What Should Be in a Research Paper: Guide to Essential Parts
A research paper is a must for your master’s thesis, a doctoral dissertation, and a career in various scientific fields. However, how do you go about preparing your first research paper?
Although a research paper is a daunting undertaking for many students, the process is easier once you have figured out the academic paper structure and the approach to writing your paper. This article will analyze various components of a research paper and offer relevant tips for preparing your paper.
Parts of a research paper
The key factor to put in mind when preparing a research paper is to ensure that you follow a concise, well-organized structure. This structure allows your reader to follow your argument and thus ensuring that you lead them to your intended conclusion.
Although the preferred parts of a research paper will differ from one institution to another, the parts of a research paper should include some major parts. These parts include the title page, the introduction, the literature review, the research methodology, a data analysis section, results, conclusion, and a reference page.
Research paper sections
- The cover page
The title page should reflect your name, your administrative details, the title of your paper’s title, and the due date of your assignment. More information might be supplied by your instructor depending on the structure preferred by your faculty.
- The introduction
The introduction is the first section of the body of a research paper. This section follows your title page and could at times be preceded by the acknowledgments, abstract, and table of content. Your introduction should provide the thesis statement, the history of your topic, and highlight your research questions and objectives.
- Literature review
This chapter evaluates your research materials and the theoretical framework on which you built your research. Here, highlight the theories, methods, and gaps in the existing research and draw the connections between the points of view presented in these materials.
The literature review should also show the gaps in existing work, setting the basis for your research. When justifying your research, propose a new solution, and show how various sources support your ideology.
- Research methodology
The methods part of a research paper highlights the approaches followed to investigate the key objectives of your research paper. The common methods of research may include observation, lab experiments, and statistical evaluations.
This chapter should enlist the research method to allow for replication in case another scholar intends to investigate a similar thesis. The research chapter should show your sampling strategy and justify your selection criteria.
- Data analysis
This section is of much importance among various parts of a research paper. The analysis chapter should analyze the results that you’ve encountered within your research. This will help you to introduce new ideas that shine a light on the topics you’ve researched.
This chapter should analyze the data yielded from your research. Here, include the tabulations and graphs that help your reader to compare your results with your observations. The results should concur with your methodology and highlight the limitations of your research approach.
The discussion is the chapter where you bring together the findings and sources that concur with your hypothesis. Within the body, discuss the unexpected results and offer insight on how your findings refute the counterarguments to your topic.
Your conclusion should reiterate your thesis and offer recommendations for future research. Within the conclusion, show why your research was important, the new concept that was discovered, and how further studies could be conducted to overcome various challenges that you encountered.
- Reference page
This page should cover all the bibliographies used within your paper. Be keen to ensure that the references are styled properly in a format that was recommended by your tutor.
What is the most important part of a research paper?
Having covered the components of a research paper, it is crucial to determine the most important section of your paper. When writing your paper, be keen on the abstract, the introduction, and the results.
These sections carry the most important as they anchor your argument, helping you to draw various conclusions.
How to write a discussion part of a research paper
When writing the discussion of your research paper, limit it to 30% of the total word count and reiterate your major findings and the research problem. Also, analyze your findings and relate them to findings from previous research, to support your arguments and dispel various fallacies within the research topic.
Writing an academic paper is a must for students pursuing their master’s and doctorate degrees. This guide will help you to easily go about your research paper and to secure a decent score.