The article was prepared by Isabelle Foster, a professional journalist, essayist, and senior writer at PapersOwl, an online academic writing service and education portal. The author is passionate about psychology, philosophy, and literature. Her extensive experience and expertise allow helping students create more successful papers and improve their academic performance.
If you dreaded writing essays, literary review, and other academic papers in high school, chances are you’re going to dread writing them in college, too. There always comes a time in every student’s academic career when their professors assign them a dreary research paper that requires tons of time and mental effort. As a person who is not really into academic writing, you may start putting off the unpleasant activity until some other time. But the problem is that when this “other time” starts looming on the horizon, procrastinating students tend to find themselves even more reluctant to get down to writing assignments. If you’ve cognized yourself in this situation, you need to revamp your attitude towards writing assignments as soon as possible. College is not only about hanging out with friends and partying. First of all, it’s about accumulating new knowledge and skills, which is impossible if you fail to overcome your fear of writing.
In today’s article, we’re going to share some useful tips that will help you write stronger and more effective research paper in a timely manner.
The majority of first-year student confess that the most difficult part of the writing process isn’t actually writing, but concentrating on the assignment at hand. So, the first thing you want to do prior to picking the topic, brainstorming ideas, and outlining them is sit at your desk (or just get into your study space), start your laptop, and scan through the notes taken during the lectures. This will help you create a conducive study atmosphere and set your mind to writing.
Pick the Research Topic
Once you get focused, you may proceed to select a research topic to further develop in your paper. Ideally, you should choose a topic you’re passionate about. But even if you’re not into the subject, you can pick something that appeals to you or seems engaging, interesting, or challenging. It’s also a good idea to discuss the chosen topic with your instructor. The odds are good your mentor will offer some sound ideas for your research paper or point you in the right direction.
Look for Sources
Writing a strong research paper is impossible without actually researching the topic. Therefore, you need to locate credible sources that may give you the overview of the issue and provide valuable insights into every aspect of the issue you’re intending to investigate. The research process is arguably the most responsible and challenging stage during which you need to show patience, dedication, and perseverance. And you also should know where to start looking for credible, peer-reviewed academic sources for your paper.
Start simple. You want to look for sources using the standard Google or Yahoo! search engines. Once you familiarize yourself with a wide range of sources pertaining to your topic, you may narrow down your search and try Google Scholar. Thus, you’ll manage to locate scientific publications that will help you explore your topic in depth. You can also benefit from using scholarly databases like EBSCO, PubMed, Index Copernicus, JSTOR, Scopus, and others.
Create an Outline
Though some experienced students can do without outlines when writing research papers, we highly recommend that you create one, especially when working on your first research papers. Don’t aim for complex and elaborate outlines. Just jot down the main idea or statement around which your entire paper will be revolving. Then write down supporting ideas, details, and evidence. You can also create a mind map if you feel this may aid you in writing.
Write Introduction, Body, and Conclusion
Now that you have an outline and reputable sources to rely on, you can proceed to draft your paper.
Start off by presenting relevant background or context for what’s going to be discussed in your research paper. Define terms and concepts for your audience if need be. Also, make sure to explain the focus of your research and its purpose in the thesis statement.
In the body, you want to elaborate on the points you’ve mentioned in your outline. You need to organically integrate your sources into discussion to prove your argument. Don’t merely summarize what’s been said in your sources. Evaluate, explain, and provide your own assessment of facts and evidence.
Wrap up your research paper with an effective conclusion paragraph, where you’ll summarize and recap the main points without repeating yourself. A strong conclusion should be well-crafted, logical, and concise. Its main purpose is to give your research paper a sense of completion. Hence, it shouldn’t contain any new information.
Hopefully, you’ll manage to overcome your fear of academic writing and impress your instructor with a flawlessly written research papers.
U.S. companies are barreling towards a $1.8 trillion corporate debt
US firms are barreling towards a giant wall of corporate debt that’s about to mature over the next few years, Goldman Sachs strategists said in a note.
