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Basic structure of a research paper

If you are writing a research paper, there are a number of things that you need to be paying attention to. Structure is one of them. The structure of a research paper is rather basic, and you can use this layout for any type of essay as well. All papers should have three parts; an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. Here is the most common way that people put together their research papers:

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  • General Statement about the topic, used to draw people into what you are writing about.
  • Main arguments that the paper is exploring.
  • Thesis statement, which is the information that you are trying to prove through your paper. It needs to be the idea that controls your entire paper; what you say will influence that research that you use in the paper. It explores a major idea and is very specific.


  • Literature review – This is the part of the paper where you are exploring the research that has already been done about this particular topic. Remember, it doesn’t have to be exact; you can talk about research that explores things related to the topic as well, as long as you explain your logic.
  • Methodology- This is the part of the paper where you talk about the way that you went about your own research and how you are going to explore the thesis statement that you made in your first paragraph.
  • Results – This, implying that you have actually performed the research that you said you were going to perform, talks about the results of that research.
  • Discussion – This part of the paper is where you explore the results and talk about the implications that the results have upon the entire body of research which existed (which you discussed in your Literature review)


  • General statement about the topic and ending thoughts about the topic at hand.
  • Complete summary of the main points that were used to prove the thesis.

If you are looking for help for the other parts of writing a research paper, make sure to take a look at our other pages that can help you out:

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