September 29, 2021

Components of a Successful Research Paper

By content1

There are no shortcuts to writing a successful research paper. From choosing a topic to conducting research to editing the final draft, it’s hard work. Fortunately, you can make the process a whole lot easier by having a good understanding of the elements that make a research paper successful.

A Successful Research Paper is SMART

So, what counts as a successful research paper? For starters, it increases readers’ knowledge of the chosen topic. It also delivers unbiased information on the subject accurately, concisely, and comprehensively. And, of course, provide valid evidence to support the premise.

Following a SMART approach will help you achieve this. SMART serves as a reminder for the basics of research paper writing and also prepares you for successful writing.

  • A research paper should be specific by maintaining its focus on the research subject. It should not convey information or make assumptions on other, unrelated topics.
  • A research paper must contain specific, verified research and cite the research sources and relevant literature.
  • A paper should provide a statement corresponding the research question and adds new information.
  • A research paper should be objective and realistic. Ensure to base any interpretations, arguments, or evaluations on credible sources.
  • A research paper requires you to take into consideration the timeframes, limits, and focus of the study. Knowing the scope and limitations of the research paper ensures the thesis statement answers the research question and focuses on the research subject.

Elements of a Research Paper

Also, crucial to writing a successful research paper is your understanding of the essential components of a research paper. These being:

  1. Title: usually centered.
  2. Table of contents: lists commencing page numbers for each section.
  3. Introduction: provides the background and a situational analysis of the research topic. The introduction also includes the research question. And through it, your readers get to understand the motivation behind conducting the research.
  4. Methodology: states and explains the process through which you collect, organize, and analyze data, evidence, and results. If you draw your methodology from previously published literature, ensure the literature is still valid and up-to-date. Doing so will prevent the credibility of your research from being called to question.
  5. Results and discussion: the section where you report, analyze, discuss, and substantiate your findings in a way that should capture your readers’ attention. You can achieve this through tables, graphs, illustrations, quotations, examples, and additional supporting evidence. When you use quoted text, remember to do so accurately and to cite the original work in the reference section.
  6. Conclusion: serves as a summary of your results and findings. However, it should not include anything not brought up under the results and discussion.
  7. References/Bibliography: this is where references made in the paper to other research studies and sources of information go. Be it in the form of statistics, direct quotes, paraphrased information, and the like. Recording each reference you use adds credibility and discipline to your paper.