Every student in the course of their study is required to do research and document their findings in a paper. The paper is an author’s original piece of academic writing based on a particular topic, analysis, and interpretation of the research findings.
While it is an essential document in the conferment of an academic award, most students don’t know the parts of a research paper. Majority of the students delve into the writing process without giving thought to the basic intricacies and order in which it should be written. Below are distinct elements of a research paper.
- The Title
Every piece of writing has a title. It is what distinguishes it from other pieces of similar nature. Your research should have a title. As the first element, it expresses what your paper is all about.
The abstract comes immediately after the title. It is a paragraph that briefly and efficiently summarizes your paper. It affirms to the objectives of the research and the reasons that propelled its undertaking. It explains how data was collected, handled, recorded, and examined to make the research a success. The abstract also includes the primary research deductions.
After the abstract, the introduction follows, and it states the thesis of the study. It explains why the research is relevant and vital. It dictates the flow of the paper, and hence it is the most critical part of the paper. The specifics and details of the study are not dealt with within this section. You only mention what the research entails and focus on making the paper interesting. You don’t want to lose your reader at this point.
- Literature Review
A literature review is acknowledging the researches done before your paper. It considers the current published works that focus on the subject matter and evaluates what others have already done.
In this section, you have to illustrate in detail how your research was carried out and provide the techniques used. The reader should be able to see that the methods were detailed and rationalized to enable them to imagine the ways themselves. Clarity and logic are crucial at this part.
In this part, you have to leave out your personal opinion and detail your results but don’t explain. Using graphics and tables is advisable as they help a reader visualize the results and understand your findings.
Here, you talk about the results, the effects, and how it affects your thesis. You can compare your results to findings to studies done before, provide suggestions on what should be corrected. In conclusion, outline and relate your interpretations.
Research paper writing is never complete without listing the references. The bibliography is an alphabetized list of academic authorities. It comprises a list of the title, author, and publication date. The format of the references will match the format and style used in the paper. Commonly used formats are APA and MLA formats. It helps to avoid plagiarism which is a crime in academic writing.
The basic structure of writing a paper should consider the above elements. They can be adjusted to accommodate something else, but in its simplest form, you can use it throughout your education. Having the structure in your fingertips is an advantage as it can be used in various careers. It is a life skill that shouldn’t be ignored. However, students with problems writing their essay should reach research paper help for assistance.