Research Paper Structure: Helpful Tips And Examples

Writing a research paper is quite a serious undertaking. You should properly present theoretical information on the topic, provide your own ideas, and support them with the results of your independent study. Fortunately, all academic papers should follow a similar structure which makes it easier to organize your work in a right manner.

Main Components of a Research Paper

  • Abstract
  • In no more than 200 words, clearly summarize your paper. This is where you should quickly introduce the topic, pose the question to be answered in the project, and give some information about the methods used and results obtained. The reader should completely understand what your work is about upon reading the abstract.

  • Introduction
  • First, introduce the topic broadly and give some background information on it. Only then go narrow by presenting the problem you are going to explore, setting your goals, and stating your position on the issue. You should also justify why this particular question or hypothesis should be studied.

  • Methods
  • Describe the research design and explain your choice of methods. Depending on the type of paper you are going to produce and the subject itself, you can choose different methods. Give basic information about the methods applied, equipment used, and participants involved and don’t describe the process in details.

  • Results
  • Provide the results of your study. The way you choose to present the data depends on whether your analysis is qualitative or quantitative. Try to present the results within the text and use graphs and tables only if there is too much information to cover. The results should be directly related to your hypothesis. You shouldn’t interpret them in this chapter.

  • Discussion
  • Analyze and interpret your findings. This will help you prove or disapprove your hypothesis and answer your questions. Write about all possible implications of the results of your study as well.

  • Bibliography
  • List all of the references in an alphabetical order. Use the right format to present the references.

Additional Tips on Organizing Your Research Paper

  • Since your abstract is used to summarize the whole paper, write it the last.
  • Write your introduction the first.
  • Even though some students prefer to craft their introduction chapters the last, don’t repeat their mistakes. It’ll help you stayed focused in the process of writing since this section sets the goals to achieve and raises the questions to answer.

  • Refer to proper examples.
  • You may be asked to follow APA, MLA, Harvard, or any other format in your paper. To meet all of the formatting requirements, find a well-written example in the necessary style and use it as a template.

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