Research Paper Writing and Structure: Main Steps

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7 minutes readingJun 12, 2020

Obtaining a degree always means lots of scientific searching summed up in academic writing. Students of different programs have to deal with coursework as well as smaller tasks to improve their writing and analysis skills. As each academic degree presents a special type of work to be completed throughout the course (bachelor's or master's thesis, doctoral dissertation, etc.), students start preparing for these assignments during their studies. To do this, they complete smaller but similar tasks in structure, and a research paper is one of them.

Nevertheless, an effective project takes much time and work to create. Even though it is not as significant as a term task, thesis, or dissertation, there are many aspects to be aware of here. Considering the constant flow of new assignments from other subjects, many students find it hard to focus on this task exclusively, as they also have to complete additional academic papers and deal with other matters. Therefore, many of them decide to delegate this task to professional writers and order a research paper at different writing services.

That is why we recommend that you check out our academic writing service if you want your document to be written by an expert writer. We guarantee the highest quality as well as an individual approach, so you can be sure that you get the best experience. Still, if you want to write this assignment by yourself, we have prepared for you an article on how to structure a research paper. Follow the advice of our professional writers and make your writing process much simpler!

What Is a Research Paper?

A research paper is a form of academic writing which is quite common at colleges and universities. As you can deduct from its name, this task requires some content analysis and a particular problem studied. The students have to choose a topic, define the main research question, and provide the statistical conclusion of the project in sufficient detail. Considering that this task is a form of scientific writing, it has to follow a specific writing style and the rules of academic writing based on the instructor's requirements. Sometimes tasks like these summarize key findings of other scholars; in this case, some background information from scientific papers is comprised of one document.

Research Paper Structure: Step-by-Step Writing Guide

Writing a research paper is a complicated process consisting of a few stages, and each of them has to be approached in a logical sequence. With our writing tips, we hope to make this experience as easy as possible. Still, do not hesitate to contact our writers if you have some questions pertaining to the research process.

Choose Your Topic

Your work on a good research paper has to start with defining a research paper topic that will appeal to you and hold your interest throughout the whole time of your study. Some students decide to choose a topic that would be easier to write about, but they soon find it tedious when there is no personal interest in the process. Therefore, make sure that your research question is appealing enough to make the process of studying academic journals less discouraging.

Try to recall the topics which you were fond of in your subject and see if it fits the requirements of a research paper. It can be done by trying to break your topic down into smaller questions, which later can become headings for separate parts of your paper. The research question has to be extensive enough to write the number of pages required by your institution, so do not choose a narrow aspect of some issues. In a similar way, if your topic of interest is too broad for the assignment, try to define a certain point of it to cover in a research paper.

You can ask your supervisor for some examples of research paper topics, or you can browse the Internet for inspiration. Just remember not to copy others completely; by no means is plagiarism allowed in academic writing.

Make a Plan

The main mistake in writing a research paper is approaching the task chaotically and on a whim, as it is only a proper plan for the structure of a research paper that can keep you on track. Therefore, state the objectives of your study at the very beginning to know the direction of the study. Writing a research paper outline is the best way to deal with the initial problems of your assignment. By doing so, you can see the broader picture and how well your topic fits the requirements.

Sometimes students lack visionary skills, which leads to poor research paper structure and missing deadlines for the important parts of your work. To avoid this situation, you can always turn to our expert writers, who will help you set your objectives and create the best outline for your task.

Do the Research

Gathering information and conducting research is an essential part of working on your project. At this stage, you have to evaluate the sources available and do a proper literature review for data collection. That is when some students make a mistake of copying the information needed for the topic from all sources available, not paying attention to their reliability. Therefore, make sure that all your supportive claims come from scholarly approved sources with publication details such as the name of the author, their academic degree, publication source. Moreover, if you include direct or indirect quotations, remember to cite them perfectly to avoid plagiarism, as it is unacceptable in academic writing.

Start Writing

Sooner or later, you will have to finish the preparation steps and actually start writing, section by section. Many students feel apprehensive while typing the first words, as they do not know if they are doing it right at all. That is the time to open the document with your outline and stick to it.

We have also prepared a list to show how to structure a research paper as well as a short review of the sections.

  1. Title page
    The title of the paper, your name, and your institution. The format of the title page depends on the writing style.
  2. Abstract
    This is a one-paragraph summary of your text to give the reader a general idea of its main content.
  3. Introduction
    In this section, you put the main idea of your paper into a well-developed thesis statement. Here you can read about a strong thesis statement and how to create it.
  4. Methodology
    This part describes the procedure of your project, its participants, and methods of processing the information.
  5. Results
    The results section presents your findings and the statistical tests that were taken during the working process.
  6. Discussion
    Here, you mention prospects for further examining your topic and sum up the results of your study.
  7. Reference list
    Create a list of works cited in alphabetical order.

You can also include graphs and charts if you use them in your research. Also, if some additional explanations for certain aspects of your text are needed, you can add them in an Appendix.

Editing and Formatting

Once you have completed the first draft, send it to your supervisor to get some essential remarks, and make changes following them. While your supervisor is mostly responsible for guiding you through the structure and main requirements, you have to present your work in the best light. It means formatting it following the academic style of writing and following the rules of academic English, which is quite a tricky part for many students.

Your paper cannot have any deviations from English grammar or contain informal structures; moreover, it has to be written following a certain format such as MLA, APA, Chicago, or others. Check out this website to read more about the specifics of each style. Keep in mind that your institution usually provides the requirements for the format, so make sure to follow them.

As far as grammar is concerned, sometimes it is hard to discern your own mistakes. You have to look out for many things: sentence structure, punctuation, topic sentences, avoiding repetitions, and so much more. Even with the most interesting project, poor grammar and spelling mistakes can decrease your chances of a good grade. Therefore, we suggest that you use the services of our professional editing team to have your research paper structure properly revised and proofread. That way, you will ensure the best quality and the highest grade.

Whether you decide to write a term paper by yourself or with the help of our writers, we hope that you have found this article about the structure of a research paper useful. Do not hesitate to contact us or fill in the order form to have your best research written for you!


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