Components of a Good Research Paper

Writing guide
Posted on May 29, 2008

Research papers form an important part of any writer’s life. From time to time, one is required to prepare a research paper based on certain specific topics. This paper provides a guideline of what a good research paper should comprise. A good research paper is described as a sustained inquiry about a particular subject.

Any research paper must have a thesis statement. It gives the writer’s position on the issue of discussion. All the contents of the paper revolve around the thesis. The thesis statement should be limited in scope to be argued in a short composition and with the available evidence (Bailey 2003). The paper must also have a title. The title is based on the subject of discussion. A good title should be short, accurate and concise. This will help anyone reading the work to figure out what the paper is all about even before they get into its details. Key words of the paper should feature in the title. Though it should be comprehensive; the title should not be unduly long.

The body of the research paper forms the bulk of the essay. Detailed research information is found here. Information should be paragraphed topically. It should be done in clear concise language and irrelevant information should be avoided. All facts stated in this section should be fully backed by facts except where personal opinion is required. The contents of the paper should exhibit originality of the writer. Plagiarism should be avoided at all costs. Direct quotations should be acknowledged with citations being indicated.

Grammatical errors should be avoided in these papers. Spelling mistakes make comprehension of statements difficult. The reader may have a hard time going through the paper making them either lose interest or have low opinion on the same. Economy of words should apply. Facts or opinions should be communicated with as few words as possible. Paragraphs should neither be too short nor too long.. If you have a paragraph that is more than half a page in length, break it into two paragraphs. Avoid one sentence paragraphs.

A good research paper would be incomplete without a well laid out reference. A reference refers to a list of sources which the writer or author has used during the process of writing a research paper. A paper missing a list of references used is considered plagiarized. In addition to the list, the writer may opt to include other relevant sources that may help a reader in seeking more information on the research topic. In this case, the list is referred to as a bibliography.

A conclusion in a research paper summarizes the key points. All the major points should be reflected here. At this point, the writer is not supposed to bring in new ideas for the paper. One can also use this section to sum up the argument as well as well as discuss further development of the particular research.

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