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A guide on the structure of a Research Paper

  1. Topic Selection and Introduction:
    The first step to writing an appropriate research paper is to initially choose an interesting, yet challenging, topic. A researcher’s interest towards the chosen topic will act as the main motivation to the author in reaching the best and most genuinely acquired results.
    The introduction is all but an overview or rather outline to the topic of the research. It should begin by presenting the topic in a broad sense until it is slowly and smoothly narrowed down to a conclusion that is followed by a research question. The significance of the topic should be presented as well as currently existent studies/research on the topic.It should address, in a length of two pages, the main issue and reason for having chosen this topic, if there are existing solutions, and the advantages of contemplating this research.
  2. Literature Review
    The literature review, in brief, includes the current knowledge on the chosen topic, from practical findings to theoretical and methodological. Secondary sources are used such as scholarly/peer-reviewed books and articles. A literature review’s main purpose is to present case studies and models that support the research topic.The introductory section of the Literature Review should include an identification of the topic and issue followed by conflicts in theory, evidence, and conclusions presented by other researches. Reasons for having selected the mentioned studies should be stated and if any holes or gaps exist.The body of the Literature Review should firstly, and briefly, mention each study and group them according to commonalities such as qualitative versus quantitative or purpose. It should then establish comparisons and analyses and creating some kind of debate.The conclusion should act as a summary to the significant studies and results reached by the analyses and comparisons while keeping the main purpose and introduction in mind in the hopes of reaching a conclusion that would later support the researcher’s own topic. Any gaps or inconsistencies should be mentioned if pertinent to current or future studies.
  3. Methodology
    The methodology is an in-depth report of the methods, procedures, or approach used in the study. If equipment, participants, materials, or variables were used/included, a detailed description must be provided.Necessary as well is an ethics statement. This statement is a representation of how the researcher ensures the quality of the research, the way in which informed consent was sought, and how confidentiality, anonymity, and impartiality was maintained.Finally, it should contain the problems anticipated and faced as well as the steps taken to avoid them and if they, in any way, may affect the findings.
  4. Preliminary Data
    This section is where the preliminary findings of a study are reported as per the methodology section preceding it. It is a simple statement of the findings arranged in a sequence without any interpretation. Evidence of importance or data that is critical to answering a research question or addressing a relevant point within the paper should be mentioned.
  5. Statement of Limitations
    This section in other words is a discussion section within the paper of the findings and what they mean. It must include a statement of limitations, or rather the characteristics of methodology that influenced the interpretation of the findings. This section is an opportunity to make suggestions for further research.
  6. Conclusion
    The conclusion section is all but an understanding of why the research matters. It is a summary of the main topics or points covered throughout the paper and allows for recommendations for future research. A statement where the researcher points out a gap that has been filled by the research adding to its quality.

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