How to Write an Original Research Article (ORA)


ORA: Qualitative Research full structure

  1. Title
  2. List authors’ full names (first-name, middle-name, and last-name).
  3. Affiliations of authors (department and institution).
  4. E-mail (s)
  5. Abstract. The abstract shouldn’t be less than 150 words but not more than 300 words. The keywords should be less than 7 (for guidelines regarding abstracts, please see the JLE’s How to write a scientific abstract).

An abstract is a shortened version of the paper and should contain all information necessary for the reader to determine: (1) what the objectives of the study were; (2) how the study was done; (3) what results were obtained; (4) and the significance of the results. The abstract is important because many journal readers first read the abstract to determine if the entire article is worth reading. An abstract should be a single paragraph in block format (without paragraph indentation).

An abstract is often presented separately from the article, so it must be able to stand alone. Non-standard or uncommon abbreviations should be avoided, but if essential they must be defined at their first mention in the abstract itself. A concise and factual abstract is required.

Keywords. Provide a maximum of 7 keywords, using British spelling and avoiding general and plural terms and multiple concepts. Be sparing with abbreviations: only abbreviations firmly established in the field may be eligible. These keywords will be used for indexing purposes.

  1. Introduction. This section discusses the results and conclusions of previously published studies, to help explain why the current study is of scientific interest. 

The statement of the problem should be given in the introduction in a clear and concise manner. The background or rationale for the study is included here as well as a demonstration of how previous research is related to the study, together with its limitations. So, the bulk of the Introduction section is background literature on the topic. Try to provide the reader with enough information on the topic to be able to conclude that the research is important and that the hypotheses are reasonable. The last section of the Introduction states the purpose and the objectives of the researchHypotheses are also included here at the end of this section. Hypotheses are written in past tense because they are connected with a finished study.

  1. Method. This section provides all the methodological details necessary for another scientist to duplicate your work.  

This section typically is subdivided into three or five subsections (their number depends on the research context): General Background of Research, Materials / Participants, Research design, Instruments, Procedure, Data Analysis.

The author must describe exactly what was done: what and how experiments were run, what, how much, how often, where, when, and why equipment, materials were used. The main consideration is to ensure that enough detail is provided to verify presented findings and to enable the replication of the study. To maintain a balance between brevity (there is no need to describe every technical issue) and completeness (all adequate detail should be given so that readers know what happened).

Participants subsection describes the people who participated in the study. This subsection should include demographic information that pertains to the current study. Information could be about participants’ age, gender, ethnicity, year in school, marital status, etc. If required, give data such as percentages, mean, and standard deviation.

Materials include all types of materials generated and utilized in the scope of scholarly research: datasets, field notes, oral histories, recordings of events or performances not otherwise documented and etc. The most frequently used materials in the field of applied linguistics tend to be questionnaires, protocols, interviews, tests, self-reports, diaries and classroom observation.

Research design. In this subsection, the design of the current study is detailed. Was the study an experiment, a survey, an interview, or a behavior observation? If it was an observation, was it naturalistic or structured? Why was this particular design chosen? It is important to answer these types of questions so that the reader can fully understand and evaluate the research.

Typically, the independent variables in the study would be described here. For example, the study might involve a 2-by-2 design with one independent variable being treatment/control conditions and the other independent variable being biological sex. It would be helpful to describe dependent variables in this subsection as well.

Data Analysis. This section describes the instruments used to analyse data. Reliability and validity of every measure used in the study must be commented on.

Procedure. This subsection describes the process of the study exactly as it occurred. The information should be detailed enough for someone to replicate the study, but it should also be concise. Usually it is best to give the information in sequence. For example, first give the sampling procedure (how participants were selected), then how the measure was administered, and so forth. Results should never be discussed in this subsection—the next section will be entirely dedicated to providing the results of the study. Only give information regarding how the study was carried out here.

This section states how the materials and equipment were used, what the subjects did or what was done to them, how the materials were prepared, administered and scored, if there was any kind of piloting, what the environmental conditions were and how long the process took. Describe how participants were recruited, whether they participated alone or in groups, how informed consent or assent was obtained, what they were asked to do, how they were compensated for their participation, etc. In other words this section describes in great detail the data-collection procedures. It should be clearly presented to allow the reproduction of the experiments.

