The ultimate guide to draft a comprehensive research manuscript
“Research is creating new knowledge.” – Neil Armstrong
A research manuscript offers an insight into new scientific and academic development in a given subject area. Once you have chosen a topic, construct a problem statement that would be the focus of your research. Start collecting background information to explain the context of your paper. Every journal provides the basic information on the aim and scope; therefore, make sure your topic matches with the journal’s requirements.
Tips on writing a research paper:
- Topic selection: Pick a topic of your interest that is researchable. Do plenty of online and offline research before finalizing the main subject of your research paper. Make sure that your research is feasible, that it contributes significantly towards the development of community, as well as adds to the subject area in a novel way.
- Create an outline: An outline works as a blueprint of a research paper. After you have gathered enough information for each section, create an outline and establish sequence and logic. The outline consists of the following sections:
- Introduction: Start the introduction by creating a hook to keep your audience interested. Define who your target audience is and write a thesis statement to support your argument.
- Body: The key component of your outline is the body. In this section, you can include the research evidence and the list of references and citations.
- Conclusion: Describe the main idea of your research by summarizing the important points of your argument.
- Write a thesis statement: Introduce your topic to the audience by making an argument. State the reason behind selecting a topic and how it could benefit the community. Your readers should know what you are trying to prove by conducting the research.
- Use quotes judiciously: Insert quotes that have relevance to your topic. Remember to include the author’s name and their year of publishing.
- Avoid plagiarism: Remember to include citations if you are quoting some other researcher’s work. Also, create a list of the sources in alphabetical order, which will help you provide citations.
What does the structure of a research paper include?
Title: A title is created to capture the main content of your paper. Try to create the title using 10 to 15 words. A good title describes the subject area and scope of your study. To make your paper searchable, insert relevant keywords in the title itself. However, avoid using abbreviations and complex phrases or jargon.
Introduction: The purpose of writing an introduction section is to help the readers identify the strategy of research. Include the following points in your introduction section:
- Main idea
- Research context
- Background information
- Goal and aim of your research
- Research question
- Methods and statistical analysis
The introduction section is an overview of your paper, so be as brief as possible. As a researcher, what you wish to achieve by the end of your research is very important for your target readers. Your statement of purpose should define the problem that you wish to solve.
Abstract: An abstract is a summary of your paper. Tell your readers what you have been investigating. Characteristics of a good abstract are as follows:
- Consists of stand-alone paragraphs
- Explains what the author has learned throughout the research
- Contains the summary of your paper
An abstract consists of a background that explains the reason behind doing the research and what makes it important. The aim explains what you wish to achieve through your research. You can also talk about the knowledge gaps you have found during the experiment. Explain in extreme detail the methods used by you to conduct the experiment. Define the end-product of your experiment using both qualitative and quantitative data.
Literature review: A literature review contains the list of the papers published in your domain. Based on the type of research, you can provide either a summary or critique. You can use books, journal articles, or open access journals as your primary source of information. Include the names of prominent papers in your subject area, as it will help you build a solid research background for your study.
Method: Explain the technique or methodology used to create the research study design. This section describes the step-by-step procedure used to gather and analyze the data. The method connects the introduction and result and it also helps the readers find out how the author reaches a conclusion.
What are the steps involved in writing a research paper?
Step 1: Topic selection
First, you should do is define your area of research. Next, create a list of relevant topics of your interest. Make sure that the topic you choose is searchable and you can easily find relevant research information.
Step 2: Do your research
After finalizing the topic, start your research by checking the relevant online and offline sources. Refer to journals that publish research in your subject area. Prepare a list of primary and secondary sources, as it will help you find the focus of your study. In between, try to find your main research question as it will form the base of your findings.
Step 3: Create a strong outline
Creating an outline will help you provide the necessary structure to your paper and frame it accordingly. It will help you determine which paragraph should be placed where and how to present your ideas effectively. You can use the outline as your guide at a later stage while drafting different sections of the manuscript.
Step 4: Develop a proper thesis statement
A strong thesis statement will help you explain your ideas and theories in a short paragraph. The statement is used to develop your argument and inform the readers about the focus of your paper. In the statement, mention the scope and purpose of your paper.
Step 5: Write and edit
Follow the outline and complete your first draft. After you have completed writing your paper, review the contents once before moving ahead. Provide citations wherever necessary. Check your paper for structuring, formatting, and composition. Critically and carefully go through your paper to ensure that there are no grammatical or spelling errors.