What Is An Academic Research Paper

In turn, each basic section addresses several topics, and may be divided into subsections (Table 1).

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The research question should be precise and not merely identify a general area of inquiry.

It can often (but not always) be expressed in terms of a possible association between X and Y in a population Z, for example ‘we examined whether providing patients about to be discharged from the hospital with written information about their medications would improve their compliance with the treatment 1 month later’.

Once the research question is clearly defined, writing the paper becomes considerably easier. The key to successful scientific writing is getting the structure of the paper right.

The basic structure of a typical research paper is the sequence of Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion (sometimes abbreviated as IMRAD). The authors state: (i) the problem they intend to address—in other terms, the research question—in the Introduction; (ii) what they did to answer the question in the Methods section; (iii) what they observed in the Results section; and (iv) what they think the results mean in the Discussion.

The latter requirement is more challenging for those who work in applied science than for basic scientists.

While it may safely be assumed that the human genome is the same worldwide, whether the results of a local quality improvement project have wider relevance requires careful consideration and argument.A research paper is an expanded essay that presents your own interpretation or evaluation or argument.When you write an essay, you use everything that you personally know and have thought about a subject.In fact, this guide is designed to help you navigate the research voyage, through developing a research question and thesis, doing the research, writing the paper, and correctly documenting your sources.This page lists some of the stages involved in writing a library-based research paper.Regardless of the type of research paper you are writing, your finished research paper should present your own thinking backed up by others' ideas and information.To draw a parallel, a lawyer researches and reads about many cases and uses them to support their own case.A good research paper addresses a specific research question.The research question—or study objective or main research hypothesis—is the central organizing principle of the paper.However, in applied domains such as quality improvement, some papers are written based on projects that were undertaken for operational reasons, and not with the primary aim of producing new knowledge.In such cases, authors should define the main research question and design the paper around it.

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