Components of Successful Research Papers
It is not easy to write a successful research paper. There are no easy steps to this. As a researcher, you have to select an appropriate topic, do research, figure out methodology, plan your thoughts, formulate your interpretations or arguments, cite your sources, write the initial draft, editing, and proofread. You need not get worried about writing an assignment. With a solid understanding of an excellent research paper’s components, the procedure can be simple and easy.
A successful research paper is SMART
A good research paper meets the objective of adding readers’ skills and knowledge of the subject matter. Besides, it comprehensively, concisely, and accurately conveys balanced information about the subject matter. The information must be valid evidence in support of the paper. SMART is an easy way to remember the building blocks of writing a research paper and help the researcher write a successful research paper.
- Specific: Research papers should be specific and focus on the subject matter of the research by answering research questions. It should also be consistent and aim at conveying information or even state claims on unrelated subjects or topics.
- Measurable: Research papers must have specific, reliable research and references all research sources together with related literature.
- Attainable: Research papers should have a thesis statement that answers research questions and contributes to the body of knowledge of the research area or topic. The research can answer a question that does not associate with real-life or depends on existing knowledge.
- Realistic: Research papers should be realistic and objective. If its design represents evaluations, arguments, or interpretations, it should be from reliable sources and valid evidence.
- Time: Researchers write research papers knowing the focus, timeframe, and limits of the work. In the absence of the research paper’s limitations and scope, the paper might fail to answer the research questions or even fail to pay attention to the research area or research topic.
Elements of a research paper
A researcher or writer must focus on the critical elements of the research paper. Research papers have no universal templates, but standard elements can assist in having a good comprehension of the subject matter. Those elements include the following.
- Title: The title should be on the title page with the actual title, aligned to the center
- Table of contents: For all sections of the table of contents, it should have numbered.
- Introduction: Introduction provides background and context of the research topic. You can present hypothesis and research questions in the introduction section too. Remember to explain the importance of the research topic together with rationale or relevance.
- Methodology: This section should explain data collection strategies, analysis, and the presentation of key findings or results. For research papers that depend on past research, the literature should be up-to-date and valid.
- Results and discussions: In this section, the researcher should follow methodology and findings, with a clear transition to reports, analysis, discussion, and screening results. As much as research papers are academic, the language and tone should capture and sustain readers’ attention. The researcher can use a mix of presentation that includes examples, illustrations, quotations, graphs, and tables to achieve this.
- Conclusion: This section is a summary of the results and key findings. Do not introduce new points in the conclusion.
- Reference: This section should provide the citation for all the sources that the research paper relied on. Citations add credibility to the research work.