The structural elements to be applied in academic writing depend on the nature of the research project. Manifestations of academic writing range from student assignments and term papers to doctoral theses and other forms of complex research documentations. Some structural elements are always used in research papers. Other structural elements are optionally or selectively used. Technically, research papers can be divided into four sections: addments, directories, main body and annex. Each of these sections contains different structural elements that have to be applied in accordance with the formal instructions laid out in academic style guides. Although the applicable rules may vary according to the field of research, some commonalities for structural elements exist. These commonalities may be based on logical considerations or result from traditional academic conventions. Important elements to be discussed in this chapter are cover page, abstract, outline, directories, main body, bibliography and list of references, glossary and appendix, declaration of originality as well as data carrier and electronic storage media.
Link to e-learning videos: Overview of chapter 7
Every research project requires the sourcing of information in the form of literature and/or empirical data. Different types of literature, each with individual characteristics, can be used in academic research. It is important to understand the specific categories of literature, such as monographs and textbooks, articles in academic journals, concise dictionaries, edited works, working papers, conference proceedings, white papers and green papers, technical papers, consultation papers, manuals as well as legal sources and documents. Given the variety of literature sources, an academic appraisal of references with respect to their citability and credibility is essential. The existence of a peer review process can signify the academic quality of journal articles. Furthermore, the consultation of citation indices and journal rankings may help to identify acceptable references. Grey literature in particular, which is literature that is not commercially published and distributed, needs to be appraised with respect to its citability. Information access and retrieval can take place via the Internet or in a library. Library catalogues and databases allow for a literature search that uses individual search logic in order to identify adequate references.
Link to e-learning videos: Overview of chapter 6