The realm of human knowledge is ever evolving, owing to the inquisitiveness of the human mind. The fields of Science, Society, Politics and Literature are very dynamic. Theories put forth one day may be improved upon, proved or entirely disregarded the next day. The importance of proper documentation and subsequent dissemination of the information to the world is often underestimated. Efforts put into a research may all go to waste if the information is not presented methodically in the form of a research paper.
The importance of researching in an area of interest can't be overlooked. It all starts with a research idea. The research idea could be a result of a sudden spurt of thought, deep discussion with peers, extensive literature study or a curiosity that might seem illogical to one. Having an interest in the field of research would make the entire process, and hence paper writing, very lucid. Otherwise, the process of writing a research paper would appear to be a daunting task.
It wouldn't be inaccurate to call the entire process of research a journey. Reaching the destination requires a thorough knowledge of the path. Inaccurate or incomplete information would lead to failure. Several sources can aid in researching. The best sources of background information required for conducting the research are journal articles, other papers documenting a similar research and discussion with peers and other researchers in the same field. All the information collected must be properly recorded. One might need to revert back to the previously used source of information. This might become difficult as the information piles up. Maintaining a proper database of the sources of information is wise. This would make the process of citation much easy while writing the final draft of the paper.
One must not be hesitant in attending conferences and conventions related to the area of research undertaken. Some effective methodologies of research can be understood at such conferences. Having a brief discussion with the speakers at the conferences could further the comprehension of the topic and may provide more insight about the areas requiring more work. The discussion with speakers could also lead to sharing of ideas; mutual ideas may even lead to much required collaboration, and thus an effective research paper.
One may require conduction of experiments or surveys to prove a point. Familiarizing oneself with different aspects of laboratory settings of experimentation and survey methods leads to an organized way of presenting the results and conclusion in the research paper. One must understand the procedures, precautions and restrictions of the methods used clearly. One small error creeping in during the early stage of research may trigger a chain reaction. It may be impossible to trace the source of error during later stages. In worst case, it may render the entire research outcome irrelevant.
'Writing' the research paper is considered to be the most feared. Endless set of conventions and set of rules of scripting the paper is the so-called de-motivating factor. Different fields require different syntax of writing the paper. Understanding different formats must be done prior to writing the final draft of the paper. Relevant format of citation must be understood too. Different sources can make the process of database maintenance, source referencing and citation easy. Problems regarding writing of the paper could be overcome by referring as many previously published papers in the same field.
Different journals have different specifications for publications. Knowing the requirements and the process followed by the journals before publishing the article could make the process of writing the paper easier. Publication process is majorly peer reviewed. Errors in something as petty as syntax format to something as big as a faulty procedure could lead to rejection of manuscript. Knowing the journal guidelines is very crucial. Each research paper requires a gripping abstract. One must not consider the content of the abstract trivially. Each aspect contributes toward the effectiveness of the paper, which could eventually lead to publication.