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The Parts Of A Research Paper: 7 Structure Rules To Remember

Writing a research paper is like building a house. Your project should include certain components, which serve like firm building blocks. If you miss any of them, the construction will fall apart. Depending on your discipline, there may be some differences in formatting and organizing different sections. The reason is that there are different writing styles, like APA, MLA, or Chicago format, and the nuances of using them in academic writing somewhat differ. However, the basic parts of any research paper remain the same. Make use of the following rules to structure your work well.

  1. Concisely review the finished paper in the abstract.
  2. Whatever style you pursue, an abstract is a must. It is a brief summary of the whole project (80-120 words) that should inspire the reader to read the whole document.

  3. State your position in the introduction.
  4. In an introduction, you should:

    • Generally present the research problem
    • Why is the problem important? Why has nobody solved it yet? Why did you choose this field of study?

    • State your objectives
    • What are you going to achieve in this work? What are your hypotheses?

    • Hint at how you are going to prove your position.
    • What form will your paper take? How are you going to explore the problem?

  5. Describe your methodology in the method section.
  6. In different disciplines, different methods are used. Explain your choice of methods and describe the procedure. Remember to be detailed enough so that other scholars could easily replicate your experiment.

  7. Share your findings in the results section.
  8. Your results will depend on your discipline, objectives, and methodology. You should present the statistics and numerical data if your research is quantitative. If it is qualitative, you should just generally describe some trends. If you have a lot of results, it will be better to present them in tables or graphs.

  9. Interpret your findings in the discussion section.
  10. Explain the obtained results. Your discussion should be relevant to the points presented in your introduction.

    Confirm that your thesis statement was proved or analyze why it wasn’t.

  11. Look at your findings in a broader perspective in the conclusion.
  12. Connect your findings with other studies in the field.

  13. Acknowledge the sources in the reference list.
  14. The sources that you used for your paper should be presented in compliance with the rules of APA, MLA, Chicago, or any other specified format. Your references will help other scholars find the needed information and follow you in this area of study.

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