A Step-By-Step Process for Writing a Research Paper
- Picking a Viable, Pertinent, and Unique Topic of Research
- Come Up With A Powerful Thesis Statement
- Carry Out Detailed and Thorough Research On Your Topic Of Choice
- Begin Focusing On New Ideas and Don’t Underestimate The Ideating Process
- Preparing the First Draft
- Refine Constantly
1. Picking a Viable, Pertinent, and Unique Topic of Research
Sometimes students are assigned their research topics, but if you are lucky enough to have such an option, choose your topic wisely. First, consider choosing a stimulating topic that interests you. Then you will not be bored while researching because you are sure to discover something new and enjoy the writing process. Do not select topics that are too technical or too generic.
If your topic of research happens to be too broad, your research article is not likely to do well because it will look like a general outline. You need to restrict your topic to a particular concept or thought and made it precise and cohesive. For instance, if your topic is about autonomous vehicles, you should narrow it down to ‘impediments to autonomous travel’ or something similar.
2. Come Up With A Powerful Thesis Statement
Prepare a working thesis before actually organizing your research, as it will guide your investigation and help you stay focused on your topic. A thesis statement typically has to be precise and be a reflection of the sort of research paper you are writing.
Every research paper can be divided into three categories:
- Argumentative or persuasive if you dispute the conclusion
- Expository when explaining and interpreting data
- Analytical when breaking down certain bits of information
You need to commit sufficient time to creating a strong thesis statement so that your research work has a clear purpose. Your thesis must be debatable and narrow because your assertions must be backed by valid proof. If your claim is too generic, you will need more proof to convince your readers that you are, in fact, on to something. Here is an instance of a questionable thesis statement – ‘Autonomous Vehicle Technology Will Change the World of Transport’.
3. Carry Out Detailed and Thorough Research On Your Topic Of Choice
You should concentrate on finding sufficient secondary and primary credible sources on the topic of your article, read them all carefully, and find relevant evidence to support your thesis. At this point, you should assess your sources, take notes and start documenting your sources in a citation style specified by your instructor.
Some of the most prevalent citation styles are:
Be sure to use the latest edition of a specific style guide. You will use your notes on references later when writing your article and building your bibliography. Citing all the sources you have used to quote, paraphrase and summarize is essential to avoid plagiarism.
4. Begin Focusing On New Ideas and Don’t Underestimate The Ideating Process
Your research most likely has given you a great deal of new and profound ideas. Now you need to organize them into a world-class presentation. It is crucial that you not skip this vital step, as, without it, your research paper will most likely lack focus and you will need more time to revise your draft and try to make sense of your confused thoughts. That’s why you need a plan. You need to finalize your thesis and create a work plan that you plan to cover that will serve as a roadmap and keep you focused.
Think about the key points you will need to develop to support your thesis statement. You can use them as captions for the body of your article. Go through your notes and organize the information under each subheading. Ensure that you not only include relevant information that matches your captions and directly supports your thesis. You must resist the temptation to include any information that does not fit into your plan, no matter how interesting.
You should remember that while writing an outline that a typical research paper structure typically includes a lot of sections, right from the title, abstract, and an introduction to the findings and conclusion. However, if your research paper is not long, its format may include an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. In any event, you should comply with the particular guidelines furnished by your research instructor.
5. Preparing the First Draft
This is the middle of the process. You’ve got a clear direction and it’s time to create the first draft with a headline, in-text quotes, and a reference page.
The headline is very important if you want to make a good impression on your readers because it is the first thing they see. This forms their opinion of what exactly to expect in your article. Make sure to include a list of the keywords that present the topic of your article, the methods that you applied, and the outcomes you came up with.
Subsequently, form a sentence that incorporates all the keywords you listed and delete any redundant words. After that, you have to bind the others. Finally, you need to remove the non-essential information and organize the remaining words in logical order. You can also include the caption. Make sure your title is concise. Then you need to write an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. These are the central components of your research article, so you should make sure to spend some time nailing every one of them and getting them right.
6. Refine Constantly
You have to make large-scale changes and verify whether the reasoning, movement, and developments are factual, and appropriately make changes in the structure and order of your paragraphs. Need to make sure that all of your ideas are fully developed and that all claims are supported by credible evidence. You may need to add section headers. The next step is editing. You should check and eliminate filler words and phrases, improve word choice, and correct punctuation and grammar errors if you find any. You should look for
- Incomplete sentences
- Dangling modifiers
- Easily confused words (as to, also, and two)
- Spelling mistakes
- Apostrophes for possessives and plurals
- Rating rules respected
- Use of comma
- Eliminate contractions
You will need to proofread your article several times. A good strategy is to read your article backward. This way, you will feel a bit disoriented and be able to catch more mistakes. You should start reading the last sentence, then check the second to last, and keep reading until you get to your first sentence.
