The Anatomy of a Research Paper Worksheet

Research Writing: Organization

Practice with this Anatomy of a Research Paper Worksheet to make sure you understand what information falls under each section of this type of paper. By completing 10 exercises, you get familiar with recognizing the different sections to understand them better during your research writing process.
The Anatomy of a Research Paper


For each of the exercises below, answer each question. To answer the questions, you need either a research paper you currently have a rough draft copy of or a completed research paper or journal article that is a presentation and analysis of research. Read the paper or article in its entirety before proceeding to the below questions.

  • After reading through the research paper or journal article, can you identify each of the parts of a research paper? Are there any sections not included? If yes, why do you think those specific sections were omitted?

  • What is the reason for the research?

  • What is the research question or thesis?

  • Is the research data current, and what would you consider “current” as far as historical dates of research? For example, do you consider a study completed in 1975 current? Explain.

  • Are any problems identified in the discussion section, and what are they?

  • Are solutions to the problems provided, and what are they?

  • Does the discussion section make the connection to the thesis statement? Explain.

  • Is the thesis adequately revisited in the conclusion or is it simply repeated? Which do you think is better and why?

  • Are the results of the research summarized and synthesized in the conclusion, and do you have any suggestions for improving the conclusion?

  • 1Are there any recommendations for further study? List them.