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Workshop on writing a research paper


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Workshop on Writing a Research Paper (ISI)

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Workshop on writing a research paper

  1. 1. Research Paper Writing Workshop (ISI Journals) 1
  2. 2. I. Research Paper Writing (APA Style, 5th Ed.) 2
  3. 3. What is not a research paper?  A mere review of the academic "literature" in a field--i.e. a summary of the existing body of knowledge on your subject--does not make a research paper.  We should think and write critically in a research paper. → 3
  4. 4.  Most research reports contain the same major sections, although the names of the sections vary widely, and sometimes it is appropriate to omit sections or add others. 4
  5. 5. What is the first step in writing a research Paper?  If you are submitting a research report for a class or to an organization, check for specific requirements and guidelines before beginning to write your research report. 5
  6. 6. Using American Psychological Association (APA) Format (5th Edition)  General Format title page, which includes title and affiliation abstract text References Citations Quotations 6
  7. 7. Title Page  Title Should summarize the main idea of the paper in 10-12 words. When typing the title, center it on the page and capitalize only the first letter of important words.  Author(s)  Institutional Affiliation Group Work 7
  8. 8. Abstract  Abstract should be a single paragraph and has a block format, that is, the first line should not be indented.  The purpose of this section is to provide a brief and comprehensive summary of the study. → 8
  9. 9.  It should be accurate (do not include information here that is not in the body of the manuscript)  self-contained (spell out abbreviations)  concise (120 word maximum) → 9
  10. 10.  specific (begin this section with the most important information and limit it to the four or five most important concepts, findings, or implications of the study). → 10
  11. 11.  It is a good idea to write this section last.  Also notice that everything about this manuscript is double spaced.  The next section begins on a new page. → 11
  12. 12.  Avoid citing references in the abstract. Paraphrase rather than quote.  Use active rather than passive voice (but without personal pronouns).  Use past tense for procedures and present tense for results. 12
  13. 13. Introduction  Retype your title and center it at the top of the introduction.  The main purpose of this section is to tell the reader why you performed the study.  It starts out broad and becomes more and more specific. → 13
  14. 14.  Thus, this section should contain an absolute minimum of four parts: 1. the general introduction, 2. the literature review, 3. the connection of the present study to the literature and 4. the explicit statement of purpose. 14
  15. 15. Thus, this section should contain an absolute minimum of three parts:  Establish the context, background and/or importance of the topic  Indicate a problem, controversy or a gap in the field of study  State the purpose of the study Group Work 15
  16. 16. Method  Subjects or Participants  Apparatus  Design  Procedure 16
  17. 17. Method  The purpose of this section is to describe in detail how you performed the study. Someone should be able to replicate your study based on the information you provide in this section. 17
  18. 18. Participants  Indicate who participated in the study, how many, and how were they selected. With human subjects, be sure to address the issue of informed consent. 18
  19. 19. Apparatus/Instruments  Describe what materials were used and how they functioned in the study. 19
  20. 20. Design  Describe the design and clearly spell out the independent and dependent variables. Describe how the subjects were assigned to groups. 20
  21. 21. Procedure  Carefully summarize each step in the execution of the study. Group Work 21
  22. 22. Results  This section will be easier to write if you make any tables and/or figures you intend to use first.  Briefly state the main findings in words. That is, first give a general description, then go into the details. → 22
  23. 23.  Be careful with the word "prove". Since statistical tests are based on probability and can be in error, they do not really prove anything. You can only use wording that implies causality if you actually manipulated the independent variable (i.e., performed an experiment). Group Work 23
  24. 24. Discussion  The purpose of this section is to evaluate and interpret the results, especially with respect to the original research question.  this section should contain three parts: the non-technical summary, discussion of the results and their implications, and the concluding paragraph. Group Work 24
  25. 25. References  Kinsey, A. C., Pomeroy, W. B., Martin, C. E., & Gebhard, P. H. (1953). Depression in the human female. New York: W. B. Saunders.  Plonsky, M. (2004). Psychology with style: A hypertext writing guide (Version 5). Retrieved 17 January, 2004 from  Riley, E. P., Lochry, E. A., & Shapiro, N. R. (1979). Lack of response inhibition in rats prenatally exposed to alcohol. Psychopharmacology, 62, 47-52. Group Work 25
