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Research Recommendations – Guiding policy-makers for evidence-based decision making

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Research recommendations play a crucial role in guiding scholars and researchers toward fruitful avenues of exploration. In an era marked by rapid technological advancements and an ever-expanding knowledge base, refining the process of generating research recommendations becomes imperative.

But, what is a research recommendation?

Research recommendations are suggestions or advice provided to researchers to guide their study on a specific topic . They are typically given by experts in the field. Research recommendations are more action-oriented and provide specific guidance for decision-makers, unlike implications that are broader and focus on the broader significance and consequences of the research findings. However, both are crucial components of a research study.

Difference Between Research Recommendations and Implication

Although research recommendations and implications are distinct components of a research study, they are closely related. The differences between them are as follows:

Difference between research recommendation and implication

Types of Research Recommendations

Recommendations in research can take various forms, which are as follows:

These recommendations aim to assist researchers in navigating the vast landscape of academic knowledge.

Let us dive deeper to know about its key components and the steps to write an impactful research recommendation.

Key Components of Research Recommendations

The key components of research recommendations include defining the research question or objective, specifying research methods, outlining data collection and analysis processes, presenting results and conclusions, addressing limitations, and suggesting areas for future research. Here are some characteristics of research recommendations:

Characteristics of research recommendation

Research recommendations offer various advantages and play a crucial role in ensuring that research findings contribute to positive outcomes in various fields. However, they also have few limitations which highlights the significance of a well-crafted research recommendation in offering the promised advantages.

Advantages and limitations of a research recommendation

The importance of research recommendations ranges in various fields, influencing policy-making, program development, product development, marketing strategies, medical practice, and scientific research. Their purpose is to transfer knowledge from researchers to practitioners, policymakers, or stakeholders, facilitating informed decision-making and improving outcomes in different domains.

How to Write Research Recommendations?

Research recommendations can be generated through various means, including algorithmic approaches, expert opinions, or collaborative filtering techniques. Here is a step-wise guide to build your understanding on the development of research recommendations.

1. Understand the Research Question:

Understand the research question and objectives before writing recommendations. Also, ensure that your recommendations are relevant and directly address the goals of the study.

2. Review Existing Literature:

Familiarize yourself with relevant existing literature to help you identify gaps , and offer informed recommendations that contribute to the existing body of research.

3. Consider Research Methods:

Evaluate the appropriateness of different research methods in addressing the research question. Also, consider the nature of the data, the study design, and the specific objectives.

4. Identify Data Collection Techniques:

Gather dataset from diverse authentic sources. Include information such as keywords, abstracts, authors, publication dates, and citation metrics to provide a rich foundation for analysis.

5. Propose Data Analysis Methods:

Suggest appropriate data analysis methods based on the type of data collected. Consider whether statistical analysis, qualitative analysis, or a mixed-methods approach is most suitable.

6. Consider Limitations and Ethical Considerations:

Acknowledge any limitations and potential ethical considerations of the study. Furthermore, address these limitations or mitigate ethical concerns to ensure responsible research.

7. Justify Recommendations:

Explain how your recommendation contributes to addressing the research question or objective. Provide a strong rationale to help researchers understand the importance of following your suggestions.

8. Summarize Recommendations:

Provide a concise summary at the end of the report to emphasize how following these recommendations will contribute to the overall success of the research project.

By following these steps, you can create research recommendations that are actionable and contribute meaningfully to the success of the research project.

Download now to unlock some tips to improve your journey of writing research recommendations.

Example of a Research Recommendation

Here is an example of a research recommendation based on a hypothetical research to improve your understanding.

Research Recommendation: Enhancing Student Learning through Integrated Learning Platforms


The research study investigated the impact of an integrated learning platform on student learning outcomes in high school mathematics classes. The findings revealed a statistically significant improvement in student performance and engagement when compared to traditional teaching methods.


In light of the research findings, it is recommended that educational institutions consider adopting and integrating the identified learning platform into their mathematics curriculum. The following specific recommendations are provided:

  • Implementation of the Integrated Learning Platform:

Schools are encouraged to adopt the integrated learning platform in mathematics classrooms, ensuring proper training for teachers on its effective utilization.

  • Professional Development for Educators:

Develop and implement professional programs to train educators in the effective use of the integrated learning platform to address any challenges teachers may face during the transition.

  • Monitoring and Evaluation:

Establish a monitoring and evaluation system to track the impact of the integrated learning platform on student performance over time.

  • Resource Allocation:

Allocate sufficient resources, both financial and technical, to support the widespread implementation of the integrated learning platform.

By implementing these recommendations, educational institutions can harness the potential of the integrated learning platform and enhance student learning experiences and academic achievements in mathematics.

This example covers the components of a research recommendation, providing specific actions based on the research findings, identifying the target audience, and outlining practical steps for implementation.

Using AI in Research Recommendation Writing

Enhancing research recommendations is an ongoing endeavor that requires the integration of cutting-edge technologies, collaborative efforts, and ethical considerations. By embracing data-driven approaches and leveraging advanced technologies, the research community can create more effective and personalized recommendation systems. However, it is accompanied by several limitations. Therefore, it is essential to approach the use of AI in research with a critical mindset, and complement its capabilities with human expertise and judgment.

Here are some limitations of integrating AI in writing research recommendation and some ways on how to counter them.

1. Data Bias

AI systems rely heavily on data for training. If the training data is biased or incomplete, the AI model may produce biased results or recommendations.

How to tackle: Audit regularly the model’s performance to identify any discrepancies and adjust the training data and algorithms accordingly.

2. Lack of Understanding of Context:

AI models may struggle to understand the nuanced context of a particular research problem. They may misinterpret information, leading to inaccurate recommendations.

How to tackle: Use AI to characterize research articles and topics. Employ them to extract features like keywords, authorship patterns and content-based details.

3. Ethical Considerations:

AI models might stereotype certain concepts or generate recommendations that could have negative consequences for certain individuals or groups.

How to tackle: Incorporate user feedback mechanisms to reduce redundancies. Establish an ethics review process for AI models in research recommendation writing.

4. Lack of Creativity and Intuition:

AI may struggle with tasks that require a deep understanding of the underlying principles or the ability to think outside the box.

How to tackle: Hybrid approaches can be employed by integrating AI in data analysis and identifying patterns for accelerating the data interpretation process.

5. Interpretability:

Many AI models, especially complex deep learning models, lack transparency on how the model arrived at a particular recommendation.

How to tackle: Implement models like decision trees or linear models. Provide clear explanation of the model architecture, training process, and decision-making criteria.

6. Dynamic Nature of Research:

Research fields are dynamic, and new information is constantly emerging. AI models may struggle to keep up with the rapidly changing landscape and may not be able to adapt to new developments.

How to tackle: Establish a feedback loop for continuous improvement. Regularly update the recommendation system based on user feedback and emerging research trends.

The integration of AI in research recommendation writing holds great promise for advancing knowledge and streamlining the research process. However, navigating these concerns is pivotal in ensuring the responsible deployment of these technologies. Researchers need to understand the use of responsible use of AI in research and must be aware of the ethical considerations.

Exploring research recommendations plays a critical role in shaping the trajectory of scientific inquiry. It serves as a compass, guiding researchers toward more robust methodologies, collaborative endeavors, and innovative approaches. Embracing these suggestions not only enhances the quality of individual studies but also contributes to the collective advancement of human understanding.

Frequently Asked Questions

The purpose of recommendations in research is to provide practical and actionable suggestions based on the study's findings, guiding future actions, policies, or interventions in a specific field or context. Recommendations bridges the gap between research outcomes and their real-world application.

To make a research recommendation, analyze your findings, identify key insights, and propose specific, evidence-based actions. Include the relevance of the recommendations to the study's objectives and provide practical steps for implementation.

Begin a recommendation by succinctly summarizing the key findings of the research. Clearly state the purpose of the recommendation and its intended impact. Use a direct and actionable language to convey the suggested course of action.

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The Ultimate Guide to Crafting Impactful Recommendations in Research

Harish M

Are you ready to take your research to the next level? Crafting impactful recommendations is the key to unlocking the full potential of your study. By providing clear, actionable suggestions based on your findings, you can bridge the gap between research and real-world application.

In this ultimate guide, we'll show you how to write recommendations that make a difference in your research report or paper.

You'll learn how to craft specific, actionable recommendations that connect seamlessly with your research findings. Whether you're a student, writer, teacher, or journalist, this guide will help you master the art of writing recommendations in research. Let's get started and make your research count!

Understanding the Purpose of Recommendations

Recommendations in research serve as a vital bridge between your findings and their real-world applications. They provide specific, action-oriented suggestions to guide future studies and decision-making processes. Let's dive into the key purposes of crafting effective recommendations:

Guiding Future Research

Research recommendations play a crucial role in steering scholars and researchers towards promising avenues of exploration. By highlighting gaps in current knowledge and proposing new research questions, recommendations help advance the field and drive innovation.

Influencing Decision-Making

Well-crafted recommendations have the power to shape policies, programs, and strategies across various domains, such as:

  • Policy-making
  • Product development
  • Marketing strategies
  • Medical practice

By providing clear, evidence-based suggestions, recommendations facilitate informed decision-making and improve outcomes.

Connecting Research to Practice

Recommendations act as a conduit for transferring knowledge from researchers to practitioners, policymakers, and stakeholders. They bridge the gap between academic findings and their practical applications, ensuring that research insights are effectively translated into real-world solutions.

Enhancing Research Impact

By crafting impactful recommendations, you can amplify the reach and influence of your research, attracting attention from peers, funding agencies, and decision-makers.

Addressing Limitations

Recommendations provide an opportunity to acknowledge and address the limitations of your study. By suggesting concrete and actionable possibilities for future research, you demonstrate a thorough understanding of your work's scope and potential areas for improvement.

Identifying Areas for Future Research

Discovering research gaps is a crucial step in crafting impactful recommendations. It involves reviewing existing studies and identifying unanswered questions or problems that warrant further investigation. Here are some strategies to help you identify areas for future research:

Explore Research Limitations

Take a close look at the limitations section of relevant studies. These limitations often provide valuable insights into potential areas for future research. Consider how addressing these limitations could enhance our understanding of the topic at hand.

Critically Analyze Discussion and Future Research Sections

When reading articles, pay special attention to the discussion and future research sections. These sections often highlight gaps in the current knowledge base and propose avenues for further exploration. Take note of any recurring themes or unanswered questions that emerge across multiple studies.

Utilize Targeted Search Terms

To streamline your search for research gaps, use targeted search terms such as "literature gap" or "future research" in combination with your subject keywords. This approach can help you quickly identify articles that explicitly discuss areas for future investigation.

Seek Guidance from Experts

Don't hesitate to reach out to your research advisor or other experts in your field. Their wealth of knowledge and experience can provide valuable insights into potential research gaps and emerging trends.

By employing these strategies, you'll be well-equipped to identify research gaps and craft recommendations that push the boundaries of current knowledge. Remember, the goal is to refine your research questions and focus your efforts on areas where more understanding is needed.

