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A research paper is basically an expanded version of an essay that reflects an evaluation, interpretation or argument made by the writer. It is the most important thing for a student in academics. If a research paper is not well written or presented, then there are consequences which the student needs to face. We don't want students to face any negative consequences so, we have come up with this article explaining the main sections of a research paper.

A research paper involves research and analysis over a topic in detail, to find out the best information on that topic.  Another important part is to find the right topic for your research paper. This can only be done by brainstorming and finding out ideas and then settling them in the form of topics with a little bit of primary research.

But, what is the use of that information, when you don't know how to write a research paper and what all sections are involved in it? Don't worry! We will not let you get lost in the middle. This guide is designed to help students perform well. So, let’s begin.

There is no particular style or manner for writing a research paper, as the style and presentation vary for different education fields. But, the below mentioned are the important sections of a research paper that remain common for most of the fields.   

Limitations of Study

Realize as soon as possible, what you mean to do, and what you won't attempt. You may impound the extent of your research paper by different components like geographic area, time, workforce, gender, age, nationality, etc. The topic should not be wide. Think about whether you will be able to research alone on that topic or not? There is always a deadline that students get, so keep in mind that deadline too. These limitations are basically problems that you can face while drafting your paper, so it’s better to be on the safe side from the beginning.

Title or Cover Page

In this section, you need to mention the paper’s title, date, author’s name, phone no., address, and email.


Abstracts are mostly used for longer and complex papers. Not every academic paper needs an abstract. An abstract is generally written in 100 to 300 words. An abstract gives an expansive preview of the paper and is never in excess of a page. An abstract depicts the essence and the primary topic of the research paper.

It embodies the research question, the methodology, the question’s criticality, and the principle discoveries or results. Cited work is not mentioned in an abstract. It is crucial to take incredible consideration while creating an abstract as it is the starting piece of a research paper that the audience read. It must intrigue with great style, solid content, and general aesthetic intrigue. Never write it in a hurry or indiscreetly. You don’t want your professor to mark you low just because you did not give an eye towards the structure of an abstract.

We generally suggest students write an abstract at the end when they are done explaining their research with a conclusion. It is because an abstract will cover what your research is about and how you supported it. So, it becomes easy for you to draft your abstract once you are done writing your research paper.


Just like the abstract, the section of the introduction is also important. An excellent introduction is able to state the main research issue and the thesis argument made on it. It tells the readers about what the paper is about and why it is important. We suggest you not provide a lengthy justification in your introduction for the topic before it has been openly stated.

An excellent introduction usually is made up of these three parts:

  1. Giving a general presentation of the whole research paper.
  2. Laying out exactly what you want to achieve with your research paper.
  3. Stating your own position.


In the methodology section, you talk about your exploration approaches. There are different ways to find information. Did you utilize qualitative or quantitative research techniques? Did you conduct any field research? How did you gather information? Did you oversee a survey or met individuals and take their interviews? Did you check different documents and libraries? All these questions add to your exploration approaches. You have to answer them in this section and describe them in detail.

Data Collection

Data collection is the process of gathering information on different variables of interest, in a systematic manner. This information helps in answering the research question which has been developed by you. It also helps with evaluating the outcomes and testing hypotheses. The data collection section in research is there for all the fields of study like humanities, social & physical sciences, business, etc.

The data collection methods may vary for different disciplines, but the emphasis should always be on collecting appropriate and accurate data. The field of study and the data collection method (qualitative or quantitative approach) is on the researcher, but the essential thing which needs to be maintained everywhere is the honesty of the research. You should be careful while using the data collection tools whether existing, new or modified. If you will use them correctly, the risk of errors will decrease.

Data Analysis

Data analysis is basically an exclusive summary written on the results of your data analysis. The data is run through various experiments and tests and then the result is written in form of a summary. The tests include analytical and logical reasoning which determines patterns, relationships and trends.

This section of a research paper is there for every field of study like medicine, business, actuarial science, etc. When data collection is done in 2 methods, qualitative and quantitative, then the analysis will also differ for these two.

Generally, the data analysis section of a research paper is divided into 4 main parts:

  • descriptive statistics ensuing from experimental studies
  • experimental studies
  • inferential statistics from qualitative analysis
  • quantitative studies

Cross-check your data twice for accuracy. Make sure that your methods are comparable with the subject problem. Before moving on to the analysis, ensure that you have collected relevant data including documents, online and print materials. It is better to make several copies of the print material so that later things get sorted. You can even label them and store them in such a manner that you can easily access them when required.

Literature Review

A research paper reveals what other authors have written and expressed on your chosen topic. Your paper ought to subsume a review or discussion over what is expressed about the topic and how that information was procured. When you provide the general and clear context of the current information, exactly at that point you yourself can point out your views on others' research.


This is mainly the longest section of the research paper. It's the place the writer takes the side of the thesis and set up the argument. It contains the greater part of the references and analysis. This segment should concentrate on an objective improvement of the thesis with clear thinking and strong argumentation at all the points. A clear focus, keeping away from aimless deviations, gives the basic solidarity that outshines a solid research paper.


In the wake of putting in a lot of energy and time showcasing and contending the points in the fundamental body of the research paper, the conclusion unites each & everything and it underscores what this everything implies. An appealing and useful conclusion leaves the readers well satisfied and informed.

An end that makes sense, when read separately from the other parts of the paper, will win acclaim. Make sure to fulfil the purpose of a conclusion. It is not just the summary, but a summary with takeaway points that readers can connect to regarding the topic.

Bibliography Section/Referencing

It is basically a list of all the sources that you have referred to while searching for information on your topic. We would suggest you cite the references in the text. It will prevent your document from plagiarising. Citing your References is really important. A bibliography includes:

  • Author’s name
  • The names and locations of companies that published copies of your sources
  • Page numbers of your sources, in case they are a part of the multi-source volumes.
  • The title of the works
  • Publishing Dates of the sources’ copies


Academic research papers mostly contain at least one appendix. An appendix states material that fits for expanding the reader’s understanding, yet it doesn't fit adequately into the body of the research paper. Such material may integrate outlines, tables, inquiries questions, maps, pictures, long insights, photos, glossaries, duplicates of historical records, study instruments, letters, and various different types of valuable material.

A research paper may contain numerous appendices. They are typically set after the primary body of the paper yet before the bibliography. They are normally assigned by such headings as Appendix A, Appendix B, etc.

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