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Academic Layout of a Research Paper

The layout for a research paper is important because it can influence how your data is interpreted by the reader.  While you may not like the task of writing the paper, you do want to present your data in an appropriate manner.  How you arrived at your conclusion is one matter, but if it isn’t presented well, how do you expect people to take your work seriously especially if you put a lot of time in studying.  Breaking your research paper into sections can help you stay focused on presenting details in a positive manner.  The following tips can help you identify steps you need to take on developing a layout for your paper.

  • Your layout may depend on the length of your research paper.  For instance, a longer paper may include a citation page.  Review layout samples to give yourself an idea of what parts are included.
  • Know the basic components that make up your paper. The introduction, results and conclusion are a few sections commonly included.  The abstract, table of contents, reference & citations and appendices may be other sections to add depending on what your paper calls for.
  • A title page may be required which details pertinent information about the paper.  While this page is one of the shortest included, it can be one of them most challenging to complete when you are unsure what needs to be mentioned and proper format. The good news is this page can be created last, after the paper has been typed.  You have time to think of a good title based on information comprised through research. 
  • The abstract is an important section that is often read first before the rest of the paper.  It summarizes other sections of your research into 1 paragraph, usually about 200 words. 
  • The introduction may include several pieces of significant information such as your thesis statement and brief history of your research.  Seek helpful tips to help you construct your introduction; it should be written in a way to help others understand what the topic is about with.
  • The method section of a research paper details what you did to collect your data.  This may entail mentioning equipment, sample collections, locations visited and techniques used to perform experiments. 
  • The results section may include graphics or tables to show information collected. Other sections that would follow results include discussion, summary & conclusion, references, acknowledgements and appendices.