In nearly every degree course, a research paper is required in at least one subject - minor or major. As a task that requires careful research, critical thinking, and good writing skills, professors find that it is a helpful project for students to undertake.
Not all students, however, have had sufficient training in making such a paper. This is why many wind up with a low final grade because of mistakes in the research paper process.
The following are some thoughts on the major parts of the research paper to help you.
The Intro guides your reader into your paper, setting up the mood for what to expect. The first part of the Intro is to present the context of your study. Here, you inform the reader of what has happened in the past and what is happening now. You then connect this to the problem that you are going to investigate. It helps to include striking facts that show the discrepancies between then and now so the reader understands the importance of what you will be studying.
The next part is to present how you will go about your study. Serious researchers, including your professor, examine this to ensure your method is sound.
The final part of the Intro is to present your thesis, which is the position that you will attempt to prove in the paper. Your thesis is usually a result of your initial research where you weigh both sides of the argument to come up with your idea of is true.
Although briefly explained in the Intro, the Method section describes in detail how the study was done. If you did an experiment, then the process and equipment used are discussed. If you made observations or searched through past literature for your data, then this is elaborated upon. You also mention the statistical tools used to measure your gathered facts. All of these are important to confirm the validity of your paper.
In this part, the results of your experiment or observations are stated. This means presenting key data that proves or disproves your thesis. This is also the section where most of your tables and charts will be shown. However, if something is too long or complex, the data can be placed in the Appendix.
Once presented, the facts are compared to the theories to connect the dots behind the results, giving meaning to what happened, and confirming if your thesis was right or wrong.
The conclusion begins with a summary of what happened in the study so that the reader can recall the earlier sections. The final thoughts on your thesis are then mentioned - whether correct or incorrect. This is followed by your recommendations. It helps to end strongly, so a good “call to action” is often necessary for your ending to have a strong impact on the reader.
The research paper often constitutes a big part of your subject’s grade. If you have been assigned one, then take a look at the hints above to help you make your paper.