Academic papers can be overwhelming, thus the need for research paper organization. This paper alleviates the tedious writing and research process by reducing the content block experienced when creating ideas.
Research paper organization is the act of arranging your ideas in an orderly and comprehensive manner, preferably on a separate piece of paper. A well-organized research paper focuses on using the following:
- Thesis statement
- credible sources to support parts of the thesis.
- multiple sources in a single paragraph
- Same references differently in various paragraphs.
How Do You Organize a Research Paper?
If you don’t want to spend long hours reading sources and gathering information for a research paper, you need to sharpen your organization skills. Here’s how to organize your essay:
1. Take notes
Taking notes is the first step when organizing your research papers. As you read your sources, it’s essential to take notes of your critical points. It’s done by labeling each point with numbers, alphabets, or numerals.
Taking notes helps research your main ideas in an orderly and organized manner.
2. Find your thesis statement
The thesis statement is the main topic of your research paper. Remember that a thesis is a crucial part of your introduction. Therefore, you can’t escape it.
3. Create an outline
An outline is a structural list of your ideas. In other words, an outline helps you relate your arguments to the main points of your paragraph. However, be careful not to organize your ideas according to your sources to avoid scattering ideas. In addition, an outline alleviates the research hassles and makes the writing process much easier and faster.
4. Sequence your paragraphs
When planning the sequence for your paragraphs, consider starting with the strongest argument and ending with the ideas with less density. This way, there is a balance of ideas and flow in your research paper.
5. Find your conclusion
Every essay has a conclusive evidence-based argument or opinion of the writer. However, your conclusion is directly related to your thesis statement.
Why is Research Paper Organization Important?
The writing process can be tedious, hence the reason for the organization. It requires creative structuring of ideas to help you draft a comprehensive and organized research paper.
Research paper organization is essential because of the following reasons:
- Speeds up the research process by preventing the research of irrelevant information
- It gives the writer a sense of direction and control when writing. This prevents a writer’s block
- It helps writers to stay focused through the entire research process
- It helps organize multifaceted ideas about a topic in an orderly manner
- Promotes coherence
How Do You Write Research Paper Organization?
Most research papers come with complex instructions that require extensive research. Therefore, organizing your ideas before actually writing not only saves time but also makes your research process enjoyable.
But how do you write an organization paper? An organized essay has five major sections. They include:
Section 1: The topic of the paper
When researching and selecting the topic of your research paper, consider the following guidelines.
- Choose a creative yet relevant topic. For example, if the topic is about the causes of world war II, then your information should answer why world war II happened. Irrelevant information is more likely to respond to news like how and where world war II happened.
- Perform extensive research to get familiarized with your topic. You may take important notes as you read to alleviate your research process.
Section 2:The Outline
An outline is a list of your ideas in an organized manner. The three major sections of the outline are the introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion. For example:
- Introduction- Thesis (Three leading causes of world war II)
- Body paragraph 1-(Adolf Hitler)
- Body paragraph 2-(The great depression)
- Body paragraph 3-(Desire for revenge) Conclusion
Section 3: Writing
Now that you’ve created your outline, it’s now time to connect your ideas into a comprehensive and credible research paper. Just follow your outline while adhering to all the writing rules. Your essay should include a well-written introduction, well-organized paragraphs, and a captivating conclusion.
Section 4: Reference Page
In this section, students must cite all the sources they used in the essay. Keep in mind different academic writing styles have other citation formats.
Section 5: Revision
Revision is the editing stage. Before submitting your paper, ensure you’ve thoroughly proofread your work and eliminated the following:
- Grammatical mistakes
- Plagiarism errors
- Formatting errors
What are the Parts of a Research Paper?
The eight major parts of a research paper. They include:
1. Title page
Also known as the cover page, this is where the writer identifies information about the following:
- Title of the paper
- Assignment date
- Institution affiliation
Any other information is added in this section, depending on the instructors and the style of the essay.
The introduction is the genesis of your paper. It gives a brief explanation of the essay, and it’s where you write your thesis statement.
3. Literature review
The literature review is the theoretical framework for your research. Present all credible academic sources in the literature review. Sources include journals, educational books, publications, online libraries, and relevant academic material.
The literature review also includes the following:
- Names of authors used
- Correct citations
- Year of publication
4. Research methodology
Your chosen research methods are indicated in this section. Keep in mind that different sections of a research essay have different objectives. Therefore, point out the accurate research methodologies for your paper. Common methods include
- Laboratory experiments
- Direct observation
- Statistical evaluations.
5. Data analysis
Data analysis is the most important and relevant part of your paper. It’s where you introduce data collected from all the sources to form a comprehensive and logical research paper.
Results analyze data collected during your research. When writing the results of your analysis, you are expected to write:
- Any contradicting data from your research
- Implications experienced in your research method
- Any room for improvement in your research methodology.
The conclusion is directly related to the thesis statement, study, and research methodology. When you summarize the three elements, you have a conclusion.
8. Reference Page
The reference page contains a list of all the sources used alphabetically. However, the format for references and citations varies depending on the style of the essay.
Organization of individual paragraphs
A paragraph is a group of sentences that explain a single idea or topic. When writing academic essays, a paragraph is limited to a minimum of five sentences and a maximum of eight sentences. However, some long-form research papers accommodate up to ten sentences per paragraph.
When organizing individual paragraphs, consider the following steps:
- Start with the topic sentence
- Explain the idea of your topic sentence. Include citations, respectively.
- Give examples
- Explain the examples
- Complete the paragraph by summarizing the main idea of your paragraph.
Where to place all the main ideas
The main ideas are the topics of each paragraph. They can either be expressed directly or implied. In the directly expressed paragraphs, the main ideas are placed:
- In the beginning, as a topic sentence
- When concluding the paragraph.
When a significant point is implied in a paragraph, the main ideas are placed in two ways:
- Retrieved from reasons, facts, or examples that focus on the main idea
- Introducing several sentences that support the topic of your paragraph.
Two Major Types of Research Papers
Although there are many types of research papers, there are only two major categories. They include:
1. Argumentative research papers
Students state the topic to be explored in an argumentative essay and establish their arguing position in the thesis statement. The reader is then persuaded to adopt the argument presented.
For example, a research paper argues the merits of legalizing marijuana are under the argumentative category.
2. Analytical Research Papers
When writing analytical essays, the writer presents the topic to be explored in a question. Therefore, the body of the paper presents multifaceted arguments. Eventually, the writer concludes based on the findings of the information provided.
For example, a research paper exploring metaphors in one of Wole Soyinka’s poems would be analytical.