Major traits of academic research paper structure to consider

Although the style and format of writing academic papers varies from one discipline to the other, most of them are similar in content and are mostly divided in to parts which tend to follow similar or same logical flow. The general structure of academic papers is as follows –

  • Title
  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Literature Review
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion or Conclusion
  • Reference or Bibliography.

In general, the paper should be organized to ensure their information flow is like the hourglass shape in which it moves from the general to the specific information, and back to the general information. This should be the general format of the paper, in individual chapters, and also in the individual research paper paragraph example.

Your introduction and also the literature review should introduce your problem, and must also provide general information. The results and methods will provide detailed and specific information about your research work and the conclusion and discussion should also discuss these findings within the larger context.

  • The title:
    Should be very specific and must indicate the problem which your paper intends to address. Ensure you use the right keywords in the topic.
  • Abstract:
    This is a short summary which gives the readers a quick and brief review of the content of your paper. Most journals are strict on the word limit in abstract.
  • The introduction:
    The introduction is the first body paragraph for research paper and should begin by giving broad introduction of the topic in addition to providing the basic background information. It should provide focus and purpose for the paper, should also justify the project.
  • Literature review:
    The literature review describes some important past works and explains how it relates to your problem statement. It may explain the inadequacy in the findings of other authors on same, similar or related topics.
  • Methods:
    This section describes methodology and design which is needed for the completion of the study. Ensure you provide the readers with enough details for replication of your study.
  • Results:
    This is the section where you present the results of your analysis. The exact nature of presentation depends on whether the research is qualitative or quantitative. The section focuses on those results which have direct relation to the problem. The tables and graphs should be used when the data cannot be efficiently included in the text.
  • The discussion or conclusion:
    In this section you should discuss the results and also the implications on your work. It should provide answers to the hypothesis statement you developed.
  • References or bibliography:
    This is the last part of the paper. The academic sources of the information in the paper should be listed alphabetically.

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