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Research Guide: Academic Discourse Skills (ALS10A)

Writing Your Research Paper

A research paper is generally made up of the following sections:

  • Introduction
  • Literature Review
  • Methodology
  • Findings and Analysis
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion
  • References

This bibliography contains print resources in the library on how to write a research paper. You can locate the call number and location of the books in LibDiscover:

Barnet, S., Bedau, H., & O’Hara, J. (Eds.). (2017). Critical thinking, reading and writing: A brief guide to argument (9th ed.). USA, New York: Bedford/St. Martin's.

Broussard, M. S. (2017). Reading, research, and writing: Teaching information literacy with process-based research assignments. Chicago, Illinois: Association of College and Research Libraries.

Greasley, P. (2016). Doing essays & assignments: Essential tips for students (2nd ed.). London: SAGE.

Holliday, A. (2016). Doing & writing qualitative research. Los Angeles: SAGE.

Lester, J. D., Jr. (2018). Research paper handbook: Step-by-step guide to writing effective research papers (4th ed.). Culver City, California: Good Year Books.

Mligo, E. S. (2016). Introduction to research methods and report writing: A practical guide for students and researchers in social sciences and the humanities. Eugene, Oregon: Resource Publications.

Neal, E. (2013). Academic writing: Individual and collaborative strategies for success. Stillwater, Okla: New Forums Press.

Osmond, A. (2013). Academic writing and grammar for students (2nd ed.). London, England: SAGE.

Other useful guides to academic writing can be found at the links below:

Research Methodology

In your research paper, you will have to discuss the methods you used to conduct your research. The methodology section of your research paper should explain what you did and how you did it, thereby allowing your reader to evaluate the reliability and validity of the research.

This section should include:

  • Research Design: The type of research you did. Are you using a quantitative, qualitative, or combined approach (i.e mixed-method)? Are you taking an active (e.g action research) or a more neutral stance?
  • Data Collection: How you collected your data. Did you work with human subjects and utilise surveys, interviews, or focus group discussions? Or did you analyse primary sources such as books, speeches, newspapers etc.?
  • Data Analysis: How you analysed your data. Did you use statistical analysis or specific theoretical perspectives to analyse a text or explain observed behaviors? What software and tools did you use to accurately assess the relationships, patterns, trends, distributions, and possible contradictions in your data?
  • Justification: Your rationale for choosing these methods. You should also cite any sources that informed your choice and application of a particular method.

The methodology section should generally be written in the past tense.

Here are some resources and tools that you may consider using, depending on your methodology: