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A comprehensive guide to maintaining consistency while drafting a research paper

Today, I have the pleasure of inviting Mansi Tyagi, a journalism graduate who works as an academic content writer for an e-publishing company. She has over two years of experience in social media marketing. In her post, you’ll learn what it takes to draft a comprehensive research paper and get published in reputed journals. This article contains valuable tips and suggestions on how authors, researchers, and scholars can improve the quality of their research paper

An author cannot write a research paper without doing research first. To draft an academic research paper, the author must have a clear idea about the topic so that they can frame their main argument in the way it was intended. Using credible sources and collecting evidence to support a theory is as important as drafting the manuscript using the style guide such as APA or MLA depending on the requirements

With the right choice of words and carefully structuring the sentences, authors can prepare a polished and professional manuscript. To improve academic writing, authors should start preparing an outline and note down the main points. Creating a rough structure will help them present, summarize, and evaluate their ideas properly. Authors should make sure that their manuscript’s content has:
• Logical
• Outline
• Structure
• Evidence to support ideas
• Appropriate use of language

Various sections of a research paper:

Abstract: This section provides a brief overview of the manuscript. Summarize the key concepts and information on which your paper is based. Insert keywords to make your paper accessible to your target readers.

Background: In the background section, you have to explain scientific theories and concepts. Keep your target audience in mind while framing sentences. Include terms and historical data that can solidify your research and help your readers develop a better understanding of your research topic.

Introduction: Explain the topic of your research and how is it going to going to benefit the readers. Include hypothesis, literature review, problem statement, and purpose of doing research work.

Methodology: This section informs the readers about how the results are generated. Describe the methods in detail so that the study can be replicated in the future.

Result: Present your research data in tables and figures. Report the key findings and include information about the sample size and descriptive data.

Conclusion: Provide a summary of the results and discussion. Address each research question and emphasize the implications of the research findings.

Conflicts of interest: Describe the circumstances that might have influenced or affected your research such as sponsorships, funding, or financial issue.

Checklist for submitting your research paper:
• Is your topic within the aim and scope of the journal?
• Is there sufficient new material?
• Is the paper well-organized and structured?
• Does the result represent the collected data?
• Are there any grammatical or spelling errors?
• Are the methods used for experimenting suitable?

Target audience: An academic paper is written with the purpose to inform the readers about the development in the research field. The use of complex terminologies and sentence formation should be done according to the target audience. Readers with a strong academic background will be able to process information faster.

Important points to remember:
• Less usage of longer sentences
• Use simple vocabulary
• Insert paragraph breaks
• Correct use of punctuations
• Write an informative abstract
• Write a proper introduction

Structure: Creating a framework helps to organize the information and structure the academic manuscript. Authors can go through the styling and formatting guidelines and learn how to focus on the key elements such as the introduction, background information, methodology, results, and conclusion. Creating notes will help researchers avoid content repetition.

Important points to remember:
• Write in short paragraphs
• Provide relevant evidence
• Present argument using examples
• Present argument in different paragraphs
• Use signal words to write arguments

Summarizing information: An academic manuscript includes a description of other research work done in the similar field of study. Authors present their own views and thoughts on the same by paraphrasing the text. By understanding the core concept, the authors can summarize the entire information in their own words. Including citations and the names of the original source also adds credibility to the paper.

Important points to remember:
• Write a condensed version of the research
• Identify relevant points of the argument
• Provide reference and in-text citation
• Provide relevant and selective information

Concise language: Using clear and concise language makes the content easy to understand for the target audience. The authors should only means include one idea per sentence to avoid confusion and information overload. To maintain a formal tone, content repetition and use of redundant words should be avoided. Authors should use simple vocabulary instead of incorporating colloquialisms and slangs.

Important points to remember:
• Use both active and passive verb
• Avoid redundant words
• Use formal language
• Avoid the use of colloquialisms

Hedges and Boosters: While mentioning a statement, it is essential that the author knows how to differentiate between a claim and a fact. Hedging is a type of language device used to express uncertainty about something. On the other hand, a booster is used to represent an amount of certainty and confidence. For example, the author can use words such as certainly, in fact, obviously, and evidently.

Important points to remember:
• Introductory verbs such as- seems, appear to be, suggest or indicate are used in case the author is not sure about something.
• Lexical verbs like assume and modal adverbs such as- certainly and perhaps to express your opinions clearly.
• The most commonly used hedgers are- ‘This suggests,’ ‘Usually,’ and ‘Sometimes.’
• The most commonly used boosters are- ‘Clearly,’ and ‘Results indicate.’

Drafting an argument: Writing an argument is a way of expressing the author’s point of view on a particular subject where they also provide a piece of evidence to support their claims. The argument talks about the main idea behind the research and provides the answer to the question. Authors can plan the overall structure of their manuscript and focus on their research more efficiently if they already have got a thesis statement and argument.

Important points to remember:
• Always structure your argument
• Write a proper conclusion
• Develop your argument
• Add evidence/findings
• Add your opinion
• Use strong language

Language Quality: An academic manuscript is assessed by the editorial board on the basis of its scope, aim, and subject area. Along with this, another factor that is considered is the overall quality of the language used to draft the manuscript.

Important points to remember:
• Check grammar and punctuation marks
• Use a spell checker
• Review the sentence structure
• Use simple vocabulary

Content revision
: After finishing the draft, authors should revise the content they have written. Getting feedback from peers will help the authors understand which section of the research paper needs improvement. The authors should present all the ideas clearly and ensure that the statements support their argument.

Important points to remember:
• Read the content out loud
• Minimize the use of technical and complex terminologies
• Maintain the sentence structure
• Maintain consistency

Avoid plagiarism: If the editorial board finds the content in the manuscript plagiarized, then the paper is automatically rejected. The content is checked for plagiarism before it is even reviewed and assessed.

Important points to remember:
• Always mention the name of the sources and quote the people
• Provide proper citations
• Create a bibliography page and present the names of all the relevant sources.

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