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How to Write an Effective Background of the Study: A Comprehensive Guide


Table of Contents

The background of the study in a research paper offers a clear context, highlighting why the research is essential and the problem it aims to address.

As a researcher, this foundational section is essential for you to chart the course of your study, Moreover, it allows readers to understand the importance and path of your research.

Whether in academic communities or to the general public, a well-articulated background aids in communicating the essence of the research effectively.

While it may seem straightforward, crafting an effective background requires a blend of clarity, precision, and relevance. Therefore, this article aims to be your guide, offering insights into:

  • Understanding the concept of the background of the study.
  • Learning how to craft a compelling background effectively.
  • Identifying and sidestepping common pitfalls in writing the background.
  • Exploring practical examples that bring the theory to life.
  • Enhancing both your writing and reading of academic papers.

Keeping these compelling insights in mind, let's delve deeper into the details of the empirical background of the study, exploring its definition, distinctions, and the art of writing it effectively.

What is the background of the study?

The background of the study is placed at the beginning of a research paper. It provides the context, circumstances, and history that led to the research problem or topic being explored.

It offers readers a snapshot of the existing knowledge on the topic and the reasons that spurred your current research.

When crafting the background of your study, consider the following questions.

  • What's the context of your research?
  • Which previous research will you refer to?
  • Are there any knowledge gaps in the existing relevant literature?
  • How will you justify the need for your current research?
  • Have you concisely presented the research question or problem?

In a typical research paper structure, after presenting the background, the introduction section follows. The introduction delves deeper into the specific objectives of the research and often outlines the structure or main points that the paper will cover.

Together, they create a cohesive starting point, ensuring readers are well-equipped to understand the subsequent sections of the research paper.

While the background of the study and the introduction section of the research manuscript may seem similar and sometimes even overlap, each serves a unique purpose in the research narrative.

Difference between background and introduction

A well-written background of the study and introduction are preliminary sections of a research paper and serve distinct purposes.

Here’s a detailed tabular comparison between the two of them.




Primary purpose

Provides context and logical reasons for the research, explaining why the study is necessary.

Entails the broader scope of the research, hinting at its objectives and significance.

Depth of information

It delves into the existing literature, highlighting gaps or unresolved questions that the research aims to address.

It offers a general overview, touching upon the research topic without going into extensive detail.

Content focus

The focus is on historical context, previous studies, and the evolution of the research topic.

The focus is on the broader research field, potential implications, and a preview of the research structure.

Position in a research paper

Typically comes at the very beginning, setting the stage for the research.

Follows the background, leading readers into the main body of the research.


Analytical, detailing the topic and its significance.

General and anticipatory, preparing readers for the depth and direction of the focus of the study.

What is the relevance of the background of the study?

It is necessary for you to provide your readers with the background of your research. Without this, readers may grapple with questions such as: Why was this specific research topic chosen? What led to this decision? Why is this study relevant? Is it worth their time?

Such uncertainties can deter them from fully engaging with your study, leading to the rejection of your research paper. Additionally, this can diminish its impact in the academic community, and reduce its potential for real-world application or policy influence .

To address these concerns and offer clarity, the background section plays a pivotal role in research papers.

The background of the study in research is important as it:

  • Provides context: It offers readers a clear picture of the existing knowledge, helping them understand where the current research fits in.
  • Highlights relevance: By detailing the reasons for the research, it underscores the study's significance and its potential impact.
  • Guides the narrative: The background shapes the narrative flow of the paper, ensuring a logical progression from what's known to what the research aims to uncover.
  • Enhances engagement: A well-crafted background piques the reader's interest, encouraging them to delve deeper into the research paper.
  • Aids in comprehension: By setting the scenario, it aids readers in better grasping the research objectives, methodologies, and findings.

How to write the background of the study in a research paper?

The journey of presenting a compelling argument begins with the background study. This section holds the power to either captivate or lose the reader's interest.

An effectively written background not only provides context but also sets the tone for the entire research paper. It's the bridge that connects a broad topic to a specific research question, guiding readers through the logic behind the study.

But how does one craft a background of the study that resonates, informs, and engages?

Here, we’ll discuss how to write an impactful background study, ensuring your research stands out and captures the attention it deserves.

Identify the research problem

The first step is to start pinpointing the specific issue or gap you're addressing. This should be a significant and relevant problem in your field.

