Parts of a Research Paper

The orderliness of research work interests readers; therefore, you must ensure that the paper’s structure is correct. There is a standard structure for research papers. In this article, I explore the different sections you must have in a complete paper.


A standard introduction should contain three main parts which are the general presentation, the purpose, and the writer’s intent statement.

  • General Presentation

What is the problem to be solved? Why is the problem still unsolved? – could it be that others have nailed the issue but couldn’t get the desired result because of an error of experiment or insufficient sample sizes? What is the benefit of the study? Answers to these questions should be in this section of the introduction.

  • Purpose of the Paper

Most times, researchers prefer to state the thesis statement or hypothesis in this section, which is accurate. Nevertheless, many prefer it to be written as the last sentence of the first aspect to show the reader the big picture.

  • An Informative overview or writer intent

A quick peek into your goal is enough to get your reader on the same page with you before he finally dives deep into the background of the study. All information gained from reviewing the relevant literature should be in this section.


The section is the most straightforward segment of the work, as it’s the replica of the designs and processes used while carrying out the research. Though, methods differ just like the methodology of the life sciences differs from that of the humanities. One common denominator, if you’re doing a survey, is the use of questionnaires.


This section has to do with the findings gotten from the experiments carried out. However, results can be presented numerically or discussed broadly with fewer details. You may use different statistical presentation methods. Also, the unprocessed information will be included in the appendix for easy follow up. To communicate your results better, don’t stick to tables and grapgs only. Add useful comments that will aid comprehension.


Your findings should be explanatory here with your interpretations to them. Ensure that your discussions are connected back to your introduction. Furthermore, your discussion should have a direct relationship with the thesis statement.


In brief papers, this part of the paper may be discussed in two paragraphs. However, there should be a relationship between your findings and other researches and the entire world at large.

Also, the conclusion may include recommendations which contain the flaws that made the process challenging and possible improvements.

Reference List

Any paper written without references at the end is incomplete. It’s in this section that you document the sources you used in your research paper writing. However, there are reference formats that can be used such as APA format, MLA format etc. The best format to use is the one your instructor requires of you.

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