Ink welcomes submissions from all departments on campus. It is expected that the author use the guidelines and conventions followed in the discipline for structuring a research paper.
This page outlines the general guidelines for each section of a research paper. The author may wish to consult this page as a checklist before submitting. The guidelines closely follow the conventions that many disciplines have adopted for the structure of a research paper; however, these are only suggestions. The organization of the research paper is ultimately decided by the author and the faculty mentor.
The title page should contain the:
- name(s) of the author(s)
- name and position of the mentor
- name of the program or course in which the research was completed
- department in which the research was conducted
- contact information of both author(s) and mentor(s)
- date of completion
The abstract should be less than 250 words. It should indicate the:
- problem to be investigated
- purpose of the study
- major results
- interpretations and implications of the results
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.
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 author should use his or her discretion in dividing the body in the most natural way.
The references page should acknowledge all the resources used for obtaining information. The resource should be cited according to either APA or CBE guidelines. Examples of citations can be found on the submissions page of the website.
This section is devoted to thanking any persons or institutions that made the research possible.
Writing a research paper conclusion may seem like a chore, especially when you’ve spent days if not weeks working on writing the core of a great paper and all you can think about is getting it printed out and turned in. But research paper conclusions shouldn’t be taken lightly and you should devote ample time to make sure you get it done right. Generally, your conclusion should summarize and synthesize the content of the paper, as well as remind the reader of the purpose of your research. Here’s how to write a conclusion that is compliant:
You want to remind your reader of why your topic was important. Rather than simply copying the words you included in your introduction, explain your topic and its importance in completely different words. This may seem like a challenge at first, but all great research papers should express this clearly and concisely.
Remember that your thesis should be a focused and narrow view of a position you take. The same as restating your topic, you should restate your thesis using different words. If you take the time to try out your thesis in a few different ways when you first draft it, then you have the building blocks for a good rephrasing of it when you reach your conclusion.
The most important reason behind writing a conclusion is to remind your reader of your argument. In a few sentences you should restate all of your major points and major pieces of evidence. The most efficient way of doing this re-reading your research paper and taking the main argument from each paragraph. Don’t introduce any new evidence or attempt to make another point. Just summarize what you have already covered.
Hopefully you’ve done a great job of transitioning from one major point to the next and have done so in a logical way that shows how they are all related and work together to prove your thesis. But don’t assume your reader necessarily understands this. This is what is meant by synthesizing your content. Go ahead and use your conclusion to show your reader how your major points work together to achieve your argument.
If your paper required you to present several sides of a topic, then be sure to use your conclusion to show the logic you used to arrive to your final opinion. If your paper generally asks your reader to do something afterwards, then be sure you state that call to action in order to leave a lasting impression of your work.