Research is the methodical investigation into a subject in order to discover facts, to establish or revise a theory, or to develop a plan of action based on the facts discovered. The findings and conclusions of such an investigation appear in the research paper. The term ‘research paper’ refers to a particular genre of academic writing, in which the writer’s own interpretation, evaluation, or argument on a specific issue is given prominence.
A research paper involves surveying a field of knowledge in order to find the best possible information in that field. Such information is then utilised to present a competent argument on a topic. Hence a research paper requires a presentation of one’s own thinking backed up by others’ ideas and information. In short, a research paper is:
Whatever may be the types of research works and studies, one thing that is important is that they all meet on the common ground of systematic method employed by them. One expects systematic research to satisfy certain criteria. Usually a research is considered good when it is:
How to Summarize a Research Paper. In summarizing a research paper, keep in mind that a research paper has several parts. The parts of the research paper will serve as your outline for creating your summary. It is presumed that you have already read the whole text of the article, otherwise you will barely have any idea about what you want to write. Here are several tips on how to summarize a research paper.
A few more tips:
You may want to know how to summarize an essay, a book or other articles.
In writing a research paper, take careful note of its parts. The research paper has at least nine essential parts although, of course, there may be additional parts depending on the discretion of your instructor. The basic principle to consider in writing a research paper is that you should first consider and familiarize yourself with the “works” of others and then try to compare them with your ideas.
1. Title Page
Oftentimes referred to as the cover page, this section is where you indicate the title of your research, your name, institutional information and a few other relevant information prescribed by your instructor.
Introduce to your reader the “problem” by providing a brief background of your research. Include the basic reasons how and why you came-up with the problem, and the probable solutions that you can offer. In general, the introduction summarizes the purpose of the research paper.
3. Literature Review
This section is where you will be providing all the relevant readings from previous works. Provide brief summaries or descriptions of the works of other authors. Make sure that your research materials are from credible sources such as academic books and peer-reviewed journals. Also, make sure that your reading materials are directly relevant to the topic of your research paper. The literature review typically includes the names of the authors, the titles of their works and the year of the publication of these works.
This section is where you will be providing the methods that you will be using in your research. Typical methodologies include laboratory experiments, statistical or mathematical calculations/computations, and comparison of existing literature.
5. Data Analysis
This section is where you will be analyzing the data that you have obtained from the methodological operation that you have chosen. Depending on the type of your research paper, data analysis instruments and operations may vary. Common data analysis methods include but are not limited to SWOT Analysis (Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats) which is a form of a qualitative data analysis.
This section is where you will be presenting the actual results of the analysis that you have made based on your chosen methodology.
This is where you will be discussing more of the results of your research, its implications on other fields as well as the possible improvements that can be made in order to further develop the concerns of your research. This is also the section where you need to present the importance of your study and how it will be able to contribute to the field.
Provide the conclusion to your research paper. While it is important to restate your general thesis in this section, it is also important to include a brief restatement of the other parts of the research paper such as the methodology, data analysis and results.
9. Reference Page
This section is where you list down all the academic materials you have used as sources of information in your research paper. Typical reference formats/styles include but are not limited to APA 5th, Harvard, MLA and Chicago/Turabian.
The Basic Outline of a Paper
The following outline shows a basic format for most academic papers. No matter what length the paper needs to be, it should still follow the format of having an introduction, body, and conclusion. Read over what typically goes in each section of the paper.
You will need to brainstorm what you want to include in order to answer your research question before you begin to write your outline.
Sample Preliminary Outline (this is a first step in organizing your thoughts)
Sample Outline (your final product should be modeled after this format)
Your Outline will be uploaded to www.turnitin.com!
The introduction should have some of the following elements, depending on the type of paper:
The introduction must end with a THESIS statement (a 1 to 2 sentences in length):
? Decide on the thesis and main points first
? You do not need to start writing your paper with the introduction
? Try writing the thesis and body first; then go back and figure out how to best introduce the body and conclude the paper
? Use transitions between main points and between examples within the main points
? Always keep your thesis in the forefront of your mind while writing; everything in your paper must point back to the thesis