Accounting research papers allow you to pursue, in-depth, a question or issue that interests you. Even if accounting is your least favorite subject, there are ways to make it more appealing to write. Alternatively, if this is your career path, a research paper in accounting allows you to preview issues, specializations, and firms that interest you. Let’s consider ways to make the process less onerous.
From day one, if the syllabus includes accounting research papers, contemplate topics and resources. Don’t operate in a fog of uncertainty and ignorance. If you’ve never written a research paper before, learn now!
- Approach the professor/teaching assistant – clarify expectations for this accounting research paper
- Pump the librarian about relevant holdings:
- specialized periodicals,
- general business journals, e.g., The Harvard Business Review,
- archived theses/dissertations,
- Specialized databases.
- Librarians are often ludicrously over-qualified and tragically under-utilized.
- Ask permission to see (not take home and copy) an exemplary past paper. It does not hurt to ask.
- Politely interrogate class veterans.
- You have already paid for the on-campus writing support resources. Have you exploited them?
Choose topics that compel YOUR interest:
CPAs/CAs see themselves as James Bond-style heroes, or crime scene investigators. The rest of us struggle to maintain such enthusiasm.Therefore, choose a subject for your accounting research paper with long-term appeal
- Does class discussion suggest intriguing potential topics? Take note!
- Sample The Wall Street Journal/Economist/Financial Times regularly to see who is accounting for what, or should be.
- Explore how scholars approach issues, whether through field study, experimental, analytical, or empirical methods (e.g., wiley.com, journals.elsevier.com).Or search by Method of Reasoning, Treatment, or Area of Accounting at raw.rutgers.edu.
- Are annual reports published for prospective employers?
- IPOs often reveal new data.
- Take the current example of a law firm: blogs.wsj.com
- Does a business issue in another course intrigue you? How does GAAP treat this, and how will it look under the new FASB codification scheme?
- How are matters handled overseas, e.g., in India?
- Assemble a vocabulary of relevant search terms
Submit proposed topics early to get maximum assistance from professor/others:
- Phrase topic as a question
- Seek help in framing thesis statement
Hand in drafts to keep on track:
- Is your proposed supporting evidence credible?
- Is your literature search complete?
Exchange proofing of research papers in accounting with classmates:
- Read aloud
- Cross-check with Grammarly.com, or WhiteSmoke.com, or equivalents