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12 easy steps to successful research papers

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Note: Citations are based on reference standards. However, formatting rules can vary widely between applications and fields of interest or study. The specific requirements or preferences of your reviewing publisher, classroom teacher, institution or organization should be applied.

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You may send this item to up to five recipients. The name field is required. The full automation of the proof correction cycles has only become possible with the onset of online collaborative writing platforms, such as Authorea , Google Docs , and various others, where a remote service oversees the copy-editing interactions of multiple authors and exposes them as explicit, actionable historic events.

Academic authors cite sources they have used, in order to support their assertions and arguments and to help readers find more information on the subject. It also gives credit to authors whose work they use and helps avoid plagiarism. Each scholarly journal uses a specific format for citations also known as references. The CMS style uses footnotes at the bottom of page to help readers locate the sources. Technical reports , for minor research results and engineering and design work including computer software , round out the primary literature.

How to Write a Literature Review in 30 Minutes or Less

Secondary sources in the sciences include articles in review journals which provide a synthesis of research articles on a topic to highlight advances and new lines of research , and books for large projects, broad arguments, or compilations of articles. Tertiary sources might include encyclopedias and similar works intended for broad public consumption or academic libraries. A partial exception to scientific publication practices is in many fields of applied science, particularly that of U.


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An equally prestigious site of publication within U. Publishing in the social sciences is very different in different fields. Some fields, like economics, may have very "hard" or highly quantitative standards for publication, much like the natural sciences. Others, like anthropology or sociology, emphasize field work and reporting on first-hand observation as well as quantitative work. Some social science fields, such as public health or demography , have significant shared interests with professions like law and medicine , and scholars in these fields often also publish in professional magazines.

Publishing in the humanities is in principle similar to publishing elsewhere in the academy; a range of journals, from general to extremely specialized, are available, and university presses issue many new humanities books every year. The arrival of online publishing opportunities has radically transformed the economics of the field and the shape of the future is controversial. Unlike the sciences, research is most often an individual process and is seldom supported by large grants. Journals rarely make profits and are typically run by university departments.

The following describes the situation in the United States. In many fields, such as literature and history, several published articles are typically required for a first tenure-track job, and a published or forthcoming book is now often required before tenure. Some critics complain that this de facto system has emerged without thought to its consequences; they claim that the predictable result is the publication of much shoddy work, as well as unreasonable demands on the already limited research time of young scholars.

To make matters worse, the circulation of many humanities journals in the s declined to almost untenable levels, as many libraries cancelled subscriptions, leaving fewer and fewer peer-reviewed outlets for publication; and many humanities professors' first books sell only a few hundred copies, which often does not pay for the cost of their printing.

How to Write a Research Paper . . . and Get an A+

Some scholars have called for a publication subvention of a few thousand dollars to be associated with each graduate student fellowship or new tenure-track hire, in order to alleviate the financial pressure on journals. An alternative to the subscription model of journal publishing is the open access journal model, which typically involves a publication charge being paid by the author.

7 Steps to Writing an Essay

The online distribution of individual articles and academic journals then takes place without charge to readers and libraries. Most open access journals remove all the financial, technical, and legal barriers that limit access to academic materials to paying customers. Open access has been criticized on quality grounds, as the desire to maximize publishing fees could cause some journals to relax the standard of peer review.

It may be criticized on financial grounds as well because the necessary publication fees have proven to be higher than originally expected. Open access advocates generally reply that because open access is as much based on peer reviewing as traditional publishing, the quality should be the same recognizing that both traditional and open access journals have a range of quality.

It has also been argued that good science done by academic institutions who cannot afford to pay for open access might not get published at all, but most open access journals permit the waiver of the fee for financial hardship or authors in underdeveloped countries. In any case, all authors have the option of self-archiving their articles in their institutional repositories in order to make them open access , whether or not they publish them in a journal.