A well-defined problem is specific, relevant, and significant to your field. It should resonate with both experts and readers.

Here’s more on how to write an effective research problem .

Provide context

Here, you need to provide a broader perspective, illustrating how your research aligns with or contributes to the overarching context or the wider field of study. A comprehensive context is grounded in facts, offers multiple perspectives, and is relatable.

In addition to stating facts, you should weave a story that connects key concepts from the past, present, and potential future research. For instance, consider the following approach.

  • Offer a brief history of the topic, highlighting major milestones or turning points that have shaped the current landscape.
  • Discuss contemporary developments or current trends that provide relevant information to your research problem. This could include technological advancements, policy changes, or shifts in societal attitudes.
  • Highlight the views of different stakeholders. For a topic like sustainable agriculture, this could mean discussing the perspectives of farmers, environmentalists, policymakers, and consumers.
  • If relevant, compare and contrast global trends with local conditions and circumstances. This can offer readers a more holistic understanding of the topic.

Literature review

For this step, you’ll deep dive into the existing literature on the same topic. It's where you explore what scholars, researchers, and experts have already discovered or discussed about your topic.

Conducting a thorough literature review isn't just a recap of past works. To elevate its efficacy, it's essential to analyze the methods, outcomes, and intricacies of prior research work, demonstrating a thorough engagement with the existing body of knowledge.

  • Instead of merely listing past research study, delve into their methodologies, findings, and limitations. Highlight groundbreaking studies and those that had contrasting results.
  • Try to identify patterns. Look for recurring themes or trends in the literature. Are there common conclusions or contentious points?
  • The next step would be to connect the dots. Show how different pieces of research relate to each other. This can help in understanding the evolution of thought on the topic.

By showcasing what's already known, you can better highlight the background of the study in research.

Highlight the research gap

This step involves identifying the unexplored areas or unanswered questions in the existing literature. Your research seeks to address these gaps, providing new insights or answers.

A clear research gap shows you've thoroughly engaged with existing literature and found an area that needs further exploration.

How can you efficiently highlight the research gap?

  • Find the overlooked areas. Point out topics or angles that haven't been adequately addressed.
  • Highlight questions that have emerged due to recent developments or changing circumstances.
  • Identify areas where insights from other fields might be beneficial but haven't been explored yet.

State your objectives

Here, it’s all about laying out your game plan — What do you hope to achieve with your research? You need to mention a clear objective that’s specific, actionable, and directly tied to the research gap.

How to state your objectives?

  • List the primary questions guiding your research.
  • If applicable, state any hypotheses or predictions you aim to test.
  • Specify what you hope to achieve, whether it's new insights, solutions, or methodologies.

Discuss the significance

This step describes your 'why'. Why is your research important? What broader implications does it have?

The significance of “why” should be both theoretical (adding to the existing literature) and practical (having real-world implications).

How do we effectively discuss the significance?

  • Discuss how your research adds to the existing body of knowledge.
  • Highlight how your findings could be applied in real-world scenarios, from policy changes to on-ground practices.
  • Point out how your research could pave the way for further studies or open up new areas of exploration.

Summarize your points

A concise summary acts as a bridge, smoothly transitioning readers from the background to the main body of the paper. This step is a brief recap, ensuring that readers have grasped the foundational concepts.

How to summarize your study?

  • Revisit the key points discussed, from the research problem to its significance.
  • Prepare the reader for the subsequent sections, ensuring they understand the research's direction.

Include examples for better understanding

Research and come up with real-world or hypothetical examples to clarify complex concepts or to illustrate the practical applications of your research. Relevant examples make abstract ideas tangible, aiding comprehension.

How to include an effective example of the background of the study?

  • Use past events or scenarios to explain concepts.
  • Craft potential scenarios to demonstrate the implications of your findings.
  • Use comparisons to simplify complex ideas, making them more relatable.

Crafting a compelling background of the study in research is about striking the right balance between providing essential context, showcasing your comprehensive understanding of the existing literature, and highlighting the unique value of your research .

While writing the background of the study, keep your readers at the forefront of your mind. Every piece of information, every example, and every objective should be geared toward helping them understand and appreciate your research.

How to avoid mistakes in the background of the study in research?

