Research structure paper

Bring back the Problem : The methodology section of a dissertation generally follows another section, typically the literature review. Therefore to make sure that your readers are focused on the central research question, you should restate it once more, in a brief description.

This will enable the reader to realign their focus on the main objective of the research. Put it in Layers : While you are on to explain the techniques and methods that you are using for your research, you need to be organized. After you have restated the problem statement, you need to mention the context of the methods.

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Only after that you should describe the individual methods. This will be easier for the readers to comprehend. Reproducibility : You should draft the methods and techniques as you perform them. Do not wait to finish the research for starting to write the methodology. Writing while performing the methods will help you to mention every little detail and tricks about the method. This information will be of much value to the reader. Also, the better the description of the method, the better your methodology section will be.

Justify : Always justify the methods that you pick. Give strong reasons for going with the chosen method and not with other counterparts. Your justification should be convincing enough for the reader to agree with your decision. A proper justification will get you even more readers and marks. Cite : This point supports the previous pointer — the justification.

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You should mention the sources where from you came to know about that particular method. Doing this will help the reader know the reference to the methodology and thus, your method becomes justified.

Research Paper: Definition, Structure, Characteristics, and Types

Mind the Order : This tip has a lot of relevance because this mistake is something students generally do. They forget to put the methods they used and the respective findings in the same order. Putting both the methods and their respective findings in the same order is advisable. For two reasons — One, because the reader will be able to relate the method to the finding more easily and two, your methodology will have a cleaner look. This will make the dissertation look even more professional. These tips will be sufficient for you to come up with a perfect methodology.

A third may provide clues that a particular gene might drive astrocytic differentiation and then state that this hypothesis is untested the gap within the subfield that you will fill.

The structure of each introduction paragraph except the last serves the goal of developing the gap. Along the path, there are often clues given about the mystery behind the gaps; these clues lead to the untested hypothesis or undeveloped method of the paper and give the reader hope that the mystery is solvable. The introduction should not contain a broad literature review beyond the motivation of the paper.

This gap-focused structure makes it easy for experienced readers to evaluate the potential importance of a paper—they only need to assess the importance of the claimed gap. The last paragraph of the introduction is special: it compactly summarizes the results, which fill the gap you just established.

What is the purpose of a conclusion in research paper?

It differs from the abstract in the following ways: it does not need to present the context which has just been given , it is somewhat more specific about the results, and it only briefly previews the conclusion of the paper, if at all. The results section needs to convince the reader that the central claim is supported by data and logic. Every scientific argument has its own particular logical structure, which dictates the sequence in which its elements should be presented. For example, a paper may set up a hypothesis, verify that a method for measurement is valid in the system under study, and then use the measurement to disprove the hypothesis.

Alternatively, a paper may set up multiple alternative and mutually exclusive hypotheses and then disprove all but one to provide evidence for the remaining interpretation. The fabric of the argument will contain controls and methods where they are needed for the overall logic. Most journals allow this type of formatting, but if your chosen journal does not, these headers are still useful during the writing phase and can either be adapted to serve as introductory sentences to your paragraphs or deleted before submission.

Such a clear progression of logical steps makes the paper easy to follow. Moreover, figures are often viewed by readers who skip directly from the abstract in order to save time. Thus, the title of the figure should communicate the conclusion of the analysis, and the legend should explain how it was done. Figure making is an art unto itself; the Edward Tufte books remain the gold standard for learning this craft [ 7 , 8 ].

The first results paragraph is special in that it typically summarizes the overall approach to the problem outlined in the introduction, along with any key innovative methods that were developed. Most readers do not read the methods, so this paragraph gives them the gist of the methods that were used.

For example, it may conclude that none of the potential artifacts were detected. This structure makes it easy for experienced readers to fact-check a paper. Each paragraph convinces the reader of the answer given in its last sentence. This makes it easy to find the paragraph in which a suspicious conclusion is drawn and to check the logic of that paragraph. The result of each paragraph is a logical statement, and paragraphs farther down in the text rely on the logical conclusions of previous paragraphs, much as theorems are built in mathematical literature.

The discussion section explains how the results have filled the gap that was identified in the introduction, provides caveats to the interpretation, and describes how the paper advances the field by providing new opportunities. This is typically done by recapitulating the results, discussing the limitations, and then revealing how the central contribution may catalyze future progress.


How to Structure a Research Paper

The first discussion paragraph is special in that it generally summarizes the important findings from the results section. Some readers skip over substantial parts of the results, so this paragraph at least gives them the gist of that section. Each of the following paragraphs in the discussion section starts by describing an area of weakness or strength of the paper. It then evaluates the strength or weakness by linking it to the relevant literature. Discussion paragraphs often conclude by describing a clever, informal way of perceiving the contribution or by discussing future directions that can extend the contribution.

For example, the first paragraph may summarize the results, focusing on their meaning. The second through fourth paragraphs may deal with potential weaknesses and with how the literature alleviates concerns or how future experiments can deal with these weaknesses. The fifth paragraph may then culminate in a description of how the paper moves the field forward. To produce a good paper, authors can use helpful processes and habits.

Some aspects of a paper affect its impact more than others, which suggests that your investment of time should be weighted towards the issues that matter most. Moreover, iteratively using feedback from colleagues allows authors to improve the story at all levels to produce a powerful manuscript. Choosing the right process makes writing papers easier and more effective.

The central logic that underlies a scientific claim is paramount. It is also the bridge that connects the experimental phase of a research effort with the paper-writing phase. Thus, it is useful to formalize the logic of ongoing experimental efforts e. You should also allocate your time according to the importance of each section. The title, abstract, and figures are viewed by far more people than the rest of the paper, and the methods section is read least of all.

Budget accordingly. The time that we do spend on each section can be used efficiently by planning text before producing it. Make an outline. We like to write one informal sentence for each planned paragraph. It is often useful to start the process around descriptions of each result—these may become the section headers in the results section. Because the story has an overall arc, each paragraph should have a defined role in advancing this story.

Writing can be considered an optimization problem in which you simultaneously improve the story, the outline, and all the component sentences.


In many cases, trashing entire paragraphs and rewriting is a faster way to produce good text than incremental editing. There are multiple signs that further work is necessary on a manuscript see Table 1. For example, if you, as the writer, cannot describe the entire outline of a paper to a colleague in a few minutes, then clearly a reader will not be able to.

You need to further distill your story. Finding such violations of good writing helps to improve the paper at all levels. Successfully writing a paper typically requires input from multiple people.

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Test readers are necessary to make sure that the overall story works. They can also give valuable input on where the story appears to move too quickly or too slowly. They can clarify when it is best to go back to the drawing board and retell the entire story. Reviewers are also extremely useful. Very specific feedback usually points out places where the logic within a paragraph was not sufficient.