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Beginners' Guide To Writing A Research Paper - Education - Nairaland

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Beginners' Guide To Writing A Research Paper by Divinwac(m): 3:22pm On Jul 26
The majority of us do not naturally write research papers. The average research paper follows a strict rhetorical structure [1,2]. Knowing the rules—some stated, others implied—can help you write a work that will be published in a peer-reviewed journal.
The importance of the research question is paramount.

A excellent research paper is focused on a single research issue. The primary organizing concept of the article is the research question, often known as the study aim or major research hypothesis. Everything that is relevant to the study topic should be included in the paper; the rest should not. When the article reports on a well-planned research endeavor, this is possibly self-evident. In applied fields such as quality improvement, however, some publications are based on initiatives that were carried out for operational reasons rather than with the primary goal of creating new knowledge. Authors should define the core research topic a posteriori and build the article around it in such circumstances. Read more: Adult Education Project Topics

In general, a study should only cover one major research topic (secondary but related questions are allowed). Write multiple articles if a project enables you to investigate several different research topics. For example, if you used a freshly created questionnaire to assess the effect of getting written permission on patient satisfaction at a specialist clinic, you would wish to publish two papers: one on the questionnaire creation and validation and the other on the impact of the intervention. The goal is to divide findings into "optimally publishable units" rather than "least publishable units," which is a technique that should be avoided.

What is an excellent research question? The essential characteristics are I specificity; (ii) originality or innovation; and (iii) wide scientific significance. The research question should be specific rather than simply identifying a broad topic of investigation. It is frequently (but not always) expressed in terms of a possible relationship between X and Y in a population Z, for example, ‘we investigated whether providing patients about to be discharged from the hospital with written information about their medications would improve their treatment compliance one month later'.

A research does not have to break entirely new ground, but it should add to or contradict current information in a meaningful manner. Finally, people in the same scientific field should be interested in the issue. The latter criterion is more difficult for applied scientists than it is for fundamental scientists. While it is fair to presume that the human genome is the same all over the globe, determining whether the outcomes of a local quality improvement initiative have broader implications needs considerable thought and debate.

The paper's structure

Writing the paper gets much simpler if the research topic is well stated. The question will be posed by the publication, which will then be answered. The correct format of the article is crucial to effective scientific writing. The sequence of Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion is the fundamental structure of a typical research report (sometimes abbreviated as Imrad).
Each segment focuses on a distinct goal. In the Introduction, the authors state: I the issue they want to address—in other words, the research question; (ii) what they did to answer the question in the Methods section; (iii) what they observed in the Findings section; and (iv) what the results imply in the Discussion section.

Each fundamental part, in turn, covers numerous subjects and may be further split into subsections (Table 1). The authors should describe the study's rationale and context in the introduction. What is the research question, and why should it be asked? While a thorough examination of the literature as a preliminary to the research is not required nor desired, it is useful to place the study within a broader area of inquiry. The research question should always be stated explicitly, rather than leaving the reader to guess.

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