Writing a research paper or an article is a typical experience especially for an amateur.
Having a published research paper is an accomplishment in a scientific or academic career.
It may be a bit difficult task to write a research paper for a beginner because
- One finds it difficult to read research scientific papers in one go. So, there is a mental stigma/barrier of the feeling of the tough or uneasy task to write one.
- Even one may not be familiar in the scientific terminology, style of writing or even dislike for creative writing, etc.
- The English language is accepted as a primary scientific language by many journals, so if one is not fluent/familiar with English usage then it may pose difficulties.
- Unaware of the previous concepts/ happenings of the research topic which one wishes to write.
- Lack of proper understanding of the topic under research and not sure of what to write or what is new to write from a scientific point of view.
How to write a research paper efficiently.
Talk to your guide or your superior or fellow researcher who guides you in the project work.
He may know a good deal of how to write a research article due to previous experience.
Even they may provide a new view of your research work done and how it is useful to science.
If there is no new thing out of your research or no new contribution to science from your work, then it is useless to publish that research paper and hence may be rejected by reviewers.
Have recent research papers from the journal for which you want to submit your paper for publication so as to refer to the style of writing for that specific journal. But don’t try to copy, please. Using them as a background structure try to build your paper in the same fashion with words and sentences related to your research.
Once you write the paper you may check it with your colleagues for comments and the best way could be showing to your guide or supervisor.
Steps to write a research paper:
The process may begin well from the time of starting of your project. Because though you don’t have data, you still have an expectation of outcome and hence you may start writing the research paper with the outcome of the result in mind. The steps to writing a research paper are quiet common and followed by all.
- Write a lengthy introduction of what all you have gone through and what all you found interesting and those you find controversial and also your hypothesis and reason for why you wanted to go for that particular study.
- Write the methods and materials you use. Preferably in a concise manner or as expected by the journal guidelines you wish to send the paper to.
- Then if you have the data, write the results as per the journal guidelines again. Because some journal doesn’t mind the explanation of results in the results section while others want it in the discussion. Try to mention clearly the outcome of results in all the sects’ i.e. between groups or between samples etc. Be careful about any analytical statistics you used and mention if any clearly including the software name and version if used.
- Coming to the discussion, in the first part, you mention all the finding of the study. In the coming paragraphs, you try to explain in detail the findings with any adjacent validated supportive references if any.
- You may end the discussion with a conclusion in the last paragraph.
- Also, mention your gratitude for any funding agencies or companies if your work was sponsored or supported by them and also any individuals name if they offered you any significant help in the progress of your work.
- References are to be listed as per the guidelines of the journal.
Final checklist to write a research paper
→ Have you selected the right journal to send. This should be based on the topic and subject of research, the impact factor of the journal you intend to send to.
→ Have you formatted the paper and references as per the journal guidelines?
→ Are your images of graphs and tables if any, have fixed size? Many journals recommend size above 600 dpi (dots per inch) and some even 1200 dpi for better print quality. If not you can adjust them by using adobe photo-shop software.
→ Have the details of all authors including their contact are given in a complete form as required by the journal.
Some software to write a research paper better:
◊ Graph pad Prism the best software for making good statistical analysis of your data and also graphs and also to extract them as images to send with the paper after finalization of the result.
◊ Reference manager software like EndNote to make a citation in right format both in the body of the paper and also in the reference section of the paper.
◊ Image making and editing software like adobe photoshop, even windows paint can help you make pictures needed to explain your findings or edit the sizes of graphs after finalization of results.