The Guide to an Agriculture Research Paper

Writing guide
Posted on January 17, 2019

Well-presented and neatly crafted work is essential in communicating information that a student wants to share with peers, teacher, professors, etc. Structure, style, conciseness, the choice of language are factors, which profoundly affect the presentation of the material in the research paper and contribute to the success of a learner. It is vital to follow the general guidelines of academic writing when crafting a research paper. Agriculture is often a challenging topic for students. When people face a complicated assignment, the goal of composing an insightful and detailed work becomes even more pressing. Learners frequently face numerous issues before approaching the task that drives them off track. In particular, newcomers might tackle such problems as:

  • lack of knowledge about the subject;
  • poor writing skills;
  • students become sidetracked from the main topic;
  • the informal style of writing;
  • over-generalized content;
  • wrong choice of sources, etc.

These problems often discourage learners from writing their assignments as they feel unmotivated to start their work on time and do some in-depth research on the topic. Therefore, it is essential to address these challenges and evaluate your skills before getting down to work. The following questions will guide you through this process and help prepare for writing:

  • What topic are you going to study?
  • What knowledge do you have about the subject?
  • What is the goal of your research paper? What is the hypothesis?
  • What do you need to explore in your writing?
  • What does your professor want you to do? What topics do you need to disclose?
  • What result do you expect to achieve? How can you apply them to practice? Who will be interested in your study?

Answers to these questions can help identify your strong and weak features, which will provide with a chance to address challenges and prepare for the study. For instance, if you realize that you lack knowledge of the agricultural sector, you can read articles and scientific works devoted to this issue. This will help gain more understanding of the field and become proficient in the particular sphere.

Even if you are an expert in agriculture, you can easily digress, which will affect the quality of the final paper. That is why it is essential to follow the guidelines to ensure you are going to meet all the demands and gain the highest score.

Choosing a Hot Topic for the Research Paper

If you have written several essays on agricultural topics, you might think that you will easily cope with this task. You have the necessary knowledge of the field and share some interests with your peers and teachers that you can use in your writing. Nonetheless, choosing the topic for a research paper might be a complicated challenge. There are several factors to take into consideration while defining the problem for the investigation. In particular, a learner should:

  • Ensure the topic meets the requirements of the assignment. You might be interested in investigating the history of agriculture, while your professor asks to focus on policy and trade;
  • Consider the scope of your work. You should look at all aspects of your field and find the most critical issue for the professionals operating in this sphere;
  • Analyze previous studies and look at the available data. If numerous scholars have already discussed the topic, no one will be interested in another paper that repeats the well-known facts.

Choosing a topic is not an easy cake as you will have to conduct a profound investigation before selecting the issue for further research. However, there is one strategy, which you can follow while developing your research topic:

  1. Conduct a background study. This step will help you get a big picture in mind and understand what subjects require precise attention.
  2. Brainstorm alternatives. Write several options, which you consider to be the best for your paper. You can consult a professor if you have difficulties with selecting the right variant.
  3. Identify the research question. Ask yourself what you want to get out of this study. What is your primary objective?
  4. Identify your approach to study. Decide whether you want to use primary or secondary data and consider how you will use it in the paper.

This advice should assist you in the selection process and route you in the right direction. However, if you still experience difficulties with writing, the following 5 sample topics will provide you with great ideas:

  • Implications of Diseases’ Outbreaks on the Agricultural Trade;
  • Monitoring Weed and Pest Management Practices;
  • Factors Affecting Labor Productivity in the Farming Sector;
  • The Effect of Climate Change on the US Agriculture;
  • Diversity in the US Agricultural Workforce.

These topics are specific and relevant to the organizations operating in the agricultural sector. After you decide on the research question, you should carry out a study and state your findings in work. There is a set of recommendations that you should follow to make your work better and meet the professor’s demands.

The Pre-Writing Stage: Example of How Our Writers Master It

Before you get down to writing your agriculture research paper, consider the following points, which add to the value of your study.

  • Organize notes. When you conduct preliminary research, make notes that will help you get a better understanding of the fundamental concepts. You should organize your records to ensure that you will not lose any essential data. Make a table or draw a chart to visualize the information.
  • Develop a draft of the outline. Every paper should have a particular structure. Use the outline to guide you through the writing process. This step will help you keep the track of the research.
  • Identify the main ideas. Look at the crucial points in your paper and write paragraphs, which will expand on these topics. In such a way, you will develop body paragraphs and place them in the right parts of your paper.
  • Back up main points. Add more value to the paper using studies of renowned scholars. When you develop a point, look for scientists who have addressed the same issue and use their thoughts to support your own ideas. But, make sure you have cited the source correctly so you are not accused of plagiarism.
  • Choose sources thoroughly. Cite credible sources only, which will provide you with the necessary information on the topic. Avoid using Wikipedia or blogs since they are not likely to be scientific databases.
  • Cite sources in the draft. Provide citations to all information that you refer to – articles, books, websites, etc. You should support your statements with arguments and cite the author, who shared the same ideas.
  • Do not just restate findings of other studies, evaluate them. It is not enough just to summarize the information you have read in the articles and research papers. You should be able to analyze the data and provide your opinion on the point.
  • Choose research methods. Decide on the research methods before you start writing. You should have a clear understanding of the research question and select the approach, which will fit the topic. For instance, if you are going to investigate diverse issues among the US agricultural workforce, you might consider conducting a series of interviews with professionals operating in this field.

