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12 Parts of a Scientific College Research Paper and Its Definitions

Do you know all the parts of a college research paper? One of the most significant parts of academic success is making sure you write all the research paper elements in the correct order.

The writing presentation, as well as the style, varies depending on the educational field. When writing a scientific paper, you should stick to academic formats like the APA or MLA styles.

Parts of a College Research Paper

Whether you are writing a B.S Degree research paper or finalizing a research report for your psychology course, it will be best to organize your research paper according to the American Psychological Association (APA) guidelines. Below are some instructions for every part of a research paper.

Research Paper Outline

  1. Cover page/ title page
  2. Abstract
  3. Definition of Terms
  4. Introduction
  5. Limitation of the study
  6. Methodology
  7. Literature review
  8. Results
  9. Argument
  10. Conclusion
  11. References
  12. Appendices

Apart from the above parts, some research papers will need you to write additional parts like;

  • Table of contents
  • Acknowledgments

1. Cover/ Title page

The title page is the first part that your supervisors see when looking at your research paper. Therefore, you should spend your time in making it look professional and steady.

It is imperative for you to learn how to write and format your research paper’s title page, especially when you want to create an excellent first impression of your document. The cover page is the first page of your research paper containing the following information:

  1. The title
  2. Your official names
  3. Institution name
  4. Course type

A step-by-step guide to help you create a perfect research paper title page

  1. Begin by writing the title a third way down on the document. The heading of the paper should be lined up at the center of the page.
  2. Write your full official name and avoid including any title before or after your names. Also, consider including names of other people who did the research with you, enter the group members’ names, and remember to separate them using a comma.
  3. Write the full name of your institution. If people from diverse institutions did the research, include the names of their institution after their names.
  4. Lastly, type the name of the course and remember to include the course code. You can add the date of submission, but this is elective. If you decide to include the date of submission, be sure to do so after the course title.

Rules to be Followed While Formatting your Title Page

Regardless of the formatting style you use, some basic rules must be followed when writing your cover page. To write a well-written cover page, you must adhere to the following rules:

  1. Always make sure that the entire texts on the page are lined up in the middle. Additionally, double-space your work and the border at one inch on both sides.
  2. Your work must be legible and well ordered. Consider using a clear and legible font type for your texts.
  3. Use proper capitalization throughout your cover page. Use lower case only when writing prepositions and conjunctions.
  4. You must number your work when writing your research paper, and that includes the cover page. Include a running head on the upper right hand of the page and the page number of the upper left part of the page.
  5. Make sure that your title is concise and is significant to the content in your research paper. Avoid using unnecessary words that are not connected to the content in your document. The title should be eye-catching and be able to attract your readers to the research paper.

2. Abstract

The abstract of your research paper should not be more than 250 words. In some cases, it can be shorter than that. It should be a single paragraph summary of the whole research. The abstract is the part of your document that will help the reader determine what is interesting about the study. The abstract should include and specify the:

  1. Problem being studied
  2. The purpose of the research
  3. Methodology
  4. Substantial findings
  5. Implications of the results

3. Definition of Terms

In this section, you define some major key terms that your will be referring to in your research paper. This can include your variables and related terms. Most of the terms or their variants should also be in the title of your research paper.

4. Introduction

The introduction is the first significant part of your research paper. It usually describes the topic being investigated, discusses, or reviews the relevant points. This is the part where you should provide a basis for the purpose and significance of the research.

It should also present a suggestion that tries to answer all the major questions. The research paper introduction should also give historical information about the problem studied and mention other studies that have found applicable findings.

Finally, the introduction should summarize the state of the main question following the end of the study.

5. Limitations of the Study

Limitations of your research are the limits and restraints put on your method of study and the investigation process. Every research must have its limits, and if you want your work to be precise, you must include the research limitations. When writing the limitations:

  • Recognize the limitations of your study in advance someone else does it.
  • Keep in mind that your study’s limitations or flaws can allow you to continue with your research. On the other hand, admitting the weaknesses shows your skills of critical scrutiny.
  • Additionally, you must know that claiming limitations is a personal process since you must assess the effects of the listed limitations.

