1. Kevin Teichman

    Kevin Teichman Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2017
    Messages:
    136
    Likes Received:
    47
    Location:
    Texas

    Best way to structure research paper

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Kevin Teichman, May 1, 2018.

    To start off with, I have always been heavily into lifting heavy weights and the sport of strongman and grip strength competitions, so this is the origin of the following...

    I want to conduct research at a zoo here in Texas and debunk the myth of primate strength (I have compelling evidence that suggests I am right, and I am not here to argue about it). And prove that, while yes they are strong, not nearly as strong as billed. Professional strongmen are stronger all around.

    What would be the best way to structure this paper? Again, I am NOT here to argue about my claims. This is about writing structure and mechanics.
     
  2. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man or BayView Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2015
    Messages:
    7,557
    Likes Received:
    10,187
    Location:
    London, UK
    What's your goal for the paper? If you want it published in an academic journal, you'll need to structure it in the normal scientific-paper manner. If you're going to put it on your blog, you have much more freedom.

    Likewise, who's the target audience? Scientists, weightlifters, the general public?

    Generally, you're going to want an introduction (setting out the background of your project - the current thinking on primate strength and your suspicions that it's inaccurate), a literature review (looking at similar studies and what they concluded), your hypothesis (that primates aren't as strong as suspected), your method for finding an answer, your results, and your conclusions. If you're looking at this scientifically those will form your main subheadings and you need to write it in a typical academic style. If it's more casual you can have it flow more like an essay.
     
    matwoolf and Kevin Teichman like this.
  3. GlitterRain7

    GlitterRain7 Galaxy Girl Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2017
    Messages:
    623
    Likes Received:
    868
    Totally not sure if this is what you're looking for, but I've been taught "claim, evidence, explanation" at my school, and that's how I've had to write papers. Once again, not sure if that's what you're asking for, but I thought I'd just throw that out there.
     
    Kevin Teichman likes this.
  4. Kevin Teichman

    Kevin Teichman Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2017
    Messages:
    136
    Likes Received:
    47
    Location:
    Texas
    After thinking about it, I definitely want it to make it to a scientific journal. That is so the piece will hold more “authority” and will be more respected rather than an inflated opinion essay.

    The target is probably all of those groups of people. I want the scientists to deliver the facts and I want the general population to know that they were wrong all along (and hopefully they update their opinions). And I would definitely want the professional strongmen to see it. I think guys like Hafþór Björnsson would find it interesting.

    I will certainly read into and follow that structure. I have a lot to learn regarding the academic style of putting together real research data and interpreting it. On the good side, I’m not in a hurry to finish this soon. If it takes 10 years, I’m ok with that.
     
  5. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man or BayView Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2015
    Messages:
    7,557
    Likes Received:
    10,187
    Location:
    London, UK
    If I were you, I would look for scientists in the field to collaborate with. The vast, vast majority of scientific papers have multiple authors, partly because it's a lot of work to do by yourself. Good luck!
     
  6. DeeDee

    DeeDee Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2018
    Messages:
    564
    Likes Received:
    418
    You start with your claim ("Monkeys are not as strong as strongmen.") then state what methods you are going to use in order to prove your claim ("And we are going to prove this by doing a little experiment at the zoo"), then describe your findings in detail ("We observed a mature male ape do 300 chinups in 3 minutes on the jungle gym which is three times more than uncle Joe can do after three beers.") And end it all up with a conclusion and some thoughts of the meaningfulness of the report ("Therefore, you scientists are all wrong and your science magazines are totally overpriced.").

    I'm just wondering how are you going to get the monkeys to cooperate, or how are you going to put the strongmen in the zoo (since conditions for the experiment have to be equal for all participants) ?
     
  7. newjerseyrunner

    newjerseyrunner Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2016
    Messages:
    1,167
    Likes Received:
    1,071
    The structure of research papers is pretty standard. I’ve written plenty of them.

