How an output of a research project should look like
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HOW AN OUTPUT OF A RESEARCH PROJECT SHOULD LOOK LIKE?. Karel Janda Institute of Economic Studies (IES) Charles University Prague , Czech Republic. Goal of the research project. The goal is to produce a research paper that could be shared with others .

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How an output of a research project should look like


Karel Janda

Institute of Economic Studies (IES)

Charles University

Prague , Czech Republic

Goal of the research project

Goal of the research project

  • The goal is to produce a research paper that could be shared with others.

  • The aim is to convey your own original contribution and thus generate new knowledge.

  • BUT how to get there?

Golden rule of writing

Golden rule of writing

  • How to write a good research paper? Write a sequence of papers!

  • Start writing before you are “ready”!

  • Proceed step by step

  • 1. Write a literature survey paper

  • 2. Write a descriptive paper

  • 3. Finish with research paper including elements of 1 and 2.

  • Do not try to do all at once “when you are ready”!You will run into unexpected problems and end up empty handed.

The steps towards a good research paper

The steps towards a good research paper

  • Have an approximate idea what you want to write about

    • as covered in your Research Proposal

      Example: Government financial support to rural development in a low income transition country.

  • Start writing before you are “ready”!

    • Write down the first sketch of your ideas

      Example: Compare the cost of credit subsidies and guarantees.

  • Find relevant books and articles

    • Browse and read some; they will lead you to new sources

  • Update your ideas for your project

    • Write down the second sketch of your ideas

      Example: Incentive problems in provision of credit guarantees and subsidies

The survey paper

The survey paper

  • Start writing before you are ready!

  • Write the literature survey paper based on:

    • Initial sketches of your argument

    • Comprehensive review of literature

      • international (western) literature

      • other transition, developing countries experience

      • local literature

    • 5 to 10 pages should be enough

  • Do not say:

    • There in nothing written about my topic.

    • Search for applicable and similar papers.

Your comparative advantages

Your comparative advantages

  • Local knowledge = your comparative advantage

    • Keep it down to earth

      • collect the descriptive information about your topic in country and region

      • use local language sources - government reports, statistics, newspapers, studies

      • if possible compare approaches in different comparable countries in your region

      • Example: K. Janda, M. Cajka: Czech and Slovak Agricultural Financial Institutions, IES WP 84, 2005

  • Make original contribution by merging international theory and local knowledge and data

The first draft of description

The first draft of description

  • Start writing before you are “ready”!

  • Write the first draft of the descriptive paper:

    • Remember your comparative advantages

    • Be aware that information which may be obvious to economists in your country and industry, may be helpful contribution to international literature.

    • Typically it could be 15 to 25 pages long

      Example: Brokes, G., Donhauser, F., and Janda, K.: The Effectiveness of Agricultural Credit Market in the CR, Research Paper, PAU of Czech Ministry of Agriculture, 1996

Getting ready

Getting ready!

  • Work on theory – think about applications of theoretical models to the specific situation in your country

  • Start writing before you are “ready”!

    Example: Janda, K. Credit Rationing Under Asymmetric Information and the Fund of Guarantees for Agriculture and Forestry, CERGE-EI WP 70, 1994

Now you are ready

Now you are ready!

  • Finish the project = write final paper by

    • integrating theoretical contribution with

    • the policy relevant institutions in your country

    • adding a conclusion

    • writing an introduction

    • doing all the formal technicalities

      Example: Janda, K. The Quantitative and Qualitative Analysis of the Budget Cost of the Czech SGAFF, IES WP 86, 2005.

  • Note good ideas for the related research projects!

  • Example: SBC and bankruptcy in Janda, K., Bankruptcy Procedures with Ex Post Moral Hazard, IES WP 61, 2004

Time management

Time management

  • Where to find a time to do it all?

  • Synergize:

    • your research topic should be related to your other work

    • use it for dissertation/qualification for higher degrees

    • write more than one masterpiece “when you are ready”

    • write a number of smaller papers “before you are ready” and submit them and present them at various forums

Sequence of research output

Sequence of research output

  • Scientific output should undergo a “testing procedure” as

    • discussion paper

    • working paper,

    • part of project report

    • chapter in book (takes longer to publish)

    • peer-reviewed journal articles (takes very long to publish)

  • Different outlets for your output

    • electronic versions, hard copy versions,

    • ISBN (books), ISSN (journals) helpful

Technical details of a paper

Technical details of a paper

  • Complying with the formal standards is a must!