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If they publish in a Hybrid open access journal , authors pay a subscription journal a publication fee to make their individual article open access. The other articles in such hybrid journals are either made available after a delay or remain available only by subscription. Proponents of open access suggest that such moves by corporate publishers illustrate that open access, or a mix of open access and traditional publishing, can be financially viable, and evidence to that effect is emerging [ citation needed ].

The fraction of the authors of a hybrid open access journal that make use of its open access option can, however, be small.

Focus: Education — Career Advice: How to Write Your First Research Paper

It also remains unclear whether this is practical in fields outside the sciences, where there is much less availability of outside funding. In , several funding agencies , including the Wellcome Trust and several divisions of the Research Councils in the UK announced the availability of extra funding to their grantees for such open access journal publication fees. In May , the Council for the European Union agreed that from all scientific publications as a result of publicly funded research must be freely available. It also must be able to optimally reuse research data. To achieve that, the data must be made accessible, unless there are well-founded reasons for not doing so, for example, intellectual property rights or security or privacy issues.

In recent decades there has been a growth in academic publishing in developing countries as they become more advanced in science and technology. Although the large majority of scientific output and academic documents are produced in developed countries, the rate of growth in these countries has stabilized and is much smaller than the growth rate in some of the developing countries. The fastest scientific output growth rate over the last two decades has been in the Middle East and Asia with Iran leading with an fold increase followed by the Republic of Korea, Turkey, Cyprus, China, and Oman.

By , it was noted that the output of scientific papers originating from the European Union had a larger share of the world's total from However, the United States' output dropped Iran, China, India , Brazil , and South Africa were the only developing countries among the 31 nations that produced The remaining countries contributed less than 2.

The report predicted that China would overtake the United States sometime before , possibly as early as China's scientific impact, as measured by other scientists citing the published papers the next year, is smaller although also increasing. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Subfield of publishing which distributes academic research and scholarship.

For broader coverage of this topic, see Scholarly communication. Main article: Serials crisis. Main article: Academic journal publishing reform. See also: Types of scientific journal articles. Main article: Academic peer review. Main article: Citation. It is generally best to avoid writing in the first person, as this can make your paper seem overly subjective and opinion based.

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You can check for consistency at the end of the writing process. Checking for consistency is discussed later in this section. Note that word choice is an especially important aspect of style. In addition to checking the points noted on Checklist Here are some of the points to check for:. Using plural nouns and pronouns or recasting a sentence can help you keep your language gender neutral while avoiding awkwardness. Consider the following examples. As you revise your paper, make sure your style is consistent throughout.

Look for instances where a word, phrase, or sentence does not seem to fit with the rest of the writing. It is best to reread for style after you have completed the other revisions so that you are not distracted by any larger content issues. Revising strategies you can use include the following:. Read your paper aloud. Sometimes your ears catch inconsistencies that your eyes miss. Share your paper with another reader whom you trust to give you honest feedback.

Another reader may be more likely to notice instances of wordiness, confusing language, or other issues that affect style and tone. E dit your paper slowly, sentence by sentence. You may even wish to use a sheet of paper to cover up everything on the page except the paragraph you are editing. This practice forces you to read slowly and carefully. Mark any areas where you notice problems in style or tone, and then take time to rework those sections.

On reviewing his paper, Jorge found that he had generally used an appropriately academic style and tone. However, he noticed one glaring exception—his first paragraph. He realized there were places where his overly informal writing could come across as unserious or, worse, disparaging. Revising his word choice and omitting a humorous aside helped Jorge maintain a consistent tone. Read his revisions. Using Checklist You may use either of these techniques :. Read it line by line. Check for the issues noted on Checklist If you prefer to work with an electronic document, use the menu options in your word processing program to enlarge the text to or percent of the original size.

Make sure the type is large enough that you can focus on one paragraph at a time. Read the paper line by line as described in step 1. Highlight any areas where you notice problems in style or tone, and then take time to rework those sections.