Paper Editing, formatting, referencing
All post-graduation courses include in their syllabus at least a mini-research or actions research project. The aim is to encourage research activities in general. Today, in every field there is a need for extensive research. Research is a scientific, academic scholarly activity and has to be conducted systematically. It involves specific steps that must be followed strictly. The task does not end with doing research; the last and the most important part is writing the research report. All research done is futile unless the report is published for the world to read. Every research project fills in some gap in knowledge and future research take the issue forward. Hence, every research report is extremely useful and significant in its own way. While it contributes to mass knowledge in some way, it also records the important findings of the researcher in such a way that future researchers will know exactly what has been done.
A research report includes details of the population and sample, the sampling process, the process of data analysis, the methodology used, the major findings, statistical calculations, educational implications, social implications and so on. When another researcher handles a similar kind of topic, he can get valuable guidance from the report. Hence, the importance of the research report need not be exaggerated.
Considering the value of a research report, one can understand that it must be correct, accurate, and flawless and well- organized. Hence, reading a re-reading a report, correcting it, checking it for spelling and grammar and editing it are equally important aspects.
Not just research reports, but conference papers, journal articles and all scholarly writing instances require editing, proof reading, formatting and referencing in a specific way. Specific guidelines are given by the concerned institutions for writing conference papers or journal articles, and they have to be followed strictly failing which the material is not accepted.
Nothing can be worse than losing an opportunity to publish a well-written scholarly paper just because it is not properly edited and formatted.
Some difficulties involved in paper editing, formatting, referencing
- It requires command over language to edit a document for correcting grammar and spelling mistakes.
- A paper has to be formatted according to norms laid down by a style guide. Each style guide follows different formatting styles.
- The font size and type differ across styles.
- There is variation regarding right / left margins, line spacing, headings, sub-headings, front title page, numbering pages, numbering sections etc.
- In-text citations and end references are written in different ways for different styles.
- The details to be mentioned in references, foot-notes and end notes have to be done accurately.
- There are different ways of citing books, editions, journal articles, internet sources, lectures, newspaper articles etc.
- A table, diagrams, figures have to be numbered and named serially throughout all the chapters.
- It is difficult to prepare the index. Separate table of contents have to be prepared for the core content and for tables, etc. and appendices.
- Formatting has to be done with care and precision and is very time consuming.
Some topics covered under editing, formatting and referencing
- Details of referencing and citations for MLA, APA, Harvard, Chicago etc.
- Formatting guidelines for various styles.
- Marking different kinds of errors like spelling, spacing etc. while editing.
- Preparing the table of contents
- Pagination in different styles.
- Writing running heads, footnotes, end-notes etc.
- Writing in single / double columns if writing for journals or conference papers.
- Following proper indentations.
- Preparing graphs, tables, flow charts, bar graphs, pie-charts etc.
- Using appropriate colour scheme.
24 hours online help for paper editing, formatting referencing
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