Academic Paper Structure: Order of Sections & Other Tips

The order in which you organize the research paper you have written is equally as important as the information you are giving out. To complete your research paper, you must know how to organize a research paper. Here you’ll find out how to structure a paper.

Tips for research paper

  • It should be informative

Your research paper fails to achieve the goal of research if it does not give the right information. You must creatively include every important detail relating to your research. You can achieve this when you make the right findings on a topic you have chosen. While you’re trying to load as much relevant information as possible, try to be concise. You do not want your work to be too long that it becomes repetitive and boring. The goal is to fit in only the important details.

  • Defend your facts

Every fact, figure, or quote must be properly cited in your work. Research work is not based on vague assumptions or fiction. From where did you get your estimate? Who made the statements you have used? A properly cited fact has more validation and is proof that you have taken the time to properly do a thorough job on the paper.

  • Proofread

Never forget to edit or proofread your work after writing your paper. This is to avoid typographical errors, and grammatical mistakes, include facts you must have missed, or remove redundant information. It is often advisable that you leave the proofreading for later because you are more relaxed and your brain works better. Either way, proofreading is an important step when it comes to writing a research paper.

Order of sections in a research paper

This structure of research paper is the standard order for a research project, however, there may be shorter research projects. This will generally include an introduction, the body, conclusion, and references.

  1. Title

The title of your paper should come first; on the first page of your research paper.

  1. Abstract

Your abstract is a summary that tells your reader what type of research you’re doing, your goal, and how you plan to achieve it.

  1. Table of Contents

The table of content follows with the right numbering. Technically, you only get the numbering right after completing your research paper.

  1. Introduction

Your introduction should be well crafted and captivating. It also carries your thesis statement. Your thesis statement briefly summarizes your work and tells your readers what to expect at the end of the paper.

  1. Body

The body is one of the most important research paper sections. It includes your literature review, research methodology, and data analysis

  1. Literature review

Your literature review is a compilation of all the literature sources you have used in your work. Its role is to explain the relevance of each piece of literature to your work

  1. Research Methodology

Did you employ the use of questionnaires or lab experiments? Your research methodology comes after your literature review.

  1. Data Analysis

Each data that you have successfully collected is presented here. Your data analysis should align with the research methodology.

  1. Results/Discussions

At the end of your analysis, the floor is open to discuss your findings and what they mean to your research project. Here, you analyze data collected during the research.

  1. Conclusion

Like the introduction, the concluding part of your research paper sums up your work. Here, you get to let your reader know if you have been able to achieve the research goals or not. It should also be well detailed and creatively written.

  1. Reference Page

Your reference page will generally come at the last part of your paper, after the conclusion. This is a list of all the sources that you accessed during your research. Your sources may include archival findings, oral interviews, internet research, books, journals, or newspaper articles


The various parts of a research paper each play important roles. It is therefore important that you know the right structure of a research paper.

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