Writing The Contents Of A Research Paper: A Brief Tutorial

Because research papers tend to be longer written projects with several sections, it’s usually a good idea to include a contents page to help the reader navigate through your work. This is actually a requirement when it comes to submitting work for publication in academic journals, since more often than not a researcher tends to need to know about something specific within a document and won’t have time to spend reading through its entirety. Here’s a brief tutorial on how to write the contents for this kind of assignment:

Identify the Major Study Sections

The first step in creating your table of contents for your research paper is to identify the major sections. Mark these on your paper using main headers. You may want to include these headers and any sub-headers in your outline and put them into your first, revised, and final drafts as you go. You will have to make a number of changes as you go, so don’t worry about getting the page numbers accurate at this point. You will have plenty of time to make corrections later in the process and will save yourself plenty of time and stress from having to be so detailed in any of these stages.

Ensure Everything Ordered Correctly

Now that you’ve identified your headings and sub-headings you should make sure that you have ordered the content appropriately. For instance, science reports will require methodologies to be arranged before the discussion and results sections. Literary reports require a literature review section to go before the discussion section. If you are unsure of the proper order of things, then check for a few published articles to get an idea of what is acceptable. If you can’t find published materials related to your field, then you might want to ask your instructor for a sample or acquire one from a reliable online source.

Use a Word Processing Program

Luckily, today it’s much easier than it was a few decades ago when students had to keep highly detailed notes in order to keep their material organized properly. Word processors automate the system with a few functions you can select before you start writing your document. Just be sure that you double check the order of things throughout the writing process, since there is always a chance for mistakes Something as small as a spacing mistake or shift in margins can affect the flow of text and modify pagination, so be sure to be diligent when proofreading.

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