Structuring Your Recommendations

When it comes to structuring your recommendations, it's essential to keep them concise, organized, and tailored to your audience. Here are some key tips to help you craft impactful recommendations:

Prioritize and Organize

  • Limit your recommendations to the most relevant and targeted suggestions for your peers or colleagues in the field.
  • Place your recommendations at the end of the report, as they are often top of mind for readers.
  • Write your recommendations in order of priority, with the most important ones for decision-makers coming first.

Use a Clear and Actionable Format

  • Write recommendations in a clear, concise manner using actionable words derived from the data analyzed in your research.
  • Use bullet points instead of long paragraphs for clarity and readability.
  • Ensure that your recommendations are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely (SMART).

Connect Recommendations to Research

By following this simple formula, you can ensure that your recommendations are directly connected to your research and supported by a clear rationale.

Tailor to Your Audience

  • Consider the needs and interests of your target audience when crafting your recommendations.
  • Explain how your recommendations can solve the issues explored in your research.
  • Acknowledge any limitations or constraints of your study that may impact the implementation of your recommendations.

Avoid Common Pitfalls

  • Don't undermine your own work by suggesting incomplete or unnecessary recommendations.
  • Avoid using recommendations as a place for self-criticism or introducing new information not covered in your research.
  • Ensure that your recommendations are achievable and comprehensive, offering practical solutions for the issues considered in your paper.

By structuring your recommendations effectively, you can enhance the reliability and validity of your research findings, provide valuable strategies and suggestions for future research, and deliver impactful solutions to real-world problems.

Crafting Actionable and Specific Recommendations

Crafting actionable and specific recommendations is the key to ensuring your research findings have a real-world impact. Here are some essential tips to keep in mind:

Embrace Flexibility and Feasibility

Your recommendations should be open to discussion and new information, rather than being set in stone. Consider the following:

  • Be realistic and considerate of your team's capabilities when making recommendations.
  • Prioritize recommendations based on impact and reach, but be prepared to adjust based on team effort levels.
  • Focus on solutions that require the fewest changes first, adopting an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) approach.

Provide Detailed and Justified Recommendations

To avoid vagueness and misinterpretation, ensure your recommendations are:

  • Detailed, including photos, videos, or screenshots whenever possible.
  • Justified based on research findings, providing alternatives when findings don't align with expectations or business goals.

Use this formula when writing recommendations:

Observed problem/pain point/unmet need + consequence + potential solution

Adopt a Solution-Oriented Approach

Foster collaboration and participation.

  • Promote staff education on current research and create strategies to encourage adoption of promising clinical protocols.
  • Include representatives from the treatment community in the development of the research initiative and the review of proposals.
  • Require active, early, and permanent participation of treatment staff in the development, implementation, and interpretation of the study.

Tailor Recommendations to the Opportunity

When writing recommendations for a specific opportunity or program:

  • Highlight the strengths and qualifications of the researcher.
  • Provide specific examples of their work and accomplishments.
  • Explain how their research has contributed to the field.
  • Emphasize the researcher's potential for future success and their unique contributions.

By following these guidelines, you'll craft actionable and specific recommendations that drive meaningful change and showcase the value of your research.

Connecting Recommendations with Research Findings

Connecting your recommendations with research findings is crucial for ensuring the credibility and impact of your suggestions. Here's how you can seamlessly link your recommendations to the evidence uncovered in your study:

Grounding Recommendations in Research

Your recommendations should be firmly rooted in the data and insights gathered during your research process. Avoid including measures or suggestions that were not discussed or supported by your study findings. This approach ensures that your recommendations are evidence-based and directly relevant to the research at hand.

Highlighting the Significance of Collaboration

Research collaborations offer a wealth of benefits that can enhance an agency's competitive position. Consider the following factors when discussing the importance of collaboration in your recommendations:

  • Organizational Development: Participation in research collaborations depends on an agency's stage of development, compatibility with its mission and culture, and financial stability.
  • Trust-Building: Long-term collaboration success often hinges on a history of increasing involvement and trust between partners.
  • Infrastructure: A permanent infrastructure that facilitates long-term development is key to successful collaborative programs.

Emphasizing Commitment and Participation

Fostering quality improvement and organizational learning.

In your recommendations, highlight the importance of enhancing quality improvement strategies and fostering organizational learning. Show sensitivity to the needs and constraints of community-based programs, as this understanding is crucial for effective collaboration and implementation.

Addressing Limitations and Implications

If not already addressed in the discussion section, your recommendations should mention the limitations of the study and their implications. Examples of limitations include:

  • Sample size or composition
  • Participant attrition
  • Study duration

By acknowledging these limitations, you demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of your research and its potential impact.

By connecting your recommendations with research findings, you provide a solid foundation for your suggestions, emphasize the significance of collaboration, and showcase the potential for future research and practical applications.

Crafting impactful recommendations is a vital skill for any researcher looking to bridge the gap between their findings and real-world applications. By understanding the purpose of recommendations, identifying areas for future research, structuring your suggestions effectively, and connecting them to your research findings, you can unlock the full potential of your study. Remember to prioritize actionable, specific, and evidence-based recommendations that foster collaboration and drive meaningful change.

As you embark on your research journey, embrace the power of well-crafted recommendations to amplify the impact of your work. By following the guidelines outlined in this ultimate guide, you'll be well-equipped to write recommendations that resonate with your audience, inspire further investigation, and contribute to the advancement of your field. So go forth, make your research count, and let your recommendations be the catalyst for positive change.

Q: What are the steps to formulating recommendations in research? A: To formulate recommendations in research, you should first gain a thorough understanding of the research question. Review the existing literature to inform your recommendations and consider the research methods that were used. Identify which data collection techniques were employed and propose suitable data analysis methods. It's also essential to consider any limitations and ethical considerations of your research. Justify your recommendations clearly and finally, provide a summary of your recommendations.

Q: Why are recommendations significant in research studies? A: Recommendations play a crucial role in research as they form a key part of the analysis phase. They provide specific suggestions for interventions or strategies that address the problems and limitations discovered during the study. Recommendations are a direct response to the main findings derived from data collection and analysis, and they can guide future actions or research.

Q: Can you outline the seven steps involved in writing a research paper? A: Certainly. The seven steps to writing an excellent research paper include:

  • Allowing yourself sufficient time to complete the paper.
  • Defining the scope of your essay and crafting a clear thesis statement.
  • Conducting a thorough yet focused search for relevant research materials.
  • Reading the research materials carefully and taking detailed notes.
  • Writing your paper based on the information you've gathered and analyzed.
  • Editing your paper to ensure clarity, coherence, and correctness.
  • Submitting your paper following the guidelines provided.

Q: What tips can help make a research paper more effective? A: To enhance the effectiveness of a research paper, plan for the extensive process ahead and understand your audience. Decide on the structure your research writing will take and describe your methodology clearly. Write in a straightforward and clear manner, avoiding the use of clichés or overly complex language.

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Writing the parts of scientific reports

22 Writing the conclusion & recommendations

There are probably some overlaps between the Conclusion and the Discussion section. Nevertheless, this section gives you the opportunity to highlight the most important points in your report, and is sometimes the only section read. Think about what your research/ study has achieved, and the most important findings and ideas you want the reader to know. As all studies have limitations also think about what you were not able to cover (this shows that you are able to evaluate your own work objectively).

Possible structure of this section:

what to write in the recommendation of a research paper

Use present perfect to sum up/ evaluate:

This study has explored/ has attempted …

Use past tense to state what your aim was and to refer to actions you carried out:

  • This study was intended to analyse …
  • The aim of this study was to …

Use present tense to evaluate your study and to state the generalizations and implications that you draw from your findings.

  • The results add to the knowledge of …
  • These findings s uggest that …

You can either use present tense or past tense to summarize your results.

  • The findings reveal …
  • It was found that …

Achievements of this study (positive)

  • This study provides evidence that …
  • This work has contributed to a number of key issues in the field such as …

Limitations of the study (negative)

  • Several limitations should be noted. First …

Combine positive and negative remarks to give a balanced assessment:

  • Although this research is somewhat limited in scope, its findings can provide a basis for future studies.
  • Despite the limitations, findings from the present study can help us understand …

Use more cautious language (modal verbs may, can, could)

  • There are a number of possible extensions of this research …
  • The findings suggest the possibility for future research on …
  • These results may be important for future studies on …
  • Examining a wider context could/ would lead …

Or indicate that future research is needed

  • There is still a need for future research to determine …
  • Further studies should be undertaken to discover…
  • It would be worthwhile to investigate …

what to write in the recommendation of a research paper

Academic Writing in a Swiss University Context Copyright © 2018 by Irene Dietrichs. All Rights Reserved.

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How to formulate research recommendations

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  • Peer review
  • Polly Brown ( pbrown{at}bmjgroup.com ) , publishing manager 1 ,
  • Klara Brunnhuber , clinical editor 1 ,
  • Kalipso Chalkidou , associate director, research and development 2 ,
  • Iain Chalmers , director 3 ,
  • Mike Clarke , director 4 ,
  • Mark Fenton , editor 3 ,
  • Carol Forbes , reviews manager 5 ,
  • Julie Glanville , associate director/information service manager 5 ,
  • Nicholas J Hicks , consultant in public health medicine 6 ,
  • Janet Moody , identification and prioritisation manager 6 ,
  • Sara Twaddle , director 7 ,
  • Hazim Timimi , systems developer 8 ,
  • Pamela Young , senior programme manager 6
  • 1 BMJ Publishing Group, London WC1H 9JR,
  • 2 National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, London WC1V 6NA,
  • 3 Database of Uncertainties about the Effects of Treatments, James Lind Alliance Secretariat, James Lind Initiative, Oxford OX2 7LG,
  • 4 UK Cochrane Centre, Oxford OX2 7LG,
  • 5 Centre for Reviews and Dissemination, University of York, York YO10 5DD,
  • 6 National Coordinating Centre for Health Technology Assessment, University of Southampton, Southampton SO16 7PX,
  • 7 Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network, Edinburgh EH2 1EN,
  • 8 Update Software, Oxford OX2 7LG
  • Correspondence to: PBrown
  • Accepted 22 September 2006

“More research is needed” is a conclusion that fits most systematic reviews. But authors need to be more specific about what exactly is required

Long awaited reports of new research, systematic reviews, and clinical guidelines are too often a disappointing anticlimax for those wishing to use them to direct future research. After many months or years of effort and intellectual energy put into these projects, authors miss the opportunity to identify unanswered questions and outstanding gaps in the evidence. Most reports contain only a less than helpful, general research recommendation. This means that the potential value of these recommendations is lost.

Current recommendations

In 2005, representatives of organisations commissioning and summarising research, including the BMJ Publishing Group, the Centre for Reviews and Dissemination, the National Coordinating Centre for Health Technology Assessment, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network, and the UK Cochrane Centre, met as members of the development group for the Database of Uncertainties about the Effects of Treatments (see bmj.com for details on all participating organisations). Our aim was to discuss the state of research recommendations within our organisations and to develop guidelines for improving the presentation of proposals for further research. All organisations had found weaknesses in the way researchers and authors of systematic reviews and clinical guidelines stated the need for further research. As part of the project, a member of the Centre for Reviews and Dissemination under-took a rapid literature search to identify information on research recommendation models, which found some individual methods but no group initiatives to attempt to standardise recommendations.