To write a well-crafted background of the study, you should be aware of the following potential research pitfalls .

  • Stay away from ambiguity. Always assume that your reader might not be familiar with intricate details about your topic.
  • Avoid discussing unrelated themes. Stick to what's directly relevant to your research problem.
  • Ensure your background is well-organized. Information should flow logically, making it easy for readers to follow.
  • While it's vital to provide context, avoid overwhelming the reader with excessive details that might not be directly relevant to your research problem.
  • Ensure you've covered the most significant and relevant studies i` n your field. Overlooking key pieces of literature can make your background seem incomplete.
  • Aim for a balanced presentation of facts, and avoid showing overt bias or presenting only one side of an argument.
  • While academic paper often involves specialized terms, ensure they're adequately explained or use simpler alternatives when possible.
  • Every claim or piece of information taken from existing literature should be appropriately cited. Failing to do so can lead to issues of plagiarism.
  • Avoid making the background too lengthy. While thoroughness is appreciated, it should not come at the expense of losing the reader's interest. Maybe prefer to keep it to one-two paragraphs long.
  • Especially in rapidly evolving fields, it's crucial to ensure that your literature review section is up-to-date and includes the latest research.

Example of an effective background of the study

Let's consider a topic: "The Impact of Online Learning on Student Performance." The ideal background of the study section for this topic would be as follows.

In the last decade, the rise of the internet has revolutionized many sectors, including education. Online learning platforms, once a supplementary educational tool, have now become a primary mode of instruction for many institutions worldwide. With the recent global events, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a rapid shift from traditional classroom learning to online modes, making it imperative to understand its effects on student performance.

Previous studies have explored various facets of online learning, from its accessibility to its flexibility. However, there is a growing need to assess its direct impact on student outcomes. While some educators advocate for its benefits, citing the convenience and vast resources available, others express concerns about potential drawbacks, such as reduced student engagement and the challenges of self-discipline.

This research aims to delve deeper into this debate, evaluating the true impact of online learning on student performance.

Why is this example considered as an effective background section of a research paper?

This background section example effectively sets the context by highlighting the rise of online learning and its increased relevance due to recent global events. It references prior research on the topic, indicating a foundation built on existing knowledge.

By presenting both the potential advantages and concerns of online learning, it establishes a balanced view, leading to the clear purpose of the study: to evaluate the true impact of online learning on student performance.

As we've explored, writing an effective background of the study in research requires clarity, precision, and a keen understanding of both the broader landscape and the specific details of your topic.

From identifying the research problem, providing context, reviewing existing literature to highlighting research gaps and stating objectives, each step is pivotal in shaping the narrative of your research. And while there are best practices to follow, it's equally crucial to be aware of the pitfalls to avoid.

Remember, writing or refining the background of your study is essential to engage your readers, familiarize them with the research context, and set the ground for the insights your research project will unveil.

Drawing from all the important details, insights and guidance shared, you're now in a strong position to craft a background of the study that not only informs but also engages and resonates with your readers.

Now that you've a clear understanding of what the background of the study aims to achieve, the natural progression is to delve into the next crucial component — write an effective introduction section of a research paper. Read here .

Frequently Asked Questions

The background of the study should include a clear context for the research, references to relevant previous studies, identification of knowledge gaps, justification for the current research, a concise overview of the research problem or question, and an indication of the study's significance or potential impact.

The background of the study is written to provide readers with a clear understanding of the context, significance, and rationale behind the research. It offers a snapshot of existing knowledge on the topic, highlights the relevance of the study, and sets the stage for the research questions and objectives. It ensures that readers can grasp the importance of the research and its place within the broader field of study.

The background of the study is a section in a research paper that provides context, circumstances, and history leading to the research problem or topic being explored. It presents existing knowledge on the topic and outlines the reasons that spurred the current research, helping readers understand the research's foundation and its significance in the broader academic landscape.

The number of paragraphs in the background of the study can vary based on the complexity of the topic and the depth of the context required. Typically, it might range from 3 to 5 paragraphs, but in more detailed or complex research papers, it could be longer. The key is to ensure that all relevant information is presented clearly and concisely, without unnecessary repetition.

example of context in a research paper

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Thinking About the Context: Setting (Where?) and Participants (Who?)

