In writing academic research paper, it is important that the student must first understand the instruction to be able to write it right. An academic paper that does not follow the instruction will either be returned or get a failing mark no matter how articulate it was written.
The requirement of the instruction can be easily fulfilled when the student makes a checklist of the requirement/s of the paper which could also serve as a guideline in planning the research. This checklist could also serve as a personal quality control that could be used to compare the finished paper against the checklist if all of the items listed were met after the paper has been written.
Planning the research entails careful attention to its requirements. The prepared checklist can come handy because it can determine where to begin the research that would fulfill the academic paper’s requirements. For example, if the academic research paper is about foreign affairs and one of the requirements entail recent news for reference, then the student can do research on online news such as CNN and Al-Jazeera instead of other sources such as books and Journals.
If the research paper, however, is about recent development in the sciences, then the best source would be scientific journals and this could be found either at JSTOR, EbscoHost or Proquest. If the academic paper however requires discussion about standard and/or classical theories that is not time bound, books can be excellent sources. Management papers fall on this category but it would make the paper more updated if recent studies will be included. For example, if the subject of the academic paper is about motivation, the student can cite the classical motivation theories of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and then include more recent research such as Dan Pink’s assertion that interesting work by itself is also a source of motivation.
After the student has gained a working knowledge on the paper that he or she is about to write, an outline can now be prepared that could serve as a structure of the paper. Outline is helpful in determining the flow of the argument of the paper and prevents the student from digressing away from the topic. This would minimize the work in the latter part of writing paper because there will be lesser ideas and words to edit.
After the structure of the paper has been determined through the outline, it would now be time to write the paper. Note that most writers find the stage of writing the first sentence as the most challenging part in writing the paper. So if the student will have difficulty writing the first sentence of the research paper, it is only but natural because most writers experience the same difficulty. This can be overcome however. In writing the first sentence, it is generally suggested for it to be written when the mind is most relaxed because the clearest idea usually comes from a well-rested brain. When this stage is overcome, the rest of the paper can now be written but one has to expect that there will be a lot of rewriting in the process. This could be due to new data coming in or just the plain effort of the student to improve the way the argument and explication is written in the paper.
If everything has been written, the paper still needs to be edited and polished. Digression, run-on sentences have to be removed. Corrections in the syntax and grammar need to be corrected and there may be portion/s in the paper that needs to be rewritten. Finally, the paper can now be compared to the checklist prepared earlier if it has satisfactorily met its requirements. If all of the answer is yes, then the paper is ready for submission.