There’s $1.8 trillion of corporate debt maturing over the next two years, Goldman Sachs estimated. Firms could be slammed with higher debt servicing costs as interest rates stay elevated. That could eat into corporate revenue and weigh on the US job market.
The investment bank estimated that $790 billion of corporate debt was set to mature in 2024, followed by $1.07 trillion of debt maturing in 2025. That amounts to $1.8 trillion of debt reaching maturity within the next two years, in addition to another $230 billion that will reach maturity by the end of this year, Goldman strategists said.
The wave of debt that will need to be refinanced could spell trouble for companies, as interest rates have been raised aggressively by the Fed over the last year. The Fed funds rate is now targeted between 5.25%-5.5%, the highest range since 2001.
For every extra dollar spent to service their debt, firms will likely pull back on capital expenditures spending by 10 cents and labor spending by 20 cents, the strategists estimated, a reduction that could weigh down the job market by 5,000 payrolls a month in 2024 and 10,000 payrolls a month in 2025.
Experts have warned of trouble for US corporations as credit conditions tighten. Already, the tally of corporate debt defaults in 2023 has surpassed the total number of defaults recorded last year. As much of $1 trillion in corporate debt could be at risk for default if the US faces a full-blown recession, Bank of America warned, though strategists at the bank no longer see a downturn as likely in 2023.
Russian response to sanctions: billions in dollar terms are stuck in Russia
“Tens of billions in dollar terms are stuck in Russia,” the chief executive of one large company domiciled in a country told ‘The Financial Times’. “And there is no way to get them out.”
Western companies that have continued to operate in Russia since Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine have generated billions of dollars in profits, but the Kremlin has blocked them from accessing the cash in an effort to turn the screw on “unfriendly” nations.
Groups from such countries accounted for $18 billion (€16.8 billion) of the $20 billion in Russian profits that overseas companies reported for 2022 alone, and $199 billion of their $217 billion in Russian gross revenue.
Many foreign businesses have been trying to sell their Russian subsidiaries but any deal requires Moscow’s approval and is subject to steep price discounts. In recent days British American Tobacco and Swedish truck maker Volvo have announced agreements to transfer their assets in the country to local owners.
Local earnings of companies from BP to Citigroup have been locked in Russia since the imposition last year of a dividend payout ban on businesses from “unfriendly” countries including the US, UK and all EU members. While such transactions can be approved under exceptional circumstances, few withdrawal permits have been issued.
US groups Philip Morris and PepsiCo earned $775 million and $718 million, respectively. Swedish truck maker Scania’s $621 million Russian profit in 2022 made it the top earner among companies that have since withdrawn from the country. Philip Morris declined to comment. PepsiCo and Scania did not respond to requests for comment.
Among companies of “unfriendly” origin that remain active in Russia, Austrian bank Raiffeisen reported the biggest 2022 earnings in the country at $2 billion, according to the KSE data.
US-based businesses generated the largest total profit of $4.9 billion, the KSE numbers show, followed by German, Austrian and Swiss companies with $2.4 billion, $1.9 billion and $1 billion, respectively.
‘The Financial Times’ reported last month that European companies had reported writedowns and losses worth at least €100 billion from their operations in Russia since last year’s full-scale invasion.
German energy group Wintershall, which this year recorded a €7 billion non-cash impairment after the Kremlin expropriated its Russian business, has “about €2 billion in working interest cash… locked in due to dividend restrictions”, investors were told on a conference.
“The vast majority of the cash that was generated within our Russian joint ventures since 2022 has dissipated,” Wintershall said last month, adding that no dividends had been paid from Russia for 2022.
Russian officials are yet to outline “a clear strategy for dealing with frozen assets”, said Aleksandra Prokopenko, a non-resident scholar at the Carnegie Russia Eurasia Centre. “However, considering the strong desire of foreign entities to regain their dividends, they are likely to explore using them as leverage – for example to urge western authorities to unfreeze Russian assets.”
