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Secrets of Research & Thesis Writing!

This 5-days online course on ‘Secrets of Research & Thesis Writing’ was designed for those participants who want to understand the overall structure and format of academic writing.

The session was facilitated by Mr. Kushal Pokharel, Independent Researcher, Editor & Media Writer; which was an impactful session that provided much-needed deeper theoretical insight and the practical writing skills necessary to accomplish the task of research writing, crafting a good introduction, literature review, methodology, and discussion section. The session overall was like a conduit to many from where knowledge passed on and the viewers were able to learn a lot for their personal and professional growth.

The session delivered the following learnings;

A Journey of Academic Writing

In the first session, he clarified the objectives of the course and introduced the concept of  Academic & Media Writing and its types. He added academic writing, writing abstract, Title & Literature Review is very much essential. He mentioned the characteristics of good Academic writing include, formal & structured form of writing, focused, clear & precise, needs to be practised in universities & scholarly publication, should be well-sourced and impersonal. 

In addition, he defined and clearly explained different types of Academic writing which include – “Essays, Research Paper, Thesis & Case Study.” He also shared the concept of Research writing & project report.

Mastering the Art of Literature Review

A literature review is a survey of scholarly sources on a specific topic. It provides an overview of current knowledge, allowing you to identify relevant theories, methods, and gaps in the existing research. Writing a literature review involves finding relevant publications (such as books and journal articles), critically analyzing them, and explaining what you found. The literature review is one of the first steps to writing an academic paper, and also one of the most important. 

Five Steps to Write a Literature Review
  • Search for relevant literature
  • Evaluate sources
  • Identify themes
  • Debates and gaps
  • Outline the structure & Write your literature review.
Writing Abstracts for a Literature Review

An abstract is a summary of your literature review. An abstract summarizes, usually in one paragraph of 300 words or less, the major aspects of the entire paper in a prescribed sequence that includes: 

  • the overall purpose of the study and the research problem(s) you investigated;
  • the basic design of the study;
  • major findings or trends found as a result of your analysis;
  • a brief summary of your interpretations;
  • Conclusion(s) based upon your findings.

Mr. Pokhrel conducted an activity where a sample article was sent to all the participants, and they learned the abstract modes & ways to write through practical means.

Writing a Good Introduction

A good introduction draws readers in while providing the setup for the entire paper. A strong introduction sparks the reader’s curiosity. An introduction is typically the first paragraph of the paper. The goal of the introduction is to let the reader know what he or she can expect from the paper. Writing introductions can be intimidating. At this point, most of your research/prep work should be done and you should be ready to start your introduction. It includes: Introducing topic in a particular context; describe broad research area and narrow down; discuss the motivation and problem for the project; mention aim & research of project; Rationale of research & project; research question & hypothesis and Citation.

He then guided ways to write a good methodology part of the thesis. A good methodology should include: Data Gathered, Methods used, Limitation of method applied, Context of the study, data collection instrumentation, accuracy manifestation and so on. The process involves: Introducing the overall methodological approach; Fitting Approach with overall Research Design and analyzing the result (statistical analysis or specific theoretical perspective and framework).

In addition to this, he also taught ways to take Key Informant Interview & Focus Group Discussion explaining the steps, followed up with tips to write good research & thesis writing.

Learning to Write a Good Research Article

Mr. Pokharel explained a typical research paper is a highly codified rhetorical form. A research article reports the results of original research, assesses its contribution to the body of knowledge in a given area and is published in a peer-reviewed scholarly journal. 

Research articles generally consist of the following components;

Research papers that report experimental work are often structured chronologically in different sections: A Title and Abstract, An Introduction, A Methodology, Results, Discussion, and finally, References. Before they are published, the editor of the journal to which the manuscript was submitted sends it to experts in the same field for review. These scholars will review the article for, among other things, the appropriateness of its methodology and its relevance to the field. They may suggest revisions. The peer-review process is lengthy. It may be a year or longer between the time an article is submitted and its publication.