6. Methodology

This is a section of your research paper that will give details on how the research was done. You must indicate the subjects involved the design of the study, the materials used, and the technique of the study.

The methodology part is essentially the most crucial part of the research paper. Ideally, it gives the readers a chance to appraise the quality of the research and offer the details by which another study may duplicate and legalize the results.

In this section, you should discuss the method you used for your research; did you employ quantitative or qualitative research methods?

Did you give people inquiry forms? Were there any field researches that were conducted? What method did you use to collect data? It is essential to note the methodology used will depend on the type of field and the experiment type.

7. Literature Review

Your research should be premised on prior knowledge about studies carried out on your selected topic. In this section, you analyse various sources relating to your research. Try to focus on peer-reviewed articles and books from reputable experts in the field.

While identifying the strengths of your source, be sure to mention the research gap that you are trying to resolve in your research paper. Remember to mention the strengths and weaknesses of the sources that you are reviewing including its ethical considerations.

8. Findings/ Results

This is the most flexible part of a research paper. The purpose of this section is to provide your findings without explanation, in a systematic and reasonable order. You can use descriptive materials, like tables and figures, or you can use texts.

Start your results section with texts and keep referring to your figures and tables as you continue.

If you used a quantitative research method, the finding must be an exhibition of mathematical results and data.

The qualitative research methods will require you to make comprehensive discussions of trends without going into so many facts.

An explanation will be useful in relating the results together, instead of just providing the reader with inaccessible and unrelated numbers and charts.

9. Argument/ Discussion

This is where the results of the study are interpreted and assessed against the current research works. There are numerous ways to write the argument part of your research paper, but the section must emphasis on four major elements;

  1. Justifications; what is the meaning of the research?
  2. Implications; why do the findings matter?
  3. Limitations; what is it that the findings can’t tell us?
  4. References; what are some scientific studies and practical actions you think should follow your study?

In some cases, the results section and the discussion section are included in the same chapter. The discussion section gives you the chance to discover the fundamental meaning of your research.

Things You Should Not Do While Writing the Discussion

  1. Don’t Retell Your Findings

You are allowed to open the discussion with just a brief statement about the main conclusion, but make sure that is all, stop right there. You already have a different findings section in your research paper. Don’t repeat yourself by clarifying the results again, instead of doing that, just quickly switch into their significance and impact.

2. Avoid Using Too Much Jargon

Most likely, your target readers will be familiar with the jargon, but you should reduce its use to make your paper reachable to a broader audience and give a more significant impact. This way, you will be expanding your target readership.

3. Don’t Introduce a New Piece of Data

Adding a new piece of data only makes the argument more confusing. Ensure that all your data are presented in the results or findings section.

10. Conclusion

Writing a good conclusion for your research paper can be difficult. The conclusion part of your research paper should be perfect and sum up your entire study without sounding repetitive.

When writing your conclusion, think of the main point that you want to highlight across and make sure to include it. Here are some tips that will help you write a good conclusion:

  • Use your introduction as a guide
  • Take a look at every paragraph of your paper
  • Leave your target readers with something to contemplate about

11. References

In this section, you must include a clear reference to recognize the work of previous researchers in your field and give reliability to your own study.

12. Appendices

This section contains additional material that isn’t a part of the text but might help offer a more detailed understanding of the research problem. Writing an appendix is simple as long as you know the various formats and guidelines.

Bottom Line

Writing an academic paper can be easy when you follow the above guide. But keep in mind that you need enough time to write your research paper and you cannot just take some random sources and try to come up with something.

However, sometimes the given topic can be difficult, or you may not be confident enough that you can ace your research paper. At DoMyPaperNow, we provide 100% original research papers at a reasonable prices.

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