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Writing a Research Paper

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Planning and Writing a Research Paper

Because of this flow, some people find it confusing and tedious to write a research paper. But with a research paper structure, you can easily transition from general to specific and back to general seamlessly. Research papers must always have an abstract. This is the gist of your research readers can read to get a glimpse of what the research is all about. This must contain at most 5 sentences. Just take some of the most important points in your research and summarize them into 5 sentences.

It should contain the following:. In this part, you must be able to provide your readers with all the background information needed to understand your research. The introduction is the blueprint of your research hence you have to write this part as comprehensive as you can. This part should include the following:. This is the part of the research paper structure is where you will discuss the methods you used to come up with the results.

You should be able to describe in detail the methodology used as well as the materials needed to employ that method such as questionnaires, interviews, statistics and other hard data you were able to obtain. This is the part of the research paper structure where you will state all the results you got out of your study.

You can present it as quantitative information in the form of graphs, statistics, charts, and tables. Or, present it as qualitative data that includes transcriptions of interviews, survey results, and questionnaire results. It can also be a combination of both qualitative and quantitative information. The third part should give the reader a quick summary of the form that the parts of the research paper is going to take and should include a condensed version of the discussion. This should be the easiest part of the paper to write, as it is a run-down of the exact design and methodology used to perform the research.

Obviously, the exact methodology varies depending upon the exact field and type of experiment. There is a big methodological difference between the apparatus based research of the physical sciences and the methods and observation methods of social sciences. However, the key is to ensure that another researcher would be able to replicate the experiment to match yours as closely as possible, but still keeping the section concise.

You can assume that anybody reading your paper is familiar with the basic methods, so try not to explain every last detail. For example, an organic chemist or biochemist will be familiar with chromatography, so you only need to highlight the type of equipment used rather than explaining the whole process in detail.

In the case of a survey , if you have too many questions to cover in the method, you can always include a copy of the questionnaire in the appendix.

In this case, make sure that you refer to it. This is probably the most variable part of any research paper, and depends on the results and aims of the experiment.

For quantitative research , it is a presentation of the numerical results and data, whereas for qualitative research it should be a broader discussion of trends, without going into too much detail. For research generating a lot of results , then it is better to include tables or graphs of the analyzed data and leave the raw data in the appendix, so that a researcher can follow up and check your calculations. A commentary is essential to linking the results together, rather than just displaying isolated and unconnected charts and figures.

It can be quite difficult to find a good balance between the results and the discussion section, because some findings, especially in a quantitative or descriptive experiment , will fall into a grey area. Try to avoid repeating yourself too often.

It is best to try to find a middle path, where you give a general overview of the data and then expand on it in the discussion - you should try to keep your own opinions and interpretations out of the results section, saving that for the discussion later on.

This is where you elaborate on your findings, and explain what you found, adding your own personal interpretations. Ideally, you should link the discussion back to the introduction, addressing each point individually. In keeping with the hourglass principle, you can expand on the topic later in the conclusion. The conclusion is where you build on your discussion and try to relate your findings to other research and to the world at large. In a short research paper, it may be a paragraph or two, or even a few lines.

In a dissertation, it may well be the most important part of the entire paper - not only does it describe the results and discussion in detail, it emphasizes the importance of the results in the field, and ties it in with the previous research.

Some research papers require a recommendations section, postulating the further directions of the research, as well as highlighting how any flaws affected the results. In this case, you should suggest any improvements that could be made to the research design.

No paper is complete without a reference list , documenting all the sources that you used for your research. Use a technique that suits you, e. Mark each card or sheet of paper clearly with your outline code or reference, e.

Put all your note cards or paper in the order of your outline, e. If using a word processor, create meaningful filenames that match your outline codes for easy cut and paste as you type up your final paper, e. Before you know it, you have a well organized term paper completed exactly as outlined.

The unusual symbol will make it easy for you to find the exact location again. Delete the symbol once editing is completed. Read your paper for any content errors.

Double check the facts and figures. Arrange and rearrange ideas to follow your outline. Reorganize your outline if necessary, but always keep the purpose of your paper and your readers in mind. Use a free grammar and proof reading checker such as Grammarly. Is my thesis statement concise and clear? Did I follow my outline? Did I miss anything? Are my arguments presented in a logical sequence? Are all sources properly cited to ensure that I am not plagiarizing?

Have I proved my thesis with strong supporting arguments? Have I made my intentions and points clear in the essay? Re-read your paper for grammatical errors. Use a dictionary or a thesaurus as needed. Do a spell check. Correct all errors that you can spot and improve the overall quality of the paper to the best of your ability.

Get someone else to read it over. Sometimes a second pair of eyes can see mistakes that you missed. Did I begin each paragraph with a proper topic sentence? Have I supported my arguments with documented proof or examples? Any run-on or unfinished sentences? Any unnecessary or repetitious words? Varying lengths of sentences? Does one paragraph or idea flow smoothly into the next? Any spelling or grammatical errors?

Quotes accurate in source, spelling, and punctuation? Are all my citations accurate and in correct format? Did I avoid using contractions? Did I use third person as much as possible? Have I made my points clear and interesting but remained objective? Did I leave a sense of completion for my reader s at the end of the paper?

For an excellent source on English composition, check out this classic book by William Strunk, Jr. Place yourself in the background, Revise and rewrite, Avoid fancy words, Be clear, Do not inject opinion, Do not take shortcuts at the cost of clarity, … and much more.

The Elements of Style was first published in There is also a particular formatting style you must follow. There are several formatting styles typically used. APA American Psychological Association style is mostly used to cite sources within the field of social sciences. Instead of providing individual recommendations for each publishing format printed, online, e-books etc. You should necessarily ask your instuctor which formatting style is required for your paper and format it accordingly before submitting.

All formal reports or essays should be typewritten and printed, preferably on a good quality printer. Read the assignment sheet again to be sure that you understand fully what is expected of you, and that your essay meets the requirements as specified by your teacher.

Know how your essay will be evaluated. Proofread final paper carefully for spelling, punctuation, missing or duplicated words.

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The conclusion is where you build on your discussion and try to relate your findings to other research and to the world at large. In a short research paper, it may be a paragraph or two, or even a few lines.

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Reports of research studies usually follow the IMRAD format. IMRAD (Introduction, Methods, Results, [and] Discussion) is a mnemonic for the major components of a scientific paper. These elements are included in the overall structure outlined below.

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Structure of a Research Paper Ink welcomes submissions from all departments on campus. It is expected that the author use the guidelines and conventions followed . In this article, we are going to discuss how to write a detailed outline for a research paper thanks to the vivid examples and suitable essay structure. Keep in mind that online essay writer can do wonders if you have no time or desire to work on a paper.

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Writing a Research Paper. This page lists some of the stages involved in writing a library-based research paper. Although this list suggests that there is a simple, linear process to writing such a paper, the actual process of writing a research paper is often a messy and recursive one, so please use this outline as a flexible guide. A Guide on How to Write Academic Papers. Structure of a Research Paper The structure of a research paper might seem quite stiff, but it serves a purpose: The most used standards for referencing in research papers are APA-standard and MLA-standard.