The primary motive of a research paper is to communicate the technical results of specific research work to a broader scientific community. It consists of the author’s original research, along with the interpretation of other researcher’s work in the same field. However, writing a research paper can be quite intimidating at times. Thankfully, you can make things a little easier for yourself if you follow some simple guidelines and practice as discussed in this post.
Disclaimer: Many students find it difficult to focus on a research paper owing to urgent deadlines. In that case, you can talk to expert homework helpers and get things done on time.
What’s the structure of a perfect research paper?
A research paper should be organized into the following sections and in the same order as shown.
Keep your data ready before you start writing the research paper. Identify two or three most important findings to discuss them in your research paper.
Guidelines for writing a proper research paper
Remember, research papers demand precision. So you need to reflect this precision in the form of clarity. Each element of your research paper consists of a specific purpose. Here’s how you need to take care of all the elements in your research paper.
- The title
You must be thoughtful while choosing the title of your research paper. This part of your research paper is the most widely read and often it is the only thing that is read.
The three primary elements of a research paper title:
- The particular aspect or system studied
- The name of the organism studied
- The variables manipulated
A good research paper title should:
- Identify the key issues of the paper
- Be precise and short
- Attract the reader’s attention
- Be accurate, specific and complete
- Be devoid of acronyms and abbreviations
Here are some variations on a single idea.
- The Effect of Temperature on Global Warming
- Does Temperature Affect Global Warming?
- Temperature and Global Warming: Implications For Global Warming
Do not be afraid to be creative with your titles. Just make sure it is completely relevant to the context of your write-up.
The abstract is where you need to describe your entire work in 150-200 words. It is a self-contained unit that can be understood without the benefit of text.
The four primary elements of an abstract:
- The purpose of your study (the central question)
- A brief statement of what was done (methods)
- A brief overview of what was found (results)
- A brief statement of what was concluded (Discussions)
Large parent ions we kept under observation within some protic ionic liquids with electrospray ionization mass spectrometry. We have highlighted how the formation and size of aggregates depend on the nature of cation and anion. The structuring of certain ions in the protic ionic liquid determines whether they are poor or strong ionic liquids.
The first couple of sentences should highlight what your study is about. Then you can go on describing the major findings of your research work, as shown in the example.
Consider the introduction as a descriptive funnel that starts with broad topics and gradually focuses on the research at hand. Write a short review of the literature related to your research topic. Also, write this section is past or present tense, as shown below.
A good introduction to the research paper should contain:
- General background information about the topic
- A statement of scope, purpose and the general method of investigation used
- Hypothesis and predictions
Image source: https://explorable.com/example-of-a-research-paper
The statement of purpose highlights the key question that you are asking. It presents the variables that you are investigating.
This study highlights the relationship between fruit size and tree density.
The hypothesis is the tentative answer to the question posted above.
This study aims at determining the effect of enzyme concentration on the …
You need to describe all relevant experimental procedures used in the research. Write this description clearly so that someone else could repeat your work hassle-free.
Here’s how to write the ‘Methods’ section:
- Explain why each procedure was performed.
- I poured Ringer’s solution on the frog muscle to prevent it from drying out. Then I attached that muscle to the kymograph to determine the minimum voltage needed for contraction.
- Narrate the experimental procedures in the past tense
- Describe any mathematical equations and statistical tests used in the research
- Use active voice as much as possible
Poor methodology impairs the credibility of your research paper. Your professors judge the readability, trustworthiness, and validity of your work through this section.
This is where you need to summarise the patterns of your data without comment, interpretation, and bias. You can represent the data in tables and figures. But, the summary of the ‘Results’ section should be understandable by anyone who hasn’t read the tables and figures.
Tips for writing the ‘Results’ section in the research paper:
- Present ALL results even if it doesn’t support your hypothesis
- Enclose the results of statistical analysis in parenthesis
- Support the statements in your text with your data in tables and figures.
Incorrect: The results are shown in Figure 1.
Correct: Temperature was inversely proportional to metabolic rate. (Fig 1)
This is where you analyze your data and connect them with other relevant studies in this field. You need to evaluate the meaning of the results you have obtained through your research. Then figure out its connection to your hypothesis and determine its biological significance.
The ‘Discussions’ section should consist of the following:
- Relationship between your hypothesis and results
- Integration of your results with the works of previous researchers
- A possible explanation of the unexpected observations and results
- The trends that aren’t statistically significant but are suggestive or interesting
- No redundancy between the results and discussions section. (The former states what you achieved from the research and the latter discusses it.)
Finally, end this section with a short summary of the key points that you want your readers to remember. You can also propose further studies in this field (if any.) Check out the image for further reference.
Image source: https://www.sydney.edu.au/
This section makes the importance of your research clear to your readers. It is not just a mere summary of your key points or a re-statement of your research. Instead, it is a synthesis of the key points in the research.
A well-written conclusion in a research paper should have the following:
- Your final verdict on the issues or problem raised in your research paper
- A summary of your findings and thoughts thereby conveying the larger implications of your study
- Demonstration of the importance of your ideas, results, and discussions
- Possible new or expanded ways of perspective related to your research problem
The conclusion of a research paper reminds the readers of the strengths of your main arguments. It also reiterates the most crucial evidence that supports your arguments. Some students prefer discussing the importance of their research work in the ‘Discussions’ section. However, you can also use the conclusion for this purpose.
You must always cite another researcher if you refer to his/her results, methods or conclusions in your research paper. Remember, the quality of the references reflect the quality of your research paper.
Make sure the references section consists of:
- Accurate citation formats
- Correct abbreviations and punctuations
- A proper sequence in the reference list
- Complete titles of the cited references
- You can enclose both the author’s name and date in the parenthesis without using commas.
Cyanides inhibit enzymes (Grubb 1977).
- Take the last name of the researcher and include the date within the parenthesis.
Grubb (1977) founded that cyanide inhibits enzymes.
- Omit the parenthesis if you want to emphasize the date.
In the year 1977, Grubb noticed the inhibitory action of cyanide on enzymes.
- Do not separate the publication date from the author’s name.
Grubb noticed the inhibitory action of cyanide on enzymes in 1977.
- If one to three authors have reached the same conclusion, then list them all in parenthesis
Cyanide inhibits the action of enzymes (Grubb 1977, Smith 1980, Taylor 1983)
- Use et al in case of more than three authors
Cyanide has been found to inhibit enzymes (Jones et al., 1985)
These are the primary steps for writing a precise research paper. You must include acknowledgments and references before submitting the paper in the class. Follow the right citation format as instructed by your university. Finally, proofread your work before the final submission.
John Cooper is a marketing manager for a reputed multinational corporation in United State. He has pursued his MBA in marketing from Bond University. He is also a part of Tophomeworkhelper.com where he offers CPM homework help service to students.