10 things to keep in mind while writing a Scientific Research Paper
It is a known fact that writing a research paper is not easy at all. It is something that most of the students dread. No student in this world would be happy at the thought of getting an assignment in which he is supposed to write a research paper. Throughout the higher level of education, the students are asked by their professors or their mentors to write research papers in the form of assignments. This is perhaps one of the most common ways for the professors to evaluate their students. Also, writing research papers is also one of the best ways for a student or scholar to learn.
As the students begin writing research papers, the process becomes easier with time. However, even if you have written a number of research papers, it is possible for you to be unsure about what you can do to make your scientific research paper a good one. Moreover, if you are writing a scientific research paper for the first time, you might not even know how to start with it.
One should know that there is no prescribed format in which you are supposed to write a research paper, and there is definitely no format stipulated or prescribed for you to make your research paper a good one. If you are someone who has already written a lot of scientific research paper and are still struggling to impress your examiners, then you have a problem.
To help you overcome this problem, here we list the ten things that you should keep in mind to write a good scientific research paper:
1. Choose a good topic
If your college professor or mentor has assigned you the topic for your scientific research paper, then you do not really have a choice. However, if you have the privilege to choose your own topic for the research paper, you have a luxury. While choosing the topic, you should remember that the topic is one of the first elements of the research paper that any reader would look at. Therefore, it should be a good one. Moreover, if you know your mentor or supervisor or the audience that is going to read your scientific research paper, the topic should be one that ignites interest among them.
Selecting a good topic is one of the first steps that you can take towards writing your paper. Also, while you choose, make sure that you consider a few things. You need to consider whether or not there is enough material available for research on that topic. Also, you need to consider whether or not the topic is a bit unique and whether or not it gives you the chance to bring new and fresh thoughts to the table.
2. It should have a good outline and a structure
Irrespective of how good your research or the material that you have conducted, is, you need to be very careful and critical of the structure and the outline of the scientific research paper. In simple words, if the structure and outline of your paper are not good enough, then the entire research conducted goes to waste. If the readers cannot understand the intensity of the work that you are trying to present, the entire purpose is defeated.
Keep in mind that the research paper needs to have a coherent structure. It does not necessarily mean that all the sections of the scientific research paper are given a name each, but it means that all the parts of the paper are coherent enough for the readers to make clear sense. You also need to maintain uniformity throughout the text. You cannot write the content that is supposed to form the conclusion in the main body of the text. Therefore, it will help if you draft the paper first and then give it a read to find the flaws in the structure.
3. It should contain properly researched information and facts
If you writing a scientific research paper, then this goes without even mentioning. As a scholar or a scientific researcher, you cannot expect your paper to be of good quality if it is made up of poorly conducted research and facts. It is absolutely necessary that the content that you write and the facts that you include in the content are true and correct. Nothing affects or worsens the credibility of a scientific scholar than the presence of false research or facts in one of his papers. If you are a student, even if you have worked really hard on your paper, the professor is not going to grade you well if he finds some false information in the paper. Even if he is an honest mistake or you were just a bit careless, it won’t matter once you make that submission.
Therefore, while you submit a scientific research paper to the professor or to a journal or even if you submit it to an online database, make sure to check that even the smallest of fact included in it is true.
4. The paper should have a good thesis statement
If you are writing a scientific research paper for the very first time, you should know that the thesis is a short and crisp statement that the author is supposed to write at the very beginning of the paper. This statement is supposed to make clear the goal, aim, or the argument of the paper, and that is why it is present at the very beginning. It is highly important as once it is written, the paper is supposed to be revolving entirely around it. Therefore, it is your duty to write the thesis in such a way that the reader clearly understands the argument or goal of your paper by reading it once.
All the sections that you add to the research paper should be developed in coherence with the thesis statement. A good way can be to write the paper first and then read it to find the central idea or the question and then form the thesis. However, one would suggest doing it in a conventional manner.
5. There should be a purpose of the research paper
This is something that a lot of students tend to miss out on. A scientific research paper is bound to have a purpose. It could be to check the validity of something or to test something new. No matter what, there should be a purpose to the paper.
