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How to Write a Research Paper

The Review Process

❶I will turn down requests if the paper is too far removed from my own research areas, since I may not be able to provide an informed review. The decision comes along during reading and making notes.

What do you consider when deciding whether to accept an invitation to review a paper?

Grad school survival advice from Nick Feamster and Alex Gray
Once you’ve agreed to complete a review, how do you approach the paper?
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It increases credibility of the paper and makes good impression about its author. More helpful hints about Writing a Research Paper. An informal outline working outline is a tool helping an author put down and organize their ideas.

It is subject to revision, addition and canceling, without paying much attention to form. In a formal outline, numbers and letters are used to arrange topics and subtopics. The letters and numbers of the same kind should be placed directly under one another. The topics denoted by their headings and subheadings should be grouped in a logical order.

All points of a research paper outline must relate to the same major topic that you first mentioned in your capital Roman numeral. The purpose of an outline is to help you think through your topic carefully and organize it logically before you start writing.

A good outline is the most important step in writing a good paper. Check your outline to make sure that the points covered flow logically from one to the other. Make the first outline tentative. What is the chief reason you are writing the paper? State also how you plan to approach your topic. Is this a factual report, a book review, a comparison, or an analysis of a problem?

Explain briefly the major points you plan to cover in your paper and why readers should be interested in your topic. BODY — This is where you present your arguments to support your thesis statement.

Remember the Rule of 3, i. Begin with a strong argument, then use a stronger one, and end with the strongest argument for your final point. Explain why you have come to this particular conclusion. Organize all the information you have gathered according to your outline.

Critically analyze your research data. Using the best available sources, check for accuracy and verify that the information is factual, up-to-date, and correct. Opposing views should also be noted if they help to support your thesis. This is the most important stage in writing a research paper.

Here you will analyze, synthesize, sort, and digest the information you have gathered and hopefully learn something about your topic which is the real purpose of doing a research paper in the first place.

You must also be able to effectively communicate your thoughts, ideas, insights, and research findings to others through written words as in a report, an essay, a research or term paper, or through spoken words as in an oral or multimedia presentation with audio-visual aids. Do not include any information that is not relevant to your topic, and do not include information that you do not understand. Make sure the information that you have noted is carefully recorded and in your own words, if possible.

Plagiarism is definitely out of the question. Document all ideas borrowed or quotes used very accurately. As you organize your notes, jot down detailed bibliographical information for each cited paragraph and have it ready to transfer to your Works Cited page.

Devise your own method to organize your notes. One method may be to mark with a different color ink or use a hi-liter to identify sections in your outline, e. Group your notes following the outline codes you have assigned to your notes, e. This method will enable you to quickly put all your resources in the right place as you organize your notes according to your outline. Start with the first topic in your outline. Read all the relevant notes you have gathered that have been marked, e.

Summarize, paraphrase or quote directly for each idea you plan to use in your essay. Use a technique that suits you, e. Mark each card or sheet of paper clearly with your outline code or reference, e. Put all your note cards or paper in the order of your outline, e. If using a word processor, create meaningful filenames that match your outline codes for easy cut and paste as you type up your final paper, e. Before you know it, you have a well organized term paper completed exactly as outlined.

The unusual symbol will make it easy for you to find the exact location again. Delete the symbol once editing is completed. Read your paper for any content errors. Double check the facts and figures. Arrange and rearrange ideas to follow your outline. Reorganize your outline if necessary, but always keep the purpose of your paper and your readers in mind. Use a free grammar and proof reading checker such as Grammarly. Is my thesis statement concise and clear?

Did I follow my outline? Did I miss anything? Are my arguments presented in a logical sequence? Are all sources properly cited to ensure that I am not plagiarizing? Have I proved my thesis with strong supporting arguments? Have I made my intentions and points clear in the essay? Re-read your paper for grammatical errors.

Use a dictionary or a thesaurus as needed. Do a spell check. Correct all errors that you can spot and improve the overall quality of the paper to the best of your ability. Get someone else to read it over. Sometimes a second pair of eyes can see mistakes that you missed. Did I begin each paragraph with a proper topic sentence?

Have I supported my arguments with documented proof or examples? Any run-on or unfinished sentences? Any unnecessary or repetitious words? Varying lengths of sentences?

Does one paragraph or idea flow smoothly into the next? Any spelling or grammatical errors? Quotes accurate in source, spelling, and punctuation? Are all my citations accurate and in correct format? Did I avoid using contractions? Did I use third person as much as possible? For example, as a Ph. Journal editors and program committee chairs often seek the help of external reviewers if they need a particular subject-matter expert to review a paper.

Later in your Ph. Sometimes a member of the program committee e. Look for a reason to accept the paper. Does it realize a great contribution or idea? Every paper is imperfect. The paper may have made an incorrect or imperfect assumption.