  • First Online: 28 March 2017

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In recent years, context has come to be recognized as a key element which influences the outcomes of research studies and impacts on their significance. Two important aspects of context are the setting (where the study is taking place) and the participants (who is included in the study). It is critical that both of these aspects are adequately considered and explained so that meaningful conclusions can be drawn from the data. The role of the action-researcher as an active participant in the context also needs thought and explanation.

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Dikilitaş, K., Griffiths, C. (2017). Thinking About the Context: Setting (Where?) and Participants (Who?). In: Developing Language Teacher Autonomy through Action Research. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-50739-2_4

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How to Write a Research Paper Introduction (with Examples)

How to Write a Research Paper Introduction (with Examples)

The research paper introduction section, along with the Title and Abstract, can be considered the face of any research paper. The following article is intended to guide you in organizing and writing the research paper introduction for a quality academic article or dissertation.

The research paper introduction aims to present the topic to the reader. A study will only be accepted for publishing if you can ascertain that the available literature cannot answer your research question. So it is important to ensure that you have read important studies on that particular topic, especially those within the last five to ten years, and that they are properly referenced in this section. 1 What should be included in the research paper introduction is decided by what you want to tell readers about the reason behind the research and how you plan to fill the knowledge gap. The best research paper introduction provides a systemic review of existing work and demonstrates additional work that needs to be done. It needs to be brief, captivating, and well-referenced; a well-drafted research paper introduction will help the researcher win half the battle.

The introduction for a research paper is where you set up your topic and approach for the reader. It has several key goals:

  • Present your research topic
  • Capture reader interest
  • Summarize existing research
  • Position your own approach
  • Define your specific research problem and problem statement
  • Highlight the novelty and contributions of the study
  • Give an overview of the paper’s structure

The research paper introduction can vary in size and structure depending on whether your paper presents the results of original empirical research or is a review paper. Some research paper introduction examples are only half a page while others are a few pages long. In many cases, the introduction will be shorter than all of the other sections of your paper; its length depends on the size of your paper as a whole.

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Table of Contents

What is the introduction for a research paper, why is the introduction important in a research paper, craft a compelling introduction section with paperpal. try now, 1. introduce the research topic:, 2. determine a research niche:, 3. place your research within the research niche:, craft accurate research paper introductions with paperpal. start writing now, frequently asked questions on research paper introduction, key points to remember.

The introduction in a research paper is placed at the beginning to guide the reader from a broad subject area to the specific topic that your research addresses. They present the following information to the reader

  • Scope: The topic covered in the research paper
  • Context: Background of your topic
  • Importance: Why your research matters in that particular area of research and the industry problem that can be targeted

The research paper introduction conveys a lot of information and can be considered an essential roadmap for the rest of your paper. A good introduction for a research paper is important for the following reasons:

  • It stimulates your reader’s interest: A good introduction section can make your readers want to read your paper by capturing their interest. It informs the reader what they are going to learn and helps determine if the topic is of interest to them.
  • It helps the reader understand the research background: Without a clear introduction, your readers may feel confused and even struggle when reading your paper. A good research paper introduction will prepare them for the in-depth research to come. It provides you the opportunity to engage with the readers and demonstrate your knowledge and authority on the specific topic.
  • It explains why your research paper is worth reading: Your introduction can convey a lot of information to your readers. It introduces the topic, why the topic is important, and how you plan to proceed with your research.
  • It helps guide the reader through the rest of the paper: The research paper introduction gives the reader a sense of the nature of the information that will support your arguments and the general organization of the paragraphs that will follow. It offers an overview of what to expect when reading the main body of your paper.

What are the parts of introduction in the research?

A good research paper introduction section should comprise three main elements: 2

  • What is known: This sets the stage for your research. It informs the readers of what is known on the subject.
  • What is lacking: This is aimed at justifying the reason for carrying out your research. This could involve investigating a new concept or method or building upon previous research.
  • What you aim to do: This part briefly states the objectives of your research and its major contributions. Your detailed hypothesis will also form a part of this section.

How to write a research paper introduction?

The first step in writing the research paper introduction is to inform the reader what your topic is and why it’s interesting or important. This is generally accomplished with a strong opening statement. The second step involves establishing the kinds of research that have been done and ending with limitations or gaps in the research that you intend to address. Finally, the research paper introduction clarifies how your own research fits in and what problem it addresses. If your research involved testing hypotheses, these should be stated along with your research question. The hypothesis should be presented in the past tense since it will have been tested by the time you are writing the research paper introduction.

