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Optional Parts Of A Research Paper- A Detailed Writing Tutorial

There are several parts that you will need to include in your research paper. This detailed tutorial will talk about each part of the paper and what you need to include in that part. It will prove as a useful guide for how you will handle your research papers now and in the future. Some parts of the research paper may be optional. Here is an idea of what parts have to be there and what parts you can leave out.

Table of contents

This is an optional feature that lists the page numbers for the various sections of the paper. It is not mandatory to have a table of contents.


The abstract of your paper is like a summary. You should include at least one sentence for each section or paragraph in your piece. It is an abridged version of your study and should be written in a manner that if someone read only the abstract, they would understand the entire piece. Make sure that you include the results as well. Many people forget to add this section into their abstract.


This section is optional. You would give credit to someone or multiple people that you feel really helped you with the study.


The introduction is designed to introduce your topic to your audience. You will include any background information that your reader may need to know to understand your piece and what you were trying to accomplish. In the end of the introduction, you will include a thesis, which is what the entire paper set out to prove and it is also the answer to your research question and what you spent the time studying.


This section of the paper is designed to explain to your audience what you had to do to get your results. It should be detailed enough that anyone who reads it can duplicate your study. It is important to include the particulars and not general ideas in this section. It will likely be the most boring to write, but the most informative part of the paper.


This section is ideal. It is what the entire study was conducted for. You want to present the results of your study. What did you learn? This is the part where you will add graphs, diagrams, charts, and anything else that can help your audience understand what you learned.


This is where you will talk about the results. You may also add any things that you may have learned about your process. Was there a better way to do it? Could you have improved it in any way? What was good? What was bad? This section is where you will give your feedback on the process and whether you feel like it could have been improved.


Restate all of the things that you learned to wrap your paper up. Take your time on this section to bring it all together so that you have a cohesive piece.

Reference List

Give credit to those that you got your information from. Make sure to cite the sources properly in this section.


This section is optional. It is designed to keep all of your graphs, charts, and other notes in a separate section. You can refer to them in the paper and if the reader wants to look at them, they will be in this separate section.