how-to-write-academic-research-paper

6 Tips for how to write academic research paper


Writing an academic research paper often requires a certain degree of academic research writing experience and prowess. Both aspiring research authors as well as research authors who’ve struggled with academic writing in the past will find the six tips highlighted in this blog to offer a world of insight into what steps they can take to make their next research writing endeavor a pleasant one. 

  • Tip #1

Identifying A Research Challenge & Zeroing In On A Suitable Topic

  • Success starts with the right topic and the scope of research that would be involved. 
  • When it comes to a management research paper, there is a seemingly endless amount of issues and questions that span all aspects of a business, organization, and industry, so it’s important to narrow down the topic and find the niche. 
  • It is important to choose a research topic that interests the researcher and has applications for the field of study. 
  • Additionally, the research must be something that is relevant to today’s business environment, such as something that relates to issues of sustainability, ethics, corporate responsibility, use of technology, or new management styles that can succeed in the global information society.
  • Picking A Topic That’s Pertinent, Current, & Attractive
    • For a research paper, report, or article, the researcher learns information about a topic, then lays out a point of view and backs it up with evidence from authorities known as sources. 
    • All their sources must be declared via citations in the research document. 
    • The typical research paper, report, or article is an informational document that sheds light on a current event, person, or issue. 
    • It can also be persuasive. If a topic intrigues the researcher, they will do a better job on the finished product.
    • As a focus on a general topic, consider using brainstorming and free writing techniques. 
    • Finally, each researcher must reduce the general topic to a specific research question.
    • Generate strategies to come up with a viable topic for a research paper include – 
  • Brainstorming
    • Brainstorming, sometimes referred to as paper thinking, means writing down ideas in a computer file or on paper can be used to generate a large amount of data in a short time. 
    • Note down every single idea that comes to mind, alone or in a group. 
    • Ask journalistic questions and answers to ensure that all angles are considered –
      • who?
      • what?
      • when?
      • where? 
      • why?
      • how?
    • Limit all writing to the dot style to avoid writer’s block.
    • Consider your point of view on an issue and establish your own biases or feelings on a topic. 
    • Register for and participate in a high-level engineering college conference in 2022 if you would like to know more about this topic. 
  • Free Writing
    • Free writing can help the researcher come up with ideas by writing quickly, without a strategy, and without halting for ten to twenty minutes. 
    • Don’t bother about what to say first; start in the middle.
    • Ignore grammar, spelling, and organization. 
    • Let the thoughts flow in a computer file or on paper as they come. 
    • If the searcher is blank, write your last word over and over again. 
    • Other ideas will follow. 
    • Write freely more than once, then write a sentence that begins with “My main point is…”. 
    • Good writing has a subject, a purpose, and an audience. 
    • Consider the intended audience of the research work and how the objective limits the topic. 
    • Think about the importance of the topic in relation to the purpose of the survey. 
    • Keep in mind the availability, variety, and value of materials you may find. 
    • Consider the time available.
  • Recognize & Deviate From Inappropriate Topics

A research dissertation topic would be a bad choice if it was – 

  • Too broad

If you’re trying to cover the whole topic. Reduce the topic scope to include only part of a large topic.

  • Too Subjective

A personal topic, such as “Why my learning is the best”, may not be appropriate as you are unlikely to be able to support it from the library sources.

  • Too Controversial

Avoid any subject that cannot be written about objectively.

  • Too Familiar

Working on a research paper should lead to discovering things the researcher doesn’t already know. Do not submit a research paper already written for another purpose.

  • Too Technical

Don’t write about a topic that is still not well understood after thorough research.

Crystallizes what we do not understand. It forces us to be clear.

