Best Essay Writing Advice
Writing the Best Research Paper for School
Writing a research paper is a daunting task and to many it is more or less a trial and error exercise. It is a process that demands careful skills in collecting information into a unified paper as well as employing delicate grammar, punctuation, composition and citation skills. Nonetheless, the process also requires the use of ideal content structure. One major factor challenging many researchers and more so students is time constraint. However, this should not be the case, conducting research and writing a masterpiece in record time is not only a possibility, but can be fun as well. This essay describes the steps necessary in completing a research paper in good time.
The internet is a useful tool in conducting research; it makes the process of searching for relevant literature fast and easy compared to the traditional library visits. The internet provides the researcher an opportunity to easily access numerous documents available in many online libraries. Therefore utilizing this resource is a sure way of conducting research with minimal time wastage. Some of the commonly used databases in research include Academic Commons, Academic Search, Educational Research Information Center, and Google Scholar among others.
Since the internet is most likely to trigger information overflow, it is advisable for a researcher to narrow the search by formulating specific questions that limit the search as well as an explicit and justified conceptual framework a well articulated problem statement and most important a hypothesis. This will form a good basis on which to analyze the subject area and also provides a substantial knowledge base. By the time the researcher addresses these three elements, the paper should be at an advanced stage because it will have satisfied key research paper structural elements. Moreover, the researcher can refer to these elements in analysis of the arguments in related literature.
Literature review is one of the most important elements of a research paper and usually constitute one third of the entire paper. The literature review section for academic writing is a time consumer and most researchers dread writing it. As stated in the preceding paragraph, the internet provides a good avenue for accessing peer reviewed scholarly articles. Nonetheless, all the researcher needs to do is look for gaps and strengths in the argument presented in the literature, address them while adhering to a consistent information flow. In some instances, the literature review section will require topics and subtopics. However, it is important to note that writing a good research paper begins by a good literature review.
Furthermore, for a quick construction of a research paper, the researcher should have a clear understanding of the applicable type of methodology, whether qualitative, quantitative or both. If the research takes the form of a quantitative study, then the researcher need to know the most suitable analysis tool applicable for best results. There are numerous tools available online including SPSS, “strata” and even most common Microsoft excel. If the study is qualitative then the researcher needs to evaluate the best theories to apply in relation to the subject and topic of study. The methodology section of the research need to address the hypothesis directly and should include a description, discussion and the results of the analysis.
In conclusion, the above paragraphs provide guidance on how one can fasten the process of conducting and writing a research paper. The advent of the internet has made it possible for researchers to access peer reviewed material at a click of the mouse. In addition, this has also made data analysis easy as there are numerous instant data analysis programs available online as compared to traditional formula. An excellent research paper should be well structured, consisting of all the necessary sections and this should be done while adhering to applicable citation style. This is a sure way of conducting and writing a research paper in a record time.
Advice for Students: Don't Plagiarize!
Submitting of materials and information that is not of their own by students is a serious offense. This can get them suspended or even expelled from their academic institutions. While example research solutions may appear as an easy and quick fix for their academic credit, it is a form of academic theft and can be considered dishonest. In addition, it may ruin their career as credible student writers due to the lack of originality in their academic papers.
However, students can be prevented from this tempting situation through several ways. They should be encouraged to do careful paraphrasing in their notes and acknowledge their sources explicitly during the paraphrasing. Writing the information and ideas in their own words greatly helps in making sure that they have thought about what the whole source contains and have a good reason for including it in their paper.
Students should be encouraged to keep a source trail. They should ensure that they keep track of their sources in their notes and also in each of the successive drafts of their essays. They should begin this process early before they write their draft. Even after, they have handed in their essays; they should ensure they keep all of their drafts and research notes. These careful records between their writing and their sources will help the students in avoiding plagiarism.
Students should be instructed to avoid reading their classmates’ papers for the purpose of inspiration. If they are in a course that calls for peer review of student drafts, they are going to read their classmates work. If students, in the course of this undertaking, find that they wish to use ideas from peers at some point in their paper, they must learn to credit the classmate in a similar way that they would credit any of the other sources.
