A research paper has many different parts as discussed below. Each of these parts captures a unique aspect of the research and the different parts are organized in a logical manner that brings out coherence and logical flow. The following are the main parts of a research paper and the issues they address.
This forms the first part of the paper and it is in this section that the researcher makes a brief introduction on the subject of his study. Further, the researcher discusses loosely the need for their research, the relevance of the research and also mentions some of the anticipated findings without giving any detailed information about them. The abstract normally covers about one and a half pages but its length can be varied to suit the interest of the researcher and also to capture the details of the research as the need may be.
This is the next section and it is in this section that the one annotates the paging of his work. Basically, it entails one making a list of all topics and major headings and matching them with the pages where they are found. Main topics are written in bold letters and their respective sub-topics are written using normal writing style. Further, for easy understanding of the contents, main topics are numbered differently from sub-topics. For example, main topics could be numbered using the Hindu-Arabic numbers and the sub-topics using Roman numbers.
This section contains a brief recognition of all the individuals and organizations courtesy of whom the research was enhanced.
Statement of the problem
It is in this section that the one states the nature of the problem that they intend to do their research on. Statement of the problem should be explicit but succinct.
This is a major part of any research and it is in this section that the researcher carries a critical review of a number of existing literatures on the subject of his study. The review should be analytic, exhaustive and objective as to building the main ideas of the research. Literature reviews derive from secondary researches and should be acknowledged by citing all the work that was referred to. All literature reviewed should bear reasonable correspondence to the need for the study as highlighted in the statement of the problem.
Nature and design of the project
It is in this section that a detailed description of the project is given. The author discusses into details what the research intended to do, what it will achieve and where it will be carried out. The section is further sub-divided into two parts:
The author states his expected outcome. This helps set guidelines that the researchers follow during the survey. There are different types of hypotheses and the testing of each depends on the nature of the study.
- Aims and objectives of carrying out the research
State the major aims of carrying out the research study and how these will help address issues affecting the society or a particular institution. Also, state the objectives that are expected to be met at the end of the research.
It is this section that a detailed description of all the procedures and techniques for carrying out the research project are discussed. The discussion here should include:
- The nature of the information or data that is to be collected
- The methods of collecting the data such as sampling, interviews, questionnaires, observation et cetra.
- The sources of the information for instance library materials or field notes with an appropriate description of each source.
- Method of analyzing and treating the data once it is collected
Research findings and conclusion
Give a detailed discussion of the findings of the study. Research findings should address the issues pointed out in the statement of the problem as well as the points highlighted in the aims and objectives. Also it is in this section that the hypothesis is tested.
Resources and clearance
Make statements about;
- Sources of finances (loan, grants, personal savings)
- Facilities available for use-computers, office, laboratory etc
- Assistance available, this may include contacts in the field, resource persons etc
- Readiness to conduct the research. How much prepared was the researcher with regard to past experience
Give the expected time frame for doing the research, clearly indicating the time period that each activity lasts.