Suggested format for research recommendations on the effects of treatments

Core elements.

E Evidence (What is the current state of the evidence?)

P Population (What is the population of interest?)

I Intervention (What are the interventions of interest?)

C Comparison (What are the comparisons of interest?)

O Outcome (What are the outcomes of interest?)

T Time stamp (Date of recommendation)

Optional elements

d Disease burden or relevance

t Time aspect of core elements of EPICOT

s Appropriate study type according to local need

In January 2006, the National Coordinating Centre for Health Technology Assessment presented the findings of an initial comparative analysis of how different organisations currently structure their research recommendations. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence and the National Coordinating Centre for Health Technology Assessment request authors to present recommendations in a four component format for formulating well built clinical questions around treatments: population, intervention, comparison, and outcomes (PICO). 1 In addition, the research recommendation is dated and authors are asked to provide the current state of the evidence to support the proposal.

Clinical Evidence , although not directly standardising its sections for research recommendations, presents gaps in the evidence using a slightly extended version of the PICO format: evidence, population, intervention, comparison, outcomes, and time (EPICOT). Clinical Evidence has used this inherent structure to feed research recommendations on interventions categorised as “unknown effectiveness” back to the National Coordinating Centre for Health Technology Assessment and for inclusion in the Database of Uncertainties about the Effects of Treatments ( http://www.duets.nhs.uk/ ).

We decided to propose the EPICOT format as the basis for its statement on formulating research recommendations and tested this proposal through discussion and example. We agreed that this set of components provided enough context for formulating research recommendations without limiting researchers. In order for the proposed framework to be flexible and more widely applicable, the group discussed using several optional components when they seemed relevant or were proposed by one or more of the group members. The final outcome of discussions resulted in the proposed EPICOT+ format (box).

A recent BMJ article highlighted how lack of research hinders the applicability of existing guidelines to patients in primary care who have had a stroke or transient ischaemic attack. 2 Most research in the area had been conducted in younger patients with a recent episode and in a hospital setting. The authors concluded that “further evidence should be collected on the efficacy and adverse effects of intensive blood pressure lowering in representative populations before we implement this guidance [from national and international guidelines] in primary care.” Table 1 outlines how their recommendations could be formulated using the EPICOT+ format. The decision on whether additional research is indeed clinically and ethically warranted will still lie with the organisation considering commissioning the research.

Research recommendation based on gap in the evidence identified by a cross sectional study of clinical guidelines for management of patients who have had a stroke

  • View inline

Table 2 shows the use of EPICOT+ for an unanswered question on the effectiveness of compliance therapy in people with schizophrenia, identified by the Database of Uncertainties about the Effects of Treatments.

Research recommendation based on a gap in the evidence on treatment of schizophrenia identified by the Database of Uncertainties about the Effects of Treatments

Discussions around optional elements

Although the group agreed that the PICO elements should be core requirements for a research recommendation, intense discussion centred on the inclusion of factors defining a more detailed context, such as current state of evidence (E), appropriate study type (s), disease burden and relevance (d), and timeliness (t).

Initially, group members interpreted E differently. Some viewed it as the supporting evidence for a research recommendation and others as the suggested study type for a research recommendation. After discussion, we agreed that E should be used to refer to the amount and quality of research supporting the recommendation. However, the issue remained contentious as some of us thought that if a systematic review was available, its reference would sufficiently identify the strength of the existing evidence. Others thought that adding evidence to the set of core elements was important as it provided a summary of the supporting evidence, particularly as the recommendation was likely to be abstracted and used separately from the review or research that led to its formulation. In contrast, the suggested study type (s) was left as an optional element.

A research recommendation will rarely have an absolute value in itself. Its relative priority will be influenced by the burden of ill health (d), which is itself dependent on factors such as local prevalence, disease severity, relevant risk factors, and the priorities of the organisation considering commissioning the research.

Similarly, the issue of time (t) could be seen to be relevant to each of the core elements in varying ways—for example, duration of treatment, length of follow-up. The group therefore agreed that time had a subsidiary role within each core item; however, T as the date of the recommendation served to define its shelf life and therefore retained individual importance.

Applicability and usability

The proposed statement on research recommendations applies to uncertainties of the effects of any form of health intervention or treatment and is intended for research in humans rather than basic scientific research. Further investigation is required to assess the applicability of the format for questions around diagnosis, signs and symptoms, prognosis, investigations, and patient preference.

When the proposed format is applied to a specific research recommendation, the emphasis placed on the relevant part(s) of the EPICOT+ format may vary by author, audience, and intended purpose. For example, a recommendation for research into treatments for transient ischaemic attack may or may not define valid outcome measures to assess quality of life or gather data on adverse effects. Among many other factors, its implementation will also depend on the strength of current findings—that is, strong evidence may support a tightly focused recommendation whereas a lack of evidence would result in a more general recommendation.

The controversy within the group, especially around the optional components, reflects the different perspectives of the participating organisations—whether they were involved in commissioning, undertaking, or summarising research. Further issues will arise during the implementation of the proposed format, and we welcome feedback and discussion.

Summary points

No common guidelines exist for the formulation of recommendations for research on the effects of treatments

Major organisations involved in commissioning or summarising research compared their approaches and agreed on core questions

The essential items can be summarised as EPICOT+ (evidence, population, intervention, comparison, outcome, and time)

Further details, such as disease burden and appropriate study type, should be considered as required

We thank Patricia Atkinson and Jeremy Wyatt.

Contributors and sources All authors contributed to manuscript preparation and approved the final draft. NJH is the guarantor.

Competing interests None declared.

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  • Wilson MC ,
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  • PROGRESS Collaborative Group
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what to write in the recommendation of a research paper

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The conclusion is intended to help the reader understand why your research should matter to them after they have finished reading the paper. A conclusion is not merely a summary of the main topics covered or a re-statement of your research problem, but a synthesis of key points derived from the findings of your study and, if applicable, where you recommend new areas for future research. For most college-level research papers, two or three well-developed paragraphs is sufficient for a conclusion, although in some cases, more paragraphs may be required in describing the key findings and their significance.

Conclusions. The Writing Center. University of North Carolina; Conclusions. The Writing Lab and The OWL. Purdue University.

Importance of a Good Conclusion

A well-written conclusion provides you with important opportunities to demonstrate to the reader your understanding of the research problem. These include:

  • Presenting the last word on the issues you raised in your paper . Just as the introduction gives a first impression to your reader, the conclusion offers a chance to leave a lasting impression. Do this, for example, by highlighting key findings in your analysis that advance new understanding about the research problem, that are unusual or unexpected, or that have important implications applied to practice.
  • Summarizing your thoughts and conveying the larger significance of your study . The conclusion is an opportunity to succinctly re-emphasize  your answer to the "So What?" question by placing the study within the context of how your research advances past research about the topic.
  • Identifying how a gap in the literature has been addressed . The conclusion can be where you describe how a previously identified gap in the literature [first identified in your literature review section] has been addressed by your research and why this contribution is significant.
  • Demonstrating the importance of your ideas . Don't be shy. The conclusion offers an opportunity to elaborate on the impact and significance of your findings. This is particularly important if your study approached examining the research problem from an unusual or innovative perspective.
  • Introducing possible new or expanded ways of thinking about the research problem . This does not refer to introducing new information [which should be avoided], but to offer new insight and creative approaches for framing or contextualizing the research problem based on the results of your study.

Bunton, David. “The Structure of PhD Conclusion Chapters.” Journal of English for Academic Purposes 4 (July 2005): 207–224; Conclusions. The Writing Center. University of North Carolina; Kretchmer, Paul. Twelve Steps to Writing an Effective Conclusion. San Francisco Edit, 2003-2008; Conclusions. The Writing Lab and The OWL. Purdue University; Assan, Joseph. "Writing the Conclusion Chapter: The Good, the Bad and the Missing." Liverpool: Development Studies Association (2009): 1-8.

Structure and Writing Style

I.  General Rules

The general function of your paper's conclusion is to restate the main argument . It reminds the reader of the strengths of your main argument(s) and reiterates the most important evidence supporting those argument(s). Do this by clearly summarizing the context, background, and necessity of pursuing the research problem you investigated in relation to an issue, controversy, or a gap found in the literature. However, make sure that your conclusion is not simply a repetitive summary of the findings. This reduces the impact of the argument(s) you have developed in your paper.

When writing the conclusion to your paper, follow these general rules:

  • Present your conclusions in clear, concise language. Re-state the purpose of your study, then describe how your findings differ or support those of other studies and why [i.e., what were the unique, new, or crucial contributions your study made to the overall research about your topic?].
  • Do not simply reiterate your findings or the discussion of your results. Provide a synthesis of arguments presented in the paper to show how these converge to address the research problem and the overall objectives of your study.
  • Indicate opportunities for future research if you haven't already done so in the discussion section of your paper. Highlighting the need for further research provides the reader with evidence that you have an in-depth awareness of the research problem but that further investigations should take place beyond the scope of your investigation.

Consider the following points to help ensure your conclusion is presented well:

  • If the argument or purpose of your paper is complex, you may need to summarize the argument for your reader.
  • If, prior to your conclusion, you have not yet explained the significance of your findings or if you are proceeding inductively, use the end of your paper to describe your main points and explain their significance.
  • Move from a detailed to a general level of consideration that returns the topic to the context provided by the introduction or within a new context that emerges from the data [this is opposite of the introduction, which begins with general discussion of the context and ends with a detailed description of the research problem]. 

The conclusion also provides a place for you to persuasively and succinctly restate the research problem, given that the reader has now been presented with all the information about the topic . Depending on the discipline you are writing in, the concluding paragraph may contain your reflections on the evidence presented. However, the nature of being introspective about the research you have conducted will depend on the topic and whether your professor wants you to express your observations in this way. If asked to think introspectively about the topics, do not delve into idle speculation. Being introspective means looking within yourself as an author to try and understand an issue more deeply, not to guess at possible outcomes or make up scenarios not supported by the evidence.

II.  Developing a Compelling Conclusion

Although an effective conclusion needs to be clear and succinct, it does not need to be written passively or lack a compelling narrative. Strategies to help you move beyond merely summarizing the key points of your research paper may include any of the following:

  • If your essay deals with a critical, contemporary problem, warn readers of the possible consequences of not attending to the problem proactively.
  • Recommend a specific course or courses of action that, if adopted, could address a specific problem in practice or in the development of new knowledge leading to positive change.
  • Cite a relevant quotation or expert opinion already noted in your paper in order to lend authority and support to the conclusion(s) you have reached [a good source would be from your literature review].
  • Explain the consequences of your research in a way that elicits action or demonstrates urgency in seeking change.
  • Restate a key statistic, fact, or visual image to emphasize the most important finding of your paper.
  • If your discipline encourages personal reflection, illustrate your concluding point by drawing from your own life experiences.
  • Return to an anecdote, an example, or a quotation that you presented in your introduction, but add further insight derived from the findings of your study; use your interpretation of results from your study to recast it in new or important ways.
  • Provide a "take-home" message in the form of a succinct, declarative statement that you want the reader to remember about your study.