If you follow all these steps, it will help you analyze the information and look at the problem from different perspectives. When you have a big picture in mind, it is vital to structuralize your ideas correctly.

How to Effectively Structure the Paper?

Title. The title of the work is your hallmark as it tells a lot about your skills, subject knowledge, and proficiency. It is the part of the paper that is read the most among professors, so it is essential to make it informative, concise, and well-written. The main points that you should remember to capture the reader’s attention are:

  • The title should not be too long. Read it several times and delete the words that do not speak much about the topic.
  • Too short titles are too broad. Make your question specific and up to a point.
  • No catchy phrases and non-specific language in academic writing. Use academic vocabulary and stick to the guidelines.
  • Conjunctions do not start research papers. Nonetheless, you may use them at the beginning of the sentence to place an emphasis or underline the main point. For example, the title “Yet One More Look at Agricultural Trade” indicates that the author wants to analyze the previous works devoted to the topic.

Thesis Statement. The thesis statement is the most important component of your paper as it contains the central message of your study and identifies what you stand for. It should include a claim that you will support in your writing. Additionally, this part of the work must be attention-grabbing as the reader should focus on this statement and keep it in mind until the end of the work. Besides, it needs to be focused and demonstrate your position on the topic. For example, if you argue that diversity in agricultural trade will positively affect the industry, you should mention it in the thesis statement.

Body Paragraphs. Body paragraphs in the research contain all arguments that you will use to support your thesis statement. They expand on the research topic and explain the main ideas of the study. You should start the paragraph with a topic sentence, which describes what this part will be about. Pay precise attention to it and make sure it states a particular argument and tell a reader about some notion, phenomenon, problem finding, etc. Supporting sentences provide details to the main idea and help a writer to back up his/her topic statement.

The Power of an Outline

The research paper outline is a critical component of the work as it might alter the way a reader will interpret your findings. It profoundly affects the quality of the paper since a well-developed table of contents might speak a lot about your research, so it will provide a recipient with a general understanding of the research topic. The following tips will assist you in the development of a structured and well-perceived outline:

  • Break your work down into meaningful parts. Analyze the content of the paper and identify the main points.
  • Develop the main points and include them in the outline. They will provide a recipient with a clear structure for your work.
  • Do not overload the outline with unnecessary points. They will make this part too long, which will confuse a reader. It is not the main part of the research paper, so it must be concise, but informative.
  • An outline of the research paper cannot be too short. If you do not include all points of the study in the table of contents, a reader might skip this part and lose the track of the research.
  • Include abstract and list of references. Develop your outline so that a professor understands that it contains all the necessary components of the research paper.
  • Double check the page numbers. Make sure that the pages in the outline coincide with actual ones.

Do not forget about introduction, conclusion, and appendixes. These parts frame your paper and make it structuralized. An introduction should lead a reader to the topic of your research and provide some background information about the scope of the study. Conclusion restates the thesis statement and summarizes the main points of the paper. An appendix is an optional part of the work. You might want to include pictures, tables, and charts, and this particular section is just responsible for this stuff.

The Post-Writing Stage: Make Sure Your Paper Is a Masterpiece

Editing. It is better to take some time before you edit your paper. From the first glance, it might seem that you have done perfectly well, and your professor will give you the highest score. However, after a while, you might realize that you forgot to add some essential information, which will lead to misunderstandings and frustration. That is why it is vital to look at the paper several times and focus your attention on the cohesion and coherence. You should check whether all ideas are logically linked and a reader is going to understand all the raised points in the work. Besides, it is excellent advice to give your work to your colleague or a friend and ask to summarize it after reading. This method will help you see whether all ideas are stated explicitly in the paper.

Proofreading is one of the most critical stages. The research paper with grammar or spelling mistakes looks unprofessional. Nonetheless, students find it challenging to check their work at once. That is why it is better to proofread all parts immediately after you wrote them. This approach might help save time for additional editing and avoid common mistakes.

Referencing. Do not forget to reference all the works that you have used in the research process. If you state the idea of the author without referencing his/her article or book, you might be accused of plagiarism. Therefore, it is better to check whether all sources are listed in the reference list.

This agriculture research paper guide provides you with advice on how to craft the agriculture research paper that meets the essential requirements and sounds professionally. With time, you might develop your approach to academic writing and find your lifehacks. These agriculture research paper tips contain a set of points for those who experience difficulties with research papers.

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