  • Opens Up Room For Dialogue With Others Confrontation with reality, criticism, and collaboration are what stem from such a quality.
  • Initially, when you want to write a research paper, confirm the following checklist to decide on the title –
    • Where would you like to send your article for publication?
    • What is the proposed title?
  • If the idea is to publish, review previous international Scopus journals to find out what types of articles are published – this will give you an idea of ​​how the titles are presented.
  • Select the topic which will be very useful for the readers and also the latest.
  • What type of data/information should be collected from different sources to write a good article?
  • Start with the introduction – the objectives – have a review of the literature – think about whether it will be possible to collect the data necessary for the research.
  • Decide how many pages need to be prepared. This is essential in order to decide the number of inputs needed.
  • Try to refer to recent articles, information, data, etc.
  • Don’t forget to record the acknowledgment of the information you have taken.
  • A Good Title Informs & Describes Aptly & Comprehensively Without Going Into Detail
    • Sometimes research theses and research questions are made use of as titles. 
    • It is best to avoid –
      • unclear, 
      • inaccurate, or 
      • humurous titles. 
    • After selecting the topic, formulate a research question and a hypothesis. 
    • A hypothesis is a working idea that evidence can support. 
    • The researcher must have a hypothesis in mind when he begins to study the subject. 
    • While writing the paper, the researcher can refine the hypothesis or even discover a better hypothesis. 
    • Be prepared to change the hypothesis if the evidence does not support it.
  • Tip #2

Thinking About Your Abstract As A Means Of Pulling In Readers, Attracting Editors & Also Convincing Them

  • Basically, an abstract includes a one-paragraph summary of the entire document. 
  • An abstract is a crisp, one-paragraph summary of a finished research work or work in progress. 
  • Within a minute or two, a reader should be able to –
    • learn the rationale for the study, 
    • the general approach to the problem, 
    • the relevant results, and 
    • the important conclusions or new questions. 
  • Abstracts have become increasingly important, as e-publication databases are now the primary means of finding research reports in a certain field. 
  • Thus, everything relevant to potential readers should be summarized, everything else not. 
  • There are two types of abstracts are –
    • An informative abstract extracts all that is relevant in the article, such as the main research objectives addressed, the methods employed to solve the problems, the results obtained, and the conclusions drawn. Such summaries can serve as a highly aggregated substitute for the full article;
    • An indicative or descriptive abstract, on the other hand, describes the content of the article and can therefore serve as an outline of what is presented in the article. This type of summary cannot replace the full text.
  • The Ideal Abstract Writing Process
    • Objective
      • What are the reasons for writing the article or the objectives of the research?
    • Design, Methodology, Approach
      • How are the objectives achieved? Indicate the main method(s) used for the research.
      • What is the approach to the subject, and what is the theoretical or thematic scope of the paper?
    • Results
      • What did we find during the work? It will be analysis, discussion, or results.
  • Objectively Identifying Any & All Research Limitations and Addressing Them
    • If the research is reported in the document, this section should be completed and must include recommendations for future research and any limitations recognized in the research process.
  • Addressing Practical Implications (If Any)
    • What findings and implications for practice, applications, and consequences are identified? 
    • How will the research influence the business organization? 
    • What changes to practice must be made as a result of this research? 
    • What is the commercial or economic impact? 
    • Not all articles will have practical implications.
  • Social Implications (If Applicable)
    • What will be the societal impact of this research? 
    • How will the research and its outcomes influence public attitudes? 
    • How will the research influence (corporate) social responsibility or environmental issues? 
    • How might it inform public or industrial policy? 
    • How might this affect the quality of life? 
    • Not all articles will have social implications.
  • Originality/Value
    • What’s new in the newspaper? 
    • Indicate the value of the paper and to whom
  • Keyword-Optimising The Abstract Thoroughly
    • Using keywords is an essential part of writing summaries due to the practice of retrieving information electronically – keywords act as a search term.
    • Use specific keywords that reflect what is essential in the document.
    • Put yourself in the shoes of someone doing research in your field – what would you be looking for? 
    • Also, consider whether you can use one of the current “buzzwords”.
  • Opting For The Most Apt Abstract Styling Format 
    • Single & Concise Paragraphs
      • Abstracts are always written in the past tense.
      • An abstract should stand on its own and not refer to any other part of the document, such as a figure or table.
      • Focus on summarizing the results – limit background information to a sentence or two, if absolutely necessary
      • What the researcher reports in an abstract should be consistent with what is reported in the article.
      • All in all – 
        • correct spelling, 
        • clarity of phrases and sentences, and 
        • the correct ratio of quantities (appropriate units, significant digits),

are equally as vital in an abstract as anywhere else.

