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New to research: Academic writing

Develop your topic

Select a research topic
The topic you select should:
  • Maintain your interest throughout the life of the project.
  • Be achievable given the available resources and/or data.
  • Make a significant contribution to your field, or the wider community.
Review the literature
Reading relevant literature should occur throughout your research project.
  • Background reading will help establish context for the research.
  • The literature review should include a broad selection of current, credible materials published in your topic area.
Focus your research
The movement from a general concept to a specific query will:
  • Identify the general area for investigation.
  • Set clear objectives for the research.
  • Determine the approach to the research.

For more information see the Search the literature LibGuide.

Help with writing

Publisher resources
A number of publishers have good resources available for aspiring authors. Some of these links are available to Curtin staff and students only. These resources include:


When English is your 2nd language
Some publishers also produce information specifically for authors whose first language is not English. Emerald has created a guide on How to prepare papers if English is not your first Language.


Editing services are also offered by some publishers (for a fee) to assist authors who are not native English speakers. Some providers include Emerald and Edanz.


How to write a paper
Prof. G. Whitesides from Harvard University discusses his perspective on authoring a scientific article. Produced by ACS Publication Videos (2012)