Major Parts of a Research Paper


In order to write a good research paper and format it to all requirements, students need to follow basic structure. It includes the following parts:

·  Abstract

·  Introduction

·  Method

·  Results

·  Discussion

·  Conclusion

·  Reference List

The elements of a research paper are given in the right order. It is very important to follow the standard order because it allows describing the topic in accordance with academic requirements. Let’s discuss the main parts in the following sections.


The first part of the research paper is one of the most important because the outline is given there. The direction of the research, methods used and goals of the work are given in the introduction. Three major parts are included in great introductions: background to the issue or goal of the research; the outline of the paper, basically you describe the order which you will use for achieving the goal of work; description of your own position on the subject or issue. The length of the parts varies from paper to paper and usually established by the writer.

The method

This is supposed to be the easiest part because the method of the research is already established. The methods differ depending on the experiment or nature of study. Do not think that your reader is familiar with all methods you are about to use in your work. Explain your methods in detail so the reader will be aware of the scientific aspect of the research. In case when you are writing a survey, be sure to include questionnaire in the appendix of your paper. Moreover, include referrals to it in the paper.

The Results

The results considered to be very variable and depend on the outcome of the research by the student. If the paper deals with numerical data, it should be represented in this section. The student needs to give the results in detail in this case. On the other hand, qualitative research should have more thorough discussion of the issue in the results. The reason for this is that the writer needs to evaluate the calculations and make follow-ups.

The discussion

Explanation of the results of the research as well as personal thoughts is represented in this part. The key here is to address every point separately and give clear information about the problem. Also the writer should remember that the points must be directly connected to the main idea of the paper in order to be successful.

The conclusion

Final part refers to the findings of the paper and builds up conclusions about the thesis statement. The size of the part depends on the length of the main part but usually consists of several paragraphs. Some people think that the conclusion is the main part of research paper because it reveals the importance of the research as well as recommends new ways of resolving the problem or issue.

The reference list

This is where the sources of the information are documented. Without them the paper is not complete because you have to identify where the information was taken from. Special formatting styles for references list are available to make it more easy and professional, like APA, MLA and Chicago.