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5 Important Components Every Research Paper Must Have

Thu, Oct 20th, 2022

Want to ace your next research paper assignment? Struggling to get started? Here are some of the key components of a quality research paper to help you get off on the right track.


1. Title Page

The title page is the first impression of your research paper. The title page should be formatted correctly according to the correct academic standard. For example, an APA research paper should contain the:

1.    page header or “running head”

2.    page number in the top right corner

3.    the title of the paper

4.    the author’s name

5.    your university

Note: Even though the date is not an APA requirement for research papers, your university may require it.

2. Abstract

Though all research papers required by your academic program will not require an abstract, students lose a lot of points on the abstract page simply because they do not know what to include. The abstract should be less than 250 words. It should be very concise and include the:

1.    problem to be investigated

2.    purpose of the study

3.    methods

4.    major results

5.    interpretations and implications of the results

3. Introduction

The introduction should provide the reader with all the background information needed to understand the paper. The author should explain key terms, give historical information on the problem studied, and cite other studies that have obtained relevant results.

4. Body

This section contains the “core” of the paper. Ideally, it should be broken down into further sections such as methods and materials, results, discussion, and conclusion. The best way to divide your paper into sections is to make an outline first to ensure that your paper flows and hits key topics.

5. References

The references page should acknowledge all the resources used for obtaining information. Even the smallest piece of information used should be cited here if the thoughts or ideas of someone else are used. The resource page should be cited according to either APA or MLA guidelines. Please, don’t forget to use in-text citations as well. For a free guide, use this citation generator.

How a Research Paper is Graded


·         research skills

·         ability to think critically about a topic and the sources necessary to study and limit that topic

·         ability to combine information and ideas into a focused, organized, and well-supported manuscript

·         ability to write a grammatical, stylistic, and mechanically correct essay

·         ability to document and list sources accurately and usefully

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