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First Steps in Writing a Research Paper

So I am currently writing a research paper in one of my subjects and since it is my first time to write one on my own, I wonder how can I write a good research paper from proposal to the overall packaging of the research paper. In this blog entry, I wanted to share the tips I got from USC Libaries Research Guides.

Take a look at the tips below:

I. Writing a Research Proposal

A good place to begin is to ask yourself a series of questions:

  • What do I want to study?
  • Why is the topic important?
  • How is it significant within the subject areas covered in my class?
  • What problems will it help solve?
  • How does it build upon [and hopefully go beyond] research already conducted on the topic?
  • What exactly should I plan to do, and can I get it done in the time available?

In general, a compelling research proposal should document your knowledge of the topic and demonstrate your enthusiasm for conducting the study. Approach it with the intention of leaving your readers feeling like–“Wow, that’s an exciting idea and I can’t wait to see how it turns out!”

II. Writing the Research Paper:

  • Introduction
    • Treat your introduction as the initial pitch of an idea or a thorough examination of the significance of a research problem. After reading the introduction, your readers should not only have an understanding of what you want to do, but they should also be able to gain a sense of your passion for the topic and be excited about the study’s possible outcomes.
    • Note that most proposals do not include an abstract [summary] before the introduction.
    • Think about your introduction as a narrative written in one to three paragraphs that succinctly answers the following four questions:
      1. What is the central research problem?
      2. What is the topic of study related to that problem?
      3. What methods should be used to analyze the research problem?
      4. Why is this important research, what is its significance, and why should someone reading the proposal care about the outcomes of the proposed study?
  • Background of the Study
    • This section can be melded into your introduction. This is where you explain the context of your proposal and describe in detail why it’s important.
    • You should attempt to address some or all of the following key points:
      • State the research problem and give a more detailed explanation about the purpose of the study than what you stated in the introduction. This is particularly important if the problem is complex or multifaceted.
      • Present the rationale of your proposed study and clearly indicate why it is worth doing. Answer the “So What? question [i.e., why should anyone care].
      • Describe the major issues or problems to be addressed by your research. Be sure to note how your proposed study builds on previous assumptions about the research problem.
      • Explain how you plan to go about conducting your research. Clearly identify the key sources you intend to use and explain how they will contribute to your analysis of the topic.
      • Set the boundaries of your proposed research in order to provide a clear focus. Where appropriate, state not only what you will study, but what is excluded from the study.
      • If necessary, provide definitions of key concepts or terms.
  • Literature Review
    • To help frame your proposal’s literature review, here are the “five C’s” of writing a literature review:
      1. Cite, so as to keep the primary focus on the literature pertinent to your research problem.
      2. Compare the various arguments, theories, methodologies, and findings expressed in the literature: what do the authors agree on? Who applies similar approaches to analyzing the research problem?
      3. Contrast the various arguments, themes, methodologies, approaches, and controversies expressed in the literature: what are the major areas of disagreement, controversy, or debate?
      4. Critique the literature: Which arguments are more persuasive, and why? Which approaches, findings, methodologies seem most reliable, valid, or appropriate, and why? Pay attention to the verbs you use to describe what an author says/does [e.g., asserts, demonstrates, argues, etc.].
      5. Connect the literature to your own area of research and investigation: how does your own work draw upon, depart from, synthesize, or add a new perspective to what has been said in the literature?
  •  Methodology
    • The methodology section of a research paper answers two main questions: How was the data collected or generated? And, how was it analyzed? The writing should be direct and precise and always written in the past tense.
    • The objective here is to convince the reader that your overall research design and methods of analysis will correctly address the problem and that the methods will provide the means to effectively interpret the potential results. Your design and methods should be unmistakably tied to the specific aims of your study.
  • Conclusion
    • The conclusion reiterates the importance or significance of your proposal and provides a brief summary of the entire study. This section should be only one or two paragraphs long, emphasizing why the research problem is worth investigating, why your research study is unique, and how it should advance existing knowledge.

      Someone reading this section should come away with an understanding of:

      • Why the study should be done,
      • The specific purpose of the study and the research questions it attempts to answer,
      • The decision to why the research design and methods used where chosen over other options,
      • The potential implications emerging from your proposed study of the research problem, and
      • A sense of how your study fits within the broader scholarship about the research problem.
  • Citations
    • References — lists only the literature that you actually used or cited in your proposal.
    • Bibliography — lists everything you used or cited in your proposal, with additional citations to any key sources relevant to understanding the research problem.
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Posted by on December 13, 2017 in Additional Knowledge


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WAMP: acronym for Windows Operating System, Apache(Web server), MySQL Database and PHP Language.

XAMPP: acronym for X (any Operating System), Apache (Web server), MySQL Database, PHP Language and PERL.

XAMPP and WampServer are both free packages of WAMP, with additional applications/tools, put together by different people.

Their differences are in the format/structure of the package, the configurations, and the included management applications.

In short: XAMPP supports more OSes and includes more features


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Posted by on May 22, 2017 in Additional Knowledge


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