Elements of a Successful Research Paper

It is never easy to develop an excellent research paper, no matter your level of experience. Having to come up with a topic, researching, organizing your thought, choosing the appropriate methodology, writing, and citing your sources, among others, are all tedious tasks. However, it becomes easier if you know what to do at any step of your paper. This guide takes you through what makes a good research paper to make your process more straightforward.

How to write a quality research paper

A standard research paper is one that improves a reader’s knowledge of the subject under review. It should also base on factual, unbiased information from credible sources, comprehensively written, yet concise to encapsulate every vital idea. Therefore, your research paper must be “SMART.”

  • Specific

Your research paper should be specific about what it seeks to achieve. The focus should just be on the research topic and its aim, without deviating or bringing in unrelated aspects. To achieve this, always focus on answering the research question and desist from being inconsistent.

  • Measurable

Your paper should be based on facts, statistics, and proven theories and not on emotions and half facts. You should also reference all sources you used for the research.

  • Attainable

Your research paper should be attainable in terms of workability and achievability. Your thesis statement should fully answer the research question and add to the existing knowledge on the topic. It shouldn’t be something that has no real-life value.

  • Realistic 

The topic you want to research should be realistic and evidence-based with credible sources. The research should present the true reflection of the topic.

  • Timelines

Time is of the essence when it comes to research work. You should know the time you have at hand before settling on a topic. Can you meet the submission deadline for your chosen topic? By knowing your timeframe, you can state the scope of work and limitations.

Essential Components of a Research Paper

A standard research paper should have:

  1. Title: The title is the basis for your research
  2. Introduction: This chapter is where you introduce your topic and present your thesis statement to back it. This includes the research topic and hypothesis for the research. In the introduction, you state why you chose the topic and its relevance.
  3. Methodology: This is where you state how you will collect data and information for your research and how it would be processed. If you are using existing data or literature, ensure it is valid, usable, and still relevant.
  4. Results and Discussion: This is where you analyze, discuss and confirm the findings of your research. It must be done dispassionately and devoid of biases.
  5. Conclusion: The conclusion part of your research paper summarizes the majors finding of your work. Note that this is not where you introduce a new discussion. Anything contained in the conclusion must be found in the main body.
  6. Bibliography: It is where you cite all the sources used in your research paper. Whether a source was quoted partially or directly, you must properly reference it to avoid plagiarism.