Online Guide to Writing and Research

Chapter 4: The Research Process

Structuring the Research Paper

Informal Research Structure

Not all research assignments require a formal organizational structure, but the formal academic research paper usually does. For the less formal assignments, such as essays or short research pieces, you can do well using one of the organizational patterns discussed in Chapter 3, "Thinking Strategies and Patterns of Writing" (Patterns for Presenting Information). Chapter 3 also describes several kinds of academic forms that might be used for less formal research:

  • problem-process-solution
  • problem-cause-solution
  • discussions of raw data
  • summaries and abstracts
  • critiques