  • A checklist defining the relevant parts of an abstract is provided below –
    • Motivation
      • Why do we care about the research challenge and the results?
    • Problem Statement
      • What challenge(s) is the article trying to solve, and what is the scope of work?
  • Approach
    • What was done to resolve the challenge?
  • Results
    • What is the solution to the challenge(s)?
  • Conclusions
    • What implications does the solution imply?
  • Abstracts should be no longer than 250 words or as required by the publisher.
  • Researchers should look to write concisely and coherently. 
  • The abstract should mirror only what appears in the original article.
  • There are certain elements that mustn’t be included in an abstract – 
    • information and conclusions not mentioned in the article,
    • references to other research journals publications,
    • the exact sentence of the title and illustrative elements such as tables and figures.
  • Tip #3

Carrying Out A Thorough Literature Review

  • Understanding What Literature Reviews Are All About
    • A literature review is a crucial part of a research project. 
    • Literature reviewing involves a careful examination of a set of documents pointing to the answer to the research question. 
    • A literature review or body of literature is a collection of published research relevant to a research question. 
    • All good research writing is guided by a review of the relevant literature. 
    • The literature review will be the mechanism by which research is viewed as a cumulative process. 
    • This makes it quite an important part of the scientific process. 
    • There are a number of steps to select the research problem and then to filter all the information to find the data that supports the research title that the researcher has selected, or that has been assigned by his/her research institution. 
    • Be sure to get details on the format and style of reference required, as everything presented in the article should be attributed to the person who provided this research material. 
    • The internet has opened the doors of access to a wealth of in-depth research material by providing a number of open-source academic databases of recent findings and studies. 
    • Some databases require either a password that can be obtained from the university or a small payment to register. 
    • Many other researchers have made their published academic research papers available online, so be sure to search Google, making use of specific keywords related to the research topic. 
    • The university library should not be overlooked as an excellent place for sources.
  • Why Carry Out A Literature Review At All?
    • The objective of the literature review remains the same regardless of the research methodology used. 
    • It is an essential test of the research question, which is already known on the subject. 
    • The literature review can be used to find out if anyone else has already answered the research question. 
    • If so, researchers should change or modify the question.
  • What’s The Significance Of A Literature Review?
    • Literature reviews are significant because they show help offer an idea of what previous researchers have found. 
    • It is usually quite long and mainly depends on the amount of research already done in the area the researcher plans to study. 
    • If the researcher intends to explore a relatively new field, the literature review should cite fields of study or similar studies that led to the current research. 
    • Never say that the domain is so new that no research exists. 
    • This is one of the key things that readers consider when reading research papers and approving them for publication. 
  • Where Does One Begin Their Literature Review?
    • Often it is worth starting the search with encyclopedias, almanacs, and dictionaries for general background information on a subject. 
    • Then consult specialized encyclopedias, bibliographies, and textbooks on your subject. 
    • Search general and then specialized indexes and databases for articles on your chosen topic in authoritative books, scholarly journals, fast publication scopus journals, consumer magazines, and newspapers. 
    • All of these resources can be searched on the web using search engines like Google.
  • Note Taking Can Prove To Be Vital
    • Read all sources for facts, opinions, and examples relating to the topic. 
    • Record information in computer files or on maps that is important to answer the research question. 
    • Record page numbers in the source for each fact or quote while noting. 
    • If a source is to be cited, ensure that the exact wording has been recorded along with the page number.
  • Organizing Collected Information & Data Is Crucial
    • After completing the main research, organize the information to guide the researcher to specific points of research when writing the research paper.
  • Get To Know How You’d Like To Present Your Literature Review
    • Group the information in computer files or on index cards in a coherent way by subject, which will lead to an effective work plan.
    • Arrange the points from most to least or least to most important. 
    • Write an outline of the organization of computer files or note cards.
    • List major divisions and subdivisions to visualize ideas and supporting material. 
    • The plan will reveal whether the research has produced enough material to support the conclusion.
  • Tip #4