  1. Results. The goal of the Results section is to present the main findings of the research without deducing their meaning. Here, the grouped data and the results of the statistical analyses carried out are included. Figures, tables and graphs are also placed here, as well as a summary or description of the data. Information such as the subjects’ average scores or ratings and how the scores varied among the different groups should also be included in this section. The Results section should always be presented in a systematic way following the sequence of the Methods section on which the results are based (In other words - includes subsections that describe the answer to a particular experimental procedure that was elaborated in the Methods / refers to the experimental protocols described in the Methods section). It’s often helpful to use tables describing results, especially when the author has a lot of data to report (such as means and standard deviations) or is describing correlations. Sometimes it is helpful to remind the reader of the hypothesis before presenting each result. It is also a good idea to tell the reader what type of data analysis was done (e.g., correlation, ANOVA) before it is presented.
  1. Discussion. The objective here is to provide an interpretation of your results and support for all of your conclusions, using evidence from your experiment (research) and generally accepted knowledge, if appropriate. Suggest future directions for research, new methods, explanations for deviations from previously published results, etc.

This is the section to interpret and explain results obtained. This is devoted to the description of how the data were analysed in the study, what statistical procedures were used and which variables were considered. Direct answers to the original questions or hypotheses are included. In other words, the verification of the hypotheses goes here. The answers to the questions or the hypotheses must be explained, supported and defended with results. This explanation should consider the conflicting results, unexpected findings and discrepancies with other research. Results should also be commented in a theoretically meaningful way (How do the findings fit in with previous theory and literature? Are the results consistent or inconsistent with what has been found in the past? If they are inconsistent, how can it be explained?). The explanation and interpretation of results will probably be the biggest part of the Discussion.

Include limitations of the study. Describe the ways in which the internal or external validity of the study may have been compromised. Was the sample biased? Were the measures problematic? Think about what you would do different next time if you conducted a similar study. Future research ideas are often discussed when limitations are discussed.

  1. Conclusion should be the best part of your paper. A conclusion should: (1stress the importance of the thesis statement, (2) give the essay a sense of completeness, and (3) leave a final impression on the reader.

Conclusion describes the implications of findings to theory and practice, highlight practical applications of findings, gives some additional directions for future research. Direct answers to the original questions or hypotheses are included, in other words, the verification of the hypotheses goes here. The answers to the questions or the hypotheses must be explained, supported and defended with results. This explanation should consider the conflicting results, unexpected findings and discrepancies with other research. It is relevant to include the implications of the study, a comparison with previous research, innovations and the contribution of the study to new developments. Suggestions for further research, a brief statement on the limitations of the project and any pedagogical implications the paper may indicate.

  1. Acknowledgements. Collate acknowledgements in a separate section at the end of the article before the references and do not, therefore, include them on the title page, as a footnote to the title or otherwise. List here those individuals who provided help during the research (e.g., providing language help, writing assistance or proof reading the article, etc.).
  1. Reference list should include at least 30 entries cited in the text. Follow APA requirements dealing with Reference list.
  1. Appendices. If there is more than one appendix, they should be identified as A, B, etc. Formulae and equations in appendices should be given separate numbering: Eq. (A.1), Eq. (A.2), etc.; in a subsequent appendix, Eq. (B.1) and so on. Similarly for tables and figures: Table A.1; Fig. A.1, etc.

Math formulae. Please submit math equations as editable text and not as images. Present simple formulae in line with normal text where possible and use the solidus (/) instead of a horizontal line for small fractional terms, e.g., X/Y. In principle, variables are to be consecutively any equations that have to be displayed separately from the text (if referred to explicitly in the text).

Footnotes should be used sparingly. Number them consecutively throughout the article. Do not include footnotes in the Reference list.


ORA: Quantitative research full structure

  1. Title
  2. Abstract. The abstract, written in English, should be no longer than 300 words and must be written in the past tense. The abstract should give a succinct account of the objectives, methods, results and significance of the matter. The structured abstract for a Quantitative Research article should consist of seven paragraphs labelled Novelty and Topicality, Research purpose, Motivation for the study, Research approach/design and method, Main findings, Practical/managerial implications and Contribution/value-add.
  1. Provide the following, each under their own heading.

Novelty and Topicality

Research purpose and objectives

  1. Literature review.Provide a summary of previous research findings, indicating the gap in the literature and the necessity to address this void.
  2. Provide the following, each under their own heading and subheading. Not all of them may be relevant

Research design

Participants

Materials

Research method

Measuring instruments

Research procedure and ethical considerations

Statistical analysis

  1. The reporting of the results must be clearly linked to the research objectives and research hypotheses. Tables may be used or models (diagrams/figures) may be drafted to indicate key components of the results of the study.
  2. Provide the following, each under their own heading.

