Understanding research essay structure

The structure of a research essay may seem simple enough with three basic parts, but it is what you write for each one that makes them equally important. The research essay structure may follow a basic set up but it may vary depending on guidelines and instructions for your project. It is important to follow instructions given for your assignment and include specific details requested since some research papers can have a different format. The following content briefly details three main parts of the research essay.


The introduction of the research essay works to serve two purposes. First, it introduces the main idea or question related to the research. This gives readers an idea of what they are about to read and the significance behind data you present in the following paragraphs. Secondly, it gives details or background information about the main idea you want readers to be aware of. You may have a thesis statement or research question that acts as the main idea. Some instructors may recommend you insert this information toward the end of the introduction paragraph.


The body of the research paper includes several paragraphs that provide details and evidence to prove the main idea or answers the research question. This is considered the main part of the research paper as it contains most of your research data. This may have a specific structure depending on guidelines presented for the assignment. You may have subheadings for paragraph content to help break down your findings for the reading audience. You may have sections that provide more information and in-depth data related to the subject matter. This is also where you work to provide a strong case regarding the thesis or question that was stated.


The conclusion helps wrap up or summarize the content of the research paper. If a question was presented for the reason behind the research it may be answered in this section. The content included for the conclusion can vary, again, depending on guidelines set for your assignment. You may be able to include information that helps readers understand the main message you want to get across. This section, along with the introduction, tends to pose students the most challenges since certain pieces of information need to stand out in order for the concept or question to standout. You can close out this paragraph with a significant point to keep readers wondering.

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