Academic Writing Help: Writing a Research Article
A research article is one that puts to paper the findings of research processes conducted in the field. Most of the time, they are required of students after going through a professional course. They are a link between the theory taught in class and the situation on the ground. The aim of research papers is to gauge whether the student can relate the knowledge they get in class to the actual situation on the field, and if they can use the relation to solve problems. Below are some helpful tips when writing a research paper.
Choosing the topic to research on is the first of the major obstacles to overcome. During the coursework, the student covers many different areas. Most courses in universities have mandatory subjects. These are the most important and should form the basis of the choice that one makes with their research paper. The topic should be of interest to the writer and the intended audience. The topic the student chooses should have significance in the field of study that the person writing is involved in.
The research question
After choosing the topic, the question is next. It sets the tone for the paper, and is the main objective of the research paper. A good paper addresses the research question, meaning a proper research question translates to a good paper. It states the general hypothesis that the research paper is addressing and is often referred to in the conclusion. A good research question is specific and concise, original and is relevant to the scientific community being addressed.
The structure of the paper determines how the audience takes it in and understands it. Research papers generally have a specific structure but this may change according to the area of expertise, audience and the topic being addressed. The acronym IMRAD is sometimes used to describe the structure of a research paper. IMRAD stands for introduction, methods, results and discussion.
- Introduction- introduces the topic and the research question that the paper attempts to address
- Methods- states the steps that the writer goes through to answer the questions stated in the introduction
- Results- give the results of the steps that the writer went through to answer the questions in the methods section
- Discussion- the author discusses what the results obtained mean to the hypothesis formulated in the introduction section.
Needless to say, proofreading is just as important as any other point mentioned above. One does not want the reader distracted from their message by errors in grammar.