    First comes your abstract, which explains in detail your hypothesis. It also explains any of the necessary background information and establishes your main sources. This should be less than a page long and idealing no more than two paragraphs. What exactly are you showing? Muscle strength vs density? Overall lifting power? Are you factoring the leverage from their longer arms and different bestbone connectors? 99% of the time, we this will be the only part read (the rest will likely end up behind a paywall.)

    Then you need all of your definitions. Any word that you use that does not have a rigorous, scientific meaning needs to be defined. (You need to define “strength” since that’s a relative term, but not “work” because W=f * s and it’s never anything else.

    Next you discuss your experiments and address any issues that you may come up against in peer review. Literally the slightest misstatement will be pounced on by your reviewer. No hyperbole, no opinions, just raw data. Show your entire scientific process, but more importantly: how did you isolate the variables? For example, a strongman trying to lift his max is not a valid comparison to a chimp lifting something to get a treat if it doesn’t understand that’s its goal is to max out.

    Then comes all of your maths. This will be the meat of your paper. All your calculations, all your analysis. Show how you selected your sample, show how you eliminated outliers, show your standard deviations, calculate your T and Z tables. And most importantly show how you normalized data.

    Then your sources. Most papers have between a dozen and fifty.
     
  8. FifthofAscalante

    FifthofAscalante Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2017
    Messages:
    89
    Likes Received:
    52
    Ohh this is interesting. I’d like to know the result of this research. Long in the past, I watched a documentary about the thesis that martial artists are as fast as a striking viper. Their conclusion was that a trained martial artists is not just faster, but something like five times faster. Unfortunately, it was interesting stuff dressed in low budget, sentetionalost show-making. Anyway, Planet of the Apes is one of my favourite movies, so I’d love to know the findings. I know that humans can easily outcompete any mammal when it comes to attrition, whether it’s food depravation or nonstop physical exertion.
     
  9. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin Spitting .45 caliber grammar.... Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2017
    Messages:
    4,611
    Likes Received:
    7,745
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    Are you a scientist with a PhD at a tenured university? If not, I wouldn't bother... you'd be more likely to have a short story about the same subject published in The New Yorker. Scientific journals are not open to the "public."
     
  10. mashers

    mashers Contributor Contributor Community Volunteer

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2016
    Messages:
    2,369
    Likes Received:
    3,070
    If you are seriously considering attempting to publish this in a respected research journal, then you first need to reconsider the position from which you are starting. There are a few issues with your position which would make your paper ineligible in a legitimate journal:

    "I want to ... debunk the myth of primate strength"
    It's fine to have a hypothesis about the outcome of your research, but going into it with the intention of 'debunking' another's position implies that you have already decided on the outcome of the research and therefore calls into question your results and analysis thereof. This is because going into anything scientific with a preconceived idea about what the outcome will be will almost always bias the outcome (even subconsciously). Your starting position should be to investigate the associations between species and strength, with species being your independent variable (grouping on human and primate subjects) and strength being your dependent variable.

    "I definitely want it to make it to a scientific journal. That is so the piece will hold more “authority” and will be more respected"
    Research should stand on its own two feet and be respected because it is respectable, not just because of who published it. Yes there will be a certain amount of gravitas to being published in certain journals, but this should not be your goal. Your goal should be to conduct robust research. If your research is good enough, it will be published in a decent journal.

    "I want the scientists to deliver the facts and I want the general population to know that they were wrong all along"
    Scientists don't deliver facts, and the goal of research is not to prove to everyone who wrong they were. Scientists provide evidence which indicates a particular result within their research. It's up to the general population (and other researchers) to decide for themselves whether they think that evidence is compelling enough for them to change their views about whatever you were researching. If you think that people should believe you just because a scientist is saying what you think, then you're approaching research with the wrong agenda.

    "I am NOT here to argue about my claims"
    The problem is, the conviction with which you hold your views is affecting the way you are approaching your research. The fact that you so strongly believe what you have stated isn't a problem in itself. What is a problem is that you seem to be attempting to structure your research in such a way that it will prove what you already believe to be true, and that simply stating this "scientifically" in a reputable journal will be enough to convince people that you're right.


