10 Tips to Structure a Research Paper

A research paper can be considered the first important milestone in your academic journey. Your paper will demonstrate your knowledge and reflect how proficient you are in the discipline. Hence, it is important to present findings in a coherent and understandable manner so the audience will clearly understand your idea and appreciate your scientific contribution. Today, we will talk about ten tips that will help you structure your research papers and make them exemplary in every aspect.

We hope this guide will become helpful in your academic journey and improve the quality of your essays significantly. You must understand that structuring and creating a research paper is not a fast and easy but a complex and time-consuming process. Hence, if you need urgent academic papers, you can turn to a research paper service such as FastEssay, where you can find instant expert writing assistance. Otherwise, get ready to grasp some top-notch recommendations on how to structure your research paper to make it perfect. Let’s get started!

Why does structure matter?

You may ask why do I even need to bother with my research paper’s structure if it is a formal essay where I only need to describe the topic. The thing is that despite the fact that your academic paper must be free from informal phrases and stylistic elements, it still must be easily perceived by the audience. If you read research articles, you will notice a similarity in their structure. Usually, the paper’s body (we will omit the abstract in this example) starts from the background information and smoothly moves to arguments, counter-arguments, and conclusions.

This sequence is not only a subconscious effort to structure one’s paper but also a requirement for publication in scholarly journals. It is better to learn how to organize information in your essays in your early academic career to master this skill. Furthermore, it will most likely reflect other aspects of your life, including professional and personal communication. However, even without looking ahead, a proper structure of your paper will enhance the readability and quality of your papers, increasing the chances of good grades.

Recommendation on structuring a research paper

The following recommendations are designed to guide you through the interesting journey of composing a proper research paper. They will help you in this difficult endeavor, basically providing a step-by-step guideline that you can use right ahead. No more talking. Let’s go to practice and review the preparation stage.

Develop a thesis statement. Every research paper must start with a thesis. What message do you want to convey? What is the purpose of your paper? These questions lay a solid foundation for your future research.

Pay attention to the outline. An outline is the core of your paper that must clearly and briefly state what and where you are going to write. Writing a research paper without an outline is like walking in a city blindfolded. You are going, but where will you end up? Hence, do not forget to make a plan for your paper.

Writing a logical body

After you have prepared a solid foundation for your paper, you can start writing your body part. Pay attention to the next 4 critical steps that will make your paper thorough and well-structured.

Start with a thorough background. Now, when your outline is ready, start by presenting the background of your topic. Assume that people who will read your paper are not aware of the issue at all. Discuss the prerequisites of your problem and explain why you consider it such. Do not delve deeply into the roots, but simultaneously, do not start your paper by jumping straight to the main idea.

Present your arguments in a logical sequence. Thanks to the outline that you have created at the beginning, you can ensure that your paper is logically organized. One argument must strive from another, and the clear, logical chain must permeate your whole paper. For instance, you cannot start describing the financial issues, followed by employees’ motivation, and returning to financial stuff again.

Ensure smooth transitions. Although an academic paper is not creative writing where you demonstrate your poetic abilities, your research work must be smooth. Indeed, you can present your findings like a robot and dryly list your arguments. However, it will be difficult to perceive the information this way. Do not forget to tie your claims with transitions so one argument smoothly stems from the other one. You will not only demonstrate your logical flow better but also ensure that your research paper is easy to read.

Don’t forget counter-arguments. Say thanks again to the outline! No research question has someone who thinks differently. It is important to admit that your perspective is not universal and that there are people who have different opinions. Allocate an additional paragraph or two where you cover this important aspect and move on to the next section.

Finalizing and polishing your paper

Congratulations! Your paper is ready… or is it? Try to guess what we have forgotten and review the following 4 steps to help you finish your paper and make it perfect.

Provide a powerful conclusion. Again, academic essays are not “traditional” ones where you have to include a heroic quote and call to action in the conclusion. Instead, you want to re-state your main points and thesis statement, as if to remind the audience what the paper was about.

Now, write your introduction. Nope, we are not making any mistake by placing this step at the end. It is now that you want to write an introduction where you will briefly describe what information will be covered in the paper. You got it? How would you know what will be in your paper before you even write it? Place a thesis statement at the end of your introduction, and you will be good.

Ask your peers for a review. Phew, your paper is done. But if you really want to make it perfect, give it to your peers or even family members for a quick review. Specifically, ask them if they understand what the paper is about and what questions remain unanswered. This is how you can understand if the text is readable and what adjustments you can make.

Revise and edit your paper. Finally, proofread, revise, and edit your paper to consider all potential drawbacks and suggestions. There is always room for improvement, so take your time and reread your paper after a few days to get a fresh look. I promise that you will find something to edit even after a week of consistent reviews.

What should you do next?

Remember that practice makes perfect. Do not stop on one research paper, but continue to follow our recommendations in your future essays to master your writing skills. While you will write more and more, you will develop your unique style and tips that will make your writing even better. You can become one of the best academic writers and reach professional heights if you are consistent and mindful of your efforts. Furthermore, you can eventually improve your overall communication abilities and become a valuable person for your future company. What are you waiting for? Go and try out these recommendations!





About the author

Saman Iqbal

Saman is a law student. She enjoys writing about tech, politics and the world in general. She's an avid reader and writes fictional prose in her free time.

Daily Newsletter