The following key points, with examples, can guide you when writing the research paper introduction section:

  • Highlight the importance of the research field or topic
  • Describe the background of the topic
  • Present an overview of current research on the topic

Example: The inclusion of experiential and competency-based learning has benefitted electronics engineering education. Industry partnerships provide an excellent alternative for students wanting to engage in solving real-world challenges. Industry-academia participation has grown in recent years due to the need for skilled engineers with practical training and specialized expertise. However, from the educational perspective, many activities are needed to incorporate sustainable development goals into the university curricula and consolidate learning innovation in universities.

  • Reveal a gap in existing research or oppose an existing assumption
  • Formulate the research question

Example: There have been plausible efforts to integrate educational activities in higher education electronics engineering programs. However, very few studies have considered using educational research methods for performance evaluation of competency-based higher engineering education, with a focus on technical and or transversal skills. To remedy the current need for evaluating competencies in STEM fields and providing sustainable development goals in engineering education, in this study, a comparison was drawn between study groups without and with industry partners.

  • State the purpose of your study
  • Highlight the key characteristics of your study
  • Describe important results
  • Highlight the novelty of the study.
  • Offer a brief overview of the structure of the paper.

Example: The study evaluates the main competency needed in the applied electronics course, which is a fundamental core subject for many electronics engineering undergraduate programs. We compared two groups, without and with an industrial partner, that offered real-world projects to solve during the semester. This comparison can help determine significant differences in both groups in terms of developing subject competency and achieving sustainable development goals.

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The purpose of the research paper introduction is to introduce the reader to the problem definition, justify the need for the study, and describe the main theme of the study. The aim is to gain the reader’s attention by providing them with necessary background information and establishing the main purpose and direction of the research.

The length of the research paper introduction can vary across journals and disciplines. While there are no strict word limits for writing the research paper introduction, an ideal length would be one page, with a maximum of 400 words over 1-4 paragraphs. Generally, it is one of the shorter sections of the paper as the reader is assumed to have at least a reasonable knowledge about the topic. 2 For example, for a study evaluating the role of building design in ensuring fire safety, there is no need to discuss definitions and nature of fire in the introduction; you could start by commenting upon the existing practices for fire safety and how your study will add to the existing knowledge and practice.

When deciding what to include in the research paper introduction, the rest of the paper should also be considered. The aim is to introduce the reader smoothly to the topic and facilitate an easy read without much dependency on external sources. 3 Below is a list of elements you can include to prepare a research paper introduction outline and follow it when you are writing the research paper introduction. Topic introduction: This can include key definitions and a brief history of the topic. Research context and background: Offer the readers some general information and then narrow it down to specific aspects. Details of the research you conducted: A brief literature review can be included to support your arguments or line of thought. Rationale for the study: This establishes the relevance of your study and establishes its importance. Importance of your research: The main contributions are highlighted to help establish the novelty of your study Research hypothesis: Introduce your research question and propose an expected outcome. Organization of the paper: Include a short paragraph of 3-4 sentences that highlights your plan for the entire paper

Cite only works that are most relevant to your topic; as a general rule, you can include one to three. Note that readers want to see evidence of original thinking. So it is better to avoid using too many references as it does not leave much room for your personal standpoint to shine through. Citations in your research paper introduction support the key points, and the number of citations depend on the subject matter and the point discussed. If the research paper introduction is too long or overflowing with citations, it is better to cite a few review articles rather than the individual articles summarized in the review. A good point to remember when citing research papers in the introduction section is to include at least one-third of the references in the introduction.

The literature review plays a significant role in the research paper introduction section. A good literature review accomplishes the following: Introduces the topic – Establishes the study’s significance – Provides an overview of the relevant literature – Provides context for the study using literature – Identifies knowledge gaps However, remember to avoid making the following mistakes when writing a research paper introduction: Do not use studies from the literature review to aggressively support your research Avoid direct quoting Do not allow literature review to be the focus of this section. Instead, the literature review should only aid in setting a foundation for the manuscript.