III. Problems to Avoid

Failure to be concise Your conclusion section should be concise and to the point. Conclusions that are too lengthy often have unnecessary information in them. The conclusion is not the place for details about your methodology or results. Although you should give a summary of what was learned from your research, this summary should be relatively brief, since the emphasis in the conclusion is on the implications, evaluations, insights, and other forms of analysis that you make. Strategies for writing concisely can be found here .

Failure to comment on larger, more significant issues In the introduction, your task was to move from the general [the field of study] to the specific [the research problem]. However, in the conclusion, your task is to move from a specific discussion [your research problem] back to a general discussion framed around the implications and significance of your findings [i.e., how your research contributes new understanding or fills an important gap in the literature]. In short, the conclusion is where you should place your research within a larger context [visualize your paper as an hourglass--start with a broad introduction and review of the literature, move to the specific analysis and discussion, conclude with a broad summary of the study's implications and significance].

Failure to reveal problems and negative results Negative aspects of the research process should never be ignored. These are problems, deficiencies, or challenges encountered during your study. They should be summarized as a way of qualifying your overall conclusions. If you encountered negative or unintended results [i.e., findings that are validated outside the research context in which they were generated], you must report them in the results section and discuss their implications in the discussion section of your paper. In the conclusion, use negative results as an opportunity to explain their possible significance and/or how they may form the basis for future research.

Failure to provide a clear summary of what was learned In order to be able to discuss how your research fits within your field of study [and possibly the world at large], you need to summarize briefly and succinctly how it contributes to new knowledge or a new understanding about the research problem. This element of your conclusion may be only a few sentences long.

Failure to match the objectives of your research Often research objectives in the social and behavioral sciences change while the research is being carried out. This is not a problem unless you forget to go back and refine the original objectives in your introduction. As these changes emerge they must be documented so that they accurately reflect what you were trying to accomplish in your research [not what you thought you might accomplish when you began].

Resist the urge to apologize If you've immersed yourself in studying the research problem, you presumably should know a good deal about it [perhaps even more than your professor!]. Nevertheless, by the time you have finished writing, you may be having some doubts about what you have produced. Repress those doubts! Don't undermine your authority as a researcher by saying something like, "This is just one approach to examining this problem; there may be other, much better approaches that...." The overall tone of your conclusion should convey confidence to the reader about the study's validity and realiability.

Assan, Joseph. "Writing the Conclusion Chapter: The Good, the Bad and the Missing." Liverpool: Development Studies Association (2009): 1-8; Concluding Paragraphs. College Writing Center at Meramec. St. Louis Community College; Conclusions. The Writing Center. University of North Carolina; Conclusions. The Writing Lab and The OWL. Purdue University; Freedman, Leora  and Jerry Plotnick. Introductions and Conclusions. The Lab Report. University College Writing Centre. University of Toronto; Leibensperger, Summer. Draft Your Conclusion. Academic Center, the University of Houston-Victoria, 2003; Make Your Last Words Count. The Writer’s Handbook. Writing Center. University of Wisconsin Madison; Miquel, Fuster-Marquez and Carmen Gregori-Signes. “Chapter Six: ‘Last but Not Least:’ Writing the Conclusion of Your Paper.” In Writing an Applied Linguistics Thesis or Dissertation: A Guide to Presenting Empirical Research . John Bitchener, editor. (Basingstoke,UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), pp. 93-105; Tips for Writing a Good Conclusion. Writing@CSU. Colorado State University; Kretchmer, Paul. Twelve Steps to Writing an Effective Conclusion. San Francisco Edit, 2003-2008; Writing Conclusions. Writing Tutorial Services, Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning. Indiana University; Writing: Considering Structure and Organization. Institute for Writing Rhetoric. Dartmouth College.

Writing Tip

Don't Belabor the Obvious!

Avoid phrases like "in conclusion...," "in summary...," or "in closing...." These phrases can be useful, even welcome, in oral presentations. But readers can see by the tell-tale section heading and number of pages remaining that they are reaching the end of your paper. You'll irritate your readers if you belabor the obvious.

Assan, Joseph. "Writing the Conclusion Chapter: The Good, the Bad and the Missing." Liverpool: Development Studies Association (2009): 1-8.

Another Writing Tip

New Insight, Not New Information!

Don't surprise the reader with new information in your conclusion that was never referenced anywhere else in the paper. This why the conclusion rarely has citations to sources. If you have new information to present, add it to the discussion or other appropriate section of the paper. Note that, although no new information is introduced, the conclusion, along with the discussion section, is where you offer your most "original" contributions in the paper; the conclusion is where you describe the value of your research, demonstrate that you understand the material that you’ve presented, and position your findings within the larger context of scholarship on the topic, including describing how your research contributes new insights to that scholarship.

Assan, Joseph. "Writing the Conclusion Chapter: The Good, the Bad and the Missing." Liverpool: Development Studies Association (2009): 1-8; Conclusions. The Writing Center. University of North Carolina.

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  • How to Write Discussions and Conclusions

How to Write Discussions and Conclusions

The discussion section contains the results and outcomes of a study. An effective discussion informs readers what can be learned from your experiment and provides context for the results.

What makes an effective discussion?

When you’re ready to write your discussion, you’ve already introduced the purpose of your study and provided an in-depth description of the methodology. The discussion informs readers about the larger implications of your study based on the results. Highlighting these implications while not overstating the findings can be challenging, especially when you’re submitting to a journal that selects articles based on novelty or potential impact. Regardless of what journal you are submitting to, the discussion section always serves the same purpose: concluding what your study results actually mean.

A successful discussion section puts your findings in context. It should include:

  • the results of your research,
  • a discussion of related research, and
  • a comparison between your results and initial hypothesis.

Tip: Not all journals share the same naming conventions.

You can apply the advice in this article to the conclusion, results or discussion sections of your manuscript.

Our Early Career Researcher community tells us that the conclusion is often considered the most difficult aspect of a manuscript to write. To help, this guide provides questions to ask yourself, a basic structure to model your discussion off of and examples from published manuscripts. 

what to write in the recommendation of a research paper

Questions to ask yourself:

  • Was my hypothesis correct?
  • If my hypothesis is partially correct or entirely different, what can be learned from the results? 
  • How do the conclusions reshape or add onto the existing knowledge in the field? What does previous research say about the topic? 
  • Why are the results important or relevant to your audience? Do they add further evidence to a scientific consensus or disprove prior studies? 
  • How can future research build on these observations? What are the key experiments that must be done? 
  • What is the “take-home” message you want your reader to leave with?

How to structure a discussion

Trying to fit a complete discussion into a single paragraph can add unnecessary stress to the writing process. If possible, you’ll want to give yourself two or three paragraphs to give the reader a comprehensive understanding of your study as a whole. Here’s one way to structure an effective discussion:

what to write in the recommendation of a research paper

Writing Tips

While the above sections can help you brainstorm and structure your discussion, there are many common mistakes that writers revert to when having difficulties with their paper. Writing a discussion can be a delicate balance between summarizing your results, providing proper context for your research and avoiding introducing new information. Remember that your paper should be both confident and honest about the results! 

What to do

  • Read the journal’s guidelines on the discussion and conclusion sections. If possible, learn about the guidelines before writing the discussion to ensure you’re writing to meet their expectations. 
  • Begin with a clear statement of the principal findings. This will reinforce the main take-away for the reader and set up the rest of the discussion. 
  • Explain why the outcomes of your study are important to the reader. Discuss the implications of your findings realistically based on previous literature, highlighting both the strengths and limitations of the research. 
  • State whether the results prove or disprove your hypothesis. If your hypothesis was disproved, what might be the reasons? 
  • Introduce new or expanded ways to think about the research question. Indicate what next steps can be taken to further pursue any unresolved questions. 
  • If dealing with a contemporary or ongoing problem, such as climate change, discuss possible consequences if the problem is avoided. 
  • Be concise. Adding unnecessary detail can distract from the main findings. 

What not to do


  • Rewrite your abstract. Statements with “we investigated” or “we studied” generally do not belong in the discussion. 
  • Include new arguments or evidence not previously discussed. Necessary information and evidence should be introduced in the main body of the paper. 
  • Apologize. Even if your research contains significant limitations, don’t undermine your authority by including statements that doubt your methodology or execution. 
  • Shy away from speaking on limitations or negative results. Including limitations and negative results will give readers a complete understanding of the presented research. Potential limitations include sources of potential bias, threats to internal or external validity, barriers to implementing an intervention and other issues inherent to the study design. 
  • Overstate the importance of your findings. Making grand statements about how a study will fully resolve large questions can lead readers to doubt the success of the research. 

Snippets of Effective Discussions:

Consumer-based actions to reduce plastic pollution in rivers: A multi-criteria decision analysis approach

Identifying reliable indicators of fitness in polar bears

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How To Write A Research Paper

Step-By-Step Tutorial With Examples + FREE Template

By: Derek Jansen (MBA) | Expert Reviewer: Dr Eunice Rautenbach | March 2024

For many students, crafting a strong research paper from scratch can feel like a daunting task – and rightly so! In this post, we’ll unpack what a research paper is, what it needs to do , and how to write one – in three easy steps. 🙂 

Overview: Writing A Research Paper

What (exactly) is a research paper.

  • How to write a research paper
  • Stage 1 : Topic & literature search
  • Stage 2 : Structure & outline
  • Stage 3 : Iterative writing
  • Key takeaways

Let’s start by asking the most important question, “ What is a research paper? ”.

Simply put, a research paper is a scholarly written work where the writer (that’s you!) answers a specific question (this is called a research question ) through evidence-based arguments . Evidence-based is the keyword here. In other words, a research paper is different from an essay or other writing assignments that draw from the writer’s personal opinions or experiences. With a research paper, it’s all about building your arguments based on evidence (we’ll talk more about that evidence a little later).

Now, it’s worth noting that there are many different types of research papers , including analytical papers (the type I just described), argumentative papers, and interpretative papers. Here, we’ll focus on analytical papers , as these are some of the most common – but if you’re keen to learn about other types of research papers, be sure to check out the rest of the blog .

With that basic foundation laid, let’s get down to business and look at how to write a research paper .

Research Paper Template

Overview: The 3-Stage Process

While there are, of course, many potential approaches you can take to write a research paper, there are typically three stages to the writing process. So, in this tutorial, we’ll present a straightforward three-step process that we use when working with students at Grad Coach.

These three steps are:

  • Finding a research topic and reviewing the existing literature
  • Developing a provisional structure and outline for your paper, and
  • Writing up your initial draft and then refining it iteratively

Let’s dig into each of these.

Need a helping hand?

what to write in the recommendation of a research paper

Step 1: Find a topic and review the literature

As we mentioned earlier, in a research paper, you, as the researcher, will try to answer a question . More specifically, that’s called a research question , and it sets the direction of your entire paper. What’s important to understand though is that you’ll need to answer that research question with the help of high-quality sources – for example, journal articles, government reports, case studies, and so on. We’ll circle back to this in a minute.

The first stage of the research process is deciding on what your research question will be and then reviewing the existing literature (in other words, past studies and papers) to see what they say about that specific research question. In some cases, your professor may provide you with a predetermined research question (or set of questions). However, in many cases, you’ll need to find your own research question within a certain topic area.

