Which is the proper order of the steps we should take toward writing a research? Students constantly ask this question and, even though there are many guides on writing this type of content, they still struggle with finding the right path.
You have finished your research project, but all your efforts will go in vain if you do not turn it into a well laid out assignment. Regardless of the writing or researching skills you have used, no instructor will ever take your writing seriously if you fail to implement order into the content.
For this reason, students need to remember that research papers come accompanied by a specific structure. This underlying structure is the core and basis of every research paper and without it, you cannot nail down your research problem correctly.
Of course, there are differences between various subjects and academic disciplines and some of the fields may require more emphasis in specific parts of the paper. But basically, the order of every research paper is the same.
How To Organize Your Research Paper: Main Components
Research papers are organized in an hourglass structure. This means that students must create an information flow that starts from general to more specific information, followed by returning to the general once again.
This paper has a similar structure like that of other papers, but do not be mistaken – a research paper does not simply consist of an introduction, body paragraphs and conclusion. This is a complex paper that requires detailed information related to the research question, as well as concise and clear discussion of the findings.
To help you out, we have created a short guide on how to organize your research paper:
- Abstract: The abstract serves to shortly review the content in the paper. Basically, it is a short summary of the paper.
- Introduction: A research paper introduction serves to introduce the topic and provide some background information.
- Literature Review: A literature review serves to relate past research to the currently discussed research problem.
- Methods: The methods section speaks of the methodology and design used to complete the study.
- Results: In the results section, the writer presents the results of the research.
- Conclusion: The conclusion or discussion of the research paper comprises of the results of the study and their implications on the specific field. This is the part where you answer and validate the hypothesis, as well as discuss potential for future research.
- References: The bibliography is a must in a research paper since otherwise, you are submitting plagiarized content. This section must be carefully written, alphabetized and must consist of all the sources used throughout the research paper.