The Crux Of The Research Paper Is The Body

  • The body of a research paper details the actual research carried out to answer the research question or challenge identified in the introduction. 
  • It has to be written as if it were an unfolding discussion – detailing one idea at a time.
  • Typically, the body of an article answers two questions, namely –
    • how the research question was addressed (methods), and
    • what was found (results).
  • Normally, the body consists of several subsections, while the actual structure, organization, and content are highly dependent on the type of document.
  • Empirical Articles
    • In empirical articles, the body of the article describes the materials and data that were made use of for the study, the methodologies that were utilized to answer the research queries, and the results obtained. 
    • It is very important that the study be described in a way that allows peers to repeat or reproduce it.
  • Case Studies
    • Case studies describe the application of existing methods, theories, or tools. 
    • Crucial is the value of the abstract reflections of experience and their pertinence to other researchers working on related themes, methods, concepts, theories, or tools.
  • Methodology Articles
    • Methodology articles describe a new method that may be intended for use in research or in practical settings (or both), but the article should be clear about the intended audience.
  • Theoretical Articles
    • Theoretical articles describe principles, concepts, or models to work on in the discipline (empirical, experience, methodology) is based; authors of theoretical papers are expected to position their ideas within a broad context of related frameworks and theories. Important criteria are the originality or accuracy of the analysis provided as well as the relevance of the theoretical content to practice and/or research in the field.
  • Tip #5