Finding a strong research question hinges on identifying a meaningful research gap – in other words, an area that’s lacking in existing research. There’s a lot to unpack here, so if you wanna learn more, check out the plain-language explainer video below.

Once you’ve figured out which question (or questions) you’ll attempt to answer in your research paper, you’ll need to do a deep dive into the existing literature – this is called a “ literature search ”. Again, there are many ways to go about this, but your most likely starting point will be Google Scholar .

If you’re new to Google Scholar, think of it as Google for the academic world. You can start by simply entering a few different keywords that are relevant to your research question and it will then present a host of articles for you to review. What you want to pay close attention to here is the number of citations for each paper – the more citations a paper has, the more credible it is (generally speaking – there are some exceptions, of course).

how to use google scholar

Ideally, what you’re looking for are well-cited papers that are highly relevant to your topic. That said, keep in mind that citations are a cumulative metric , so older papers will often have more citations than newer papers – just because they’ve been around for longer. So, don’t fixate on this metric in isolation – relevance and recency are also very important.

Beyond Google Scholar, you’ll also definitely want to check out academic databases and aggregators such as Science Direct, PubMed, JStor and so on. These will often overlap with the results that you find in Google Scholar, but they can also reveal some hidden gems – so, be sure to check them out.

Once you’ve worked your way through all the literature, you’ll want to catalogue all this information in some sort of spreadsheet so that you can easily recall who said what, when and within what context. If you’d like, we’ve got a free literature spreadsheet that helps you do exactly that.

Don’t fixate on an article’s citation count in isolation - relevance (to your research question) and recency are also very important.

Step 2: Develop a structure and outline

With your research question pinned down and your literature digested and catalogued, it’s time to move on to planning your actual research paper .

It might sound obvious, but it’s really important to have some sort of rough outline in place before you start writing your paper. So often, we see students eagerly rushing into the writing phase, only to land up with a disjointed research paper that rambles on in multiple

Now, the secret here is to not get caught up in the fine details . Realistically, all you need at this stage is a bullet-point list that describes (in broad strokes) what you’ll discuss and in what order. It’s also useful to remember that you’re not glued to this outline – in all likelihood, you’ll chop and change some sections once you start writing, and that’s perfectly okay. What’s important is that you have some sort of roadmap in place from the start.

You need to have a rough outline in place before you start writing your paper - or you’ll end up with a disjointed research paper that rambles on.

At this stage you might be wondering, “ But how should I structure my research paper? ”. Well, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution here, but in general, a research paper will consist of a few relatively standardised components:

  • Introduction
  • Literature review
  • Methodology

Let’s take a look at each of these.

First up is the introduction section . As the name suggests, the purpose of the introduction is to set the scene for your research paper. There are usually (at least) four ingredients that go into this section – these are the background to the topic, the research problem and resultant research question , and the justification or rationale. If you’re interested, the video below unpacks the introduction section in more detail. 

The next section of your research paper will typically be your literature review . Remember all that literature you worked through earlier? Well, this is where you’ll present your interpretation of all that content . You’ll do this by writing about recent trends, developments, and arguments within the literature – but more specifically, those that are relevant to your research question . The literature review can oftentimes seem a little daunting, even to seasoned researchers, so be sure to check out our extensive collection of literature review content here .

With the introduction and lit review out of the way, the next section of your paper is the research methodology . In a nutshell, the methodology section should describe to your reader what you did (beyond just reviewing the existing literature) to answer your research question. For example, what data did you collect, how did you collect that data, how did you analyse that data and so on? For each choice, you’ll also need to justify why you chose to do it that way, and what the strengths and weaknesses of your approach were.

Now, it’s worth mentioning that for some research papers, this aspect of the project may be a lot simpler . For example, you may only need to draw on secondary sources (in other words, existing data sets). In some cases, you may just be asked to draw your conclusions from the literature search itself (in other words, there may be no data analysis at all). But, if you are required to collect and analyse data, you’ll need to pay a lot of attention to the methodology section. The video below provides an example of what the methodology section might look like.

By this stage of your paper, you will have explained what your research question is, what the existing literature has to say about that question, and how you analysed additional data to try to answer your question. So, the natural next step is to present your analysis of that data . This section is usually called the “results” or “analysis” section and this is where you’ll showcase your findings.

Depending on your school’s requirements, you may need to present and interpret the data in one section – or you might split the presentation and the interpretation into two sections. In the latter case, your “results” section will just describe the data, and the “discussion” is where you’ll interpret that data and explicitly link your analysis back to your research question. If you’re not sure which approach to take, check in with your professor or take a look at past papers to see what the norms are for your programme.

Alright – once you’ve presented and discussed your results, it’s time to wrap it up . This usually takes the form of the “ conclusion ” section. In the conclusion, you’ll need to highlight the key takeaways from your study and close the loop by explicitly answering your research question. Again, the exact requirements here will vary depending on your programme (and you may not even need a conclusion section at all) – so be sure to check with your professor if you’re unsure.

Step 3: Write and refine

Finally, it’s time to get writing. All too often though, students hit a brick wall right about here… So, how do you avoid this happening to you?

Well, there’s a lot to be said when it comes to writing a research paper (or any sort of academic piece), but we’ll share three practical tips to help you get started.

First and foremost , it’s essential to approach your writing as an iterative process. In other words, you need to start with a really messy first draft and then polish it over multiple rounds of editing. Don’t waste your time trying to write a perfect research paper in one go. Instead, take the pressure off yourself by adopting an iterative approach.

Secondly , it’s important to always lean towards critical writing , rather than descriptive writing. What does this mean? Well, at the simplest level, descriptive writing focuses on the “ what ”, while critical writing digs into the “ so what ” – in other words, the implications . If you’re not familiar with these two types of writing, don’t worry! You can find a plain-language explanation here.

Last but not least, you’ll need to get your referencing right. Specifically, you’ll need to provide credible, correctly formatted citations for the statements you make. We see students making referencing mistakes all the time and it costs them dearly. The good news is that you can easily avoid this by using a simple reference manager . If you don’t have one, check out our video about Mendeley, an easy (and free) reference management tool that you can start using today.

Recap: Key Takeaways

We’ve covered a lot of ground here. To recap, the three steps to writing a high-quality research paper are:

  • To choose a research question and review the literature
  • To plan your paper structure and draft an outline
  • To take an iterative approach to writing, focusing on critical writing and strong referencing

Remember, this is just a b ig-picture overview of the research paper development process and there’s a lot more nuance to unpack. So, be sure to grab a copy of our free research paper template to learn more about how to write a research paper.

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How to write recommendations in a research paper

Many students put in a lot of effort and write a good report however they are not able to give proper recommendations. Recommendations in the research paper should be included in your research. As a researcher, you display a deep understanding of the topic of research. Therefore you should be able to give recommendations. Here are a few tips that will help you to give appropriate recommendations. 

Recommendations in the research paper should be the objective of the research. Therefore at least one of your objectives of the paper is to provide recommendations to the parties associated or the parties that will benefit from your research. For example, to encourage higher employee engagement HR department should make strategies that invest in the well-being of employees. Additionally, the HR department should also collect regular feedback through online surveys.

Recommendations in the research paper should come from your review and analysis For example It was observed that coaches interviewed were associated with the club were working with the club from the past 2-3 years only. This shows that the attrition rate of coaches is high and therefore clubs should work on reducing the turnover of coaches.

Recommendations in the research paper should also come from the data you have analysed. For example, the research found that people over 65 years of age are at greater risk of social isolation. Therefore, it is recommended that policies that are made for combating social isolation should target this specific group.

Recommendations in the research paper should also come from observation. For example, it is observed that Lenovo’s income is stable and gross revenue has displayed a negative turn. Therefore the company should analyse its marketing and branding strategy.

Recommendations in the research paper should be written in the order of priority. The most important recommendations for decision-makers should come first. However, if the recommendations are of equal importance then it should come in the sequence in which the topic is approached in the research. 

Recommendations in a research paper if associated with different categories then you should categorize them. For example, you have separate recommendations for policymakers, educators, and administrators then you can categorize the recommendations. 

Recommendations in the research paper should come purely from your research. For example, you have written research on the impact on HR strategies on motivation. However, nowhere you have discussed Reward and recognition. Then you should not give recommendations for using rewards and recognition measures to boost employee motivation.

The use of bullet points offers better clarity rather than using long paragraphs. For example this paragraph “ It is recommended  that Britannia Biscuit should launch and promote sugar-free options apart from the existing product range. Promotion efforts should be directed at creating a fresh and healthy image. A campaign that conveys a sense of health and vitality to the consumer while enjoying biscuit  is recommended” can be written as:

  • The company should launch and promote sugar-free options
  • The company should work towards creating s fresh and healthy image
  • The company should run a campaign to convey its healthy image

The inclusion of an action plan along with recommendation adds more weightage to your recommendation. Recommendations should be clear and conscience and written using actionable words. Recommendations should display a solution-oriented approach and in some cases should highlight the scope for further research. 

Implications or Recommendations in Research: What's the Difference?

  • Peer Review

High-quality research articles that get many citations contain both implications and recommendations. Implications are the impact your research makes, whereas recommendations are specific actions that can then be taken based on your findings, such as for more research or for policymaking.

Updated on August 23, 2022

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That seems clear enough, but the two are commonly confused.

This confusion is especially true if you come from a so-called high-context culture in which information is often implied based on the situation, as in many Asian cultures. High-context cultures are different from low-context cultures where information is more direct and explicit (as in North America and many European cultures).

Let's set these two straight in a low-context way; i.e., we'll be specific and direct! This is the best way to be in English academic writing because you're writing for the world.

Implications and recommendations in a research article

The standard format of STEM research articles is what's called IMRaD:

  • Introduction
  • Discussion/conclusions

Some journals call for a separate conclusions section, while others have the conclusions as the last part of the discussion. You'll write these four (or five) sections in the same sequence, though, no matter the journal.

The discussion section is typically where you restate your results and how well they confirmed your hypotheses. Give readers the answer to the questions for which they're looking to you for an answer.

At this point, many researchers assume their paper is finished. After all, aren't the results the most important part? As you might have guessed, no, you're not quite done yet.

The discussion/conclusions section is where to say what happened and what should now happen

The discussion/conclusions section of every good scientific article should contain the implications and recommendations.

The implications, first of all, are the impact your results have on your specific field. A high-impact, highly cited article will also broaden the scope here and provide implications to other fields. This is what makes research cross-disciplinary.

Recommendations, however, are suggestions to improve your field based on your results.

These two aspects help the reader understand your broader content: How and why your work is important to the world. They also tell the reader what can be changed in the future based on your results.

These aspects are what editors are looking for when selecting papers for peer review.

how to write the conclusion section of a research manuscript

Implications and recommendations are, thus, written at the end of the discussion section, and before the concluding paragraph. They help to “wrap up” your paper. Once your reader understands what you found, the next logical step is what those results mean and what should come next.

Then they can take the baton, in the form of your work, and run with it. That gets you cited and extends your impact!

The order of implications and recommendations also matters. Both are written after you've summarized your main findings in the discussion section. Then, those results are interpreted based on ongoing work in the field. After this, the implications are stated, followed by the recommendations.