Remember the following key points for writing a good research paper introduction: 4

  • Avoid stuffing too much general information: Avoid including what an average reader would know and include only that information related to the problem being addressed in the research paper introduction. For example, when describing a comparative study of non-traditional methods for mechanical design optimization, information related to the traditional methods and differences between traditional and non-traditional methods would not be relevant. In this case, the introduction for the research paper should begin with the state-of-the-art non-traditional methods and methods to evaluate the efficiency of newly developed algorithms.
  • Avoid packing too many references: Cite only the required works in your research paper introduction. The other works can be included in the discussion section to strengthen your findings.
  • Avoid extensive criticism of previous studies: Avoid being overly critical of earlier studies while setting the rationale for your study. A better place for this would be the Discussion section, where you can highlight the advantages of your method.
  • Avoid describing conclusions of the study: When writing a research paper introduction remember not to include the findings of your study. The aim is to let the readers know what question is being answered. The actual answer should only be given in the Results and Discussion section.

To summarize, the research paper introduction section should be brief yet informative. It should convince the reader the need to conduct the study and motivate him to read further. If you’re feeling stuck or unsure, choose trusted AI academic writing assistants like Paperpal to effortlessly craft your research paper introduction and other sections of your research article.

1. Jawaid, S. A., & Jawaid, M. (2019). How to write introduction and discussion. Saudi Journal of Anaesthesia, 13(Suppl 1), S18.

2. Dewan, P., & Gupta, P. (2016). Writing the title, abstract and introduction: Looks matter!. Indian pediatrics, 53, 235-241.

3. Cetin, S., & Hackam, D. J. (2005). An approach to the writing of a scientific Manuscript1. Journal of Surgical Research, 128(2), 165-167.

4. Bavdekar, S. B. (2015). Writing introduction: Laying the foundations of a research paper. Journal of the Association of Physicians of India, 63(7), 44-6.

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Why ‘context’ is important for research

Context is something we’ve been thinking a lot about at ScienceOpen recently. It comes from the Latin ‘ con ’ and ‘ texere ’ (to form ‘ contextus ’), which means ‘weave together’. The implications for science are fairly obvious: modern research is about weaving together different strands of information, thought, and data to place your results into the context of existing research. This is the reason why we have introductory and discussion sections at the intra-article level.

But what about context at a higher level?

Context can defined as: “ The circumstances that form the setting for an event, statement, or idea, and in terms of which it can be fully understood .” Simple follow on questions might be then, what is the context of a research article? How do we define that context? How do we build on that to do science more efficiently? The whole point for the existence of research articles is that they can be understood by as broad an audience as possible so that their re-use is maximised.

There are many things that impinge upon the context of research. Paywalls, secretive and exclusive peer review, lack of discovery, lack of inter-operability, lack of accessibility. The list is practically endless, and a general by-product of a failure for traditional scholarly publishing models to embrace a Web-based era.

While a lot of excellent new research platforms now feature slick discovery tools and features, we feel that this falls short of what is really needed for optimal research re-use in the digital age.

Discovery is the pathway to context. Context of an article is all about how research fits into increasingly complex domains, and using structured networks to decipher its value. With the power of the internet at our disposal, putting research in context should be of key importance in a world where there is ever more research being published that is impossible to manually filter.

Tracking the genealogy of research

Citations are perhaps what we might consider to be academic context. These form the structured networks or genealogies of an idea in their rawest sense. Through citations we gain a small amount of understanding into how research is being re-used by other researchers, and also the gateway to understanding what it is those citations are telling us.

At ScienceOpen, we show all articles and article records that cite a particular research article, and also provide links to similar articles on our platform. These are drawn at the moment from almost 12 million article records, so can potentially form huge networks of information.

In addition we show which articles are most similar based on keywords, and also which open access articles are citing a particular work. You can explore each of these in more depth, and begin to track research networks! So it’s like enhanced discovery, but with a smattering of cherries on top.

Generating context through engagement

One of the great things about context is that it is flexible and can be defined by user engagement. Take peer review for example. This is a way of adding context to a paper, by drawing on external expertise and perspective to enhance the content of a research article. Peer evaluation of this sort is crucial for defining the context of a paper, and should not be hidden away out of sight and use. As we use public post-publication peer review at ScienceOpen, the full discussion and process of research is transparent.

Other ways of generating simple context are through sharing and recommendations of articles. The more this is done, the more you can understand which articles are of wider interest.

