Structure of research papers

Writing the Introduction In the introduction you will need to do the following things: present relevant background or contextual material define terms or concepts when necessary explain the focus of the paper and your specific purpose reveal your plan of organization Writing the Body Use your outline and prospectus as flexible guides Build your essay around points you want to make i. If prior to your conclusion you have not yet explained the significance of your findings or if you are proceeding inductively, use the end of your paper to add your points up, to explain their significance.

How to start a research paper?

Move from a detailed to a general level of consideration that returns the topic to the context provided by the introduction. Perhaps suggest what about this topic needs further research. Revising the Final Draft Check overall organization : logical flow of introduction, coherence and depth of discussion in body, effectiveness of conclusion. Paragraph level concerns : topic sentences, sequence of ideas within paragraphs, use of details to support generalizations, summary sentences where necessary, use of transitions within and between paragraphs.

Sentence level concerns: sentence structure, word choices, punctuation, spelling.

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Documentation: consistent use of one system, citation of all material not considered common knowledge, appropriate use of endnotes or footnotes, accuracy of list of works cited. Academic and Professional Writing. Remember that the title becomes the basis for most on-line computer searches - if your title is insufficient, few people will find or read your paper.

For example, in a paper reporting on an experiment involving dosing mice with the sex hormone estrogen and watching for a certain kind of courtship behavior, a poor title would be:. It is very general, and could be referring to any of a number of mouse behaviors. A better title would be :. Because the key words identify a specific behavior, a modifying agent, and the experimental organism. If possible, give the key result of the study in the title, as seen in the first example. Similarly, the above title could be restated as:.


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  • Definition.

Strategy for Writing Title. Function : An abstract summarizes, in one paragraph usually , the major aspects of the entire paper in the following prescribed sequence:. Whereas the Title can only make the simplest statement about the content of your article, the Abstract allows you to elaborate more on each major aspect of the paper. The length of your Abstract should be kept to about words maximum a typical standard length for journals.

Limit your statements concerning each segment of the paper i. The Abstract helps readers decide whether they want to read the rest of the paper, or it may be the only part they can obtain via electronic literature searches or in published abstracts. Therefore, enough key information e. How do you know when you have enough information in your Abstract? A simple rule-of-thumb is to imagine that you are another researcher doing an study similar to the one you are reporting.

If your Abstract was the only part of the paper you could access, would you be happy with the information presented there? Use the active voice when possible, but much of it may require passive constructions. Write your Abstract using concise, but complete, sentences, and get to the point quickly. Use past tense. Maximum length should be words, usually in a single paragraph. Strategy : Although it is the first section of your paper, the Abstract, by definition, must be written last since it will summarize the paper.

Writing a Research Paper

To begin composing your Abstract, take whole sentences or key phrases from each section and put them in a sequence which summarizes the paper. Then set about revising or adding words to make it all cohesive and clear. As you become more proficient you will most likely compose the Abstract from scratch. Check your work : Once you have the completed abstract, check to make sure that the information in the abstract completely agrees with what is written in the paper.

Confirm that all the information appearing the abstract actually appears in the body of the paper. Quite literally, the Introduction must answer the questions, " What was I studying? Why was it an important question? What did we know about it before I did this study? How will this study advance our knowledge? Style : Use the active voice as much as possible. Some use of first person is okay, but do not overdo it. Structure : The structure of the Introduction can be thought of as an inverted triangle - the broadest part at the top representing the most general information and focusing down to the specific problem you studied.

Organize the information to present the more general aspects of the topic early in the Introduction, then narrow toward the more specific topical information that provides context, finally arriving at your statement of purpose and rationale. A good way to get on track is to sketch out the Introduction backwards ; start with the specific purpose and then decide what is the scientific context in which you are asking the question s your study addresses. Once the scientific context is decided, then you'll have a good sense of what level and type of general information with which the Introduction should begin.

Top of Page. This section is variously called Methods or Methods and Materials.

