HOW TO WRITE RESEARCH PAPER
By Amnesh Goel (Independent Researcher & Analyst, IJETAE, INDIA)
Very often many researchers ask How to write a research paper? Sometime it becomes a big problem to write a good research paper rather doing research itself. Researchers usually have question like :-
- How to write a research paper?
- What to write in a research paper?
- Should it be innovative or can I include some existing work? If yes, then how and in what form?
- How to start writing research paper?
- What are the major contents in any paper?
- How to include algorithm and images in paper? etc.
Perhaps these are very common and basic questions that strike into author’s mind. Don’t they? I remember days when I was struggling to write my first paper, and I was in the same position as of yours. Now, by experience earned in years, I would like to share Do’s and Don’ts that authors should keep in mind before writing good research paper.
- Study: Before composing a paper, you should have clear idea about your topic, title and scope that you are going to address via research paper. You must do a good homework on your topic for analysis and study. You have unlimited sources to study like IEEE Digital Library, ACM, Springer Library, International Journals, Conference Issues, blogs and of course Internet etc. You can find many articles by using these media. A deep study gives you a perfect foundation to write a research paper, and this further motivate you to think what not yet done and what innovative work you can do.
- Abstract: If you are done with study, then you must have identified problem along with some solution. Abstract in any paper give you perfect space to write down problem statement and approach that will solve your problem. Always keep in mind that abstract should be at brief level, and should not contain complete insights. If you have clear idea from study, then you can complete abstract very concisely in few lines.
- Introduction: Introduction is the first section in any paper where you can elaborate about your research topic. In introduction, you can discuss many thing like Introduction to problem, its surrounding and factors that affect your problem. In other words, introduction should introduce reader to problem completely along with solution. It is advisable to include outline of your paper at the end of Introduction in one paragraph. This outline gives brief overview about coming sections.
- Existing Work/ Literature Survey: This is the section where you can summarize existing work of your domain. You already have done study on many research papers of your domain. So, this is the time to write down summary for each paper. Try to include summary at least for 5-6 papers. This section puts reader closer to your problem statement because in previous section you have elaborated problem and here you are discussing existing work. So, this generates more interest in reader to study your work.
- Proposed Work: Till this time, you have introduced reader to your problem statement, existing work in your domain and tentative idea about solution of problem. This is the time to showcase your work. In this section, you can take help of Flow Diagram, Process Flow, Architectural diagram and model etc to elaborate your work. You can draw one process flow diagram, and with its help you can start discussion on your work. Architectural diagram is very effective tool that helps you to elaborate your work. If you have developed new algorithm then please do discuss here.
- Results: An innovative work is worthless without result. Include output of your work in form of facts, images and tables in result section. Proposed work should deliver content in such a way that reader can make sense of your work in comparison to existing work. Still it is advisable to include comparative analysis to existing work. This gives a clear picture of your work and motive of your paper. Try to have one comparison chart to discuss comparative analysis.
- Conclusion: Now you can conclude your work by giving short summary. In this section, you can also write about scope of future work.
- Approval of organization/ individual in case using copyright material. In case you are including any content from published source that is available in public domain then it is advisable to take prior approval from concern organization/ journal/ individual to avoid any future legal hassle.
- Tools to draw Architecture diagrams: Try to use open source freely available tools to draw flow chart, architectural diagrams etc. Microsoft too provide paid tool as MS Visio and in open source community you can find many similar free tools.
- How to write algorithm: You can find many solutions to write algorithm. You should compose your algorithm in such a way that reader should understand your message. Try to use “STEP” in your algorithm. For example if I have to write algorithm on “How to write research paper” then I can write in following way.
Step 0 : Start
Step 1 : Study about your topic from sources available.
Step 2 : Try to write first concise abstract.
Step 3 : Compose Introduction
Step 3.1 : Don’t copy material from internet source.
Step 3.2 : Give proper reference to original author if referring to their content.
Step 3.3 : Include outline at the end of Introduction.
Step 4 : Provide good literature survey. Try to include survey of at least 5-6 paper.
Step 4.1 : Don’t copy direct content from original paper. Try to write paper in your own language.
Step 5 : Explain your research in subsequent sections like “Proposed work, Result” etc.
Step 6 : Conclude your paper with scope of further research.
Step 7 : Include genuine reference and link those reference in your paper so that reader can make sense out of your paper.
Step 8 : End
- Don't try to copy work directly from any source like internet, published research paper, book, blog and published articles. You should choose these sources for study purpose and to drive one idea, rather directly copy paste content from these source. Try to rewrite content from these sources in form of short summary with your own words instead of direct copy. Yes, sometimes you may encounter in such situations that forces you to copy content directly like formula, architectural model etc. So, in such cases, provide proper reference of original author and then elaborate formula, model in your own words. Avoid already published content and copyright material. Copying content directly from already published content increases plagiarism in your paper and that is not good for health of your paper.
- Don’t write paper as yourself using word “I” like (I am proposing, I am working, I did, I am doing etc). Try to use “We” instead of “I” like (We did this activity, We are proposing, We are working etc).
- Don’t use Blur images: Students generally try to copy image content directly from Internet source to avoid extra work but this introduces blurriness in your image. If content of image is not readable then try to redraw image by your own.
- Don’t use Copyright Images: Don’t include copyright images in your paper without proper consent of original author. Using any copyright material without consent of original author is a crime.
- Don’t try to write very lengthy abstracts. Don’t include every minute detail in abstract. It should be very concise and to the point at problem statement and your approach to solve that problem. Abstract should not be page long.
- Don’t try to keep your introduction very small and brief. If you have done good study then you can elaborate your problem nicely.
- Don’t include fake References: References helps reader to study more on particular context. So, don't try to include invalid or fake references. Students generally give very less priority to references and try to include them in hurry but in real, you should give proper references so that reader can make better sense out of your paper.