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Parts of a Research paper

Even though required components of a research paper may vary according to the formats
prescribed by academic departments or journals, all research papers must have the following
components. To facilitate learning, I have put them in table form.

Abstract & Key Words


Literature survey



The title of the paper must be well-composed it should focus directly
on the importance and the scope of the chosen problem/issue. Please
note there is a specified format for writing titles All words except
prepositions and articles (not the starting one) should start with a capital
The abstract is very important because it is read by many more people
than the research paper itself. It is a good idea to end the abstract with
3 or 4 key words which will help to bring the abstract/paper up in
internet search. A detailed note on Composing an Abstract has been
posted separately.
The Introduction must clearly and concisely walk the reader through
what the research paper is trying to accomplish. This is where your
thesis statement will be. As you may know, the thesis statement
embodies your conviction. It must be composed using simple, direct
and persuasive terms. Very often, the introduction also talks about what
efforts have been made so far to resolve this issue. If the topic has
been well researched, you may want to create a separate section on
Literature Survey which will focus on the chronological developments
in the context of the problem. The introduction must be concise and
If you have a lot of material on the chosen topic and a lot of background
work has already been done (but now you want to explore a new
aspect/methodology/solution), you may want to create a separate
section called Literature Survey. The objective here is to acquaint the
reader with the efforts that have been made so far to approach this
topic/problem. This part generally ends with your hypothesis. This
section helps in establishing the writers ethical and professional
This is generally the simplest component to compose because you
know it so well. The most important here is to establish that you had a
well-conceived plan to conduct the research.
This is a very short section (only a few lines) and must talk about what
was found as a result of the experiments/interviews conducted by the
researcher on the given topic/problem/issue. A lot of people have




trouble with this section. Remember, honesty is the key here. Not
obtaining the expected result is also a result and must be reported as
such. This is a great place to exploit graphics.
This section focuses on you interpretation of the results obtained. You
will build this section on the bases of data (quantitative research) or
surveys/interviews etc. (qualitative research) obtained/conducted during
your research. This is also a great place to exploit pictures/graphics to
make your interpretation clear to the reader.
Basically, this part summarizes your research and tells the reader what
the research showed in the context of the objective of the research;
how it has added new knowledge to what was already known
(discussed in Literature survey); where it did not meet expectations;
what is the possible impact of this research and finally, in which
areas/aspects of this topic/problem, further research should be
All citations must be in the proper format. These formats can be
different for different disciplines. You need to find that out. Many
Journals have specifications that must be respected.

Please note that your paper/subject may have some specific requirements. As the author, you
need to find these out and educate yourself to meet those requirements.