Writing a Research Paper – Detailed Guide (Part 1)


This article is addressed primarily to students (undergraduates and even postgraduate students). It affects the perennial problem of presenting own thoughts in text form. Begin your writing with the following tips.

Pick the topic

Sounds absurd? Not at all. Properly selected and formulated topic determines the entire subsequent process of writing. Topic is very concise reflection of the subject area, as it defines the terminology, definitions and discussions, links to external information sources, the number and complexity of the “extra material” (formulas, tables, illustrations). Topic (it matters most!) determines the whole style of the text. For example, it is difficult to write a thesis in scientific style on “Content Management System” topic. But it is quite another thing when the topic sounds like “The software content management and structure of the Internet resource.”

Determine the volume of material

If you need theses for report on 1-2 pages – you will need “to press” the essence, and nothing but essence. If you need an essay on 5-10 pages, you can afford more detail, more “additional material.”. If you need a term paper,  academic research (or thesis), then you will need a rather complicated structure of sections and chapters, the analytical part, the conclusions, the description of your own research, experimental studies, etc.

Read at least some examples of academic texts

Yes, no one will teach you how to write such texts, but still there are those who know how to write them. Take some academic journals that are connected to your theme, look for materials, relevant conferences, etc. Read it and soak up the style of these texts, however pathetic it may sound.

Process your text multiple times

Yes, eventually you will learn how to write an academic paper immediately and ” from the first approach.” Be patient, it takes time. In the meantime, write text in several stages: first – as it will, and then more and more academic (correcting the wording and the text structure, adding tables and formulas.)

Use the method “by contradiction”

If you read a piece of your text and understand that it would look well in popular “hometown newspaper” – it means that this piece requires processing. You are not targeting an audience of teenagers and ‘remotely close to the science people,” you are guided by professionals who do not need to lure with expressions like “delightful speed,”, “revolutionary solution”, etc.

Remember that you do not write fiction

Even if you are so delighted with the described idea that can not sit still, you should be stick to the scientific terminology. Such expression as “fantastic realization of” looks a lot worse than the “implementation corresponds to wide range of quality requirements.”

You can read the next part of article is in the following post.

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