How to Write a Research Essay in Logistics: Easy-to-Use Guide for All Academic Levels

Writing guide
Posted on August 9, 2019

Research essays are popular among high school, university and college students. If you’re a student, who takes logistics classes or courses, chances are you’re going to be faced with the research essay writing assignment sooner or later. This type of academic paper requires extensive evidence to support your thesis. Knowing how to successfully and efficiently do academic research, collect and synthesize information, outsource materials and clearly present each in the research essay form will save you a lot of precious time.

Preparations Before Your Write

Before you go to the library or start doing your research elsewhere, think carefully what you’d like to write about. It’s time to brainstorm for a while in order to know what topic to choose and how to approach it appropriately. At this stage, you’re supposed to find the focus you need to find relevant sources. If you don’t know where to start in case of logistics, it is recommended to do some preliminary research in order to get a sense of the field of study. Read as much background information as possible in encyclopedias and specialized dictionaries. This knowledge that these sources supply will help you to brainstorm the topic and write an essay of a high quality.

Select the Topic You’re Interested In

If your professor provided you with a topic to research, skip this part. If your task is to choose the topic you like, ensure to give your preference to something that interests you. The writing process is difficult, but if you select the topic that interests you, the process will be less tiresome.

The following is a list of research essay topics in logistics to help you get started:

  • History, Current Trends and Future Implications in Logistics;
  • Mitigating Supply Chain Risk through Improved Confidence;
  • Impact of Internet Retailing Business on Supply Chain Management;
  • An Overview of Inherent Logistics Risks and the Strategies to Minimize Them;
  • How Logistics and Chain Management Can Help to Strengthen the Business Operation;
  • An Overview of Sustainable Logistics Management Practices between Emerging and Developed Countries;
  • Transportation and Its Influence on Logistics.

According to ‘The Management of Business Logistics: A Supply Chain Perspective’ written by John Joseph Coyle, Edward J. Bardi, C. John Langley, there are four logistics subdivisions, where you can find potential topics:

  • Business logistics. This field of study is focused on the impact of all the companies that are involved in the production of services and goods.
  • Military logistics. This subdivision of logistics includes all that is necessary to support the military forces’ operational capability together with their equipment to ensure efficiency, reliability and readiness.
  • Event logistics. Here the question is about the management of everything involved (staff, facilities and activities) in scheduling, organizing and deploying all the resources to guarantee the event occurrence and efficient withdrawal later.
  • Service logistics. This subdivision of logistics is about scheduling, acquisition and management of staff, facilities and materials needed to sustain operation of the service.

Choose any sub-field mentioned above and search for the topics it includes. However, keep in mind that some students prefer choosing complicated topics in order to impress their professors. Choose that way only if you know you have enough time to do research, gather academic sources, check each, outline and write the research essay. If you make things harder on yourself and fail to time wisely, you will definitely lose this academic battle.

Manage Your Resources

Before you even start writing, work with your sources. You have to review each before you begin to write, so that you can have the text clearly planned. There are many different types of resources that you may use to write a research essay in logistics. Some of the examples are given below:

  • Academic journals like International Journal of Logistics Management and International Journal of Logistics Research and Applications are written by professionals in the field. Use the periodicals to find sophisticated and detailed information on your topic.
  • Books in logistics can be found online and at your college library. Keep in mind that books are among the most reliable options that you have when it comes to searching for the essay writing sources.
  • Online dictionaries, encyclopedias and interviews. If possible, rely upon these resources as your primary source of both information and inspiration.

Take Notes

When you’re at the research stage, don’t forget to take notes on the materials that you explore. The fact is that it can be difficult to recall information you have seen here or there when you start writing, especially if you use loads of materials and work with an unfamiliar topic. Taking notes will help you to always know where exactly you found this or that statement.
Now that you know what subdivisions the field of logistics has, organize your notes by each so you can easily find references later. If you have physical copies of books or magazines at hand, sticky tabs will help you to mark or number pages to ease the reference stage.

Make sure to keep your notes simple and brief. Thus, you will be able to understand them no matter how many days or weeks will pass.

Develop an Objective

Depending on the purpose of the research essay in logistics, you may find yourself requiring to adopt a certain position or draw some conclusions in your research. As you study your topic, ask yourself if the information you find meets the objective of your essay. For example, if you write a research essay about the impact of information technology on the modern logistics systems, make sure to present two sides of your argument and then identify information that is related to different viewpoints of the topic. Choose your side and stick to it. In case with the topic given above, you may choose the side that proves that technology has a positive influence on the logistics sector: ‘Technology is a real vehicle to boost performance and supply chain competitiveness by improving the overall efficiency and effectiveness of logistics system. Thus, selecting the right tech tools for various logistics activities and processes is a must to any business willing to gain competitive advantage in competitive market.’

