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10th Seminar Forum:how to select topics for academic papers

In order to help students select topics for academic papers properly and accurately for a better academic creation, the graduate student association of Business School held the 10th Seminar Forum in Academic Development Guidance Center on the second floor of Xing Min Building on the afternoon of April 10th. Doctor-postgraduate Chen Zhu was invited as a guest to share her experience on “how to select topics for academic papers”.

Chen Zhu is a doctor-postgraduate of Management Science and Engineering at Business School of Nanjing Normal University, with research direction of Internet Finance, Risk Management of Commercial Banks and Financial System, etc. She has published more than 10 papers, hosted 1 Jiangsu College Student Innovation Training Project and 2 Jiangsu Postgraduate Innovation Training Projects, and participated in 1 Jiangsu Bureau of Statistics Project. She was awarded the National Scholarship for Postgraduate in 2014, the second prize of the 10th Jiangsu Philosophy and Social Science "Economics and Management" Special Session Outstanding Conference Paper in 2016, and NNU Doctorate Academic Youth in 2015, and she was selected into NNU Funding Scheme for Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Topic Selection in 2016.

At the beginning of Seminar, Chen Zhu introduced her doctoral dissertation topic, combined with her own academic experience, to further guide students on how to select topics for academic papers. First of all, she pointed out that selecting topics should be based on the “Shoulders of the Giant”, that is, the topics should be closely related to the direction of one’s tutor, because tutors generally have made great achievements in their fields of research, and have a clear understanding of current research situation and future research direction, so that they can play a good role in guiding students' academic paper writing. She stressed that when the general direction of the paper was clear, we should also further focus on the refinement of the research topics. After clarifying her research direction as "Internet Finance" and "Risk Control", Zhu began to consult a large number of documents and read references of relevant studies step by step until the most basic initial study of the subject was found. And at the same time, she said, this process was a good chance to deepen her logical cognition and overall grasp ability on the subject, and then, to further refine the direction of research, and conduct literature review. She suggested that students pay attention to the authoritative journals cited in the English literature, by reading the abstract and the introduction to clarify the latest foreign research direction and research methods, which also had great guiding significance on the selection of paper topics and English reference literature. She believed after clarifying the direction and content of the topic, we should further form a written report and discuss with our tutor, and constantly improved in the process of research on the topic, the paper's innovative concise to the topic, in order to enhance attraction. Secondly, Zhu advised us to seek out current hot topics from the subjects financed by the National Social Science Fund, to study the topic from another angles, so as to ensure the novelty of topic. Meanwhile, she didn’t recommend to study very new issues, because there may not be enough relative documents to refer to, which would increase the difficulty of the completion of literature review, and would leave loopholes in the paper. Finally, Chen Zhu persuaded students to have a good command of econometric software, and take active part in domestic and international academic conferences, which would greatly promote the development of our vision and abilities.

After her sharing of the theme, the audience actively asked questions about report topics and problems they encountered in their academic creation, and Zhu shared her opinions one by one patiently. Through this experience sharing seminar of academic creation, students have a deeper understanding of the ideas and methods of topic selection. The plan for the year begins in spring. Let’s devote ourselves actively into academic creation. Do not live up to light, tempered forward!