How To Write Research Paper: Creative Writing Lessons & Tips: Writebynight

Function : In this section you explain clearly how you carried out your study in the following general structure and organization details follow below :. Organize your presentation so your reader will understand the logical flow of the experiment s ; subheadings work well for this purpose.

Research Report Abstract

Each experiment or procedure should be presented as a unit, even if it was broken up over time. The experimental design and procedure are sometimes most efficiently presented as an integrated unit, because otherwise it would be difficult to split them up. In general, provide enough quantitative detail how much, how long, when, etc. You should also indicate the statistical procedures used to analyze your results, including the probability level at which you determined significance usually at 0.

Style : The style in this section should read as if you were verbally describing the conduct of the experiment. You may use the active voice to a certain extent, although this section requires more use of third person, passive constructions than others. Avoid use of the first person in this section.

Remember to use the past tense throughout - the work being reported is done, and was performed in the past, not the future. The Methods section is not a step-by-step, directive, protocol as you might see in your lab manual. Strategy for writing the Methods section. Describe the organism s used in the study.

How to Write Research Paper . . . and Get an A+

This includes giving the 1 source supplier or where and how the orgranisms were collected , 2 typical size weight, length, etc , 3 how they were handled, fed, and housed before the experiment, 4 how they were handled, fed, and housed during the experiment. In genetics studies include the strains or genetic stocks used. For some studies, age may be an important factor.

For example, did you use mouse pups or adults? Seedlings or mature plants? The description must include both physical and biological characteristics of the site pertinant to the study aims. Include the date s of the study e. It is often a good idea to include a map labeled as a Figure showing the study location in relation to some larger more recognizable geographic area. Someone else should be able to go to the exact location of your study site if they want to repeat or check your work, or just visit your study area.

Describe your experimental design clearly. Be sure to include the hypotheses you tested, controls , treatments , variables measured, how many replicates you had, what you actually measured , what form the data take, etc. Always identify treatments by the variable or treatment name, NOT by an ambiguous, generic name or number e.

When your paper includes more than one experiment, use subheadings to help organize your presentation by experiment. A general experimental design worksheet is available to help plan your experiments in the core courses. Describe the procedures for your study in sufficient detail that other scientists could repeat your work to verify your findings. Foremost in your description should be the "quantitative" aspects of your study - the masses, volumes, incubation times, concentrations, etc.

When using standard lab or field methods and instrumentation, it is not always necessary to explain the procedures e. You may want to identify certain types of equipment by vendor name and brand or category e. It is appropriate to report, parenthetically, the source vendor and catalog number for reagents used, e. Always make sure to describe any modifications you have made of a standard or published method.

prospaycilili.cf Describe how the data were summarized and analyzed. Here you will indicate what types of descriptive statistics were used and which analyses usually hypothesis tests were employed to answer each of the questions or hypotheses tested and determine statistical siginifcance. Note: You can draw essential information to write your abstract from your conclusion, as this part briefly repeats the research questions and provides an evaluative summary of the results cf. Stickel-Wolf It increasingly concerns international students as well.

Nowadays, it is becoming more and more important to write the whole paper in English, rather than in the native language of the country a student studies in. Indeed, many papers are still written in the native language of the country. But your research paper not being written in English does not mean that this also holds true for the abstract.


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Often, the student needs to write an abstract in not only German, Spanish, or French depending on the country you study in but also English. An English abstract in addition to, say, a German abstract is necessary to ensure that a research paper will be accessible to an international market. Sometimes, only an English abstract is required. Also, as Samac, Prenner, and Schwetz point out, an English translation of the German text if your thesis is in German must be provided on the very same page to meet international standards Note: Academic English is quite a bit different from academic German, Spanish, and other languages.

We recommend that you read research papers in English to get a feel for the differences in style and structure cf. Caution: The abstract is NEVER a conclusion of your research paper and it differs from the conclusion in many aspects.


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Make sure to read the sample abstracts provided on this page to get a good grasp on the major differences between the abstract and the conclusion. What is plagiarism? Plagiarism checker online.