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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