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The Qualitative Research Paper Structure: 5 Tips For Dummies

Writing a research paper is a laborious piece of work which takes much time and effort. One of the most important components of successful writing is a good structure, as a paper should be well-organized in addition to being informative. It’s essential to keep to the typical structure and include all the necessary sections into the paper. Below, there are five tips on how to form basic sections of your paper in order to make it high-quality and remarkable:

  1. Make an accurate title page and an apt abstract.
  2. The title page should include the title of your paper, the name of the author, and your institutional affiliation. The abstract is a short summary of your research, and this section contains your research questions, methods, results, analysis and conclusions.

    These sections, as well as the following ones, should be formatted according to the requirements to a definite paper format (MLA, APA or Chicago format). You can easily find the requirements on the Internet or turn to your academic advisor. Don’t forget that they change from time to time.

  3. The introduction should be informative but brief.
  4. The introduction is the opening part of your research and it should include basic information on the topic: the importance of the problem you are exploring, areas lacking knowledge and the objectives of your study. The introduction shouldn’t be long – it’s like an outline of your work.

  5. Make an elaborate description of your research.
  6. The method and results sections are essential parts of your paper. They contain information on how you have conducted your experiment: participants, materials used, methods applied, the description of the results and data analysis. This section is more a descriptive one; anyway, it should be also well-structured and satisfy the requirements. Provide the reader with relevant information and facts, give important details but avoid inessential data.

  7. Analyze, sum everything up and make a powerful conclusion.
  8. In the sections of the discussion and conclusion, discuss the results and state the findings of the research experiment conducted; make a conclusion on the basis of the interpretation of the results and the data analysis. You may also offer ideas for future research and future work perspectives. The conclusion should correspond to the introduction, as if answering the question posed by the introduction.

  9. List the literature used.
  10. The reference list should list the resources used in your work. It’s placed on the last page. It should be laid out carefully, with all the requirements taken into account. This section makes the work complete; it’s very important, because you might be accused of plagiarism if you don’t state the sources from which you got your source material.

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