Students should be advised on how to plan ahead. Research can at times turn out be a time-consuming activity. They should learn to budget enough time, for careful search of sources in order to take notes and also think on how they can make use of the sources in their essays.
Students should be instructed to avoid cutting and pasting. They should never cut and paste any information from an electronic source directly into their essays. Instead, it is advisable for them to open a separate document on their computer for each of the sources for careful filling of each research. In case of cutting and pasting, the students should ensure the inclusion of the URL and the date they copied the pages. This deters the students from accidental deleting and ensures easy file retrieval.
Students should learn to keep sources in the correct context. Whenever they consult a source, they should make sure they understand the context. They should be careful when considering the context the source appears to be written. For instance, a book from a biased source with a collection of essays might present an issue that lacks adequate complexity for their project.
Students should be informed about the available support services. Various academic development centers have immensely helped students in effective undertaking of their academic works. Unfortunately, not many of the students know of this resource. A quick endorsement should be done.
Students should never save their citations for later. They never quote or even paraphrase from any source without immediate addition of a citation. They should ensure they add citations in their notes, in their drafts, in their revisions and their response papers.
Students should learn to keep their own writing and their sources separate. This not only reduces the plagiarism risk, but also enables students to annotate their sources in different ways that will help them in understanding and using them effectively in their essays.
Finally, students should learn various ways of determining if the information in use is common knowledge. If the information appears to be cited in more than five other sources, then it becomes likely, and it is safe to generate an assumption that it does not call for citation since it is common knowledge.
Performing of Academic Research Can Be Tricky!
Academic research is rooted in subjectivity. There are numerous possibilities on offer to any researcher who intends completing a paper that utilises either qualitative or quantitative research methodologies. However regardless of the type of methodology that a researcher seeks to utilise when exploring a hypothesis it is essential that an analytical framework is utilised.
The area of qualitative research studies have been studies in detail by Cohen, Mannion and Morrison. They argue that the large proportion of qualitative research studies utilise what can be classed as descriptive research. For them, studies of this particular type are intended to generate information which is directly related and is beneficial to the area of research that is under scrutiny, or where any findings will be relevant to the to the status of phenomena. This tends to be the case with studies that seek to review academic areas such as social sciences and humanities although research in these areas is also dictated by the chosen methodology and the aims of the research. As such, descriptive research is not a precursor for this particular academic field. That said, however, Koul argues that the creation of an accurate qualitative research methodology can help provide greater insight into a particular phenomenon.
Willis argues that there are a number of different analytical frameworks available to any researcher. Essentially, an analytical framework is nothing short of a set of broad concepts that can be utilised in order to guide and plan a piece of research. It is to be noted, however, that Willis does suggest that analytical research methodologies are more important when conducting qualitative research as opposed to its quantitative counterpart.
There are six basic steps to any analytical framework. Firstly it is essential to develop an idea that is worth investigating. This particular idea can be a unique area of research or be intended to confirm or deny the findings of previous research. The second step is to develop a theoretical perspective whereby the chosen hypothesis and the aims of the research can be tested. The third step is to identify a series of specific hypotheses. The fourth step is where a study is designed that can test these hypotheses against the preset aims of the chosen area of research. This process serves to confirm or deny the aims and hypotheses that have been highlighted within steps one, two and three. Subsequently, the resultant data needs to be analysed in line with the theoretical framework, as per step two of the framework. The sixth step is to report the findings of the research study.
It is to be noted, however, that research that utilises analytical frameworks can be impacted by a number of limitations, particularly where case study scenarios have been utilised. The selection of case studies is itself subjective and can be utilised in order to skew any findings in favour of the preset aims of research. This is also the case where, for example, interviews are utilised. In the latter cases the choice of questions is also a subjective matter. A further consideration is that any researcher, or research team, will possess their own inherent biases and that this has the potential to impact upon any findings from research. As such, it is always beneficial to draw a level of caution when assessing any findings which claim to be objective or concretised. In essence, therefore, there are a number of different ways for conducting academic research and each has its own merits and drawbacks.
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