    I don't mean to sound argumentative, but the problem you will have is that if you don't consider all of the above then you won't get your paper published. Any decent journal will see through any academic structure you use and realise any bias inherent in the research, and won't publish it. So you have to rethink the way you're approaching your research, and structure it from there.

    In terms of the actual structure, the general format is something along the lines of:

    • Abstract
    • Introduction/background
    • Operational definitions
    • Aims and hypotheses
    • Research design and methodology
    • Results
    • Discussion
    • Conclusions
    • References

    At all points you have to be completely impartial and state only that which can either be referenced from others' work (and which was demonstrated with sufficient robustness), or that which is evident in your own work (i.e. what the results are). Your discussion and conclusions are your opportunity to provide analysis of your results, make any claims you feel able to regarding generalising the results beyond your research, and position your work within the wider community of research, zoology, fitness etc.


    One final point you will need to consider regarding publication will be what purpose the research serves. How does it better the community to know whether or not strongmen are stronger than primates? Will this research help other researchers to reach their own conclusions? Will it help zoologists care better for their animals? Will it help powerlifters to reach their fitness goals? If there isn't a positive answer to any of these questions then it's unlikely any journal will want to publish your paper. It costs money to publish research, and a journal will only do it if they think the research is worthwhile.
     
    deadrats and Laurin Kelly like this.
  11. newjerseyrunner

    newjerseyrunner Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2016
    Messages:
    1,167
    Likes Received:
    1,071
    It depends. I do not have a PhD, nor do I work at a university. Often times your own expertise in your profession can get you through the door. I have no physics degree, but I've published about quantum interference in microchips and I've never formally taken an AI course, but I've also published about neural networks. The reason they looked at my proposals was because I worked in the field at the time of writing. I have no comparison, but I imagine the peer review is significantly harder for us amateurs though. I've gotten all of my papers bounced back several times each.

    Oh, and you may not want to defend your claims here, but you're definitely going to have to defend them in peer review. Like I said, the slightest assumption will get called out. Any biases that you didn't even know you had will get called out. It's intentionally a very daunting procedure.
     
  12. 123456789

    123456789 Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2012
    Messages:
    8,054
    Likes Received:
    4,526
    He could always reach out to a professor in zoology, preferably one who hates primates as much as he does, and see if he/she wants to collaborate.
     
  13. Kevin Teichman

    Kevin Teichman Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2017
    Messages:
    136
    Likes Received:
    47
    Location:
    Texas
    A lot of good information on here. Thank you everyone. I will come back to this thread tomorrow when I have plenty of time to read through the replies here and answer some questions that some of you have for me.
     
  14. TwistedHelix

    TwistedHelix New Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2018
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    5
    Scientist here, with one published work lol.

    Nearly ALL journals will expect the Harvard style format of referencing - a google search will suffice.
    As to how you should write the paper - that is dictated by the journal, who have very prescriptive rules. For example;
    http://journals.plos.org/plosone/s/submission-guidelines

    Pick a journal you feel gives you the most freedom or matches your writing style already. Most however are nearly identical, and certainly all the good ones use Harvard referencing.

    I am by no means a fully published professional - I have one. But that is one more than many others lol. Send along some drafts and I would be happy to give a few pointers.

    As an aside - I too am a huge fan of strongman! Have you sneaked a look at the 2018 WSM results today?!?!
     
  15. profoundessaywriter

    profoundessaywriter Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2018
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    United State
    A research paper is a piece of academic writing based on topic, determination and interpretation of research findings. It is an expanded essay that presents our explation.

    Here is the best ways to structure a research paper:

    1. Topic selection
    2. Set the scene
    3. Introduction & describe the heading
    4. Start up define terms, concepts and vocabulary
    5. Since undertaking started well
     

Share This Page