  26. 26. Abbreviations  Do not use too many abbreviations. Whereas one, two, or three can be helpful, four or five can be confusing.  You will often see the following Latin abbreviations used: cf. compare etc. and so forth for example i.e., that is and others vs. versus, against e.g., et al. 26
  27. 27. Numbers  The numbers zero through nine are spelled out (except when it is a table or figure number, or a metric measurement, etc.). The numbers 10 and above are written as numbers.  Spell out any number when it is the first thing in a sentence. For example, the sentence 34 students were used., is not appropriate and should read Thirty-four students were used. 27
  28. 28. Citations  If you use someone's words or ideas, you must give them credit with a citation. This is particularly important, since the penalties for plagiarism are severe.  There are numerous ways to formally cite a reference in the text. Examples include Some fact (last name, year)., Last name (year) noted that..., or In <year>, <last name> reported that... For more ideas, pay close attention to the articles you read. → 28
  29. 29.  The first time the reference is cited in the text, spell out all of the authors last names. For example, Miller, Rosellini, and Seligman (1975) suggested that... With articles that have three or more authors use the Latin abbreviation for "and others" when the reference is cited a second (or third) time. For example, Miller et al. (1975) suggested that... or ... some fact (Miller et al., 1975). → 29
  30. 30.  If the citation is in parentheses and you need to use the word "and", use the ampersand ('&') instead. For example, Some (e.g., Estes & Skinner, 1940) have suggested that..., as compared to Estes and Skinner (1940) have suggested... Note also that the opposite applies as well, that is, if the citation is not in parentheses, you must use the word "and". → 30
  31. 31.  Multiple citations in parentheses are placed alphabetically and are separated by a semicolon and a space. For example, Some fact (Carlson, 1972; Moon, 1968; Partin, 1980).  If you cite something second hand, you must make it clear (e.g., Some fact (Smith, as cited in Jones, Year)). Note that in this example, only the Jones reference would be placed in the reference section. 31
  32. 32. Quotations  You must give page numbers for direct quotes. For example, Smith (1978) noted that "the world is round" (p. 1).  Three or four quotes in a 10 page paper is about the upper limit. → 32
  33. 33.  Display a quotation of more than 40 words as free-standing block of text indented 5 spaces from the left margin (doubles spaced as usual). Omit the quotation marks and include the page number in parentheses after the last period. Also, if the quotation is more than one paragraph, indent the first line of the second and any additional paragraphs 5 spaces. 33
  34. 34. Critical Analysis of Papers 34
  35. 35. Research Review  Introduction  Body  Conclusions 35
  36. 36. Research Review  There are a number of kinds of research reviews. You could describe a phenomenon, review an existing theory or present a new one. You could critically evaluate how one theory accounts for some data as compared to some other theory.  Whatever the kind of review, the goal is to organize, integrate, and evaluate previous research in order to clarify a particular problem or issue.  This type of manuscript does not follow as standard a format as a research report. Instead of the introduction, methods, results and discussion sections, there is an introduction, body and conclusions. 36
  37. 37. Introduction  Start this page by retyping your title (centered), then begin typing the section (on the next double spaced line) using normal (5 space indented) paragraphs. Do not type the word Introduction. → 37
  38. 38.  The introduction should clearly define the problem or issue. This section is not unlike the introduction for a research report.  It starts out broad and becomes more and more specific. → 38
  39. 39.  The last paragraph of the Introduction should inform the reader of the logical organization of the Body (headings and subheadings that will be employed). 39
  40. 40. Body  If you use headings, type the main heading using upper and lower case, and center it horizontally on the page.  Second level headings are flush left and italicized. Third level headings (if necessary) are indented like the normal paragraphs that they start off.  This section should present the relevant literature and ideas. → 40
  41. 41.  You might try to identify relations, contradictions, gaps, and inconsistencies in the literature.  You might suggest possible solutions to any problem(s) identified.  You might suggest future directions for research to take. Group Work 41
  42. 42. Conclusions  Finally, you need an ending section, in which, you summarize the main points you have made. Group Work 42