Research in Academic Writing
What is implied by the term research? According to Oxford Dictionaries, research is defined as the "systematic investigation of materials and sources for purposes of establishing evidences and reaching new conclusions." This definition is also emphasized by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, where the word research is presented as the "studious inquiry or investigation aimed at finding and reporting new knowledge about something." Throughout the education process, it is inevitable that most students will encounter research papers. This is usually enforced by institutions of learning such as Universities and Colleges in order to achieve two things; the introduction of new knowledge within a particular field of education, and to evaluate the research writing skills of students. Sadly, a majority of students fail to grasp the intrinsic requirements occasioned by the need for research papers. This essay will discuss why research is usually the most difficult part of academic writing.
To begin with, it is imperative for one to understand that research is a process, one that is characterized by a detailed format and approach. Traditional research papers often have a distinctive format divided into the following segments; abstract, introduction/problem statement, review of literature, methodology, data collection, findings, conclusions and discussion. While this is the step by step procedure of developing a research paper, it is by no means mandatory that one completes it in the same fashion, rather, most students or academicians find it easier to handle certain segments first, almost in a reverse and selective manner. This predicament is one of the many challenges that serve to compound research work as it demands that extensive revision and re-evaluation techniques be employed so as to afford proper and conclusive presentation of data pertaining to the subject topic of investigation.
Research is based principally on both primary and secondary sources. These include books, journals, articles, etc. Specific sources that are referred to as research instruments are also likely to feature in a majority of research papers. They include interviews, questionnaires, surveys, etc. For any individual tasked with undertaking a research paper, the idea of reading a whole range of sometimes technical content is more often than not overwhelming. Yet this cannot be avoided because in order to write the literature review, one has to familiarize themselves with the subject topic they intend to research. Many students would attest to the fact that due to a large selection of sources to be read, it is often a lot harder for one to be cognizant of what exactly they should be learning in order to apply as part of their research.
As such, identifying what it is they are researching and why, often presents difficulty that hinders progress. As many students soon find out, research does not just involve being merely interested in a subject; one must be able to formulate a distinctive hypothesis, or apply an existing theory that indicates a specific standpoint, a specific problem, and draws a specific conclusion. It is often difficult to formalize ideas and thoughts and to validate them without actually writing them up. The results of one’s tests often require that stringent changes be effected to specific parts of the research paper. Bearing in mind that most research papers adhere to colossal lengths, having to occasionally rewrite sections of the paper more often than not proves cumbersome, and could lead to lack of motivation.
Without a doubt, research is one of the most difficult parts of academic writing. It involves more than simply coming up with excellent ideas and implementing them. One must be able to indicate thoroughly how their theory or hypothesis addresses a particular problem.