Whether you’re writing an academic or a scientific research paper, if you are planning to publish it, you’ll have to plan it before you start drafting it. The reason being, different journals, and conferences accept different formats of research papers and have different guidelines.
Thus, ideally, you should determine if you want to publish the research paper and where you want to publish it before you start writing or even doing the research. When a student begins with research paper writing, it evolves highly necessary that he/she has a transparent image of the subject chosen.
If you’re planning to draft a professional research paper to publish it for the very first time, there are a few basics you should know. Here is a general step by step approach for doing so.
1. Select a research problem:
The first step would be, of course, to select a research problem for which you would like to conduct research and write a paper on it.
The research problem is the main principle guiding you through the whole process of research, analysis, and discovery of new subject matters and knowledge that provide value to your paper.
Finding a research problem is not going to be easy and quick, and you should keep it in mind from the very beginning. If you’re still pursuing a course, you can ask your professor to help you find a research topic. Keep in mind the following simple points when doing so.
- It should be related to your academic field.
- You should have a good amount of working knowledge of the general topic under which your research problem falls.
- You should be able to find enough resources and data to analyze the problem.
2. Find and read related review papers:
A review paper basically summarizes the current state of progress or development in a particular field of research. It reviews the recent progress in a particular topic and gives the reader an understanding of the current state of knowledge in that topic by discussing the findings and information presented in recent research papers for the same.
When you have a research problem determined, read legitimate review papers published on that topic. Analyze the current state of knowledge, the progress made so far, and the research findings of different authors to date.
Doing so should give a nice understanding of the research problem and the various methods implemented by other people. Take Homework answers to help from the internet to include in your research paper to be more authentic.
3. Working on your research problem:
A good reading of the review papers should leave you with a lot of ideas on how to approach the problem. Compare the previous research done and find a better solution to the problem or add more new information and knowledge to the topic.
Compare your findings to the other papers and try to make it better such that it adds value to the previous research.
While working on it, you will be taking detailed notes about the research, your methods, and findings, which you will further use to write the research paper.
4. Drafting your research paper:
Once you finish your research and have your findings, move ahead, and write your first draft. Start by making a rough outline of various sections of the research paper, sequence of the information, and brief points for each in order to have a mockup for the actual writing.
Generally, a research paper has the following structure.
- Title page: Write the research statement, your name, and affiliation.
- Abstract: In the abstract, write a summary of your research briefly.
- Introduction: Include the description of the topic and some necessary background information to provide context for the readers.
- Methodology: Explain the methods and materials (if any) used in your research.
- Results: Write your findings and explain the necessary information.
- Discussion: Discuss your findings further and what your results mean.
- Acknowledgments: To acknowledge the help you’ve received throughout your research from professors, institutions, peers, etc.
- References: All the references used in your paper should be cited here.
- Tables and figures: The tables and figures used will be listed in this section.
- Glossary: An alphabetical list of technical terms and abbreviations used in your paper.
5. Find a conference/journal to publish your paper:
Different journals have different guidelines and requirements regarding the format and presentation of a research paper and you’ll have to format your paper accordingly. Ideally, you should determine where to publish your paper before you start writing a draft so that you don’t have to format it later on.
The general structure remains the same and it shouldn’t require too much formatting, however, it is better to know the format beforehand.
You can either publish your paper at a conference or in a journal. A conference is a gathering of scholars, researchers, professors, academics, etc. where the research and development in a certain field are discussed.
A conference paper is shorter and is discussed orally accompanied by visual representation. A research journal is a periodical publication focusing on a particular field, it’s research papers are peer-reviewed and considered credible.
Determine where to publish your research paper and read about its guidelines, structure, and format. Check out other papers published in that particular journal to get a better idea of these factors.
6. Editing and formatting:
Format your paper accordingly after reviewing the guidelines of the journal where you are aiming to publish it. Along with the formatting, edit your paper for the following.
- Read your paper thoroughly to identify and remove unnecessary information.
- Add any missing piece of information and fill any holes in the paper.
- Make sure your flow of information is smooth.
- A research paper should be concise and clear, omitting out any extra bits that do not add value to the writing.
- Edit for spelling and grammar mistakes.