IT Research Paper Writing Guide
One of the keys to the success of an IT research paper is the choice of topic you make at the outset. The importance of the topic plays out in the scope that your research paper has, where a topic that is too specific may not touch on any research and information that currently exists to provide a much needed theoretical underpinning for the paper. On the other hand, a topic that is too generic can involve too many fields of research to be managed within your research limitations when the details of each emerge, as well as not restrictive enough to have a defined problem to solve. It’s useful to choose a topic that you are especially concerned with as you are more likely to be motivated and have prior background that helps to plan the size of your research.
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With your topic in hand, you should write clear objectives or research questions that specifically define the outcome targets or solutions planned for the research. You should write theses in precise, unambiguous terms, removing conjunctions by splitting questions/objectives into sub questions/objectives that are atomic. This makes them individually testable and refutable with data and study outcomes, and therefore removes room for objections to your conclusions based on your results from such studies and data.
A good IT research paper must be derived from a great deal of reading and even before defining your specific research questions and objectives, you should have undertaken some initial reading within your topic area to know what the current discussions and problems are that you can address. While you are reading around, you should take notes of the ideas you find to write about, which will help you smoothen out the actual writing effort.
Building on the initial reading to narrow your questions and objectives, the main research can be a daunting, seemingly never-ending task. You should organize your research into streams related to your specific questions and pursue links that are given in the most popular sources to obtain more detail and the background from those sources. The research you undertake is necessary to support any assertions and refutations you make throughout your paper and it is important to fully cite the sources of your thoughts and claims in order to accredit them openly as well as make explicit the depth of investigation you undertook.
Research in IT should involve certain methodologies be it for the evaluation of theories, models, systems or the design and/or implementation of a technical solution. The research paper should make explicit the applicable methodologies to your topic area and specific research direction and justify that/those which you have chosen to pursue in your case.
Before writing your research paper you should write an outline to arrange the ideas and information that you will deliver into related units that are logically connected. You should consider the outline to be a journey toward your conclusion, which emphasizes what you did, what information you found and what it means in light of your research objectives or questions. You should have taken notes throughout your research and these can provide several of the reference points to what you need to arrange in your paper.
Start writing your paper as early as possible after you have a good amount of research and organization of your findings. Treat it as an iterative process with more detailed research able to be incorporated after you have begun.
Writing up the whole research paper at the end becomes a daunting task, so an iterative approach breaks it down mentally and enables you to develop it step by step with more detailed information you uncover.
You should give detailed consideration as to who your intended readership is and tailor your writing to that by considering of the use of technical language, scope of explanations and whether to include a glossary of terms.
You should provide sections and headings that improve the readability of your paper and use a consistent style throughout, including the same terms for the same concepts and especially consistent technical names.
The final version of your research paper should be completely free of errors in grammar and spelling, so use a spell and grammar checking tool. Personally verify that correct language is used throughout and it flows well and comprehensively. Once you have got to the end of your writing, you should sleep on it before reading it through (perhaps even at least two days break), as that will give you a fresher, less prepared perspective to naturally encounter readability issues.
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