You should ask your friends or family to review your research paper and express their opinion on it. They should assess your argument, transitions, and balance and look for any inconsistencies with usage, grammar, or mechanics. Ask your friends for their comments and suggestions for changes if you think they make sense. Finally, you can print your paper and proofread it to eliminate minor errors or typos and make sure your amazing research paper is crisp.
Are you desperately in search of answers to what the method to go about writing a journal article is? If your objective is to publish your research work in an academic journal, you will need to start by asking an interesting research question and conducting a well-designed research study that is both reliable and valid. Then you will need to present the results in a well-written article. Writing an academic research article is sharing unique information. Once you have some interesting data to submit to an academic journal for publication as an article, now is the time to start writing a journal article.
Tips to Write a Journal Article
- Consider Carefully & Pick Out Your Preferred Journal
- Take Into Account Who Your Readers Most Likely Will Be
- Make Sure You Abide By All The Rules & Regulations
- Come Up With A Draft Manuscript
- Proceed With Writing Your Journal Article
- Pay Attention To The Outcomes Of The Peer Review Process
- Cement Your Final Draft
1. Consider Carefully & Pick Out Your Preferred Journal
Since each journal has specific submission requirements, take into account which journals and academic publications will most probably be interested in publishing an article on the topic of your study. Once you have a shortlist of journals, take a very close look at their submission guidelines so that you can narrow them down to the one you want to submit your work to first. Submitting a single article to more than one journal at the same time is not permitted and is frowned upon in the community. Instead, you will have to submit it to your first choice and wait for their response before submitting it somewhere else.
2. Take Into Account Who Your Readers Most Likely Will Be
As soon as you have picked a journal for your initial submission, think about who the audience for the publication is. Review old copies of the newspaper to get an idea of what they are publishing if your subscribers are members of a particular professional organization, and research that organization to get an idea of the members’ main interests and the tone of what they post. Anything that you can do to enhance your understanding of the audience will help increase your chances of writing an article that will be accepted by the publication.
3. Make Sure You Abide By All The Rules & Regulations
Every journal has very particular manuscript specifications, which you should be able to find on the publication’s website. Follow them precisely. The best-written article that reveals fascinating results will be rejected if the author(s) do not meet the manuscript requirements of the publication. These manuscript requirements typically include rules such as involving:
- The minimum and maximum number of words
- Distinct segments that must be incorporated
- Particular citation and formatting style required by the post formatting guidelines, such as font size, acceptable fonts, margin requirements, title designations, use of special formatting (such as bold, italics, underline)
4. Come Up With A Draft Manuscript
To make sure that you include all of the sections required by the journal you are targeting, consider creating a draft to use before you start writing. The items that you’ve included in your template should be specific to the post you are submitting to. It can be used as an infill plane when you start to create the document. Here are some examples of common requirements for journal article sections
- Research question
- Theoretical frame
- Literature review
- Research Methodology
- Data collection procedures
- Data analysis methodologies
- Implications for future research
- Mentioned works
Chances are, you will only need to include some of the sections listed here. You may need to add other sections. Check your model against the published requirements of the journal.
5. Proceed With Writing Your Journal Article
After completing the in-depth preliminary work described above, you will have all the information you need to start writing a successful journal article. Pay heed to all the best practices prescribed by veterans for writing a world-class research article, tailoring your approach to the journal audience.
- Use an appropriate formal tone for academic writing
- Use precise language
- Cite the sources of all statements
- Clearly explain the research methodology
- Specify the dependent or independent variables studied in the study
- Present the results sharply and crisply
- Use charts, tables, and tables to illustrate the main results
- Make sure all information, quotes and data are correct
- Specify what acronyms mean before using them in text
- Check that the research question is answered in the body of the article
- Specify whether the evidence was found to support the hypothesis or not
- Report only conclusions supported by data
- Make sure that the suggestions for further study flow logically from the results
6. Pay Attention To The Outcomes Of The Peer Review Process
Since academic journals are peer-reviewed, consider positioning yourself better for success by having knowledgeable colleagues take a look at your article with a critical eye before proceeding to send it to your chosen journal. If you are a professional in industry or academia, seek the advice of your colleagues. You might even want to contract with a company that offers peer review services to provide feedback.
7. Cement Your Final Draft
Assuming you seek the advice of your peers, incorporate any relevant comments you have received into your manuscript. Proofread and edit the document further, verify content and writing style, and correct typographical or grammatical errors. You may wish to have one or two other people proofread your work as well. Also, verify that the document meets the handwritten requirements of the publication.