Writing an academic research paper is a bit like running a race. Finish strong, with your most important conclusion (recommendation) at the end. Leave readers with an understanding of your work's importance. Avoid generic, obvious phrases like "more research is needed to fully address this issue." Be specific.

The main differences between implications and recommendations (table)

 the differences between implications and recommendations

Now let's dig a bit deeper into actually how to write these parts.

What are implications?

Research implications tell us how and why your results are important for the field at large. They help answer the question of “what does it mean?” Implications tell us how your work contributes to your field and what it adds to it. They're used when you want to tell your peers why your research is important for ongoing theory, practice, policymaking, and for future research.

Crucially, your implications must be evidence-based. This means they must be derived from the results in the paper.

Implications are written after you've summarized your main findings in the discussion section. They come before the recommendations and before the concluding paragraph. There is no specific section dedicated to implications. They must be integrated into your discussion so that the reader understands why the results are meaningful and what they add to the field.

A good strategy is to separate your implications into types. Implications can be social, political, technological, related to policies, or others, depending on your topic. The most frequently used types are theoretical and practical. Theoretical implications relate to how your findings connect to other theories or ideas in your field, while practical implications are related to what we can do with the results.

Key features of implications

  • State the impact your research makes
  • Helps us understand why your results are important
  • Must be evidence-based
  • Written in the discussion, before recommendations
  • Can be theoretical, practical, or other (social, political, etc.)

Examples of implications

Let's take a look at some examples of research results below with their implications.

The result : one study found that learning items over time improves memory more than cramming material in a bunch of information at once .

The implications : This result suggests memory is better when studying is spread out over time, which could be due to memory consolidation processes.

The result : an intervention study found that mindfulness helps improve mental health if you have anxiety.

The implications : This result has implications for the role of executive functions on anxiety.

The result : a study found that musical learning helps language learning in children .

The implications : these findings suggest that language and music may work together to aid development.

What are recommendations?

As noted above, explaining how your results contribute to the real world is an important part of a successful article.

Likewise, stating how your findings can be used to improve something in future research is equally important. This brings us to the recommendations.

Research recommendations are suggestions and solutions you give for certain situations based on your results. Once the reader understands what your results mean with the implications, the next question they need to know is "what's next?"

Recommendations are calls to action on ways certain things in the field can be improved in the future based on your results. Recommendations are used when you want to convey that something different should be done based on what your analyses revealed.

Similar to implications, recommendations are also evidence-based. This means that your recommendations to the field must be drawn directly from your results.

The goal of the recommendations is to make clear, specific, and realistic suggestions to future researchers before they conduct a similar experiment. No matter what area your research is in, there will always be further research to do. Try to think about what would be helpful for other researchers to know before starting their work.

Recommendations are also written in the discussion section. They come after the implications and before the concluding paragraphs. Similar to the implications, there is usually no specific section dedicated to the recommendations. However, depending on how many solutions you want to suggest to the field, they may be written as a subsection.

Key features of recommendations

  • Statements about what can be done differently in the field based on your findings
  • Must be realistic and specific
  • Written in the discussion, after implications and before conclusions
  • Related to both your field and, preferably, a wider context to the research

Examples of recommendations

Here are some research results and their recommendations.

A meta-analysis found that actively recalling material from your memory is better than simply re-reading it .

  • The recommendation: Based on these findings, teachers and other educators should encourage students to practice active recall strategies.

A medical intervention found that daily exercise helps prevent cardiovascular disease .

  • The recommendation: Based on these results, physicians are recommended to encourage patients to exercise and walk regularly. Also recommended is to encourage more walking through public health offices in communities.

A study found that many research articles do not contain the sample sizes needed to statistically confirm their findings .

The recommendation: To improve the current state of the field, researchers should consider doing power analysis based on their experiment's design.

What else is important about implications and recommendations?

When writing recommendations and implications, be careful not to overstate the impact of your results. It can be tempting for researchers to inflate the importance of their findings and make grandiose statements about what their work means.

Remember that implications and recommendations must be coming directly from your results. Therefore, they must be straightforward, realistic, and plausible.

Another good thing to remember is to make sure the implications and recommendations are stated clearly and separately. Do not attach them to the endings of other paragraphs just to add them in. Use similar example phrases as those listed in the table when starting your sentences to clearly indicate when it's an implication and when it's a recommendation.

When your peers, or brand-new readers, read your paper, they shouldn't have to hunt through your discussion to find the implications and recommendations. They should be clear, visible, and understandable on their own.

That'll get you cited more, and you'll make a greater contribution to your area of science while extending the life and impact of your work.

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How to Write Citation? | A Practical Guide for Citation and References

what to write in the recommendation of a research paper

How to Write References Quickly and Accurately? | A Practical Guide

what to write in the recommendation of a research paper

Writing research recommendations involves suggesting future research directions or actions that can be taken based on the findings of a research study. The most crucial element of the analysis process, recommendations, is where you provide specific suggestions for interventions or solutions to the problems and limitations found throughout the assessment.

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The following guideline will help you explore how to write recommendations : 

What are the Recommendations?

Research recommendations are suggestions for future research based on the findings of a research study. The researcher may make these recommendations, or they may be requested by the publisher, funding agency, or other stakeholders who have an interest in the research. The purpose of research recommendations is to identify areas where further investigation is needed and to provide direction for future research in the field.

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The recommendation section, whether it is included in the discussion section or conclusion, should involve the following:

  • The research questions that the recommendation addresses.
  • A concise summary of the findings from the research.
  • The implications of the findings for practice.
  • The strengths and limitations of the research.
  • How do the findings relate to other research in the field?
  • Recommendations for further research.

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What kind of recommendations are appropriate.

The appropriateness of recommendations depends on the research study and the research field. Generally, research recommendations should be based on the findings of the study and should address research gaps or limitations. Here are some types of recommendations that may be appropriate:

Finalise Your Topic After Getting Inspired by the Current Research Topics

1- Further Investigations

Suggest further investigations into specific research questions or hypotheses. This can include exploring new variables, testing different methods, or using different samples.

2- Development of New Research Methods or Techniques

Propose new research methods or techniques that can be used to address research questions or improve the quality of research.

3- Replication of the Study

Recommend replication of the study with larger or more diverse samples to increase the generalizability of the findings.

4- Extension of the Study

Suggest extending the study to different populations or contexts to explore the generalizability of the findings.

5- Collaboration with Other Researchers

Recommend collaboration with other researchers or research teams to leverage expertise and resources.

6- Integration of the Study Findings into Policy or Practice

Suggest ways in which the study findings can be used to inform policy or practice in the relevant field.

7- Addressing Limitations or Gaps in the Current Research Literature

Propose ways the study findings can address limitations or gaps in the current research literature.

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what to write in the recommendation of a research paper

Structuring of Recommendations

When learning how to write recommendations, start with structuring the recommendations section.

1- Summarize your Research Findings

Before making any recommendations, briefly summarise your study's key findings. This will provide context for your recommendations and ensure that they are relevant to the research topic.

2- Identify Research Gaps

Based on your research findings, identify gaps in the literature or areas requiring further investigation. Consider the limitations of your study and the potential implications of your findings.

3- Prioritize Recommendations

Determine the most important recommendations based on their potential impact and feasibility. You may want to organize your recommendations into short-term and long-term goals.

4- Provide Clear and Specific Recommendations

Your recommendations should be concise and specific. Avoid vague or general statements and provide actionable steps that can be taken to address the research gaps you have identified.

5- Justify Your Recommendations

Provide a rationale for each of your recommendations, explaining why they are necessary and how they will contribute to the overall research field.

6- Consider Potential Challenges

Be sure to consider potential challenges or limitations that may arise in implementing your recommendations. Provide suggestions for overcoming these challenges where possible.

7- Conclude with a Summary

End your recommendations with a brief summary of your main points. This will help reinforce the importance of your recommendations and ensure they are clearly understood.

Find Interesting Research Proposal Examples Here

Remember to tailor your recommendations to your specific research study and field of study. Keep in mind that your recommendations should be based on evidence and have practical applications for researchers, practitioners, or policymakers.

Building Concrete Research Recommendations

  • The research process should be systematic and logical.
  • Conduct the research in an objective and unbiased manner.
  • The research findings should be reproducible.
  • The research recommendations should be made with a concrete plan in mind.
  • The research recommendations should be based on a solid foundation of evidence.
  • The research recommendations should be clear and concise.
  • The research recommendations should be achievable and realistic.
  • The research recommendations should be made to further the research project's goals.
  • They should be made to improve the quality of the research project.
  • The research recommendations should make the research project more efficient.
  • The recommendations should make the research project more effective.
  • The research recommendations must aid in making the research project more successful.


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What is the Smart Strategy for Writing Research Recommendations?

In academic writing, there are generally three types of Recommendations:

  • Obligations

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Recommendations can be further characterized as "SMART" or "non-SMART." A SMART Recommendation is one that is Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, and Time-bound. The following sections will provide more information on each of these characteristics.

  • A Recommendation is " Specific " if it clearly spells out what actions need to take place, who needs to take those actions, and when they need to occur.
  • A Recommendation is " Measurable " if specified indicators can be used to gauge whether it has successfully achieved its objectives.
  • A Recommendation is " Actionable " if the necessary steps required to implement the recommendation are spelt out and achievable.
  • A Recommendation is " Realistic " if it is achievable given the available resources (e.g., time, money, human resources).
  • Finally, a Recommendation is " Time - bound " if there is a specified timeframe within which the recommendation should be achieved.

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What are the Dos and Don'ts of Research Recommendations? 

1- be specific.

Provide clear and specific recommendations that are relevant to the research study and the field of study. Use precise language and avoid vague or general statements.

2- Support Your Recommendations with Evidence

Base your recommendations on the research study's findings and other relevant literature. Provide evidence to support your recommendations and explain why they are necessary.

Identify and prioritise the most important recommendations based on their potential impact and feasibility.

4- Consider Practical Applications

Ensure that your recommendations have practical applications for researchers, practitioners, or policymakers. Think about how your recommendations can be implemented in practice and how they can contribute to the field.

5- Be Concise

Keep your recommendations concise and to the point. Avoid unnecessary details or explanations.

6- Provide a Rationale

Explain the rationale for each of your recommendations and how they will contribute to the overall research field.

1- Make Unsupported Claims

Avoid making claims that are not supported by evidence. Make sure that your recommendations are based on the research study's findings and other relevant literature.

2- Overgeneralize

Avoid overgeneralizing your recommendations. Make sure that your recommendations are specific to the research study and field.

3- Ignore Potential Challenges

Consider potential challenges or limitations that may arise in implementing your recommendations. Provide suggestions for overcoming these challenges where possible.

4- Disregard Practical Considerations

Ensure that your recommendations are practical and feasible. Consider the resources and constraints of the research field and how your recommendations can be implemented in practice.

5- Be Too Prescriptive

Avoid being too prescriptive in your recommendations. Provide guidance and direction, but allow room for interpretation and adaptation.

By following these dos and don'ts, you can ensure that your research recommendations are well-supported, relevant, and practical and will make a meaningful contribution to the research field.

Learn the Best Way to Write Acknowledgements

Explore the Current Samples of Acknowledgement

It is frequently the case that further research is needed to facilitate the advancement of a study. In your research plans, you can analyze potential study methodologies and the points regarding a subject that might be covered in such research.

