Form of research paper
Graphs are one of the easiest ways to display your results and findings in an easy to understand format. Any graphs should take up a full page and be numbered as diagrams 1, 2 etc. They should be referred to by these descriptions in the body of the text. Graphs are not essential to the research paper format, but helps you present your main points. Where relevant, graphs should include any error bars so that anybody reading your report can quickly see the degrees of significance of your results. If you don't know what an error bar is, don't worry about this.
Graphs are best kept as simple as possible and, in the computer age, should be drawn with one of the many software programs available. You should not lose credit for using traditional pen and paper, but most universities and schools will teach you how to utilize computer spreadsheet applications and the saving in time and effort is worthwhile. Most scientists were taught, during the earlier years at school, that you should include a hypothesis statement at the beginning of every experiment. This would take the form of.
There is a debate about whether it is a good practice or not to include your hypothesis statement in the research paper format. This is mostly because many people seems to be "skewed" against defending their hypothesis.
Why do Research Titles Matter?
Remember that because you want something to be true your hypothesis , never do affect how true it is. It is, however, essential to make sure in your abstract and introduction exactly what you are trying to prove. Illustrations such as flow diagrams and diagrams of apparatus set-up can be a powerful way of simplifying the methods you used in your experiment. If you have the means and ability, it is useful to draw these on a computer but no credit will be lost if paper and pencil is used, as long as it is neat and clear.
In the case of photographs, it is preferable to use a digital camera as scans and photocopies have less clarity.
They should be compressed a little to save file space and printing ink but still clear. Along with graphs, illustrations and photographs should be numbered as ' figures '. In the age of the internet, it is becoming increasingly important to ensure that your research can be found, both on the internet and on university intranet search facilities. Many scientists are moving towards putting a section under the abstract with about 10 - 15 keywords and phrases which will allow search engines to pick up the research paper.
At this time, this is a 'gray-area' of report writing so probably not worth worrying about too much.
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Check with your department if this is common practice for their papers. That was actually the a great leap towards internet as we now know it. Most departments, when starting the report writing process, will give you instructions on what is the common used research paper format. The style can vary a bit between different department such as the style of references , but it is mostly similar.
If you're not sure about the research paper format, ask your supervisor. A few general rules of thumb are that it should be written in a common font, size 10 or 12 and double spaced. In the age of the internet, it is becoming bad practice to underline headings or other text as anybody reading your report online may expect there to be a link there.
In the case of field work, it is always a good idea to list the name and the exact map co-ordinates of the places from where samples were taken. This enables another researcher to duplicate your experiment exactly. The date and time are also useful as nature often varies wildly even within the space of a few hours.
With the advent of mapping applications such as Google Earth, it is no harm to include a map of the site or sites in the appendices. There are an increasing number of campaigns to persuade scientists to use 'everyday English' in their reports. At the moment, scientists writing reports tend to use the passive voice; "It was found that……" or "The results showed…..
If you were writing for a mainstream publication that was read by the general public then using the active voice may be useful. However, the vast bulk of research papers are going to be read only by other scientists so it is best to stick to the passive voice.
The passive voice is essential to the research paper format, and suggests to others that this is not your personal theories, it is scientifically based statements. Update:The APA-standard does now allow for a more active voice. Read more here. For higher level reports and dissertations you will have to give a presentation, either in front of fellow students or lecturers.
They will be looking to find holes in your report or will try test your knowledge outside the report. When writing your report, you must bear this in mind and make life easier for yourself. Make certain that your background research is thorough and that you have been very self-critical when discussing and elaborating your results.
Each scientific discipline and sometimes even each individual supervisor has their own way of setting out references so it is always good to ask for the correct research paper format. Relevant journals you have been reading are also a good guide. As long as you are consistent and include all of the information that will allow somebody else to replicate your research then it should not matter. In general, the best ways are;. For books;.
Writing A Thesis Statement for a Research Paper: Basics & Hints
Found in; Broodstock management and egg and larval quality, Edited by Bromage, N. R, pp - , Blackwell Science, Oxford, 1st Ed. For journal articles;. AMAT, F. Marine Biology, Issue , pp - For websites;. Most internet articles should include the date that they were written or last updated. Also include the author in the case of an online article. Personal communications;. In the main body of the text you should refer to the article by the name of the author and year. If there was more than one writer then use all of their names the first time, then use 'et al' Navarro et al, or 'Navarro et al found that…'.
Set out your reference list alphabetically by first author and try to be consistent with layout. It is more important for the research paper format that your references are clear than worrying about where every last full stop should go. Research is the foundation of any scientific report and will allow you to learn the background information leading to your particular experiment.
You should include a synopsis of your research in the introduction of your report as it will provide a non-specialist with a quick history of the field. When following the trail of citations it is very easy to lose track of where you are so it may be useful to draw yourself a 'tree' structure to keep track of all the linked articles. The best place to start your research is on the internet as it will give you direct information. You should beware of using information from the internet that is not cited as there is no system of peer review and information can be very inaccurate.
Domain names can be a guide as. Wherever possible you should try and follow any citations to the original source. Books and journals are the safest way to find information. They are usually peer reviewed and the information, as long as up to date, can be regarded as accurate. Personal information is another way to obtain information.
How to Write Research Paper . . . and Get an A+
Previously, we discussed the issue of what a research paper really is and have come to conclusion that ideally a research paper is your own thoughts based on your thorough analysis of what you previously knew and what you managed to research about your topic. So what, right? Theoretically, this is the most important thing you should know about academic writing. Practically, this doesn't make our lives easier.
But here is one thing that WILL facilitate your writing, guaranteed. Read this carefully:. While the type of research paper is usually stated in the paper requirement information provided by your tutor, there are times when the paper type will be implied rather than directly stated and this is where an accurate interpretation of the paper requirements is so important to a good passing grade. In the paragraphs below are some hints on what may be expected in seven different research paper types, which are:.