Which part of the research work should you focus on and why?

By Priya Chetty on January 17, 2012

In the course of studies at college or university, or later in your professional career, you may be required to present research work on a particular subject. However, research writing should not be confused with the writing of an essay or a report. However, one needs to apply the writing skills which have acquired will need to be applied here as well. You must also bear in mind the cardinal virtues of clarity, order, relevance and economy.

To write a research paper you should have an argument, an approach or an analysis to put forward. That is, your paper should not simply provide information. It should also present the findings or conclusions that result from your study of these data. However one should keep in mind some basic points for the beginner. These relate to the research, writing, citation, and bibliography required for the dissertation or the research paper.

Understanding the nature of the research work

The nature of your research will depend on your subject. It may involve experiments, fieldwork, observational data, collection of samples, surveys etc. Research work can also involve mathematical problem solving or reasoning from evidence. It may involve philosophical speculation or logic and may necessitate the study of books, manuscripts, pictures, recordings, archives, electronic media or other sources of knowledge. The materials on which your study is based are called primary sources. On the other hand, all the consultation of reference works, earlier studies, critical works and commentaries in the area of your interest constitute the secondary sources of the research.

Systematically record your research work

Whatever the nature of the material you are investigating, you need to keep a thorough and careful note of your research work. Accurate note-taking is the first and the most important element in research writing. Both your own thoughts and observations and the data you are collecting from different sources must be carefully recorded. Some people take notes in a notebook or on sheets of paper, while others prefer to put them down on cards. Then one can classify it under subject heads and file it in alphabetical order in a card index for easy reference. One can also store reference material in electronic form for easy transfer, storing and rearrangement.

The research once done needs to be carefully written down under various heads. The introductory part of the paper should set out both the subject of study and the parameters or limits within the major area of study. You may then proceed by briefly stating the argument. After that go on to substantiate it from the evidence that you have collected. Finally, you should very briefly summarize the major points and present your conclusion.

Presenting the research

For all that to be accurately presented, the research work needs to be properly conducted. Similarly, research work is given the utmost importance in any paper. It serves as the basic framework acting as the supporting pillar to the paper. Often aspects like the presentation or language are given lesser importance in a well-researched paper. This makes a lot of thinking and knowledge go into it. Hence before writing a paper, one must first and foremost think of something worth researching on and carry on a thorough study on it, for the research to be successful.



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