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Writing your first academic paper ?? : Steps Simplified

Category : All, Education, Preparation · by Mar 5th, 2015

Writing the academic research paper is not a simple task, but one that is quite manageable as long as you develop a plan and stick to it , here are here are the simple steps for people starting to write their first academic paper


  • Rigorous- Procedure followed for ,are justified and relevant
  • Systematic- Procedure adopted follow a logical sequence , Steps can not be taken in hazard manner
  • Valid and verifiable- Results obtained are correct and can be replicable by others
  • Empirical- Conclusion drawn are based upon hard evidence collected from real life  experience or observations
  • Critical- Procedure adopted must be foolproof and free from drawback

Research can be classified based on

Application: From the point of view of application, there are two broad categories of research

  • Pure fundamental research
  • Applied research, is done to solve problem exists in the area/sector
    • Area oriented
    • Sector oriented

Objectives: From the viewpoint of objectives, a research can be classified as

  • Descriptive research :- To describe living condition of the area/community
  • Correlation research :-To discover or establish the existence of a relationship/ interdependence between two or more aspects of a situation/problem.
  • Explanatory research :- To clarify why and how there is a relationship between two or more aspects of a situation.
  • Exploratory research :- To explore an area where little is known or to investigate the possibilities of undertaking a particular research study (feasibility study / pilot study).

In practice most studies are a combination of the first three categories

Steps of Research Methodology

Formulating the research problem(Decide what you want to find out)

It is the first and most crucial step in the research process Main function is to decide what you want to find out about ,Applied Research should not be done in isolation.

  • people:- A group of individuals
  • Problems:- Examine the existence of certain issues or problems relating to their lives; to ascertain attitude of a group of people towards an issue
  • Programs:- To evaluate the effectiveness of an intervention
  • Phenomena:- To establish the existence of a regularity

Considerations in selecting a research problem

These help to ensure that your study will remain manageable and that you will remain motivated.

  • Interest: A  research  endeavor  is  usually  time  consuming,  and  involves hard work and possibly unforeseen problems. One should select topic of great interest to sustain the required motivation.
  • Magnitude: It is extremely important to select a topic that you can manage within the time and resources at your disposal. Narrow the topic down to something manageable, specific and clear.
  • Measurement of  concepts:  Make  sure  that  you  are  clear  about  the indicators and measurement of concepts (if used) in your study
  • Level of expertise: Make sure that you have adequate level of expertise for the task you are proposing since you need to do the work yourself.
  • Relevance: Ensure   that   your   study   adds   to   the   existing   body   of knowledge, bridges current gaps and is useful in policy formulation. This will help you to sustain interest in the study.
  • Availability of data: Before finalizing the topic, make sure that data are available.
  • Ethical issues: How ethical issues can affect the study population and how ethical  problems  can  be  overcome  should  be  thoroughly  examined  at  the  problem formulating stage.

Steps in formulation of a research problem

  • Identify a broad field or subject area of interest.
  • Dissect the broad area into sub areas.
  • Select what is of most interest to you.
  • Raise research questions.
  • Formulate objectives.
  • Assess your objectives.
  • Double check.

Reviewing the literature:

  • Essential preliminary task in order to acquaint yourself with the available body of knowledge in your area of interest.
  • Literature review is integral part of entire research process and makes valuable contribution to every operational step.
  • Reviewing literature can be time-consuming, daunting and frustrating, but is also rewarding. Its functions are:
    • Bring clarity and focus to your research problem;
    • Improve your methodology;
    • Broaden your knowledge;
    • Contextualize your findings

Procedure for reviewing the literature

  • Books
  • Journals


Approach most suited for gathering descriptive information.

  • Structured Surveys: use formal lists of questions asked of all respondents in the same way.
  • Unstructured Surveys: let the interviewer probe respondents and guide the interview according to their answers. Survey research may be Direct or Indirect


Information may be collected by

  • Mail
  • Telephone
  • Personal interview


The construction of a research instrument or tool for data collection is the most important aspect of a research project because anything you say by way of findings or conclusions is based up the type of information you collect, and the data you collect is entirely dependent upon the questions that you ask of your respondents. The famous saying about computers-

“Garbage in Garbage out”– is also applicable for data collection. The research tool provides the input into study and therefore the quality and validity of the output (the findings), are solely dependent it.


Having formulated the research problem,, developed a study design, constructed a research instrument and selected a sample, you then collect the data from which you will draw inferences and conclusions for your study.

Depending upon your plans, you might commence interviews, mail out a questionnaire, conduct experiments and/or make observations.

Ethical issues relating to the researcher

         I)  Avoiding bias

         ii)  Provision or deprivation of a treatment:

         iii) Using inappropriate research methodology

         iv) Incorrect reporting:

         v)  Inappropriate use of the information


Processing and analyzing data involves a number of closely related operations which are performed with the purpose of summarizing the collected data and organizing these in a manner that they answer the research questions (objectives).


Writing the report is the last, and for many, the most difficult step of the research process. The report informs the world what you have done, what you have discovered and what conclusions you have drawn from your findings. The report should be written in an academic style.Language should be formal and not journalistic

Table of Contents

In this section is listed the contents of the report, either in chapters or in subheadings .

List of Tables

This section includes title and page number of all tables

List Of Figures 

This section contains title and page number of all graphs, pie charts etc.

List of References  /Bibliography

  • List of references contains details only of those works cited in the text.
  • A bibliography includes sources not cited in the text but which are relevant to the subject.(larger dissertations or thesis)
  • Small research projects will need only a reference section. This includes all the literature to which you have referred in your report. The popular referencing system Harvard System lists books and periodicals in the following manner

For Books

  • Authors surname ( alphabetically), followed by their initials,
  • Date of publication
  • Title of book in italics
  • Place of publication, Publisher. e.g.

e.g. Philip, T.E.; 1986, Modern Cookery for Teaching and Trade, Mumbai, Orient Longman.

For Journal Article:

The title of the article appears in inverted commas and name of the journal comes in italics, followed by volume number and pages of the article.

e.g. Philip, T.E.; “Influence of British Raj on Indian Cuisine”; Journal of Hospitality Education; 5:5-11


  • If you have constructed a questionnaire or Interview schedule for your research, it may be useful to include them in your report as an appendix.
  • Appendices do not count towards your total number of pages/words. It is a useful way of including relevant material so that the examiner can gain a deeper understanding of your work by reading it.

Hope after reading this post ,you will be able to write your 1st research paper without much difficulties 

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(2) comments

8 years ago · Reply

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8 years ago · Reply

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