Teaching students how to conduct a research is important. It introduces them how to expand their body of knowledge and seek for understanding of the natural occurrences in their environment. One of the most effective tools in engaging students to research is requiring them to produce a scientific research paper.
A scientific research paper involves the conduct of experimentation, observation, and other strategic processes to gather data and analyze them to obtain results. It helps students understand various issues that surround them. Further, it follows an organized and comprehensive structure that will guide the students on how to perform the study. Most scientific research papers adopt the standard outline and format used by researchers.
The most important part is your title. It gives your readers a clear and concise description of your research. It should be informative and specific and uses no jargon. According to St. Lawrence University, titles should be simple and direct, instead of making titles that are too witty and impressive.
Instead of writing “Measure a nerve response in a dog”, consider narrowing it down to “The Effects of Ethanol on the Compound Action Potential of a Dog Sciatic Nerve”.
Take note that the title page appears on the cover page of your published study. All nouns should be capitalized in the title.
This section includes the name of the researchers who contributed to the conduct of the study. In most research papers, authors are just listed in names. On the other hand, you may write the description of each author, including their degree of study, achievement, affiliation with science and other information. It always depends on the requirement of your instructor.
An abstract is a one paragraph consisting of 250 words that summarize the problem, investigation, methods used, summarized results and major conclusions. An abstract should be self-explanatory and shall extract the most important points from each section of the paper. According to Massachusetts Institute of Technology, readers should automatically assess your study by just reading your abstract. Abstracts are usually written after finishing everything in the research.
This section introduces the problem of the study which is the main focus of the research. This will give your readers understanding of what the study is all about. In most science papers, these are the following sections that should be included in the introduction chapter.
Background of the study
This part provides readers the background of your study. It elaborates the problem by discussing the underlying causes of the problem, its impact on the society or environment, and other essential elements involved. The background will let readers understand the need to stop the problem.
Statement of the Problem
This portion isolates the problem. It should be stated in clear and specific terms. The statement of the problem is usually in question form. These questions will be answered throughout the research.
A hypothesis a proposed explanation of the problem. It is an educated, wild guess that can answer the statement of the problems. In research, two hypotheses are compared – the null hypothesis and alternative hypothesis. Null hypothesis negates the relationship between variables in the study, whereas alternative hypothesis says otherwise, that there is some kind of relationship between variables.
Significance of the study
Apparently, this part lists down why it is important to conduct the study. This includes benefits, advantages, important results and justifications of the conduct of the study.
Scope and Limitations
The scope refers to the boundaries and limits within which the study needs to be kept. This may include reasons like historical, ideological, geographical or persons. This will help narrow the focus of the study.
Definition of Terms
This section explains the variables and key terms involved in the study. The use of the terms may be different from others. Thus, this section is used to clarify and specify the definition of each key term.
Also called as Materials and Methods, this chapter will describe the complete steps, methods, strategies, materials, and instruments used in the conduct of the study. The methods and materials of quantitative and qualitative research differ from each other. In this part, the important data will be gathered to draw results.
In this section, the researcher presents summarized for data. Include tables, graphs, figures, and numbers that represent the data. Write a narrative text that summarizes and describes the data presented in the tables and figures, among others. Do not interpret yet the data as they will be done in the discussion section.
The data will be analyzed and interpreted in the discussion section. Researchers will find the relationships or correlations among experimental variables. In discussing, theories, approaches and perspectives will be used to elaborate and clearly explain the results. The discussion will provide a detailed explanation and answer to the statement of the problem.
The conclusion includes the summary of the results and findings that answer the statement of the problem and the hypotheses. The conclusion is one of the sections that most readers go through first, along with the introduction. It gives them the totality of the study or research. This is also usually done in a numbered or bulleted list.
The acknowledgment is done after the conduct of study but usually, this section is situated before the abstract page. It provides an opportunity for the authors and researchers to thank their teachers, mentors, parents, respondents, friends and all people who take an active part in accomplishing the study.
This section cites all the sources of information used by the researchers. It cites the works mentioned in the study. This includes books, journals, online articles, related studies and other references. It follows a bibliographic style. This is important to justify the substantiality of the study and to avoid plagiarism.
Lastly, an appendix is a compilation of supplementary materials involved in the conduct of the study. This includes instruments and materials used in gathering data, supporting documents and pieces of evidence in the acquisition of results. The appendix section is placed in the past part of the research.