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How to Write a Research Paper

A research paper is considered to be one of the most important parts of the educational process. During college studying student should write a lot of research papers and they are of a great importance. It is some kind of discussion and it always includes clearly defined steps and elements which will become important parts of your research paper and very much so, your future investigation too. That's why it is very important to work out and write good and well intelligent research paper.

A research paper is a quintessence of all your knowledge, writing skills, searching skills and abilities in thinking, creating, constructing and investigation and so on. As usual a research paper is based on several outside sources and your task is to convince the reader in the importance and uniqueness of your work. Research paper writing is a difficult and prolonged process which includes writing itself, information gathering, research conduction, results discussion and argumentation, and a conclusion and proposition for future investigation, as a result of this work.

The main aim of this paper is to help you with these things successful managing. Steps and pieces of advice defined below will be your guides through all difficulties which can appear on your way. It's not a miracle cure for all your problems but it can facilitate your work and makes it better.

Research Paper Structure

The better organization your research paper has the easier it will be to read and, as a result, potential reader can understand it better. Usually, any research paper has strictly specified structure and it includes:

Sometimes, if it's needed, an abstract can be included into this list. This is a standard research paper form and your task is to fill this form with good and interesting content. Now let's have a good look at each element separately.

Title page

This page should include general information about the author – name and address, and the submission date. It also should include the title of your work and it is a big problem, because your task is to create sound and informative title which will express the whole idea of your work. Think about it properly and don't take something off the top of your head.

Remember: this page doesn't contain any page number and is not taken into account.


This part is considered to be one of the most important. Here your task is to attract reader's attention and acquaint him with the topic you've chose, main idea of your research paper, main objectives and some statements about importance of this work. Generally good introduction should meet such requirements:

Pay attention on what you write. Don't complicate the things but also don't use too simple expressions. Don't present background information here and don't forget to use The Past Tense.


Some persons consider the background section to be the simplest one. What can be difficult to take the ideas and thoughts of other persons and write about them in a few words? But it is not true. The importance of this part can scarcely be overestimated. Your task is to study all available previous researches, surveys, books, articles and so on. You have to persuade a reader in the importance and uniqueness of your work. The other research presentation will confirm your words and importance of the topic you chose and the area in whole. If the area of your investigation is rather new don't write that there were no investigations before. The readers always pay attention on statements like this.

To get more information you can use any sources you want. Nobody restricts you. Just don't forget to mention these sources in the text and in the reference section. If you are going to use some special terms don't forget to indicate them and give their full explanation.


Some authors call this section "methodology" and some "methods and materials". The title depends on you and on requirements of your work and your supervisor orders. Regardless of the title the aim and content of this part is almost the same. Here you should present the definition of methods you used during the investigative process. The basic research plan is also described here.

You can begin with the main purpose and objectives repeating and then go over to methods description. Be sure that you got up everything properly. Use subheadings and other emphasis tools.

We've already mentioned that methods sections are the same and as usual required to do the following:

Here we can see that everything depends on selection of the correct population category, because when you finish your research it will be the primary audience. Don't use a lot of words to describe the population group. As usually it can be done with the help of one or two sentences. But don't forget to do this because without a target group your work is useless.

The process of the representatives' selection demands a little bit more time and actions, because here you need to explain what criteria you used to pick out right people. Name these criteria and explain why you consider them to be the best ones.

Then it is necessary to describe methods and materials you've used in the research. Explain why these methods (or one method) are the most suitable in the current situation. If you decide to use the questionnaire attach a copy of it.

Make the list of materials you used. Don't forget that you should choose methods and use materials proceeding from your objectives, possibilities and even budget. If you are going to provide further more extensive investigation think over it. List all limitation you faced and explain how they narrowed your work.

Here you need to present your research plan. Any research question demands personal examination and period of time. All must be done in details. Indicate what criteria were fundamental for decision making.

You should also remember about the reasonableness and credibility. There are no ways for reasonableness measuring because it is a subjective thing, but here are some advices how to harden it:

The credibility is the notion which characterizes possible reiteration of everything you have done. It is necessary your methods can be repeated at any time and brings correct results. To achieve this you can use any alternative forms of questions and tasks, repeat test itself and make your methods interconnected.

Any research work causes a lot of thoughts and misgivings about the reliability of received results. Your task is to take everything into account and explain everything to a reader.

Results discussion

This is the most "numeric" chapter. Here you should present everything you got with the help of digital data, schemes, tables, formulas, diagrams and so on. The whole result of your work is shown here. As a rule this section should answer the following requirements:

At the same time you should remember several rules of results' representing:

When the presentation of your results is finished, it's high time to pass on to the result discussion. Your task is to provide the treatment of your results and back up all findings you have done with the help of proofs and previous knowledge.

The most difficult is to explain results of the research. You should explain not only results itself but also the way you got them and the way of interpretation. If you were waiting for something else try to explain the reason of mismatch origin.

Further you need to do the following:

Don't make the biggest mistake of the most students: do not present new ideas and aims in this section. You can just propose them as possible objectives for future. Check all results carefully. Avoid mistakes and misunderstanding. If some results require more precise definition assign some additional time for it. Provide full and all-round inspection of what you are going to propose to a reader.

References (literature review)

This section is for your sources. Don't forget to mention all of them; else you will be blamed of plagiarism. Your sources should be indicated and formatted according to a citation style you are ordered to use. It's very important to remember it, because all styles have their own personal features and rules of sources design. Don't forget to discuss proper citation style with your supervisor and get orders of its usage.

What is mentioned before are not rules or strict orders. We don't set an objective to order you how to carry out your research and how to write a research paper. We just want to help you and make some prompts which possibly can make your work easier and quicker.

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