Overview of how to Write an Engineering Research Paper
Engineering research papers are a key course requirement for scholars in the engineering field.
As a physical science, engineering approaches research in a different manner.
Its research is more application oriented and less theory focused.
While it is essential to explain the theory behind data collected, the physical results are considered more important than explanations of the respective theoretical dispositions.
For this reason the steps for writing a research paper in engineering are slightly different from such fields as social sciences.
Features of a Good Engineering Research Paper
Although writing engineering research papers may appear basic and less encompassing, the process should pay extensive attention to a number of elements that determine the accuracy and appropriateness of the entailed research.
These elements include:
a) Well Thought-out Research Message: The message is a core element in an engineering research paper. You must understand what you intend to achieve in your research and stick to it to the end.
Generally, engineering research papers seek to change people’s views towards a particular issue.
Achieving this requires you to ensure that the problem being addressed is interesting, is complicated, and that you found an appropriate solution.
You must ensure that the message is suitable for your target audience and that the solution is original.
b) Proper Organization and Clarity of Results: Organization and clarity are two essential elements when it comes to how to write an engineering research paper.
About proper organization and clarity of results, your engineering research paper must ensure that the message being communicated is clearly stipulated from the word go.
All paper parts must successively do so while providing adequate details. Importantly, no new set of information should be introduced along the way.
This is important in ensuring that the research paper is quite predictable.
Per se, appropriate approach requires that you start by making the point and then proceed to provide supporting data. This is for all paper sections and paragraphs.
c) Provide Theoretical Support for Data Used: This involves providing the reasons for collection and state of data used in the engineering research paper.
Since such papers are inclined towards scholarship endeavors, it is important to explain the theory behind the data.
This helps illuminate the scientific inquiry nature of the research paper.
Theoretical explanations can be provided by exploring all data’s possible interpretations and explanations, referring to past studies, and developing a hypothesis that is supported by data collected.
d) Being Concise and Using Figures Effectively: It is very important to be brief and concise when writing an engineering research paper.
You should avoid words or sentences that do not add value to the point being made. You must be on point and ensure that all parts of the research paper serves their expected purpose.
To ensure this, you should rely more on tables in figures in relaying data and relevant information.
You should also, strive to support your mathematical and textual presentations with tables and graphs.
The Structure of an Engineering Research Paper
Paper structure should feature significantly whenever you explore how to write an engineering research paper. Per se, such structure has a profound impact on your audience’s perception of the paper.
Such a structure should be elaborate and simple at the same time. It should be as illustrated below.
a) Introduction: the introduction looks at the background of your research. The history of the study being undertaken should be provided in a concise but detailed manner.
You should highlight the research hypothesis or question being studied. Also, stipulate the motivation behind the research study and expected outcomes. Importantly, provide accurate and credible references.
b) Materials and Methods: this part explains the equipment, processes, and techniques used to generate the engineering research paper results.
This section should be detailed and well organized to ensure that the reader understands how the research results were derived.
It should also stipulate any complex computer programs used in data collection or analysis. Notably, this part is critical in the duplication of the study, which is a key element of a scientific study.
c) Results: this part encompasses presentation of all the data used. It is mainly in the form of figures. In this part, you should only include tables and graphs that show results and attach the rest of the figures in the appendix.
The figures should be brief and clear, well numbered and labelled, and containing accurate units.
d) Discussion: this is one of the most important sections of an engineering research paper. It examines the research findings.
This section requires you to make sense of the research data presented in the results section. In doing so, you should compare and contrast the findings with your expectations.
You should therefore critically analyze how the research results proved your hypothesis. All the relevant relationships should explained here. As well, you should explore opportunities for further research.
e) Conclusion: this part summarizes the research findings and provides the parting statement on the engineering research paper results.
In this, all the key points forming respective arguments should be highlighted in this section. It is also important to ensure that the conclusion recoups the thesis statement.
f) References: this part encompasses all the sources used in the research paper. It should follow the stipulated format. IEEE is usually the most preferable referencing style for engineering research papers.
However, you could be required to use other formats like APA, Harvard, or MLA. It is therefore important to familiarize yourself with the other various referencing styles.
g) Appendices: it covers all the figures with raw data and calculations that could not have been included in the body of the research paper. Only the not so essential data should be included in this section.