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Academic Support Center Student Toolkit

Research Paper Elements

Simply put, the Abstract is a brief, concise summary of your research paper; in the span of 100-250 words, you will state your topic, your research problem, your hypothesis, your methodology, and your results and what they mean.

The Introduction is a sort of extended version of your Abstract: in greater detail, it introduces your topic, problem, research question, hypothesis, and methodology.

The Literature Review section illustrates current scholarly discussion their paper topic. It pays special attention to what is known and not know about the topic based on past research and available knowledge. By emphasizing problematic areas or things that are not known, the author sets the stage for his or her research paper to try and answer some of those lingering questions.

The Method section explains what type of experiments you conducted, describes the instruments and measurements you used, and narrates the process of how you obtained your data.

In the Results section, you will summarize the data you obtain as objectively as possible. Take care not to draw any conclusions about your results in this section - that's what the Discussion is for.

In the Discussion section, you will interpret your results, discussing their implications and whether or not they support or contradict your initial hypothesis.

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