A research paper is a crucial part of various degree programs. These tasks aim to analyse various topics and provide experimental feedback to support arguments within your paper.
Unfortunately, many first-timers often struggle in determining how to do a research project. This article will analyse the steps for conducting a research study to help you overcome confusion.
What is academic research?
Academic research refers to the experiments carried out to test various hypotheses in a scholarly paper. This research is often aimed at analysing research gaps and improving upon the knowledge within a field.
What is research writing?
Research writing is the documentation of the process that was followed through selecting a research topic, performing the research, and the conclusions that were reached. This paper thus helps a reader to determine the legitimacy of your claims and also allows fellow scholars to replicate your research and confirm your findings.
How to write an academic paper
Appropriate academic research requires that you follow a piecemeal approach to ensure replicability and analysis of your arguments. Some of the steps you ought to consider as you write academic papers are:
- Choose a topic
Before writing a paper, engage the existing materials and highlight the questions that are not addressed. Next, research the questions to determine the gaps that are of research interest.
This can be done by consulting emerging issues within a field to determine the research questions to answer in your research study. Ideally, your research questions should be possible to analyse through research and have ample related studies to support your claims.
- Conduct preliminary research
After selecting your topic, research all the materials that are related to your research questions. These materials will help you to gauge the research gaps and guide you on the acceptable methods of research within your discipline.
Ideally, gauge the strengths and weaknesses of each material you select and critique these resources in your literature review, establishing a basis for your research questions.
- Develop a thesis
Highlight the key problem your paper will analyse and make a statement of your paper’s purpose. This statement should be debatable and suggest your stand on the topic.
- Define terms and concepts
Your research paper should define various terms and concepts to allow for easy reading by non-experts. This section also tackles the terms and acronyms that are not custom to your discipline, helping avoid any ambiguity within your paper.
- Instrumentation plan
What data will you gather in your research? At what stages will the data be collected? How will you analyse the collected data?
These are some of the key decisions to make within the instrumentation plan for your paper. This data helps a tutor gauge the feasibility of your study and suggest better approaches for gauging relationships between the variables under study.
This step also allows you to gauge the criteria for selecting participants and to identify and highlight how various variables will be tweaked to study your paper better.
- Data collection
After outlining your methodology, initiate your research and collect the relevant data for your study. Be keen to keep a meticulous record of the steps you followed during data collection.
- Present your results
After conducting your research study analysis, present the data in a clear and concise manner while highlighting various limitations to your study. Ideally, use charts and graphs to highlight the relationships that are crucial for your research.
You may also include a summary of your findings to expose your reader to the relationships that informed various findings within your paper.
- Data analysis
How does your data reflect upon your hypothesis? Are there relationships you noted in this study? Your data analysis gauges the results yielded based on your hypothesis.
Within this section, formulate a hypothesis of various relationships between variables. Also, highlight the software you used for analysis and mention any considerations that prioritized one method of data analysis over another.
- Conclude your research
After your data analysis, summarize your findings and highlight their implications for the knowledge within your field. You may also recommend approaches for subsequent studies to expose more insight into a topic.
Writing a research study should not be a cause for panic among students. this guide should come in handy to help you manage your research and present the information in an academic paper. Feel free to consult our experts for help with your academic paper, overcoming various challenges you might encounter along the way.