Writing a research paper requires a plan because the structure of an article is as important as its content. Many research papers are written every day, but only a few of them are published in journals. One of the reasons is the researchers’ inability to correctly organize the structure of their article.
This structure differs according to the method used in the research. Generally, there are two basic research approaches: quantitative and qualitative. In this article we are going to explain the steps used in each method.
Initial Steps of Writing a Research Report (Shared by Both Methods)
Topic or Title
The title summarizes the main idea of the article and should represent the main theme of the research. In addition, it should be interesting. That is, it must attract the attention of the readers at first glance. Because usually at first they just take a look at the journal’s table of contents. Also, the title should be short and only represent the main variables of the research. The word count of the title must be 12 at most.
Name of the Author(s) and Their Affiliation
It is common to mention the name of the author(s) after the title of the research, followed in the line below by the name of the university or institute that each of the authors works with. If two or more people with the same affiliation have contributed to the research, the name of their university or institute is only mentioned once, after the authors’ name. But if each of the authors is affiliated with a different organization, the organization should be mentioned after the authors’ names. The order of the authors’ names is commensurate with their participation in the research. But if they all have participated in the study equally, their names are mentioned in alphabetical order.
The abstract is a comprehensive summary of the content of the article containing all of the research stages. The aims, questions, materials and methods, findings, and results of the study are all summarized in the abstract. It should not include any further information. The abstract should be in the form of a report (without evaluation and criticism) from the researcher’s point of view (not quoting) and in past tense.
In fact, the abstract must be a thorough, comprehensive and independent part of the report and should not be written before the research is complete. The word count of the abstract varies based on the journal and is usually 100-150.
It is common to write keywords at the end of the abstract. In this way, after reading the abstract and getting familiar with the process of the research, the reader will understand what the main concepts and themes of the research are. Depending on the length and content of the article, between 5 and 7 keywords are needed.