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EDUCATION CORNER: Importance of a writing a research paper at higher learning institutions

Filed under: Education,Latest News |
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With Prof Nyanga

Before a student can be conferred their certificates, say a Diploma, Bachelors’, Master’s or PhD, they are expected to do a research study where they are expected to carry out a research and then produce a report.

This report is the last phase of their research as first, they need to find a topic (sometimes given by the faculty or lecturer) and write a research proposal.

The proposal will help them suggest how they conduct a research which will result into producing the report.

A student cannot graduate until they fulfill this partial requirement in their academic journey.

This has led to some of the students being delayed in graduating because of not fulfilling this requirement.

Fear, anxiety and uncertain is always what comes into the students whenever they think of research writing and they would if possible avoid it at all cost like a dangerous and killer plague.

Even during the learning of research course, one can easily seek panic in many students as they have a perception that research is a difficult course as it requires them to conduct and write a report.

Much as it is a mandatory requirement, there are so many benefits that a student (scientists) derives from doing a research and in this article, some of the benefits are shared.

Writing a research paper will help the student/researcher develop and improve the writing and reading skills as it helps in developing reading for critical thinking and evaluation, and improves reasoning skills in order to make conclusions from what one reads in articles/ books to collect for the research paper.

We should also appreciate that in research, there is a certain way of writing and by a student/ researcher doing a research, it will them know how to write accordingly as writing is essential to the completion of a research paper and hence it helps one to develop good writing skills.

Writing a research paper helps the student understand the process of scientific discovery and then how to document that because without documentation it cannot reach other people who needs to benefit from it hence rendering the research irrelevant.

Doing a research study helps the students/researchers to have the instruments to solve problems and find solutions to the community they live.

Every graduate is expected to help the community in solving problems through providing evidence based solutions. By conducting research, it will help the researcher/ student to inform action, gather evidence for theories, and contribute to developing knowledge in a field of study.

In the communities, are businesses that are carried out. A researcher will help the business community in understanding the ideal products and services needed, the market availability and everything that surround business such as strengths, opportunities, threats, weaknesses and how to maximise profits.

By understanding and doing research, a student is able to contribute to the body of knowledge which helps in gathering information towards the phenomena or situation. This will result in increased public awareness about the matter.

As earlier explained, a student is expected to provide solution to the community.

It should be appreciated that the communities we live in are full of clear and unbaked truths.

Research will help us counter the lies that might haunt our communities as the researcher will be able to carry out a study will bring about realities and truths about the same phenomena. In doing so, the students/ researcher gets knowledge and confidence in reading, writing analyzing, and sharing valuable information as they broaden their understanding about many issues that surround them and the entire community.

They become experts, specialists and gurus in their area of concentration. These can never be achieved unless one immerses themselves into research.

Having written a research paper, it will give a student/researcher a sense of achievement and satisfaction that they have done it all by themselves. When one writes a good research paper, it will help boost their credentials among community members, students and lecturers and other interested parties/sponsors.

It also prepares students in writing scholarly papers in future as they embark on writing.

Finally, we should appreciate that we are no longer at secondary school but now at a higher level where the people around us expect to help in finding solutions to the problems affecting us, hence we need to prepare for such challenges through sharing evidence based information. I therefore encourage all of us to begin enjoying the research as it has many benefits to us as scholars/ students and researchers.

In the next article, look forward to a title: how to come up and write a good research title.

Professor Edgar Nyanga can be contacted on news@zambianeye.com

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