How to Write a Research Essay in Human Resources Management

Writing guide
Posted on April 16, 2021

Human resources management is a field of study that deals with strategic approaches to the effective management of people in a company or organization. Its main goal is to maximize employee’s performance and their contribution to achieving organizational goals. Students who study this discipline are often assigned to write research essays on different topics. Such assignments differ from ordinary academic essays because they require in-depth research which can be very time-consuming. That’s why many students often face difficulties when writing such projects.
If you are one of them, keep reading this article because here we are going to discuss all the essential steps in writing a research essay in human resources management from picking a topic to completing the final draft. And if you have problems with completing other types of college papers, check out other articles on our website where you can find lots of full guides to all writing assignments out there.

What Is a Research Essay in Human Resources Management?

The purpose of writing a research essay in human resources management is to demonstrate your profound knowledge in this field of study and show your abilities to analyze and synthesize information that was gathered from different sources. You will need to create a strong and highly specific thesis statement and support it with extensive evidence. You can’t succeed in doing it without gathering scholarly sources that comprehensively address an appropriately focused topic. Your task is not just report about that you have read but to synthesize the information and to deliver a strong argument that supports your clear thesis statement.
It’s important to base your argument on your own thinking although you need to integrate the research on your topic in your argument as well. You should provide your interpretation or analysis of relevant sources and that requires critical reading of the research on your topic. Besides, you should also think how all the findings and different ideas are connected.

Select an Interesting Topic for Your Research Essay in Human Resources Management

The first step in writing a research essay is selecting a good topic that can be interesting for you and your readers. It’s good to pick a subject you are familiar with because you will need less time to brainstorm your ideas and research the sources. But you shouldn’t be afraid to choose a rare or unusual topic. Think about writing a research essay as a great opportunity to learn something new and expand your knowledge. After all, when you finish working on your project, you are most likely to become an expert on your topic.

It’s always better to choose a controversial topic and learn about different viewpoints on it. If you decide to use such an approach, you may write, for example, about the economic impact of human resources management on business success and argue how it can be managed. Another example of a controversial essay topic is the impact of aging workforce on organizations. If you want to write about some emerging concepts in HRM, you may focus your research essay on green human resources management. Not matter what topic you choose, you should always make sure that it is not too broad so that you can cover it in your paper. If you lack ideas for your essay, have a look at this short list of good research essay topics.

  • Employee Rights and Responsibility;
  • How to Select Human Resources?
  • Types of Talent Management Models;
  • Job Analysis Methods and Stages in the Job Analysis Process;
  • How to Minimize Workplace Negativity;
  • Role of Team-building Activities in Improving Communication, Motivation, and Morale;
  • Types of Performance Management Systems;
  • Techniques to Improve Employee Retention and Motivation;
  • Performance Management and Appraisal;
  • Managing Equal Employment Opportunity;
  • Risk Management Process in Human Resources Management;
  • Handling Employee Conflict at the Workplace;
  • Human Resources Training and Development Strategies;
  • How to Keep Employee Morale High During Challenging Times;
  • Methods for Improving Employee Engagement.

Do Profound Research on Your Topic and Organize Your Ideas

Before you start with your library research, you should think carefully about important points that you are going to write about. You can do it using different brainstorming techniques:

  • Break down general topic into levels to find specific subtopic and terms;
  • Use free writing to generate ideas for your essay;
  • Create bullet lists to gather more perspective on your subject;
  • Use tables, graphs, and charts to arrange your main points and concepts;
  • Read dictionaries and encyclopedias to find background information and get a better understanding of the key terms.

After brainstorming and doing the preliminary research, you need to come up with a clear research question, summative description or a thesis statement. This choice typically depends on the assignment you are writing. In this way, you will make the research process more efficient because you’ll be better prepared to evaluate each resource to determine how relevant it is for your topic.
You need to find a lot of good sources, so you should develop a research strategy. Think about the key terms and key concepts and use them as keywords to do a search. Always keep track of all searches and you will avoid wasting time on ineffective strategy.
Always look at your thesis as you do research to make sure that your source relates to the topic of your essay. At this stage, you need to skim each possible source to evaluate it. If the source is not related to the subject of your essay, you shouldn’t use it.
When you gather enough possible sources, you should read them carefully and critically. Now you have to find out what the writers are actually telling and why they do it. Make notes as you read. You may include direct quotes but it’s always better to summarize the ideas expressed by the author or paraphrase them. Make sure you keep track of all your sources – you may even create a preliminary bibliography list.

