How to Structure a Research Paper

Jul 31, 2018

A research paper is a student's independent exploration of a particular problem. Such writing reveals their knowledge and the ability to apply it to solve specific practical issues. The research paper should be logically completed and demonstrate how successfully and correctly you can use competent terminology, state your thoughts, and argue certain assumptions. However, if you want to get the highest grade, it's not enough just to have extensive knowledge of your field and to hand your assignment in time. One of the main requirements for such type of writing is an appropriate structure of a research paper. If your paper is well-structured and its parts are logically interconnected, the whole paper will be more coherent and trustworthy for your audience. As a rule, every good piece of academic writing that is done correctly has three main parts: introduction, body part, and conclusion. Each of these parts has its own peculiarities and requirements that must be followed, as well as some tips to make it more enjoyable and informative. Therefore, we have one central question: how to structure a research paper to get the best results? In this article, we are going to fill you with the knowledge about the main parts of the excellent research paper and help you develop your skills in analytics, logic, and creativity.

How to Organize a Research Paper

A basic structure of a research paper is usually called IMRAD and consists of:

  1. Introduction.
  2. Methods of research.
  3. Research results.
  4. Discussion.

Besides, a refined paper could have the following additional components:

  • an outline;
  • acknowledgments;
  • references part.

But keep in mind that different research paper requirements could have different obligatory points, and it will depend on the instructions of your professor. That is why it's important to be extremely attentive in order to write your paper in the best way. Of course, to know everything about how to organize a research paper perfectly, you are to study each of its parts in detail. Be sure that after reading some informative explications and instructions below you will become a real master of research papers, and their structure will be just a piece of cake for you!

The Introduction: Easy Dos and Don'ts

First of all, it is worth mentioning that a good introduction begins long before the beginning of the paper as such. Everything starts with the title page. Make sure that it contains the following points:

  • The title of your research paper.
    Simple but informative. The reader should understand what to expect from your writing.
  • Author.
    Your name, as well as the name of your research monitor. It is your individual paper, and you must indicate it.
  • Keywords.
    The basis of your research work and its main points.

Also, you can specify such information as financial & equipment support, corresponding authors, or conflicts of interests (if needed) on your title page. Then, an abstract is up. It is a research paper summary in which you make a brief overview of the aim, process, and even the results of the work you've done.

And finally, you can move on to the research paper introduction. While working on it, you need to establish some main points: what is the primary purpose of your research and what results you want to get out of conducting it. A proper answer to this question will provide you with a solid foundation. A useful tip for a successful introduction: try to make it intriguing and exciting; make your reader want to know what's next.

Now, when we're done with the successful beginning for your research paper, it's time to take a closer look at its main part - the body paragraph.

Main Body: Informative and Persuasive

In this part, you are to provide detailed information about your research. The body paragraphs in a research paper lies in describing the following aspects:

  • Where your research was conducted.
    Specify the target audience of your study or a particular issue you've studied; mention the number of the research's participants; justify your choice.
  • Methods you've implemented in the research.
    Be careful and decide in advance what methods would be the most effective and productive.
  • Sources.
    Used information sources and methods of data collection; show your skills of researching and analyzing the information.

What should you know to make the body part of your research paper a refined one? Don't forget about the sources you can use in your research. It can be more than just books or useful articles you've found on the internet. Be creative and try to use a more diverse system of additional materials such as graphs and schemes, conduct different pools, look through previous studies on the chosen issue. Speaking frankly, you can include almost everything you find appropriate. The main principle of all the references you are going to use in writing is that it should be not only interesting but reliable and relevant. Use real facts that will provide your ideas and studies with trustworthy pieces of evidence and grounds. Then, make sure that the body part of your research is well-organized and logically coherent to the reader. Be careful as to not overdo it, though.

Conclusion: The Harvest Time

As it was mentioned, there are two more important parts of a successful research paper: research results and discussion (if required). So, it's time to summarize all the results you've got and present them in the best way possible. In the conclusion part, you make up a report on your key findings. Don't forget about your central statement from the introduction part, and try to complete the logical circle of your thoughts and ideas. Try not to reiterate the information that was already mentioned - synthesize it!

If you want to make your research paper conclusion more informative and developed, you could add a discussion part to it. Here you will have to interpret your findings thoroughly and make them even more reliable and persuasive.

  • Try to predict any possible questions concerning your research.
  • Explain the importance of your work in the context of previous studies.
  • Suggest some real ways for practical implementation of the results you've got.
  • Restate a scientific value of the research for any future studies of a particular issue.
  • Think over and prove the future perspectives of your studying.

The research paper is an assignment that undoubtedly requires a lot of knowledge and peculiar skills to succeed in its preparation. But, as you can see, everything becomes simple when studied in details. So, we hope that our research paper structure guidelines will come in handy and will help you with writing your paper perfectly.

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