11 Tips When Writing Your First Scientific Research Paper

You may easily guess that writing a research paper for the first time is challenging for novice students. Future scientists do not know where to start, so the work stops or loses its proper organization. We have prepared a step-by-step guide and tips that can help you cope with your first scientific research paper. 

Study the requirements for a paper

Each publisher and institution has its requirements for the research papers they publish. 

Try to focus on:

  • the volume of the paper; 
  • structure requirements;
  • peculiarities of design;
  • deadlines for submitting the finished text of the article;
  • documents to be submitted along with the article or upon registration.

Choose a topic 

After solving all organizational issues, it is time to start choosing the topic of your future work. When selecting a topic, you should be guided by the principles of novelty, relevance, and uniqueness.

The rules for choosing a topic are as follows:

  • The topic should be interesting for the author because if they work on it with inspiration, the reader also feels it. 
  • The topic should be narrow, as the average volume of scientific articles does not allow analyzing problems of a broad scale.
  • To not overlook the topic, work through several of the most recent articles or monographs on it (this will allow you to assess the degree of study of the problem and “draw out” what will be fresh and relevant to the reader). 
  • The topic should be framed with an interesting title so that it catches the reader’s attention.

Collect material for the article

Once you’ve decided on a topic, you need to start gathering materials. You will already have some sources (which you used to choose the subject of your article), and it is worth adding to that list. You can find sources for writing an article in the library or on the Internet. You should be careful with the Internet, as many websites do not offer very good information in terms of reliability. Use only trusted Internet resources (catalogs of famous libraries, university websites, author websites).

Define the goal, the objectives, and its relevance 

The topic is chosen, time is allotted for preparation, but things do not move from the dead point? Take the time to develop work goals, make a plan, and figure out the project’s relevance. It is much easier to achieve all the objectives if they are formulated clearly.

Prepare the introduction and conclusion after writing the paper

 It’s a bad idea to start a project by writing an introduction. If the student hasn’t even begun to understand the chosen topic, how can the introduction and conclusion be informative? Leave these two parts of the paper for later: prepare the project, and you will be more confident about what to expect in the introduction and the conclusion, answering the question “what did you write this paper for?

Articulate your ideas accurately, but avoid being categorical: 

Verbalizing the results of your scientific experiments requires precision and a good command of the professional terms used in a particular field of knowledge. However, it is important to understand that your target audience does not need to be familiar with specific terminology. Accordingly, you should explain the fundamental concepts on which the research is based in an accessible and straightforward manner, avoiding ambiguity and substituting concepts. However, it is essential not to confuse precision with the categorical nature of your scientific inferences. Even the exact sciences cannot always afford to use their own conclusions as indisputable postulates. Your writing style should reflect the understanding that science is not divided into black and white and that any theory is entitled to error and potential for improvement.

When working directly on the text of the paper, we recommend using the following simple, practical tips:

  • If you can not write the first sentence, it is better to postpone writing for a better time and do the next stage.
  • First, we work on a draft — write down everything that comes into your head, not thinking about the right wording and expressions. The main thing is to catch inspiration, the clarity of thought, ideas, and after finishing it, we put it off for a while.
  • Then we begin the first edit of the draft — delete everything unnecessary, and that has a double meaning, and again put away the draft for a while.
  • It’s time for the second edit of the article to form correct expressions, phrases, style of scientific papers, and understandable thought.
  • Finish the work with a draft. When nothing can be thrown out of the article, transfer the text into the category of a fair copy.

It is necessary to write in the language of a scientific article, using special terminology and special speech constructions. In particular, the style of scientific articles is characterized by:

  1. the thought is precise and logical,
  2. presentation consecutive, which should be supplemented with introductory words: first, second, therefore, summarizing, in conclusion, etc.
  3. information is objective and is expressed through impersonal sentence constructions, for example, it is considered, presumably, it can be said, it is necessary to pay attention, it should be emphasized, etc.
  4. presentation of voluminous numerical data visual, by using graphs, charts, tables, and another available method of presenting the information.

Written by Austin Crane

Austin is the principle web director for Untamed Science and Stone Age Man. He is also the web-director of the series for the High School biology, Middle Grades Science and Elementary Science content. When Austin isn't making amazing content for the web, he's out on his mountain bike or in a canoe.

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