

A thesis statement is the most crucial part of the leadership research paper. It determines the strengths of the writer, the quality of the text and the relevance of the research. Therefore, working on the thesis statement should be an effort derived from thorough knowledge of the topic, attention to the arguments to use in the text and identification of the main parts of the thesis sentence. These are the examples of a poorly constructed thesis statements for a leadership research paper.

  • We need good leaders to lead.
  • Servant leadership does not work.
  • An exercise of democratic leadership style makes the world better.

The reason for each of the mentioned above thesis statements being poor includes the lack of supporting ideas, the ambiguous writing style, and elusive concepts. The final pre-writing suggestion is to finalize the structure of the leadership research paper. The importance of such a step refers to the integration of all ideas into a single outline, without having to conduct additional research. It is a time-efficient mean of handling the writing process well. For instance, when finalizing to evaluate whether the ideas are reasonable to support the literature with the valid and logical flow of information accurately. Assess the correspondence of the thesis statement with the arguments of the outline. As a result, you will have a complete understanding of everything that is further necessary to start writing and complete such a task on time.

Body Paragraphs Writing

A research paper is not limited to a certain number of body paragraphs. It could range from five to ten paragraphs, each holding a specific idea to enhance the research. When you work on the annotated bibliography, you identify the relevance of each source to the future outline. At the stage of writing the body paragraphs, utilize the annotations an insert the main information into the framework. Thus, you will state the main idea and support it with the conducted scholarly research information. If you choose to incorporate your research into the paper, include the description of methods, finding and results. The standard ending paragraph would refer to the discussion of research results. However, if your research paper on leadership is theoretical, then you can omit such sections and adapt it to your needs.

Conclusion Writing

The importance of the conclusion part refers to the identification of all points mentioned throughout the research. However, it is vital to address only the central ideas providing an overview of the most appealing and critical arguments. You should avoid incorporating new insights into a conclusion. Therefore, it should not hold references, further supporting details of the research or personal opinion. The great ending will enable the reader to understand the purpose, tools, and organization of the research paper. Moreover, it would be useful to add the relevance of the conducted research to the future examination of the topic and its contribution to the discourse of leadership field.

How to Edit and Proofread?

The final part of the writing implies editing and proofreading the research paper. When correcting, it is significant to mind the names, numbers, and any data inserted in the text. It is the double-check of the credibility of each argument, the grammatical accuracy of the writing and spelling check. To edit the research, follow the guidelines of the analytical style of writing. Avoid compound sentences and add the smooth transition from one idea to the next. While it may seem that reading the research several times is an unnecessary step, the benefits are tenfold. You will be confident that the leadership research paper is done by the guidelines, being easy to read and understand.


The research paper should always have a list of references used in across the text. As you have previously worked on an annotated bibliography, it would simple for you to insert each source into a list. Making a list in alphabetical order is essential. Moreover, depending on the purpose of the research paper, the formatting of the referencing list can be different. There are such styles as APA, Harvard, MLA, Chicago, Turabian, and others. The differences refer to the way the citation reveals the information about the sources. For instance, in an MLA reference the full name of the authors is necessary, while in an APA one, only the last name would be enough.

Consider all the leadership research paper writing prompts before starting the writing process. Research of leadership can be enjoyable and exciting, once you learn to manage each point relevant to a useful leadership paper.

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