It’s never easy to write a financial analysis paper. It can be overwhelming, especially when it is about something you aren’t knowledgeable about. It is key for any paper to be fundamental and informational. Sometimes it can just seem like an impossible task. This guide will walk you through the process of writing a strong financial analysis paper in 10 steps. From determining what your paper should be about, to organizing your thoughts, and finally formatting and proofreading your piece- this article will cover it all! The following are 10 steps that will help make writing a financial analysis paper easier.
Narrow your research topic
You have to narrow your topic, or else you may be searching for the ideal topic for several hours. If you have a problem choosing what to write about, try to get help. There are many courses that cover the field of finance. Take advantage of the opportunity to learn more about the field you are writing about. Do some research on the internet, or check out your local library.
Divide your paper into manageable parts
This is one of the most difficult tasks when writing a paper, but it is the one that ensures the grade you receive. Create a specific schedule of steps and create different sections to a paper. Having different sections allows you to effectively organize your thoughts and also allow you to find a way to structure your paper so that it is of high quality.
Write an outline
The first step of any paper is to determine what it is going to be about. Take a few minutes and look over the project brief that you are required to write. This will help you in determining what it is you will be able to write about.
Gather your research
The next step is to gather the information you need. You need to be able to find a research source you are comfortable with. You don’t want to become overwhelmed if you don’t have access to a quality research source. I recommend using GOOGLE Scholar. It will allow you to have access to over 200,000 articles, which are indexed. You will find a wide variety of sources, but it may take some time to find a great one.
Identify the core research question
The core research question should be one that will give you strong insights.
Draft your argument
The beginning of a great paper is an idea! This is a place for you to pitch your topic and convince your audience that your particular concept is the best option. The trick is to be creative. There are many different ways to craft an idea into a meaningful argument. Some ways include:
Using evidence to back up your argument
Choosing a strong figure from your audience
Coming up with counterarguments to counter your hypothesis
I once came up with a great idea. It was a brand new and simple thought that was wholly revolutionary. But, my research and analyses for this idea never made it into my paper. The opposite is true, you need to fully flesh out and engage your audience with your idea. Make it clear that you are passionate about your topic and your evidence backs it up.
Develop a thesis statement
The foundation of a research paper is the thesis statement. The thesis statement is essentially what you are trying to achieve. Your thesis statement will be what the majority of your paper is about. It will state the essence of your paper. The thesis statement may be a mix of your field of study and your purpose of writing the paper. A good thesis statement will explain the purpose of your paper, its main goal and how it ties to your chosen topic. Your thesis statement will also provide examples that you used throughout your paper.
You can get a good idea of what your thesis statement should be through reading the book, How to Write a College Paper. Try reading this article at least twice and then put yourself to the test.
Support your thesis statement with evidence from sources
This is probably the most important thing to keep in mind when writing a fundamental paper about a certain topic. Even if you think that you have covered all your sources, it’s important that you double check your sources. I have had students accidentally make a huge error in their research when they didn’t double check their source before submitting their paper. If you do make a mistake, have the courage to admit to it. It’s better to find it and correct it yourself, than for you to suffer the consequences for accidentally plagiarizing your thesis statement.
(Taken from 6 Common Mistakes in Fundamentals Financial Analysis Papers)
The first step in your research phase should be to read through your thesis statement.
Organize your paper
When you are organized, it is easier to figure out what to write about. As you might imagine, the more often you write, the better your writing becomes. Start by reading through your bibliography and decide what is most important. Once you are finished, narrow down your focus.
Write a logical structure
When you have a logical structure, you can easily organize your paper. In our case, we will be dividing our paper into the following sub-sections: A section on financial analysis, followed by a section on value. Use the main idea of your paper, plus whatever additional information you can find.
This is also called the thesis statement. Make sure it is structured in a way that allows you to communicate it clearly.
Your writing should be consistent.
Choose a format
When writing a financial analysis paper, it can be helpful to determine what type of format you would like your paper to take. A classic one includes a table of contents. A highly touted one would be a conclusion with supporting data. While it’s important to choose a format that is both clear and informative, it’s important to recognize what format doesn’t matter! The first step is to find out what is important to you. Do you want to emphasize quotes, tables and data, or is there a particular process you would like to follow? Just because one format is appropriate, it doesn’t mean it’s best for your paper.
Find the research
The next thing you must do is do some research. You may find your sources of research can be anything from the following: the following:
Check your references.
This is an obvious one but it is one of the most important parts of formatting a paper. If you use a one column format for your paper, make sure that your text, and charts are clearly labeled. Use your font and number of colors to make your charts and text legible.
The term “indices” is used to describe variables that you are going to use to measure your data and gain insight. This may be in terms of market capitalization, dividends, earnings, price, etc. You need to choose the correct time period for your paper. In my paper I chose a specific date that was important to my company (I am a real estate company). By choosing the correct time period, I was able to include my data in a simple and clear format that people can understand.
A Two-columns format will require you to put more thought into your paper. You will have to organize your information and write in two columns. For example, if you have 2 bullet points, you would put one in the middle of the paper and the other on the left side. This will help you organize your thoughts and make sure everything is in order.
Get a good outline.
Having a good outline is essential to writing a fundamental financial analysis paper. An outline will help you organize your thoughts and make sure you don’t get distracted from your main goal. Using the outline, you can focus on building your essay around the outline. Your outline should be a section break away from the conclusion of the paper.
Proofread and revise
Before you submit your paper, it is important to check over your work for grammar and formatting errors. If there are any, fix them immediately! Once you have proofread your paper, give it a final read through before you submit it. The quality of your paper will determine if it is published or not. If you don’t check over your paper enough, it can be a good idea to either make the changes yourself or hire a professional. If you choose to do the revision yourself, try and submit your paper early. You don’t want your boss seeing a sloppy paper! If you have any formatting questions or are having trouble creating headers, headings, tables, etc., then contact your school’s university publishing services.