Since your research essay has to synthesize the evidence to provide an answer to a highly specific research question or support a clear thesis, you should try to categorize or group together the information you have gathered. These categories can help you create an outline and a structure for your research essay. In the same way, creating a detailed outline will make the writing process an easier experience and will allow you to start working on your essay from any part. All the thinking process is done and you only have to put your ideas to paper, using the outline as a roadmap.

Writing a Draft of Your Essay in Human Resources Management

Your research essay should follow the basic essay structure and contain such essential parts as an introduction, the body, and a conclusion. When writing the first draft, you shouldn’t worry about the perfect grammar or excellent word choice – you will take care about that after finishing your draft during revising and editing stages. Now you should think about presenting your ideas on the topic in a logical and coherent way.

Don’t copy ideas that you have found during your research because it is plagiarism. Instead, you should write from your memory and consult your notes only if you feel you can’t do without a direct quotation. If you use a certain quote, you should always cite your source to avoid plagiarism. You should also format your research essay according to the requirement of a citation style specified by your professor. Now let’s discuss how to write different parts of research essay.

Write an Engaging Introduction

The goal of an introduction is to present your topic, starting from the broader context, and to engage your audience. Here is what you should include in this paragraph.

  • Begin your introductory paragraph with a hook to catch your readers’ attention. You can use a thought-provoking question, a surprising fact or statistics or a famous quotation.
  • Provide a context for your topic, giving the background information or defining the key terms.
  • State your thesis to determine your position and purpose of your essay
  • Briefly outline your main points to give your readers a better idea of what your essay is about.

Your thesis has to convey the main idea of your essay, reflecting your position and you should organize your argument around it. That’s why it’s critical to make your thesis statement clear, strong, and highly specific. For example, when writing an essay about conflicts in the workplace, you can formulate your thesis statement like this:

‘Employee conflicts in the workplace are natural and they are mostly caused by poor communication and by poor management and control.’

Write the Convincing Body

Your detailed outline will come in really handy while working on this part of your research essay in human resources management. But you shouldn’t think that you must strictly stick to it. You may want to change your perspective on the topic and do additional research to find other points to support your thesis. But you should focus your argument on your thesis statement and not on your sources. You can only include those points, evidence, and examples that contribute to supporting your thesis and help you develop logical and coherent overall argument. You will need to write as many body paragraphs as you have main points for supporting your thesis statement.

When writing your body paragraphs, you should follow a certain structure:

  • Start every paragraph with a topic sentence that introduces your central point or claim;
  • Add 1-2 sentences that explain the main idea of the paragraph;
  • Support your central point with relevant evidence and examples; you may also include direct quotes;
  • Explain all your evidence and examples;
  • Finish the paragraph with a concluding sentence that summarizes the content and includes a transition to the following paragraph.

Don’t forget to use transitional words and phrases to connect your ideas within paragraphs and help your readers follow your logic.

Write a Strong Conclusion

The conclusion plays a significant role in the overall impression that your essay makes on your audience that’s why you should write it, keeping your readers in mind. It’s not enough to summarize the major points and restate your thesis in this part of your essay. You should also make your readers think about possible implications of your findings. You need to create a strong conclusion that will tie all your main points together and show your audience why your findings and your argument really matter.

  • You can start your conclusion with a short transition sentence that briefly summarizes the previous paragraph and serves as a transition from a certain specific point to general idea;
  • Synthesize the main points and show relations between them;
  • Show some general implication of your argument;
  • Tell about the significance of your thesis;
  • Finish with a sentence that wraps everything up and provides a sense of closure.

You shouldn’t include any new information in the concluding paragraph and it would be a mistake to use special concluding phrases.

Revise and Edit Your Draft

Many students often skip this step and end up with essays that make a bad impression on their readers. No one can write a flawless essay at once and the key to success is revising, editing, and proofreading. You may need to revise your essay several times to ensure it is the best it can be so you should always start working on your writing projects early to ensure you have enough time to make improvements in the content, style, and formatting, and fix typos.

You should start the revision from the global issues and improve structure, clarity, and logical flow of ideas. Then you should fix problems with the sentence structure and word choice. And only when you are satisfied with the content and overall style, you should proofread the final draft and eliminate minor grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors, and typos. The best approach to proofreading is reading the essay aloud slowly. In this way, you’ll be able to catch more mistakes. You can also ask your friend or family member to proofread your essay and help you polish your piece of writing before submitting it.

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