Organizing a Research Paper
Research papers are organized in a standard format and include the following sections:
Title Page: The title page includes the paper's title, author, date and other identifying information required by your instructor. The paper's running head begins on the title page.
Abstract: An abstract is a short, comprehensive summary of the research paper. The abstract helps readers decide if they want to read the entire paper or article.
Table of Contents: The contents page serves as an outline of your research paper and guides readers to sections by page number.
Section 1 - Statement of Purpose: The body of the paper begins with the statement of purpose which introduces the research problem and why it's important.
Section 2 - Background and Literature Review: The background discusses the history of the problem. The literature review is a survey and critical evaluation of scholarly articles and books about your research problem. It tells the reader how your study fits into the body of research that's already been published.
Section 3 - Methodology: The methodology section of the paper describes how you collected and analyzed your research. The methods used in the study help readers determine its validity.
Section 4 - Statistical Analysis: This section summarizes your data, based on your methodology. Results should be reported in detail and without bias.
Section 5 - Conclusion and Recommendations: This section is where you evaluate and interpret your results in relation to your hypothesis. You should explain the significance of your research in relation to previous studies. You may also suggest further research for the future.
References Page: Organized in APA format, this is where you list the sources you used when researching the paper.
Appendices: Supplementary information goes here, including print-outs of your statistical analysis.
Research Paper Resources
For detailed instructions on writing research papers, see the following resources. Note that the organization suggested in these resources is slightly different than described above. QM 515 students should follow the format outlined above.