    • Ideally, use a software package to do it

      (e.g. EndNote = bibliographic software,

      or LATEX family)

    • Otherwise you need to do it manually.

      • See examples on the following slides

Front page of paper

Front page of paper

  • [Title] The Comparative Statics of the Effects of Credit Guarantees ...

  • [Author] KAREL JANDA*

  • Abstract

  • We compare the effects of government credit subsidies ...

  • Keywords: Transition, Credit, Subsidies, Guarantees.

  • JEL Classification: D82, G28, P31 [see]

  • Acknowledgements:

  • The work on this paper was supported by the research project of

  • the Czech Ministry of Education, grant number MSM 0021620841.

  • *Department of Microeconomics and Mathematical Methods,

  • Charles University, Opletalova 26, CZ–110 00 Prague

  • E-mail: [email protected]

Typical structure content

Typical structure/content

  • Theoretical paper (Comparative Statics of …)

  • 1 Introduction

  • 2 The Model

  • 3 The Solution of the Model

  • 3.1 Lump-sum Guarantees

  • 3.2 Interest Rate Subsidies

  • 4 Conclusions

  • Appendix - The Solution of the Asymmetric Information Problem

Typical structure content1

Typical structure/content

  • Empirical paper,

    • e.g. Janda, Munich: The IIT of the CR in the Economic Transition

  • 1 Introduction

  • 2 Czech Trade in Transition

  • 3 Structure of the Czech Trade

  • 4 Measurement of IIT

  • 5 Empirical Results

  • 6 Conclusions

  • Convenient automated features: LATEX - table of contents,

  • references, titles, KEEPING UNIFIED STRUCTURE, not forgetting references

Don t bother with formatting

Don’t bother with formatting

  • @TECHREPORT{Janda_2005WP,

  • AUTHOR = "Karel Janda",

  • TITLE = "The Comparative Statics of the Effects of Credit Guarantees and Subsidies",


  • TYPE = "Working Paper",

  • NUMBER = "82",

  • ADDRESS = "Prague, Czech Republic",

  • MONTH = "",

  • YEAR = "2005“}

  • Karel Janda. The comparative statics.... Working Paper 82,

  • IES FSV UK, Prague, Czech Republic, 2005.

  • Janda, K. (2005). The comparative statics.... Working Paper 82,

  • IES FSV UK, Prague, Czech Republic.



  • References

  • [1] Chinneck, J. W. How to organize your thesis.

  • Carleton University, September 1999.

  • [2] Hamermesh, D. S. The young economist’s guide to professional etiquette. Journal of Economic Perspectives 6, 1 (Winter 1992), 169–179.

  • [3] Levine, J. Writing and presenting your thesis or dissertation.

  • Michigan State University, September 2005.

  • [4] Qaim, M. Guidelines for writing academic papers in

  • agricultural economics. University of Hohenheim, August 2005.

  • [5] Thomson, W. The young person’s guide to writing economic

  • theory. Journal of Economic Literature 37, 1 (March 1999), 157–183.

Good ideas for thinking about

Good ideas for “thinking about”

  • “Thinking about it” stage

    • do not eliminate ideas too quickly

    • write down your ideas

    • set a realistic goal

    • set time lines

    • try a preliminary study

  • Tailor your study. Ask some of the following questions:

    • what will the paper be used for?

    • by what channels will it circulate?

    • who are all the people, who may read your text?

    • what is their educational background?

    • what are your readers concerned with?

    • what are their goals, values, needs, constraints?

    • how will you make it easy for busy people to read and use?

    • what are the most effective arguments and approaches to raise interest

    • among your readers and convince them?

    • what objections might your readers raise?

Good ideas for writing

Good ideas for writing

  • Writing stage

    • begin writing with sections you know the best

    • read papers by others before you begin


      Economics Education and Research Consortium (EERC)

    • introduce tables in the text, present it, describe it

    • write real conclusions and implications - don’t restate findings

    • make your Suggestions for Further Research meaningful

    • use “we” form instead of “I” form

    • minimize footnotes

    • Abstract, Introduction, Conclusions - really important parts

Introduction conclusion abstract

Introduction, Conclusion, Abstract

  • Introduction

    • explain the topic of the paper and put it into a broader context

    • clearly state the paper’s objective

    • emphasize the importance of your contribution

    • name the concrete research questions

    • mention the methodological approach and data sources

    • give a short overview of the structure

  • Conclusion

    • summarize

    • raise questions for further research

  • Abstract

    • your audience reads it to decide whether to read the paper

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