One of the most daunting tasks that give research scholars sweaty palms is to Write a research article. You have the ideas and even the results, but If you cannot communicate them well, your research paper will be rejected. However, if you follow the basic process and structure to write a research paper in this post, you will find it easy to formulate your ideas and communicate them to a journal.

Before you begin: Before you begin penning down your research, make sure you have conducted all the preliminary research. Formulate the research questions and look for the sources that verify or contradict your ideas.

A step-by-step guide to write a research article

1. Write a Thesis Statement
For most of the Journals, you are required to write a thesis statement at the end of the introductory paragraph. It states the main idea of your research. The reader must understand clearly what the paper is about just by reading your thesis statement.

Here are a few examples to help you understand how an amazing thesis statement looks like:

– Research indicates that drinking tea within an hour of having food decreases iron absorption in the body (Thesis statement for an explanatory article).
– Analysis show how the college counselors are facing major challenges during the admission process when it comes to accepting students with high marks or with strong extracurricular backgrounds (Thesis statement for an analytical article).

– High school students must undertake one-year project for society welfare before they could get admission in colleges in order to increase responsibility and awareness among the young generation (Thesis statement for an analytical article).

Never use the words that express uncertainty while writing a thesis statement. Ex.- may, might, could, should.

2. Prepare an outline of the research paper
Don’t rush into writing yet. You have a thesis statement, now you need to organize your ideas under the subheadings that will support this statement.

An outline will provide the structure to your research paper and give your ideas a proper organization.

Remember: Format and style of outline varies with different style guides. Refer to your professor or the journal where you decide to send the article for style guide.

3. Writing the Introduction

Now that you are ready with the outline and feeling energetic to start penning down your ideas, let’s start with the Introduction of your article.

Here’s an example of an Experimental research paper outline

TITLE: PRODUCTION OF BIO-HYDROGEN FROM WASTE GLYCEROL

ABSTRACT

Keywords

  • 1. INTRODUCTION
  • 2. MATERIALS AND METHODS
    • 2.1 Organisms and growth conditions
      • 2.1.1 Hydrogen producers
      • 2.1.2 Biofilm formers
    • 2.2 Hydrogen production
      • 2.2.1 Immobilization of cells
      • 2.2.2 Batch culture
      • 2.2.3 Continuous culture
    • 2.3 Analytical methods
      • 2.3.1 Gas chromatography
      • 2.3.2 Glycerol estimation
    • 2.4 RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
      • 2.4.1 Cell immobilization
      • 2.4.2 Batch hydrogen production
      • 2.4.3 Continuous hydrogen production
    • 2.5 CONCLUSION
    • 2.6 REFERENCES

The introduction of your article answers the What, Why and How of your research.

What? The terms, background, review of literature.

Why? What issues does your work answers or what unique insight it will provide?

How? The entire “map” of what will be discussed and how you will proceed.

Start with the information the readers already know and lead them to what you are going to discuss or prove.

4. Materials and methods
Materials and methods section vary largely with your research subject. In biology papers, start with writing all the bacterial strains or samples you used, what were their storing conditions and how were they procured. Write down the equipment and chemicals used and give a brief detail of everything. Once you have listed all the materials used in the study you have to explain the methodology. Refer to the example of research paper outline mentioned above.

Explain each method in detail and if you have used an already published method, you just have to cite it instead of going into the details. The information provided in your materials and methods section should be sufficient for anyone to reproduce these experiments.

Remember: Use past tense while writing materials and methods.

Start with the information the readers already know and lead them to what you are going to discuss or prove.

5. Results and discussion
The results should follow the same order as the methodology. Some journals have a single section for results and discussion and hence you have to present your results in figures/tables whatever the subject demands and explain those results therein. You must also discuss previous studies reported (if any) on similar topic and justify your findings. In case the journal demands different sections for results and discussion, present all your results in one section without giving any justifications. Only in the discussion explain/justify your findings. Critically evaluate the entire study and emphasise on what is so different or novel about your work.

Don’t let your preliminary research throw you off track. Never try to include an information just because it’s excellent, unless it is related to your thesis statement.

6. Conclusion
After you have framed all your ideas and presented the results, you need to compile everything in the conclusion. Trace how all the information presented comes together to prove your thesis statement. Conclude how the What, Why and How of the introduction are answered in your work.

From conclusion, readers know that you answered the thesis question in the introduction, the way forward of your research and how would it benefit anyone or are there any un-answered questions that need future work.

Remember: Never raise any new ideas or arguments in conclusion.

Don’t be obsessed with perfection while writing your first draft. Focus on writing first and do polishing later.

7. Editing and Proofreading
Now that you have written and revised your document, it’s time to edit and proofread to make the manuscript flawless. Check if you have presented all the information in a logical order. Is the paper well organized? Look for any missing connections and logical flow between paragraphs. Make sure all the paragraphs are focussed on the thesis statement and nothing is off track.

Cross check all the facts stated and if all the information is correctly cited.

Make sure you use recent citations whenever possible. Very old citations make your research look outdated

Format your paper according to the journal guidelines and very carefully check for any typographical, grammatical, spelling mistakes

Remember: Editing and proofreading by a second pair of eyes is always suggested. Your brain confuses between what you already know and what you wrote, which makes it easy to skip mistakes.

To avoid getting your paper rejected, you should consider hiring professional editors before submitting your paper to the journal. Journal editors quickly process the papers that are edited by experts of proofreading services.

All the best for your next publication and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter to know latest updates and tips on writing.