Knowing how to prepare research papers is key during the academic period, since they are often used as a method of evaluation, both in secondary and higher education. It is also important in the workplace, as it is used to obtain relevant information for companies and to present it to colleagues and superiors. For this reason, it is important to acquire and strengthen a method of research and sample results.
The steps on how to elaborate research papers are:
1. Identification of the need or needs by asking ourselves what we want to know.
2. Selection of the topic or problem to be investigated, as detailed as possible.
3. Documentation of previous research published on this topic.
4. Establishment of a schematic or detailed work plan.
5. Development of the field work.
6. Writing of the research work.
7. Elaboration of conclusions.
8. Presentation of the work and communication of the conclusions.
Research can respond to different objectives and audiences, so it is important to have an organizational scheme with the most important points to be efficient and clear.
When selecting a topic, it is necessary to consider its originality and consult how it has been treated by other research works. The documentation process is crucial. We can resort to publications, monographs, bulletins, professional journals, databases, reports or technical projects.
In terms of format, the presentation can be in writing (the most common), but also in audio, visual or oral format. It can also be made in person or electronically.
The structure of the research paper should consist of:
- Introduction: here it is indicated why the topic has been investigated and what is sought with the research work.
- Development: this is the core, the place where data, concepts and ideas are presented and contextualized. It should be schematized in detail and enriched with diagrams and infographics.
- Conclusions: it gathers the theses that can be extracted in the light of the data and ideas obtained. It is sometimes accompanied by recommendations, advice on the subject and future lines of research.
After the title page, which serves as a presentation of the research paper and should include both the title and the author’s name, it is essential to place on the following page a table of contents that indicates the different sections into which the document is divided.
In the final part of the research paper, after the conclusions, a space should be reserved for detailing the bibliography used. This should be arranged in alphabetical order and in accordance with the general academic rules of presentation. If citations from authors or other publications have been used in the main text, they can be inserted at the foot of each page or at the end of the text, in a separate section before the bibliography.
Regarding style, formal language should be used, although it should be adjusted to the person or audience that will receive it. It is advisable to write in the third person and avoid excessive use of quotations and ambiguous terms. It is not advisable to use sentences that are too long or abbreviations. Acronyms should always be used after accompanying, the first time they appear in the text, the word or group of words they represent.