Research Paper Structure: Guide to Writing a Comprehensive Paper

Writing a research paper obliges you to follow a research paper structure. This will help keep your research organized and more polished. The general flow of a research paper starts with something very general as in the introduction and other introductory parts and then goes to something more specific and detailed as in the body of your work and flows back to the general as in your conclusion. Because of this flow, some people find it confusing and tedious to write a research paper. But with a research paper structure, you can easily transition from general to specific and back to general seamlessly.

Title Page

Every research paper must contain a title page that contains the following information:

  • Title of the Research
  • Name of the author/s (as in you, the writer, and other people involved in writing the paper)
  • Name and position of mentor/instructor
  • Name of the program or subject this paper is written for
  • Department affiliated with this research
  • Contact information of the author and instructor
  • Date the research was completed and written

Abstract

Research papers must always have an abstract. This is the gist of your research readers can read to get a glimpse of what the research is all about. This must contain at most 5 sentences. Just take some of the most important points in your research and summarize them into 5 sentences. It should contain the following:

  • Problem that lead to the research
  • Purpose of this research
  • Methods used to conduct the research
  • Major results obtained
  • Interpretations and inferences of the results obtained

Introduction

In this part, you must be able to provide your readers with all the background information needed to understand your research. The introduction is the blueprint of your research hence you have to write this part as comprehensive as you can. This part should include the following:

  • Presentation of the problem
  • Purpose of the study
  • Objectives of the study
  • Definition of terms
  • Background of the study
  • Scope and limitation of the study
  • Previous studies associated with your research
  • Methodology
    • This is the part of the research paper structure is where you will discuss the methods you used to come up with the results. You should be able to describe in detail the methodology used as well as the materials needed to employ that method such as questionnaires, interviews, statistics and other hard data you were able to obtain.

      Results

      This is the part of the research paper structure where you will state all the results you got out of your study. You can present it as quantitative information in the form of graphs, statistics, charts, and tables. Or, present it as qualitative data that includes transcriptions of interviews, survey results, and questionnaire results. It can also be a combination of both qualitative and quantitative information.

      Discussion

      This is where you will discuss your results and state your opinion about it. Generalizations based on the results you got are also an important part of this section. Explain the repercussions or importance of the results you were able to obtain from this study. Then, state details or examples that can support that statement and refer it back to the introduction you made.

      Conclusion and Recommendations

      Conclusions are important in unifying your entire study. You can elaborate on important points here and restate the major results you got. Conclude with a generalization of your entire study and answer questions presented in the introduction.

      You will have to provide recommendations for further study because as said in the introduction, there are limitations to this study.

      Reference List

      You have to provide a comprehensive and detailed list of all books, data and people you used as sources. You can use either APA or CBE guidelines as format for your reference list.

      Acknowledgements

      If you would like to thank or mention important people who helped you create and finish this study, you can do so in this section. This research paper structure allows you to create a research paper that contains all information needed by the readers to understand the study better. This can also help you come up with an organized paper as well.

      About Lee

      Lee Bailey is a Senior Lecturer at the Economics faculty at University of Toronto. His research interests include microeconomics studies and scarcity of resources, development of international trade and globalization. Been a great lecturer and researcher, he provides Personal Statement Help for students of economics. You can reach him here for more details and quick answers.