The recommendations you include in your paper could be crucial to your research. Make sure your essay has clear recommendations that are simple to implement, can be used effectively, and are not unduly complex or challenging in any other manner. If you need further help writing recommendations, contact us via email or web chat.

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  • Published: 06 May 2024

APOE4 homozygozity represents a distinct genetic form of Alzheimer’s disease

  • Juan Fortea   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0002-1340-638X 1 , 2 , 3   na1 ,
  • Jordi Pegueroles   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0002-3554-2446 1 , 2 ,
  • Daniel Alcolea   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0002-3819-3245 1 , 2 ,
  • Olivia Belbin   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0002-6109-6371 1 , 2 ,
  • Oriol Dols-Icardo   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0003-2656-8748 1 , 2 ,
  • Lídia Vaqué-Alcázar 1 , 4 ,
  • Laura Videla   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0002-9748-8465 1 , 2 , 3 ,
  • Juan Domingo Gispert 5 , 6 , 7 , 8 , 9 ,
  • Marc Suárez-Calvet   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0002-2993-569X 5 , 6 , 7 , 8 , 9 ,
  • Sterling C. Johnson   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0002-8501-545X 10 ,
  • Reisa Sperling   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0003-1535-6133 11 ,
  • Alexandre Bejanin   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0002-9958-0951 1 , 2 ,
  • Alberto Lleó   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0002-2568-5478 1 , 2 &
  • Víctor Montal   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0002-5714-9282 1 , 2 , 12   na1  

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  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Predictive markers

This study aimed to evaluate the impact of APOE4 homozygosity on Alzheimer’s disease (AD) by examining its clinical, pathological and biomarker changes to see whether APOE4 homozygotes constitute a distinct, genetically determined form of AD. Data from the National Alzheimer’s Coordinating Center and five large cohorts with AD biomarkers were analyzed. The analysis included 3,297 individuals for the pathological study and 10,039 for the clinical study. Findings revealed that almost all APOE4 homozygotes exhibited AD pathology and had significantly higher levels of AD biomarkers from age 55 compared to APOE3 homozygotes. By age 65, nearly all had abnormal amyloid levels in cerebrospinal fluid, and 75% had positive amyloid scans, with the prevalence of these markers increasing with age, indicating near-full penetrance of AD biology in APOE4 homozygotes. The age of symptom onset was earlier in APOE4 homozygotes at 65.1, with a narrower 95% prediction interval than APOE3 homozygotes. The predictability of symptom onset and the sequence of biomarker changes in APOE4 homozygotes mirrored those in autosomal dominant AD and Down syndrome. However, in the dementia stage, there were no differences in amyloid or tau positron emission tomography across haplotypes, despite earlier clinical and biomarker changes. The study concludes that APOE4 homozygotes represent a genetic form of AD, suggesting the need for individualized prevention strategies, clinical trials and treatments.

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Data availability.

Access to tabular data from ADNI ( https://adni.loni.usc.edu/ ), OASIS ( https://oasis-brains.org/ ), A4 ( https://ida.loni.usc.edu/collaboration/access/appLicense.jsp ) and NACC ( https://naccdata.org/ ) can be requested online, as publicly available databases. All requests will be reviewed by each studyʼs scientific board. Concrete inquiries to access the WRAP ( https://wrap.wisc.edu/data-requests-2/ ) and ALFA + ( https://www.barcelonabeta.org/en/alfa-study/about-the-alfa-study ) cohort data can be directed to each study team for concept approval and feasibility consultation. Requests will be reviewed to verify whether the request is subject to any intellectual property.

Code availability

All statistical analyses and raw figures were generated using R (v.4.2.2). We used the open-sourced R packages of ggplot2 (v.3.4.3), dplyr (v.1.1.3), ggstream (v.0.1.0), ggpubr (v.0.6), ggstatsplot (v.0.12), Rmisc (v.1.5.1), survival (v.3.5), survminer (v.0.4.9), gtsummary (v.1.7), epitools (v.0.5) and statsExpression (v.1.5.1). Rscripts to replicate our findings can be found at https://gitlab.com/vmontalb/apoe4-asdad (ref. 32 ). For neuroimaging analyses, we used Free Surfer (v.6.0) and ANTs (v.2.4.0).

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La Joie, R. et al. Multisite study of the relationships between antemortem [ 11 C]PIB-PET Centiloid values and postmortem measures of Alzheimer’s disease neuropathology. Alzheimers Dement. 15 , 205–216 (2019).

Montal, V. APOE4-ASDAD. GitLab https://gitlab.com/vmontalb/apoe4-asdad (2024).

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We acknowledge the contributions of several consortia that provided data for this study. We extend our appreciation to the NACC, the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative, The A4 Study, the ALFA Study, the Wisconsin Register for Alzheimer’s Prevention and the OASIS3 Project. Without their dedication to advancing Alzheimer’s disease research and their commitment to data sharing, this study would not have been possible. We also thank all the participants and investigators involved in these consortia for their tireless efforts and invaluable contributions to the field. We also thank the institutions that funded this study, the Fondo de Investigaciones Sanitario, Carlos III Health Institute, the Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red sobre Enfermedades Neurodegenerativas and the Generalitat de Catalunya and La Caixa Foundation, as well as the NIH, Horizon 2020 and the Alzheimer’s Association, which was crucial for this research. Funding: National Institute on Aging. This study was supported by the Fondo de Investigaciones Sanitario, Carlos III Health Institute (INT21/00073, PI20/01473 and PI23/01786 to J.F., CP20/00038, PI22/00307 to A.B., PI22/00456 to M.S.-C., PI18/00435 to D.A., PI20/01330 to A.L.) and the Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red sobre Enfermedades Neurodegenerativas Program 1, partly jointly funded by Fondo Europeo de Desarrollo Regional, Unión Europea, Una Manera de Hacer Europa. This work was also supported by the National Institutes of Health grants (R01 AG056850; R21 AG056974, R01 AG061566, R01 AG081394 and R61AG066543 to J.F., S10 OD025245, P30 AG062715, U54 HD090256, UL1 TR002373, P01 AG036694 and P50 AG005134 to R.S.; R01 AG027161, R01 AG021155, R01 AG037639, R01 AG054059; P50 AG033514 and P30 AG062715 to S.J.) and ADNI (U01 AG024904), the Department de Salut de la Generalitat de Catalunya, Pla Estratègic de Recerca I Innovació en Salut (SLT006/17/00119 to J.F.; SLT002/16/00408 to A.L.) and the A4 Study (R01 AG063689, U24 AG057437 to R.A.S). It was also supported by Fundación Tatiana Pérez de Guzmán el Bueno (IIBSP-DOW-2020-151 o J.F.) and Horizon 2020–Research and Innovation Framework Programme from the European Union (H2020-SC1-BHC-2018-2020 to J.F.; 948677 and 847648 to M.S.-C.). La Caixa Foundation (LCF/PR/GN17/50300004 to M.S.-C.) and EIT Digital (Grant 2021 to J.D.G.) also supported this work. The Alzheimer Association also participated in the funding of this work (AARG-22-923680 to A.B.) and A4/LEARN Study AA15-338729 to R.A.S.). O.D.-I. receives funding from the Alzheimer’s Association (AARF-22-924456) and the Jerome Lejeune Foundation postdoctoral fellowship.

Author information

These authors contributed equally: Juan Fortea, Víctor Montal.

Authors and Affiliations

Sant Pau Memory Unit, Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau - Biomedical Research Institute Sant Pau, Barcelona, Spain

Juan Fortea, Jordi Pegueroles, Daniel Alcolea, Olivia Belbin, Oriol Dols-Icardo, Lídia Vaqué-Alcázar, Laura Videla, Alexandre Bejanin, Alberto Lleó & Víctor Montal

Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Enfermedades Neurodegenerativas. CIBERNED, Barcelona, Spain

Juan Fortea, Jordi Pegueroles, Daniel Alcolea, Olivia Belbin, Oriol Dols-Icardo, Laura Videla, Alexandre Bejanin, Alberto Lleó & Víctor Montal

Barcelona Down Medical Center, Fundació Catalana Síndrome de Down, Barcelona, Spain

Juan Fortea & Laura Videla

Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Institute of Neurosciences, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain

Lídia Vaqué-Alcázar

Barcelonaβeta Brain Research Center (BBRC), Pasqual Maragall Foundation, Barcelona, Spain

Juan Domingo Gispert & Marc Suárez-Calvet

Neurosciences Programme, IMIM - Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute, Barcelona, Spain

Department of Medicine and Life Sciences, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain

Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red Bioingeniería, Biomateriales y Nanomedicina. Instituto de Salud carlos III, Madrid, Spain

Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares (CNIC), Madrid, Spain

Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, WI, USA

Sterling C. Johnson

Brigham and Women’s Hospital Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA

Reisa Sperling

Barcelona Supercomputing Center, Barcelona, Spain

Víctor Montal

You can also search for this author in PubMed   Google Scholar


J.F. and V.M. conceptualized the research project and drafted the initial manuscript. V.M., J.P. and J.F. conducted data analysis, interpreted statistical findings and created visual representations of the data. O.B. and O.D.-I. provided valuable insights into the genetics of APOE. L.V., A.B. and L.V.-A. meticulously reviewed and edited the manuscript for clarity, accuracy and coherence. J.D.G., M.S.-C., S.J. and R.S. played pivotal roles in data acquisition and securing funding. A.L. and D.A. contributed to the study design, offering guidance and feedback on statistical analyses, and provided critical review of the paper. All authors carefully reviewed the manuscript, offering pertinent feedback that enhanced the study’s quality, and ultimately approved the final version.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Juan Fortea or Víctor Montal .

Ethics declarations

Competing interests.

S.C.J. has served at scientific advisory boards for ALZPath, Enigma and Roche Diagnostics. M.S.-C. has given lectures in symposia sponsored by Almirall, Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk, Roche Diagnostics and Roche Farma, received consultancy fees (paid to the institution) from Roche Diagnostics and served on advisory boards of Roche Diagnostics and Grifols. He was granted a project and is a site investigator of a clinical trial (funded to the institution) by Roche Diagnostics. In-kind support for research (to the institution) was received from ADx Neurosciences, Alamar Biosciences, Avid Radiopharmaceuticals, Eli Lilly, Fujirebio, Janssen Research & Development and Roche Diagnostics. J.D.G. has served as consultant for Roche Diagnostics, receives research funding from Hoffmann–La Roche, Roche Diagnostics and GE Healthcare, has given lectures in symposia sponsored by Biogen, Philips Nederlands, Esteve and Life Molecular Imaging and serves on an advisory board for Prothena Biosciences. R.S. has received personal consulting fees from Abbvie, AC Immune, Acumen, Alector, Bristol Myers Squibb, Janssen, Genentech, Ionis and Vaxxinity outside the submitted work. O.B. reported receiving personal fees from Adx NeuroSciences outside the submitted work. D.A. reported receiving personal fees for advisory board services and/or speaker honoraria from Fujirebio-Europe, Roche, Nutricia, Krka Farmacéutica and Esteve, outside the submitted work. A.L. has served as a consultant or on advisory boards for Almirall, Fujirebio-Europe, Grifols, Eisai, Lilly, Novartis, Roche, Biogen and Nutricia, outside the submitted work. J.F. reported receiving personal fees for service on the advisory boards, adjudication committees or speaker honoraria from AC Immune, Adamed, Alzheon, Biogen, Eisai, Esteve, Fujirebio, Ionis, Laboratorios Carnot, Life Molecular Imaging, Lilly, Lundbeck, Perha, Roche and outside the submitted work. O.B., D.A., A.L. and J.F. report holding a patent for markers of synaptopathy in neurodegenerative disease (licensed to Adx, EPI8382175.0). The remaining authors declare no competing interests.

