Lately, in one of the seminars “Do’s and Don’ts of writing a good research paper”, held at CIPS-NUST and conducted by Elsevier personnel, I found many rules of thumb related to how one can productively manage his/her research article, journal and likewise dissertation. Inspired by that, along with my personal experience, I’m sharing some practical tips in this article which might facilitate noobs:
- First of all, highlight the methodology and ideas involved in the research you are carrying out. You should have some justified piece of work in hand, with crystal clear reasons and innovative ideas head on. Do extensive background reading before you start writing!
- Prepare a tentative “outline” of your write-up highlighting the major sections and subsections for future correspondence to avoid losing track. Follow the outline throughout!
- Your argument and evidence should be clear, logical, and creative.
- Title of your research paper is the mirror to your research material. Be focused in choosing one!
- Abstract of your research paper should be effective because through it, readers can quickly and correctly grasp the gist of the work. Be precise and concentrate on writing your abstract. Moreover, write Abstract and Introduction after you are done writing your whole paper. These two sub-sections are the condensed version of the information you are amplifying in the whole paper.
- Cross check the linking between two paragraphs as well as sections.
- Try to include as many “authentic” references as possible. Avoid citing Wikipedia.
- Take grip on some reference manager such as JabRef (http://jabref.sourceforge.net/) from the very initial stage of reading research papers, else it becomes cumbersome to manage large number of references in the end.
- Proof reading and fine tuning the data from the very beginning is a must. Try to read your write-up as many times as possible because every time you read, your paper gets more mature. Peer reviewing is also beneficial for getting fresh perspective.
- Present data correctly and accurately. Avoid story-telling. In the end, what matters the most, is the way you put up your work to influence readers.
Some worth considering web links in order to manage your research process are:
- http://www.mendeley.com [Mendeley is a free reference manager and academic social network that can help you organize your research, collaborate with others online, and discover the latest research.]
- www.sciencedirect.com [Science Direct is a full-text scientific database which offers journal articles and book chapters from more than 2,500 journals and almost 20,000 books.]
- http://www.elsevier.com/online-tools/scopus [Scopus is the world’s largest abstract and citation database.]
- http://journalfinder.elsevier.com/ [Elsevier Journal Finder helps you find journals that could be best suited for publishing your scientific article.]
- http://www.latex-project.org/ [LaTeX is a high-quality typesetting system; it includes features designed for the production of technical and scientific documentation.]
Remember, you write research papers/ dissertations for fellow researchers, therefore, try to organize it in a way that is easy to understand the knowledge conveyed and don’t forget, it is the quality that matters not the quantity!!
The article is written by Faria Mehak.