How to Write an Accounting Research Paper

Writing guide
Posted on July 17, 2013

Writing a research paper for Accounting is no different than writing a research paper for another discipline. However, there is no agreed-upon writing style format within this discipline, so be certain to follow your professor’s instructions. If no preference is stated, then follow APA guidelines, utilizing a 12 pt. Times New Roman font.
Writing a research paper for Accounting involves several steps:

  1. Select a topic – If your professor has not provided you with a topic and you cannot readily think of one, then watch the news or read a newspaper. Some areas to consider for research are treasury stock, managerial, or financial accounting. The topic should be one that has relevance, not only to you, but to your targeted reading audience as well.
  2. Conduct some background research – Peruse at least three resources in order to develop an argument or thesis statement for your research paper.
  3. Develop an outline – Begin by providing your thesis statement above the outline. The thesis statement should consist of one or two sentences that clearly describe the purpose of your research paper. It is the controlling statement for your paper. The outline shows how you plan to develop your paper, step-by-step.
  4. Write your draft – Your paper should contain an introduction, body, conclusion, and references.
    • Begin your paper with an introduction. It should include your thesis statement and should also explain the importance of your argument.
    • The main part of your paper is the body where you will provide evidence to support your thesis statement, that is, the main premise or argument of your paper.
    • The conclusion summarizes the main points in your paper with a clear connection as to how the points support your thesis statement.
    • Unless specified by your professor, you are expected to cite sources from peer-reviewed journals. These sources should be listed on a separate references page in addition to being cited within your Accounting research paper.
  5. Revise your outline and draft – Expect to revise both your outline and draft as you write your paper. As you research, more ideas and information will surface. This will necessitate adding and/or deleting ideas as well as reorganizing the sequencing of ideas in a logical and coherent manner.
  6. Proof-read and edit your final draft. Make certain that mechanical errors in spelling, grammar, and punctuation have been addressed. Recheck word-choice and sentence structure. You may need to pull out that thesaurus to avoid using the same words too many times. Avoid writing in first or second person. Do not use “he” or “she.” Instead, refer to “an individual” or “a person.”
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