Outline Your Research Essay

To ease the process of writing and make sure you include all important information into your assignment, ensure to create a simple outline. This scheme will include the key points of your essay and will help you to make sure your text sections look good in a paper. Besides, using an outline will help you to arrange and rearrange the components of the essay to order them logically. If you don’t know how to build an outline on your own, here’s an example of the traditional research essay outline that is in line with the requirements in most US colleges:


Catchy question or sentence to attract attention of your readers.

Provide thesis statement that is an arguable claim that you will discuss in your research essay and support with evidence.


Key Point #1:

  1. Topic sentence – short intro of paragraph
  2. Argument to support thesis
  3. Evidence from a reliable source
  4. Concluding sentence – sum up paragraph

Key Point #2:

  1. Topic sentence – short intro of paragraph
  2. Argument to support thesis
  3. Evidence from a reliable source
  4. Concluding sentence – sum up paragraph

Key Point #3:

  1. Topic sentence – short intro of paragraph
  2. Argument to support thesis
  3. Evidence from a reliable source
  4. Concluding sentence – sum up paragraph


Restate your research question. Sum up the key ideas mentioned in the body. Do not introduce any new claims.

Prepare an Introduction

In this part of your research essay, you have to introduce your topic and inform your readers on the purpose of your project. If you are going to research a debated topic, let your readers know in your introduction. From your opening part, your readers should have a clear idea of what the research essay is going to be about and how it is arranged.

A catchy introduction is an integral part of the research essay in logistics because many readers will decide if your paper is worth reading by having a quick look at the first two or three lines of the paper. Take a look at some attention-grabbing facts that you may use as a hook in your introduction:

  • Every year logistics delivers millions of beer bottles that is equivalent to 25 000 famous double-decker buses;
  • It is possible to travel the world entirely on shipping containers. A man known as Thor Pederson has managed to travel more than half of the world without ever boarding a flight. Thor makes sure he is going to be shipped from one continent to another just like office supplies. Every time the man travels completely for free. He has even reached Kenya this unusual way;
  • The average food product travels up to 1500 miles before it reaches your home;
  • Nearly 70% of freight transported in the United States depends on trucks. In actual fact, trucks transport nearly $670 billion worth of manufactured goods annually;
  • The largest ship on the globe can easily and comfortably carry and transport the Eiffel tower;
  • One in twelve people in the United Kingdom of Great Britain work in a logistics sector – that’s more than 1,5 million people;
  • An interesting fact is that the first person, who was widely credited with using Supply Chain Management, was Henry Ford. He designed and built all of his factories in order to ease the process of managing his shipping and inventory needs;
  • In Japan, all fragile items are transported in husks from rice.

The Body: Analyze Your Research

Carefully and critically read through the materials you have gathered while researching the topic. You need to know exactly what the researchers and logistics experts are saying and why. Take notes as you read. Check surveys and questionnaires in logistics sector to identify the main conclusions, and the approach that the field experts apply to arrive at their conclusions. Make sure to create a brief summary of the whole, with some additional marks from your side. Use direct quotations only if you know they are crucial to set your point. Provide clear and understandable results of your research. Have you done it in the area of international shipping through dangerous zones? If yes, provide your suggestions on how these zones can be avoided and how protection can be secured for truck drivers, pilots and crews based on the research results.

If, at some point of your research, you realize that in the light of your research you have to reconsider your research question or thesis statement, go ahead. Does the evidence support your thesis statement and answer the research question? Have you changed your mind on the course of your research? If necessary, change the course of your research to account for the information your research uncovered.

Write the Section for Your Conclusions

The final part of your research essay in logistics stands apart from the rest of the paper in that it goes about the results of your research only.
The concluding part of the essay provides closure and sums up the main points of the research one last time. When you write the final section of the essay, keep in mind that it is your last chance to impress your readers and help them understand why your research matters. In other words, your concluding sections of the logistics research essay should provide answer to the “So what?” question. In simple terms, give your audience something to think about after they are done with the last sentence of your essay. Make sure your conclusion adds completeness to your research essay. If possible, end the text on a positive note.

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