Guide to a Proper Structure of a Research Paper

Writing a research paper ranks top on the list of the ill-favored endeavors students have to partake in. However, detesting a paper is not enough a reason to be exempted from an examination. 

It is thus mandatory for students at the college level and those pursuing their master’s studies to handle at least one research paper in the course of their program. 

Owing to this, we thought it necessary to guide you in the structure of a paper, helping your maneuver common pitfalls. This article will also illuminate the content of each research paper chapter to help focus your writing efforts. 

Research paper paragraph structure

How are research papers structured?

Research papers are structured into chapters that build up to your conclusion. The chapters build on the history of your paper, helping the reader analyze your paper’s essence. Additionally, the structure helps you analyze your claims and guides your reader through your research to your conclusion.

Research papers are thus structured to allow your reader to skim through key details of your paper and gain a gist of your argument. This structure also helps you logically organize your ideas, ensuring the flow of your argument. 

Research paper sections

Although most sections of a research paper are common across the globe, each faculty offers guidelines on their preferred structure of a research paper. We thus recommend that you consult the institution’s essay writing manual and ask your tutor for guidance on the sections to include in your paper. 

If there are no guidelines specified by your faculty, divide your research paper into the: title page, abstract, introduction, methods, results, discussion, conclusion, bibliographies, and appendixes. 

  1. Title page

This page is the easily done section of a research paper provided that you know your name, your tutor’s name, and the topic of your paper. Be keen when writing this section and format in the manner guided by your teacher. 

We also recommend that you pay ample focus on topic selection to ensure that your title captures your reader’s interest. 

  1. Abstract

The abstract is a summary of your work, ranging between two hundred and fifty and three hundred words. This section establishes the issue under discussion, some background to the topic, your research objectives, and the key findings of your research. 

The abstract is thus a condensed version of your paper that helps readers gauge how well your paper addresses their needs. It would be best to write the abstract last as you would be better placed to present a concise summary of your paper. 

  1. Introduction

Like the former, the introduction is of key importance in hooking your reader and reeling them into your claims. The introduction delves deeper into the background of your study while justifying your investigation. 

This section also highlights your research objectives and introduces your thesis statement in the last sentence. 

  1. Methods

After justifying your research and introducing your thesis, the methods section lays out the criteria you will employ to investigate your claims. Here, list down the tasks and tools used in your research to allow other scholars to test the credence of your conclusions.

  1. Results

After writing your methods, present the results that were yielded by your study. The results should be expressed in simple-to-understand charts and tables. You shouldn’t show the minutia of your calculations here, instead, present it in your appendixes section. 

You could also present a summary of the results after your charts. Refrain from discussing the implications of your findings as this should be done within your discussion.

  1. Discussion

Finally, tie-down your findings to the sources related to the topic and show how these, together, prove your claims. Note that each claim should either be corroborated by your research or the data from existing studies. Also, credit your sources where necessary, to avoid plagiarism claims. 

  1. Conclusion

This chapter joins the other sections, showing the implications of your research and recommendations for future work. You could also use this opportunity to acknowledge various counterarguments and to dispel the misinformation relating to your topic. 

  1. Bibliography

The bibliography is a crucial element of your paper and is common in the academic paper structure. This section lists down all sources that have been used, helping readers refer to in-text citations and relate them to their sources. 

  1. Appendixes

This section comprises all additional elements that were of relevance to your investigation. 

Final take

We hope that this guide has helped you with all your questions regarding the structure of a scientific paper. Feel free to view our blog for tips on writing a quality paper and to consult our experts for custom assistance. 

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