Writing a research paper exercises fundamental aspects of a student’s mind. Chiefly, the process requires logic, grammar, and rhetoric (the classical Trivium) to execute well. It just so happens that these aspects also factor heavily into raising the level of one’s education.
Practically, writing a research paper permits students to participate in a fun, meaningful activity. The summary & curating of knowledge is valuable. As well, the honing of clear articulation of thought benefits both the student long-term.
Lastly, writing a paper exercises multiple learning pathways. To write, one has to read. Subsequently, writing allows us to strengthen the retrieval of information synthesized through reading.
Clear writing requires clear thinking, and clear thinking requires clear writing. They are reflexive and complementary. That is, writing influences one’s thinking and vice versa. And, so, thinking and writing are jointly useful in the same sense that intuition and mathematics are useful; intuition guides discovery while mathematics guides and refines the intuition.