Writing a well-structured research paper does not come naturally to most of us – it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. One may spend months and even years doing a research paper. To some, it can be even challenging to start writing, let alone thinking of how to structure the research paper. A typical research paper is a highly codified rhetorical form. Knowledge of rules – some explicit, others implied – goes a long way toward writing a manuscript that will get accepted in a peer-reviewed journal.
Research structure is basically the outline of your paper. For instance, a complete research paper in APA style reporting on a scientific study will typically contain a title, abstract, introduction, literature review, methods, results, discussion, and references sections. This structure helps you present your views, analysis, and research findings in a scientific manner. Every college student must understand how to structure a research paper because, at some point, they’ll have to complete one in partial fulfillment of their degree program. Accordingly, this article aims to help students understand the basic structure of a research paper.
How to Structure a Research Paper
But you might be thinking, should we have a structure in the first place? The point of having scientifically defined parts of a research paper is not to make your life as a student harder. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. The different parts provide a structure that consistently makes the research project easier to comprehend and aligns with the proper scientific methodology. It guides researchers and students in the writing process, ensuring they can focus on critical components one at a time. It also provides a valuable outline you can rely on to delineate your assignment effectively. Besides, having a solid structure prepares students to be future researchers since all modern science is contingent on similar precepts. So, how do you go about structuring your research paper? You can use professional help to guide you through or teach yourself how to go about it.
Use Paper Writing Services to Write Your Research Papers
Writing a research paper is a daunting task for many students. It is even more challenging for beginners in academic writing and non-native English speakers at inception. But the best way to begin writing research papers is to learn from a professional who can guide you through the entire process. There’re many professional paper writing services that you can use not only to write your research paper but also for other academic assignments. A research paper writing service by CustomWritings helps students with different assignments during their studies. They handle small papers, a few pages long, as well as full-scale dissertations, research and term papers, and coursework. They have more than 400 writers who are specialized in more than 75 disciplines, implying that no matter your course, you’ll have an expert to guide and write your paper. The company’s prices are also affordable, and they write each paper from scratch. Visit their website and review what other perks they have in store for you.
The Typical Structure of a Research Paper
With that in mind, we can now focus on the structure of a research paper outline, which should have specific sections with goals and sub-sections. These sections are detailed as follows.
- Title page. The very first page of the research paper identifies its title, along with your name, learning institution, and date. Ensure that any reader can understand the purpose of the research paper just by reading the title. The title is the most crucial part of the manuscript.
- Abstract. The abstract is a one-paragraph summary of the entire study. Typically, it should be no more than 250 words in length. Keep the sentences short and focused and avoid acronyms and citations.
- Introduction. What is the topic, and why is it essential to study? The introduction describes the topic under investigation and summarizes what you’re setting out to accomplish with the research project. It includes a statement of the problem you’re looking to scrutinize, and any solutions or recommendations anticipated beforehand.
- Literature review. This section of the research paper provides the theoretical and empirical framework that you elaborated on during the research. You must present the sources (as in-text citations) you have used during your research. These sources must be credible from an academic standpoint and should be from books, peer-reviewed journals, reports, and other relevant publications.
- Research methodology. The research methodology section explains the research process. It provides the reader with information like research design, sampling methods, data collection methods, and data analysis. The rule of thumb is that this part must be descriptive, precise, and detailed.
- Results. What did you find? While all the parts of a research paper are important, this section is probably the most crucial from a practical standpoint. Out of all the parts of the paper, you’ll analyze the collected data during the research and present the findings stating their value. You can present the results straightforwardly and factually using numerical graphs, figures, and percentages.
- Discussion. What is the significance of the findings? The discussion section typically summarizes the results obtained in the study. It describes how those findings address the topic under investigation and the issues the research intended to address. It can also expand on the implications of those findings. In other words, the results must align with the previously stated methodology and point out any implications suggested by your data that may be pertinent to different fields of study. The discussion should also identify shortcomings in your approach that would allow you or other researchers to improve the study’s outcomes. Students must also address the limitations and directions for future research.
- Conclusion. The conclusion succinctly reiterates the thesis statement or research question, methodology, and analyzed data. By drawing all these elements together, you will reach the purpose of your research.
- References. The reference page allows the author to document all the sources used during the research process and when writing the manuscript. It is an alphabetized list of the sources cited in the paper. You should follow strict formatting guidelines, such as Harvard, MLA, Chicago, and APA styles.
Writing a research paper can be very overwhelming unless you have a solid action plan. That is why most modern learning institutions now demand students to follow a conventional research paper structure. Ensure you focus on disparate parts of a research paper one at a time to make the writing process more manageable. These guidelines are not meant to make students’ lives difficult but actually to help them stay focused and produce articulate and thoughtful research that can make an impact in their fields of study. Therefore, read and follow these tips to write your next research paper. You can also use this outline as your template or research paper structure example to guide you through the process.