Outline of the results

Practical implications

Limitations and recommendations

  1. Provide a brief conclusion that summarises the results and their meaning or significance in relation to each objective of the study.
  2. Those who contributed to the work but do not meet our authorship criteria should be listed in the Acknowledgments with a description of the contribution. Authors are responsible for ensuring that anyone named in the Acknowledgments agrees to be named. Also provide the following, each under their own heading:

Competing interests. This section should list specific competing interests associated with any of the authors. If authors declare that no competing interests exist, the article will include a statement to this effect: The authors declare that they have no financial or personal relationship(s) that may have inappropriately influenced them in writing this article.

Author contributions. All authors must meet the criteria for authorship as outlined in the authorshippolicy and author contribution statement policies.

Funding. Provide information on funding if relevant

Disclaimer. A statement that the views expressed in the submitted article are his or her own and not an official position of the institution or funder.

  1. Authors should provide direct references to original research sources whenever possible. References should not be used by authors, editors, or peer reviewers to promote self-interests. Refer to APA referencing style.

ORA: Theoretical research full structure

  1. Title. The article’s full title should contain a maximum of 95 characters (including spaces).
  2. List authors’ full names (first-name, middle-name, and last-name).
  3. Affiliations of authors (department and institution).
  4. E-mail (s)
  5. Abstract. The abstract, written in English, should be no longer than 300 words and must be written in the past tense. The abstract should give a succinct account of the objectives, methods, results and significance of the matter. The structured abstract for a Theoretical Research article should consist of seven paragraphs labelled Orientation, Research purpose, Motivation for the study, Research approach / design and method, Main findings, Practical / Managerial implications and Contribution / Value-add.
  6. Introduction. The introduction normally starts by introducing the subject of the paper and its relevance, that is, the reason why it is considered as an interesting issue to explore. This is followed by the statement of the problem related to the issue (i.e., the situation presented) and the author's position regarding the solution of this problem. The exact aim of the paper and the main research question(s) should be clearly formulated. (In theoretical papers, research questions relate to finding possible solutions to the problem.) The introduction generally ends with a brief overview of the analytical approach/strategy to be pursued. Provide the following, each under their own heading:

Purpose of the study

Current theoretical perspective

Problem statement and research objectives (including preliminary literature review)

Rationale or value-add of the study

  1. Literature review. The aim of the literature review is to provide theoretical background to the  solution  of  the  problem  anticipated  in  the  introduction.  It  offers  a  critical  review  of  the  
    various  treatments  of  the  problem  under  investigation,  enumerating  arguments  representing  the  body  of  literature  both  opposing  and  supporting  the  author's  position.
  2. Solution. The solution section offers a thorough and disciplined presentation of the possible solution/-s as envisaged by the writer. It should build upon the work of other researchers in the field, but authors are expected to come up with an original solution. All arguments/claims put forward by the author must be accompanied by some form of supporting evidence (e.g., examples, figures, facts, views of other researchers). This section ends with an evaluation of the proposed solution/-s, showing that it is (or these are) exempt from the weaknesses identified in the opposing view/-s.
  1. Conclusion. Theoretical  papers  normally  end  by  a  restatement  of  the  problem  under  investigation  and  a  brief  summary  of  the  proposed  solution(s)  discussed.  In  the  conclusion  section,  authors  may  indicate  in  what  ways  the  study  contributes  to  current  achievements  in  the  field,  refer  to  the  limitations  of  the  paper,  and  point  to  possible  areas  for  further  investigation. Provide a brief conclusion that summarises the results and their meaning or significance in relation to each objective of the study.
  2. Acknowledgments. Those who contributed to the work but do not meet our authorship criteria should be listed in the Acknowledgments with a description of the contribution. Authors are responsible for ensuring that anyone named in the Acknowledgments agrees to be named.
  3. Also provide the following if relevant, each under their own heading:

Competing interests. This section should list specific competing interests associated with any of the authors. If authors declare that no competing interests exist, the article will include a statement to this effect: The authors declare that they have no financial or personal relationship(s) that may have inappropriately influenced them in writing this article.

Author contributions. All authors must meet the criteria for authorship as outlined in the authorship policy and author contribution statement policies.

Funding. Provide information on funding if relevant.

  1. References. Authors should provide direct references to original research sources whenever possible. References should not be used by authors, editors, or peer reviewers to promote self-interests. Refer to APA referencing style.