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How To Structure A Research Paper: 10 Helpful Hints
There is generally an accepted structure your teacher will require for your research paper. In order to get the paper the way it’s intended to be, you should follow a pattern. The following 10 hints will help you to achieve the structure that will help to make your paper a winner.
- Use the conversation, research and findings of other scholars in the same field you are writing about.
- Use the sections most other writers include in their scholarly papers – introduction, methodology, results, discussion, summary or conclusion and recommendations for further development.
- The introduction should be laid out according to this pattern: present the problem or the issue you are trying to solve, give the purpose or focus of your paper, and summarize the arguments or position of other writers.
- The blueprint for the introduction is very similar if not exactly the same as for the entire paper as a whole.
- Use transition sentences to move from one paragraph to another.
- The introduction will give a preamble to lead into the body of the paper; each paragraph following the introduction will give a transition into the next paragraph.
- The methods section should give the reader details as to the methodology and specific materials you used to perform your research. If you conducted a survey or a lab experiment, details belong in this section. Some methodologies specific to your field of study should be incorporated as well.
- Consult your teacher as to the best way to structure your methods section. You usually write in past tense.
- The results section will give the findings and data analysis to the reader. It should include quantitative information and/or qualitative information. Brief descriptions, instructions or explanations of your findings should also be included. You may use a list or write in an essay-like fashion.
- Follow accepted conventions for creating your charts, tables and graphs according to which style you are required to write in. For example APA style, Chicago style, etc. Each style has requirements for formatting this part of the paper.
The discussion is also part of the body of your paper. It should follow the results section. Finally, your conclusion is a summary of all the sections of your written work. It should highlight the important parts and remind the reader about the findings of your study.
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