Main Components Of A Research Paper: Helpful Guide For Freshman

Across all disciplines there are strict rules about the main components that should be included in a research paper. This truth is often the cause of much confusion for freshman just starting out with this kind of project. And while can’t go into each discipline in detail we can certainly provide you with an overview of the main components most often found in research papers. Here’s what you need to know:

Title Page

The first part of the research paper can be completed last, as soon as you’ve written the rest of the work and have a better idea for a title. The page should also have your name and complete course information, including the institution’s name and any contributing researchers’ names.


An abstract a kind of summary that helps other academics know whether a particular research paper is of use to their own academic work. It should be about 200 – 300 words long and should clearly and concisely state the research paper’s goals, objectives, results and conclusion.


There are three main components of a well-written introduction: 1) it should provide appropriate background information; 2) it should succinctly describe the purpose and focus of your work; and 3) it should contain an overview of the main sections in your research paper.


This section, also sometimes referred to as the methodology section, is a step-by-step explanation of how you are going to be doing your study. The idea is that any researcher should be able to replicate the work if he or she follows these steps exactly.


In this section, you should provide the results exactly as they occurred, regardless of whether they are in agreement with your hypothesis. Use graphs, data, figures, etc. as well as some description of the information to let reader understand your discoveries.


This final main section should provide discussion of you have proved or learned. This is the only section where you provide your opinion or interpretation of the information discovered. You can also provide where your work falls into context of the discipline as a whole.


Finally, this section is a detailed list of the reference material you have used towards conducting your research study. Be sure you follow your discipline’s guidelines for accurately listing this information.

The above information should help you get by pretty well; however, it’s still to your benefit to find out about specific requirements straight from your professor. So, don’t hesitate to ask for a template or a sample document, doing so could save you from losing some valuable points on the assignment.