The experiments may not have been as thorough as you liked. The graphs may be difficult to read. Parts of the paper may be difficult to understand.

These types of issues certainly reflect problems with a paper, but they do not necessarily constitute a reason to reject a paper if they do not affect the correctness or significance of the main underlying conclusion or contribution of the paper.

Therefore, the first two questions I ask myself when reviewing a paper are: In fact, there has been a fair amount of documentation that, as reviewers, we are often quite terrible at predicting the merits of a particular piece of submitted work: Due to the subjective nature of this judgment, it is all the more important that your writing is clear , and well-matched to what a reviewer is looking for i. Different conferences may have different value structures, and the chairs of any given conference may ask the reviewers to focus on different criteria when judging a paper.

Regardless, there are some invariant questions that most reviewers would or at least should always consider, including:. Not every publication venue is the same. Some venues are explicitly geared towards acceptance of early, incomplete work that is likely to generate discussion many workshops use this criterion for acceptance.

Other venues favor contributions that constitute well-executed, smaller increments. When reviewing a paper, either externally or as a member of a committee, your first question should be to consider the audience for the conference, workshop, or journal, and whether the likely audience for the venue would benefit from reading the paper.

Often, scope can be and is broadly construed, so the key question really boils down to whether the likely audience for the paper will benefit from reading it. Your standards will and should vary depending on the venue for which you are reviewing a paper submission. This will ensure some level of calibration, although it is still biased based on the set of papers that you are reviewing. Reading past proceedings of the particular journal or conference can also help you determine the appropriate standard to set for acceptance.

Different papers serve different purposes. Multiple paper submissions to the same venue might in fact have quite different purposes, and it is important to establish what the paper is contributing or attempting to contribute before passing judgement. For example, a paper might be a complete piece of work, but it might also be a survey, a tutorial, or simply a proposal.

If the paper is one of the latter types, your first questions as a reviewer should concern whether the audience would benefit from the survey, tutorial, or proposal, and whether such a paper meets the standards for the conference. If the paper is a survey, your assessment should be based on the completeness of the survey, with respect to the area that the paper is claiming to summarize.

If the paper is a tutorial, is the description correct and clearly described? If the paper is a proposal , does the proposed research agenda make sense, and is the outcome if the proposal is successful worthwhile?

Consider the big picture. Every paper can be rejected. It is always easy to find reasons to reject a paper. You should be aiming to figure out whether the paper has important contributions that the audience will benefit from knowing about, and whether the paper supports those contributions and conclusions to the level of standard that is commensurate with the standard of the audience and the venue.

One litmus test I use to ensure that a negative aspect of a paper does not condemn it is to ask myself whether the problem 1 affects the main conclusion or contribution of the paper; and 2 can be fixed easily in a revision.

Start with a summary of the paper and its contributions. This helps you as a reviewer articulate the main contributions and conclusions of the paper for the purposes of your own evaluation.

Try to address the type of paper it is is it a survey paper, for example? If you cannot concisely summarize the paper, then the paper is not in good shape, and you can reflect this assessment in the review, as well. Assess whether the paper delivers on the main claims and contributions. It is easy to identify problems with a paper. Even for particularly bad papers, there might be one sentence in the introduction, discussion, or future work section that makes an interesting point or highlights a possibility for interesting contributions.

As a reviewer, you can remark that those observations are interesting, and that you would really like to see those parts of the work further developed. They give the author a direction to move forward. Criticize the paper, not the authors. When writing your review, consider the type of review that you would like to receive. Always be polite, respectful, and positive.

Choose your language carefully, as it will help convey your message. Consider the type of feedback you would like to receive. Receiving reviews for rejected papers is a part of the research process, but it is never fun for the authors particularly new Ph.

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Apr 06,  · How do I write a scientific review research paper? I have written a few review papers, and this is my approach. There are doubtless others that are equally effective, and some of these will be.

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The Paper Reviewing Process Posted: October 18, | Author: Nick Feamster | Filed under: advice, research, reviewing | Leave a comment Learning how to review papers not only (obviously) makes you a better reviewer, but it can also help you as an author, since an understanding of the process can help you write your paper submissions for .

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Writing a good review requires expertise in the field, an intimate knowledge of research methods, a critical mind, the ability to give fair and . What is the difference between a research paper and a review paper? This is my first attempt at writing a scientific paper and I am thinking of writing a review article. I want to know what is the exact difference between a research paper and a review paper.

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HOW TO WRITE THE PAPER. WHAT IS A REVIEW PAPER? The purpose of a review paper is to succinctly review recent progress in a particular topic. Overall, the paper summarizes the current state of knowledge of the topic. It creates an understanding of the topic for the reader by discussing the findings presented in recent research papers. Based on your review, provide suggestions for what research might be done next to further develop the progression of ideas you have summarized. Consult the following website for helpful hints on how to write a review paper.