Social context

The rise of altmetrics can be seen as the broadening how we think about context. Altmetrics are a pathway to understanding how articles have been discussed, mentioned or shared in online sources including mainstream news outlets, blogs, and a variety of social networks.

On every single article record (almost 12 million at the moment), we show Altmetric scores. You can also sort searches by Altmetric, which provides additional context for which articles are generating the most societal discussion online. This is great if you want to track social media trends in a particular field, and again is all about placing research objects into a broader context.

So these are just some of the ways in which we put research in context, and we do it on a massive scale. Let us know in the comments what you think ‘research in context’ is all about, and why you think it’s important!

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Home » Background of The Study – Examples and Writing Guide

Background of The Study – Examples and Writing Guide

Table of Contents

Background of The Study

Background of The Study


Background of the study refers to the context, circumstances, and history that led to the research problem or topic being studied. It provides the reader with a comprehensive understanding of the subject matter and the significance of the study.

The background of the study usually includes a discussion of the relevant literature, the gap in knowledge or understanding, and the research questions or hypotheses to be addressed. It also highlights the importance of the research topic and its potential contributions to the field. A well-written background of the study sets the stage for the research and helps the reader to appreciate the need for the study and its potential significance.

How to Write Background of The Study

Here are some steps to help you write the background of the study:

Identify the Research Problem

Start by identifying the research problem you are trying to address. This problem should be significant and relevant to your field of study.

Provide Context

Once you have identified the research problem, provide some context. This could include the historical, social, or political context of the problem.

Review Literature

Conduct a thorough review of the existing literature on the topic. This will help you understand what has been studied and what gaps exist in the current research.

Identify Research Gap

Based on your literature review, identify the gap in knowledge or understanding that your research aims to address. This gap will be the focus of your research question or hypothesis.

State Objectives

Clearly state the objectives of your research . These should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART).

Discuss Significance

Explain the significance of your research. This could include its potential impact on theory , practice, policy, or society.

Finally, summarize the key points of the background of the study. This will help the reader understand the research problem, its context, and its significance.

How to Write Background of The Study in Proposal

The background of the study is an essential part of any proposal as it sets the stage for the research project and provides the context and justification for why the research is needed. Here are the steps to write a compelling background of the study in your proposal:

  • Identify the problem: Clearly state the research problem or gap in the current knowledge that you intend to address through your research.
  • Provide context: Provide a brief overview of the research area and highlight its significance in the field.
  • Review literature: Summarize the relevant literature related to the research problem and provide a critical evaluation of the current state of knowledge.
  • Identify gaps : Identify the gaps or limitations in the existing literature and explain how your research will contribute to filling these gaps.
  • Justify the study : Explain why your research is important and what practical or theoretical contributions it can make to the field.
  • Highlight objectives: Clearly state the objectives of the study and how they relate to the research problem.
  • Discuss methodology: Provide an overview of the methodology you will use to collect and analyze data, and explain why it is appropriate for the research problem.
  • Conclude : Summarize the key points of the background of the study and explain how they support your research proposal.

How to Write Background of The Study In Thesis

The background of the study is a critical component of a thesis as it provides context for the research problem, rationale for conducting the study, and the significance of the research. Here are some steps to help you write a strong background of the study:

  • Identify the research problem : Start by identifying the research problem that your thesis is addressing. What is the issue that you are trying to solve or explore? Be specific and concise in your problem statement.
  • Review the literature: Conduct a thorough review of the relevant literature on the topic. This should include scholarly articles, books, and other sources that are directly related to your research question.
  • I dentify gaps in the literature: After reviewing the literature, identify any gaps in the existing research. What questions remain unanswered? What areas have not been explored? This will help you to establish the need for your research.
  • Establish the significance of the research: Clearly state the significance of your research. Why is it important to address this research problem? What are the potential implications of your research? How will it contribute to the field?
  • Provide an overview of the research design: Provide an overview of the research design and methodology that you will be using in your study. This should include a brief explanation of the research approach, data collection methods, and data analysis techniques.
  • State the research objectives and research questions: Clearly state the research objectives and research questions that your study aims to answer. These should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.
  • Summarize the chapter: Summarize the chapter by highlighting the key points and linking them back to the research problem, significance of the study, and research questions.