Getting The Methodology Section Of The Body Right

  • The methodology section of the body describes the basic research plan. 
  • It normally begins with a few short introductory paragraphs that reaffirm the research objective and questions. 
  • Try to maintain consistent language (wording and sentencing) all throughout the document.
  • Instrumentation
    • If you as a researcher are using a survey that was designed by someone else, indicate the source of the survey. 
    • Describe the theoretical constructs that the survey attempts to measure.
    • Include a reference to the actual survey in the appendix and indicate that a copy of the survey is in the appendix.
  • Procedure & Deadline
    • Indicate exactly when the research began and when it was completed.
    • Describe any special procedures that were followed (e.g., instructions that were read to participants of the survey, any consent forms that you had the participants of the survey sign, etc.).
  • Analysis Plan
    • The analysis plan has to be described in detail. 
    • Each research question will generally necessitate its very own analysis. 
    • Therefore, the research questions should be addressed one by one, followed by a description of the sort of statistical tests that will be executed in order to answer that research question. 
    • Be specific. Indicate which variables were included in the analysis and identify and report the dependent and independent variables if such a relationship exists. 
    • The decision-making criteria (for example, the critical alpha level) must also be indicated, as well as the computer software used.
  • Validity & Reliability
    • If the survey was designed by someone else, describe previous assessments of validity and reliability. 
    • When using an existing instrument, the researcher wants to perform the same measure of reliability as the author of the instrument. 
    • If the researcher has developed their own survey, they should describe the steps they took to evaluate its validity and a description of how reliability was measured.
  • Validity
    • The validity of the researcher refers to the precision or truthfulness of a measurement. 
    • There are no real statistical tests to measure validity. 
    • All assessments of validity are based entirely on subjective opinions that are in turn based on the judgment of the researcher. 
    • However, there are at least three types of validity that need to be addressed, and the researcher should indicate what steps they have taken to evaluate validity.
  • Face Validity 
    • Face validity has to do with the likelihood that a query will be misunderstood or misinterpreted. 
    • Pretesting a survey is a great way to enhance the likelihood of face validity.
  • Content Validity
    • Content validity has to do with whether an instrument provides adequate coverage of a topic. 
    • Expert opinions, literature searches, and open-ended pretest questions help establish the validity of the content.
  • Construct Validity
    • Construct validity refers to the theoretical foundations that underlie a particular scale or measure. 
    • It examines the underlying theories or constructs that explain phenomena. 
    • In other words, if the researcher uses multiple survey items to measure a construct (e.g., a subscale of a survey), then it should describe why the researcher thinks the items include a construct. 
    • If a construct has been recognized by previous researchers, describe the criteria they make use of to validate the construct. 
    • A technique referred to as confirmatory factor analysis is often made use of to analyze how distinct survey items contribute to an overall construct measure. 
    • Reliability is synonymous with repeatability or stability. 
    • A measurement that gives consistent results over time is said to be reliable. 
    • When a measurement is subject to random errors, it lacks reliability.
    • There are three basic methods for testing reliability –
      • test-retest,
      • equivalent form, and 
      • internal consistency.
    • Most searches use some form of internal consistency. 
    • When there is a scale of items that all attempt to measure the same concept, we expect a high degree of consistency in how people respond to those items. 
    • Various statistical tests are used to measure the degree of consistency. 
    • Another way to test dependability is to ask the same question with slightly different wording in different parts of the survey. 
    • The correlation between items is a measure of their reliability.
  • Hypotheses
    • All research experiments and studies make assumptions to a certain degree. 
    • The most obvious is that a given sample is an accurate representation of a population. 
    • Other common assumptions are that an instrument is valid and measures desired constructs. 
    • Yet another is that respondents will answer a survey honestly. 
    • The important point is that the researcher specifically states what assumptions are made.
  • Scope & Limits
    • All research studies also have limitations and limited scope. 
    • Limits are often imposed by time and budget constraints. 
    • Precisely list the limitations of the study. 
  • Writing The Methodology Section
    • Methods
      • Report the methodology, detailing every step of the procedure included in the methodology. 
      • To be concise, present the methods under headings devoted to specific acts or groups of acts.
  • Style
    • It is awkward or impossible to use an active voice when documenting methods without using the first person, which would focus the reader’s attention on the investigator rather than the work. 
    • Therefore, when writing methods, most authors use the passive voice in the third person.
    • Use normal prose in this section and all other sections of the document – ​​avoid informal listings and use full sentences.
  • Avoid At All Costs
    • Methods are not a set of instructions.
    • Omit all explanatory information and context – save for discussion.
  • Necessary Checklist To Keep Track Of While Writing The Methodology Section
    • Report the sample description
    • Indicate the type of sampling method used
    • Report the software used to analyze the data
    • Indicate the tool used to collect the data.
    • Report the tools used to analyze the data
    • Report sample size, sample item, and sampling extent
    • Report various demographic information
    • Report the descriptive statistics of the sample
    • Report research type design
  • Tip #6

Research Outcomes

  • The results of all tools used for the analysis should be included in the results section. 
  • The summary of results should be included in this section if some of the data analysis results are in multiple tables displaying the results or if the tables are very large. 
  • Large tables and multiple tables already used for the preparation of summary tables should be presented under the title of the appendix. 
  • The tables of results must be interpreted immediately after the tables. 
  • In addition, the sentencing according to the hypothesis tested through statistical tests and presented in the results section should be presented immediately after the results tables.
  • Summary Of Outcomes
    • Comparison of results with previously published studies. 
    • Conclusions or hypotheses drawn from the results, with a summary of the evidence for each conclusion.
    • Proposed follow-up research questions.

Any 2022 Scopus indexed conference worth its salt (look up the IFERP upcoming conference listing to find such events) is guaranteed to equip you with more tips and strategies than this blog can offer.