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Nature Medicine thanks Naoyuki Sato, Yadong Huang and the other, anonymous, reviewer(s) for their contribution to the peer review of this work. Primary Handling Editor: Jerome Staal, in collaboration with the Nature Medicine team.

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Supplementary information

Supplementary information.

Supplementary Methods, Results, Bibliography, Figs. 1–7 and Tables 1–3.

Reporting Summary

Supplementary code.

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Fortea, J., Pegueroles, J., Alcolea, D. et al. APOE4 homozygozity represents a distinct genetic form of Alzheimer’s disease. Nat Med (2024). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41591-024-02931-w

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AI-assisted writing is quietly booming in academic journals—here's why that's OK

by Julian Koplin, The Conversation

AI-assisted writing is quietly booming in academic journals—here's why that's OK

If you search Google Scholar for the phrase " as an AI language model ," you'll find plenty of AI research literature and also some rather suspicious results. For example, one paper on agricultural technology says,

"As an AI language model, I don't have direct access to current research articles or studies. However, I can provide you with an overview of some recent trends and advancements …"

Obvious gaffes like this aren't the only signs that researchers are increasingly turning to generative AI tools when writing up their research. A recent study examined the frequency of certain words in academic writing (such as "commendable," "meticulously" and "intricate"), and found they became far more common after the launch of ChatGPT—so much so that 1% of all journal articles published in 2023 may have contained AI-generated text.

(Why do AI models overuse these words? There is speculation it's because they are more common in English as spoken in Nigeria, where key elements of model training often occur.)

The aforementioned study also looks at preliminary data from 2024, which indicates that AI writing assistance is only becoming more common. Is this a crisis for modern scholarship, or a boon for academic productivity?

Who should take credit for AI writing?

Many people are worried by the use of AI in academic papers. Indeed, the practice has been described as " contaminating " scholarly literature.

Some argue that using AI output amounts to plagiarism. If your ideas are copy-pasted from ChatGPT, it is questionable whether you really deserve credit for them.

But there are important differences between "plagiarizing" text authored by humans and text authored by AI. Those who plagiarize humans' work receive credit for ideas that ought to have gone to the original author.

By contrast, it is debatable whether AI systems like ChatGPT can have ideas, let alone deserve credit for them. An AI tool is more like your phone's autocomplete function than a human researcher.

The question of bias

Another worry is that AI outputs might be biased in ways that could seep into the scholarly record. Infamously, older language models tended to portray people who are female, black and/or gay in distinctly unflattering ways, compared with people who are male, white and/or straight.

This kind of bias is less pronounced in the current version of ChatGPT.

However, other studies have found a different kind of bias in ChatGPT and other large language models : a tendency to reflect a left-liberal political ideology.

Any such bias could subtly distort scholarly writing produced using these tools.

The hallucination problem

The most serious worry relates to a well-known limitation of generative AI systems: that they often make serious mistakes.

For example, when I asked ChatGPT-4 to generate an ASCII image of a mushroom, it provided me with the following output.

AI-assisted writing is quietly booming in academic journals—here's why that's OK

It then confidently told me I could use this image of a "mushroom" for my own purposes.

These kinds of overconfident mistakes have been referred to as "AI hallucinations" and " AI bullshit ." While it is easy to spot that the above ASCII image looks nothing like a mushroom (and quite a bit like a snail), it may be much harder to identify any mistakes ChatGPT makes when surveying scientific literature or describing the state of a philosophical debate.

Unlike (most) humans, AI systems are fundamentally unconcerned with the truth of what they say. If used carelessly, their hallucinations could corrupt the scholarly record.

Should AI-produced text be banned?

One response to the rise of text generators has been to ban them outright. For example, Science—one of the world's most influential academic journals—disallows any use of AI-generated text .

I see two problems with this approach.

The first problem is a practical one: current tools for detecting AI-generated text are highly unreliable. This includes the detector created by ChatGPT's own developers, which was taken offline after it was found to have only a 26% accuracy rate (and a 9% false positive rate ). Humans also make mistakes when assessing whether something was written by AI.

It is also possible to circumvent AI text detectors. Online communities are actively exploring how to prompt ChatGPT in ways that allow the user to evade detection. Human users can also superficially rewrite AI outputs, effectively scrubbing away the traces of AI (like its overuse of the words "commendable," "meticulously" and "intricate").

The second problem is that banning generative AI outright prevents us from realizing these technologies' benefits. Used well, generative AI can boost academic productivity by streamlining the writing process. In this way, it could help further human knowledge. Ideally, we should try to reap these benefits while avoiding the problems.

The problem is poor quality control, not AI

The most serious problem with AI is the risk of introducing unnoticed errors, leading to sloppy scholarship. Instead of banning AI, we should try to ensure that mistaken, implausible or biased claims cannot make it onto the academic record.

After all, humans can also produce writing with serious errors, and mechanisms such as peer review often fail to prevent its publication.

We need to get better at ensuring academic papers are free from serious mistakes, regardless of whether these mistakes are caused by careless use of AI or sloppy human scholarship. Not only is this more achievable than policing AI usage, it will improve the standards of academic research as a whole.

This would be (as ChatGPT might say) a commendable and meticulously intricate solution.

Provided by The Conversation

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How to Write a Successful Book Chapter for an Academic Publication?

academic book chapter

If you are an academic or a researcher working towards a PhD degree or engaged in various tasks in a university or academic institution the idea of writing a book chapter would have definitely crossed your mind. Receiving an invitation to write an academic book chapter is indeed a great honor, and going onto write it is a milestone that every writer aims to achieve in their career. Writing a successful academic book chapter requires careful planning and execution by the author. In this article we will look at how to write an academic book chapter along with a few key steps that must be followed during the writing process.  

Table of Contents

  • What is an academic book chapter? 

Information collection

Finalizing chapter structure, attractive chapter title, a strong introduction, detailing out the chapter, summarizing the chapter, what is an academic book chapter.

An academic book chapter is a distinct section of a book having its own title or a chapter number. A book consists of several chapters, each of which focuses on a particular topic or sub-argument that is linked to the overall theme of the book. In other words, each chapter should have a sound argument that is consistent with the central theme or argument of the book. Each chapter should therefore be an inter-connected part to the rest of the chapters and to the overall book. 

It is important to understand that an academic book chapter is very different from a thesis chapter. While a book chapter has as its audience anyone who may be interested in the particular topic, the audience for a thesis chapter is primarily the thesis examiner. For the same reason, a thesis examiner will closely read the entire chapter and thesis, but this may not be the case for a book chapter. As mentioned earlier, a book chapter deals with a specific topic with an important idea or argument related to the central theme of the book and hence it is a separate division of a book. On the other hand, a thesis chapter does not stand separately but will have multiple arguments and relies on the other chapters to make it a complete whole. The length of each academic book chapter normally varies and there is no standard rule as to the length of chapters. However, on a general note, chapter length usually varies from 3500 to 5000 words.  

Key steps to follow when writing an academic book chapter

Integrating the following steps as you plan to write an academic book chapter can help you achieve excellent results.  

It is important that sufficient research is carried out and the author has a thorough understanding of the available literature in the field. Collecting relevant information and being up to date with all aspects on the topic that you are going to write about is one of first steps in writing an academic book chapter. Presenting information in a visually attractive manner and using various tools like mind maps can help in structuring the key arguments better.  

An academic book chapter also requires a good outline. For example, you must have a title, a well worded introduction, informative paras that make up the main body, a chapter summary and a neat transition to the succeeding chapter. Try to make the outline clear and concise, organize your ideas effectively and ensure there is a logical flow.  

This is a critical element and goes a long way in getting people to read your chapter or even pick up the book. Strive to make the title or heading of your chapter interesting and impactful, potential readers should be attracted to the title by itself, going on to pick up the book just by the vigor of the title itself.  

Having a well written introduction can be invaluable in ensuring that audiences will be compelled to read further. Engaging your reader with an anecdote or a dialogue or through a fictional account or plot can be useful devices to anchor the introduction on.  

Ideally as you elaborate on your chapter with the key points as you begin, it is a good idea to provide evidence for your statements and arguments. Try to highlight these in about 4 to 5 paragraphs linking it to the chapter details. 

A concise summary is a must as you come to the end of your chapter. Remember, here you are reflecting on the main content of the chapter and helping the reader to take away some key aspects of the arguments that you have presented in the chapter.  

Paperpal is a comprehensive AI writing toolkit that helps students and researchers achieve 2x the writing in half the time. It leverages 21+ years of STM experience and insights from millions of research articles to provide in-depth academic writing, language editing, and submission readiness support to help you write better, faster.  

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Experience the future of academic writing – Sign up to Paperpal and start writing for free!  

Related Reads:

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Academic Editing: How to Self-Edit Academic Text With Paperpal 

How paperpal is enhancing academic productivity and accelerating research in china, you may also like, how to write a high-quality conference paper, how paperpal’s research feature helps you develop and..., what are scholarly sources and where can you..., how to write a hypothesis types and examples , why traditional editorial process needs an upgrade, paperpal’s new ai research finder empowers authors to..., ai + human expertise – a paradigm shift..., how to use paperpal to generate emails &..., is it ethical to use ai-generated abstracts without....


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  21. (PDF) CHAPTER FIVE Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

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  22. (Pdf) Chapter 5 Summary, Conclusions, Implications and Recommendations

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  23. Welcome to the Purdue Online Writing Lab

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    Pre-writing strategies. The initial phases of creating a philosophy essay outline involve discussing concepts with peers, taking notes on research paper sources, presenting ideas, articulating the primary argument you intend to demonstrate, and sketching a draft. Let's consider these preliminary steps in detail. 1.

  25. How to Write a Research Paper

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  26. APOE4 homozygozity represents a distinct genetic form of ...

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    Writing a high-quality conference paper. Focus on the audience profile: When writing a conference paper, it is essential to keep the audience in mind. This will help you write your paper in a more engaging and impactful way. Experts suggest keeping in mind both the broader research questions that are sought to be addressed in the conference and ...

  28. AI-assisted writing is quietly booming in academic journals—here's why

    Many people are worried by the use of AI in academic papers. Indeed, the practice has been described as "contaminating" scholarly literature. Some argue that using AI output amounts to plagiarism ...

  29. How to Write a Successful Book Chapter for an Academic Publication

    An academic book chapter also requires a good outline. For example, you must have a title, a well worded introduction, informative paras that make up the main body, a chapter summary and a neat transition to the succeeding chapter. Try to make the outline clear and concise, organize your ideas effectively and ensure there is a logical flow.

  30. Writing a Research Paper Introduction

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