Saturday, March 28, 2015

How To Write Research Paper

What is a research paper?

A research paper is a written discussion based on an analytic thesis and supported by a collection of ideas and information. (Click here and here for more information on how to find a research topic)
 It is a way of presenting ideas and facts you have found through the reading of various materials.

Why do we write a research paper?

As part of our academic assignments
To relate information and study findings in a professional manner
To find answers to academic/ scholarly questions.
 For master’s and doctorate’s theses.
A well-written research paper is composed by the use of a variety of outside sources with high credibility.
You should use quoting, paraphrasing and summarizing techniques along with your own words.
You should follow a style guide while writing your paper like APA or MLA style.

Mainly, a research paper includes the parts below:

1.      Title
2.      Abstract
3.      Introduction
4.      Literature Review
5.      Methodology
6.      Results
7.      Discussion
8.      Conclusion
9.      References
10.    Appendices

1- Title Page:
Ø Choose a comprehensive title for your study.
Ø Write your title in the middle of the page.
Ø Below the title, write your name, the name of your instructor, the name of your institution and the year.
Ø Somewhere above the title, you write the running head.
Ø The running head should be as clear and short as possible.
Ø The running head should appear on every page with the page number.
Ø Click here to see a sample title page.

2- Abstract:

Ø Your abstract should be as short and clear as possible.
Ø While writing your abstract:
Ø Give a brief introduction of the general topic of the study.
Ø Explain the exact research questions and the aims
Ø Give a brief description of the methodology.
Ø Give a brief description of the results.
Ø Give a brief description of the discussion.

In other words, you answer the following questions in your abstract:
ü  Why did you do the study?
ü  What is the problem being addressed?
ü  What did you do?
ü  What did you find out?
ü  What conclusions do you have?
ü  Click here to see a sample abstract.
ü  Click here for the "How to Write an Abstract" Wiki

3- The introduction:

This is the part where you start with a broad basis and then narrow down to the particular field of study, explaining the rationale* behind each step.
You give some background information, the importance of the study, the limitations of the study and your assumptions.
•        Specifically;

1- Set the scene,

By giving your paper a context.
By showing how your study fits in with the previous research in the field.

2- Give the rationale behind the research,
By justifying why your study is an essential component of research in the field.

3- State the limitations,
By saying what you could have improved.

4- State your assumptions,
By giving the reasons.

4- Literature Review:

ü  It is a process of gathering and documenting information from other sources.
ü  It is a critical and in depth evaluation of previous research.
A GOOD literature review...
ü  integrates the previous research together.
ü  Explains how it integrates into the proposed research program.
ü  highlights areas of agreement and disagreement.


 A Literature Review is NOT a chronological catalog of all of the sources,
 A collection of quotes and paraphrasing from other sources;
It is an evaluation of the quality and findings of the previous research.
If your literature review can answer the questions below, it is a good one!
Click here for the "How to Write a Literature Review" Wiki.

5- Methodology:

ü  This part is the core of your paper as it is a proof that you use the scientific method.
ü  You give a completely accurate description of the equipment and the techniques for collecting the data.
ü  You explain how the raw data was collected and analyzed.

ü  Describe the materials and equipment that you used in the research.
ü  Explain how you gathered the sample:
ü  Did you use any randomization techniques?
ü  How did you prepare the samples?
ü  Explain how you made the measurements:
ü  What calculations did you make?
ü  Describe the statistical techniques that you used upon the data.
ü  You can write this section in subgroups like setting, participants, instruments and procedure if it is applicable for your study.

6- Results:

Writing the results section is announcing your findings to the world.
In this part, present your findings without interpreting or evaluating.
Include graphs, figures and tables to make your point clear.
You make a commentary of exactly what you observed and found.
It is a link to the discussion section.

7- Discussion:

Ø  It is the part where you add interpretations to your work.
Ø  Comment on the data and your findings.
Ø  Criticize your methodology.
Ø  Suggest any modifications or improvements for your design.
Ø  Give recommendations for future researchers.
Ø  Ask and answer “Do your results agree or disagree with previous research?”
Ø  Ask and answer “Has the experiment contributed to knowledge in the field?”

8- Conclusion:

Ø  It is the final part of your research paper.
Ø  You should consider the following questions while writing your conclusion:
Ø  What has your research shown?
Ø  Give a brief description of the results
Ø  Give a brief summary of the discussion
Ø  How has your study added to what is known about the subject?
Ø  Point out the significance of your study
Ø  Discuss how your study relates to the field
Ø  What were the shortcomings?
Ø  Explain how any deficiencies may affect your results
Ø  Has your research left some unanswered questions?
Ø  Do the findings open up any suggestions for future research?
Ø  Are the results of any use in the real world?
Ø  Can you suggest any practical uses for the findings?


ü  This part is also called “the citation list”.
ü  It is very important because it helps you...
ü  Prevent any accusations of plagiarism.
ü  Give fair credit to the work of previous authors in the field.
ü  It must include all of the direct sources referred in the body of the paper.

ENJOY your writing!
”Writing is easy: All you have to do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead.” Gene Fowler.

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