Parts of a Research Paper


Specific parts of a research paper determine how an individual presents an idea or argues for or against a specific hypothesis. When developing a term paper, one needs to understand that there is no one right style/manner of writing. If he/she ignores the role of content in writing, he/she would note that the writing style and presentation of academic papers varies across discourses. Nevertheless, some parts of a research paper characterize most educational fields, for example: 

Title/Cover Page

Each paper contains a title and cover page that offers details such as the author’s name, address, phone number, email, and date. However, the precise components of a research paper’s title/cover page vary depending on the chosen formatting and referencing style. Other factors, like an instructor’s preference and institutional guidelines, also determine how an individual structures the title/cover page component of his/her research paper.


While common in scientific discourses, abstracts are not required for all papers. However, in long complex papers, abstracts are fundamentally essential. An abstract summarizes a research paper’s main points and has about 100 to 300 words. It defines the main theme of a research paper, delineates the associated research question, and explores related research methodologies. An abstract also relays the findings of a research paper succinctly – ideally ones that are later explored in other sections of the paper. A researcher should ensure that he/she takes great care in his/her abstract composition as it influences a reviewer’s perspectives on the research paper. A good abstract should use strong content, employ an excellent summative style, and offer insights into the paper’s research process and findings.

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Introduction and Problem Statement

Each essay should contain an introduction that states the main research problem and voices its associated research argument. Through the introduction a researcher should explain: what he/she is exploring in the research paper; the importance of his/her; and how his/her research fills information gaps in other fields. While writing a research paper, one should lengthy explanations without stating the problem explicitly.


A decent research paper should discuss its research methodology. A student or researcher should, for instance, consider if he/she employed qualitative or quantitative research methodologies. In addition, he/she can review: data collection mechanisms; how field research was conducted; how sample populations, if any, were selected, etc.

Literature Review

Literature reviews are an essential part of most research papers. The section uncovers what other researchers have written about the specified research topic. A good research paper should include a discussion or review of pieces-of-research that explore its subject. Therefore, a student/researcher must provide general and specific contextual information about the topic-under-study. Afterwards, he/she will build on existing knowledge to further his/her research paper’s argument/hypothesis.

Main Body of Paper

Generally, the main body is the longest part of an essay. In this section, the writer/researcher/student supports his/her paper’s thesis and builds its argument. This part also contains most of the research paper’s citations and provides its central arguments. A good student/researcher must thus concentrate on developing his/her thesis with clear logical progression and solid argumentation. He/she must also avoid meaningless digressions, and provide a strong detailed analysis that characterizes excellent research writing. You can read more on referencing and citations at here 


 A conclusion is the last part of a research paper. This section centralizes the research paper’s arguments and highlights its actual meaning. An excellent conclusion offers a logical demonstration of the paper’s progression, vis-à-vis, thesis statement, methodology, and arguments from the literature review and main body sections.

Read more about how to write a research hypothesis here