Hence, before you begin to write the paper, ask yourself what the goal of the paper is. It should be clear to you whether you are writing the paper to put forward some new thoughts and ideas or to answer an already existing question. The reason why you need to do this is that the purpose of a scientific research paper ends up deciding the entire structure, tone, and format of the paper. For instance, if you write an analytic research paper, you are supposed to present your ideas and then convince the audience. However, if you write an argumentative research paper, then you are supposed to take a topic and write about your point of view on it.
6. It needs to have a good argument
The scientific paper that you are writing obviously needs to have a good argument. Here, it strictly does not mean an argument. It could mean an observation, a point, a discovery, etc. It simply means that the overall essence or the idea of the paper should be a good one. Moreover, it is quite obvious that while writing a scientific research paper, you cannot afford to have a vague idea or point. Moreover, just making it clear and easily understandable is not the entire job. The idea or the argument should also be worthy enough to be the inspiration for a research paper. You cannot afford to write an entire research paper on a seemingly trivial idea. As a student, you cannot write all the thoughts in your head in the miserable race to meet the high word count set by your professor. Keep in mind that the professors are too smart and experienced for you to get away with something like this. Therefore, make sure that you have a well-structured and clear argument.
7. It needs to have good citations
Having a good argument or a good thesis statement is only the first half of the job when it comes to writing a good scientific paper. What comes next is finding and presenting evidence to support your claim or your argument. Keep in mind that the credibility of a research paper is also partially judged by the way in which the author is able to back his claim. Therefore, if you are writing a scientific research paper, you should be able to provide good and authentic sources of information. One needs to cite all the sources from where he has obtained information. It is imperative to do so.
There are times when the professor can tell you that he needs a minimum number of citations. So, if you collect all the sources of your information beforehand and report them, it does not hurt. It improves the credibility of all the information and facts that you put in your paper and also improves the chances of you scoring a good grade.
8. There should be no plagiarism
Committing plagiarism, intentionally or unintentionally, is the biggest mistake one can commit while writing a scientific research paper. Remember that plagiarized content is the one thing that gives birth to the feeling in the mind of the examiner the most. Also, you should understand clearly what plagiarism is. At times, even if you use some of your old work and do not cite it in the paper, it can be considered plagiarism. Therefore, be very wary of this.
If an examiner finds plagiarism in your document, and that too, a document as important as a research paper, he looks at it as a proof of incompetence. It sends across a message that the author does not consider himself competent enough for the job and that’s why he has used somebody else’s work. At times, the students tend to think that they can easily get away with committing plagiarism. Even if someone can, it is a huge risk to take and one that is totally inadvisable. Therefore, make sure that you use original work only.
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9. There should not be any mistakes
This is one of the simplest and yet quite an important thing that you need to keep in mind while writing the scientific research paper. As a student, you just cannot afford to submit a paper for evaluation that contains mistakes. These mistakes can be any one of grammatical, wrong usage of words, spelling mistakes, or anything else. The very fact that you are writing a scientific research paper suggests that you are in your master’s degree or an even higher level of education; and at such a level, you cannot get away with making trivial mistakes. Therefore, please understand that relying on autocorrect or spellcheck is not something that will help you at this point. Make sure that you get somebody to proofread the article for you or you do it yourself. Either way, you need to make sure that you do not leave any mistakes in the scientific research paper.
10. Make sure it has a good conclusion
Since the main body of a research paper, and that too, a scientific one, is too much for any student to write, most of the time, the student ends up feeling exhausted at the end of it. And therefore, the conclusion that the students do not work much on. However, every student or young researcher should understand that the conclusion is as important as any part of a research paper. The conclusion of a paper should be such that it makes an impact on the reader. It should leave a lasting impression on the reader. Make sure that you do not commit the mistake of not considering the conclusion important. If you do so, it might end up ruining the entire paper.
If you are a student who is about to write a scientific research paper for the first time or even if you have written one or two, make sure you follow all these steps to write a good one!