What Are the Main Characteristics of a Research Paper?

A research paper should contain the title, the abstract, methods and results, in addition to a discussion section, literature review and citation of sources. The basic characteristics of a research paper are the same regardless of academic discipline.

The title of the research paper, which illustrates the problem that the paper is trying to solve, should be direct and specific. The abstract’s purpose is to provide a quick review of what is in the rest of the paper. Abstracts, which are brief, contain a brief synopsis of the topic covered in the full length paper.

The introduction of the paper talks about the broad overall topic, then narrows down the discussion to the specifics contained in the rest of the paper. The literature review describes past research on the topic plus any new research found.

The method section discusses the methodology behind the research problem. Those reading the paper need to understand the methods used so they can duplicate the research or experiment.

The analysis of the results is presented in the next section. The discussion and conclusion section elaborates on how this research correeslat with previous research on the topic along with the potential for future research. References need to be cited in alphabetical order at the end of the paper.