Writing a Research Paper

How to write a research paper?


RP1.jpgA research paper is basically a mini-research thesis / an essay in which the author explains what he has learned after exploring a topic in depth. According to Elsevier paper submission guidelines- ‘new researches are indispensable building block in the expansion of a coherent and respected network of knowledge’. Hence, researchers are supposed to have profound knowledge of the topic, research design and statistical procedures as well as strong writing skills.






Manuscript of the research Paper

  •   Manuscript should contain text, in the sequence of
  •   Title, Authors and their affiliations,
  •   Abstract,
  •   Keywords,
  •   Main text part,
  •   References,
  •   Figure/tables or other supplement/supporting information if any, can be included in appendices.

The figures may or may not be included in the main text as per the guidelines of journal.

Abstract: It is a brief summary of the entire research paper which should be within 150-200 words. Researcher must mention the main research objectives and results/conclusions of the study; and it should give the reader a clear idea of what has been achieved.

Main text / matter of the research paper may have following sub-headings-

  •  Overview/Context

  •  Statement of the Problem

  •  Concepts related to the topic

  •  Significance and Justification of Research

  •  Research Objectives and Hypotheses

  •  Thorough Literature Review for identifying research gap, research constructs & hypotheses development

  •  Research design

  •  Discussion and Conclusion


According to Harvard Business Review in research work, the following five qualities are evaluated while reviewing process-

  •  Expertise on the topic/subject.

  •  Evidence: Author must prove his/her work with the help of previous research studies, relevant examples and interesting data.

  •  Originality

  •  Usefulness: Research must be useful and must have practical application in a real situation.

  •  Research study must be persuasive and a pleasure to read.


Following headings can be kept in a research paper-

  1. Introduction: Under this head, topic is introduced by creating some context and background. Here the reader should know about the research you plan to carry out along with the rationale behind it.
  2. Literature review: A literature review is actually a comprehensive overview of all the knowledge available on a specific topic till date. The first step a person is expected to take in the direction of conducting a research is to learn more about the previous researches published on that topic, and this eventually becomes the literature review when writing a research paper. Literature review is one of the most important pillars on which the research idea stands as it provides context, relevance, research problems, research gap, research constructs, hypotheses development to the being explored by the researcher.  
  3. Research Design: Research methodology is the presentation, design and practical implementation of the research principles. Here we present the research strategy providing a clear and complete description of all the specific factors which are related to the research problems. In this part we explain the methodological approach along with describing the methods of data collection. We are also expected to evaluate and justify our methodological choices in this section.
  4. Analysis and interpretation of data: Data analysis is that process which involves using appropriate statistical tests to draw useful information for the purpose of making decisions, forming conclusions and understanding the data. Interpreting the results becomes one of the most difficult tasks in data analysis if the researcher does not have profound knowledge of the statistical tools applied. The moment researcher gets results/output after conducting data analysis, he is supposed to interpret the value and numbers. Researcher must be aware of all these numbers and ought to know what to do with them.
  5. Findings and conclusion: Findings and conclusion should relate directly to the aims of the research as stated in the introduction. Here we indicate the extent to which the aims of the research have been achieved together with the summary of the key findings and outcomes or the research conducted. Findings of the research are drawn on the basis of the interpretation of results. The findings must be concise and are presented in the chapter- findings & conclusion separately. The conclusion shall be drawn on the basis of findings to see if all the objectives of research are fulfilled duly or not. The conclusion needs to summarize and reflect on the research work done.
  6. Suggestions and implications: Under this head, the researcher acknowledges the limitations of his research and make recommendations for future work (where applicable). Suggestions are presented according to the objectives or research constructs. Suggestions must be given for all the stakeholders considered for study in research. Implications must also be discussed for all the stakeholders deliberated for study in research. Research implications are suggestive of how the findings are important for policy, practice, theory, and subsequent research.
  7. Reference style must be followed as per the instructions/guidelines of the journal.