Transforming Africa’s Transport and Energy Sectors in landmark Zanzibar Declaration
A special meeting of African ministers in charge of transport and energy held from 12-15 September on the theme, “Accelerating Infrastructure to Deliver on the AU Agenda 2063 Aspirations” has concluded with an action-oriented Zanzibar Declaration aimed at spurring the Continent’s transport and energy sectors.
Convened under the auspices of the African Union’s Fourth Ordinary Specialized Technical Committee on Transport, Transcontinental and Interregional Infrastructure and Energy, the meeting was organized by the African Union Commission (AUC) in collaboration with the African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD), the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).
Speaking at the Ministerial segment of the meeting, Robert Lisinge, Acting Director of the Private Sector Development and Finance Division at the ECA called on member states to address the barriers limiting private sector investments in infrastructure and energy, urging them to facilitate investments by creating conducive policy and regulatory environments. “The requirements of continental infrastructure development and the aspirations of Agenda 2063 and Agenda 2030 far exceed current levels of public sector investment,” he said.
He stressed that over the next ten years, there is a need for concerted action to address energy transition and security issues, in order to open up opportunities for the transformation of the continent. He cited ECA’s analytical work on the AfCFTA, which demonstrates there are investment opportunities for infrastructure development in the area of transport and energy and added that digitization and artificial intelligence offer great opportunities for the efficient operation of infrastructure.
According to the Zanzibar Declaration, the Ministers adopted the AUC and ECA continental regulatory framework for crowding-in private sector investment in Africa’s electricity markets. This framework will be used as an instrument for fast-tracking private sector investment participation in Africa’s electricity markets. The Declaration also called on ECA and partners to develop a continental energy security policy framework as called for by the 41st Ordinary Session of the Executive Council and an Energy Security Index and Dashboard to track advancements in achieving Africa’s energy security.
The meeting acknowledged the efforts by ECA to support Member States in coordinating Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) with development partners and the establishment of the African School of Regulation (ASR) as a pan-African centre of excellence to enhance the capacity of Member States on energy regulation.
The Declaration requested the ECA and partner institutions to further act in the following areas:
The AUC, in collaboration with AUDA-NEPAD, ECA, AfDB, RECs, Africa Transport Policy Programme (SSATP), and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat to implement the roadmap on the comprehensive and integrated regulatory framework on road transport in Africa.
ECA, in collaboration with AUC, to identify innovative practices and initiatives that emerged in the aviation industry in Africa during the COVID-19 pandemic and propose ways of sustaining such practices, including the development of smart airports with digital solutions for improved aviation security facilitation and environmental protection.
ECA, in collaboration with AUC, to establish mechanisms for systematic implementation, monitoring and evaluation of continental strategies for a sustainable recovery of the aviation industry.
The AUC, AUDA-NEPAD, AfDB and UNECA to engage with development partners and Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) to mobilize resources for projects preparation and implementation of PIDA-PAP 2 projects.
ECA and AUC, in collaboration with partners, to coordinate PPP initiatives to avoid duplication of efforts and strengthen complementarity.
The AUC and ECA to work with continental, regional and specialized institutions to support the design and implementation of programmes, courses, and capacity development initiatives of the African School of Regulation (ASR) to support the implementation of the African Single Electricity Market and Continental Power System Master Plan.
The AUC to work with AUDA-NEPAD, AfDB, ECA and RECs, respective power pools, regional regulatory bodies, and relevant stakeholders to design continental mechanisms for regulating and coordinating electricity trade across power pools.
AUDA-NEPAD, AUC, AFREC, ECA, AfDB, Power pools and development partners to comprehensively assess local manufacturing of renewable energy technologies and beneficiation of critical minerals for battery manufacturing.
ECA and AFREC to accelerate the implementation of the Energy4Sahel Project to improve the deployment of off-grid technologies and clean cooking in the affected Member States.
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