How to Write Background of The Study in Research Paper

Here are the steps to write the background of the study in a research paper:

  • Identify the research problem: Start by identifying the research problem that your study aims to address. This can be a particular issue, a gap in the literature, or a need for further investigation.
  • Conduct a literature review: Conduct a thorough literature review to gather information on the topic, identify existing studies, and understand the current state of research. This will help you identify the gap in the literature that your study aims to fill.
  • Explain the significance of the study: Explain why your study is important and why it is necessary. This can include the potential impact on the field, the importance to society, or the need to address a particular issue.
  • Provide context: Provide context for the research problem by discussing the broader social, economic, or political context that the study is situated in. This can help the reader understand the relevance of the study and its potential implications.
  • State the research questions and objectives: State the research questions and objectives that your study aims to address. This will help the reader understand the scope of the study and its purpose.
  • Summarize the methodology : Briefly summarize the methodology you used to conduct the study, including the data collection and analysis methods. This can help the reader understand how the study was conducted and its reliability.

Examples of Background of The Study

Here are some examples of the background of the study:

Problem : The prevalence of obesity among children in the United States has reached alarming levels, with nearly one in five children classified as obese.

Significance : Obesity in childhood is associated with numerous negative health outcomes, including increased risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and certain cancers.

Gap in knowledge : Despite efforts to address the obesity epidemic, rates continue to rise. There is a need for effective interventions that target the unique needs of children and their families.

Problem : The use of antibiotics in agriculture has contributed to the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which poses a significant threat to human health.

Significance : Antibiotic-resistant infections are responsible for thousands of deaths each year and are a major public health concern.

Gap in knowledge: While there is a growing body of research on the use of antibiotics in agriculture, there is still much to be learned about the mechanisms of resistance and the most effective strategies for reducing antibiotic use.

Edxample 3:

Problem : Many low-income communities lack access to healthy food options, leading to high rates of food insecurity and diet-related diseases.

Significance : Poor nutrition is a major contributor to chronic diseases such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

Gap in knowledge : While there have been efforts to address food insecurity, there is a need for more research on the barriers to accessing healthy food in low-income communities and effective strategies for increasing access.

Examples of Background of The Study In Research

Here are some real-life examples of how the background of the study can be written in different fields of study:

Example 1 : “There has been a significant increase in the incidence of diabetes in recent years. This has led to an increased demand for effective diabetes management strategies. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of a new diabetes management program in improving patient outcomes.”

Example 2 : “The use of social media has become increasingly prevalent in modern society. Despite its popularity, little is known about the effects of social media use on mental health. This study aims to investigate the relationship between social media use and mental health in young adults.”

Example 3: “Despite significant advancements in cancer treatment, the survival rate for patients with pancreatic cancer remains low. The purpose of this study is to identify potential biomarkers that can be used to improve early detection and treatment of pancreatic cancer.”

Examples of Background of The Study in Proposal

Here are some real-time examples of the background of the study in a proposal:

Example 1 : The prevalence of mental health issues among university students has been increasing over the past decade. This study aims to investigate the causes and impacts of mental health issues on academic performance and wellbeing.

Example 2 : Climate change is a global issue that has significant implications for agriculture in developing countries. This study aims to examine the adaptive capacity of smallholder farmers to climate change and identify effective strategies to enhance their resilience.

Example 3 : The use of social media in political campaigns has become increasingly common in recent years. This study aims to analyze the effectiveness of social media campaigns in mobilizing young voters and influencing their voting behavior.

Example 4 : Employee turnover is a major challenge for organizations, especially in the service sector. This study aims to identify the key factors that influence employee turnover in the hospitality industry and explore effective strategies for reducing turnover rates.

Examples of Background of The Study in Thesis

Here are some real-time examples of the background of the study in the thesis:

Example 1 : “Women’s participation in the workforce has increased significantly over the past few decades. However, women continue to be underrepresented in leadership positions, particularly in male-dominated industries such as technology. This study aims to examine the factors that contribute to the underrepresentation of women in leadership roles in the technology industry, with a focus on organizational culture and gender bias.”

Example 2 : “Mental health is a critical component of overall health and well-being. Despite increased awareness of the importance of mental health, there are still significant gaps in access to mental health services, particularly in low-income and rural communities. This study aims to evaluate the effectiveness of a community-based mental health intervention in improving mental health outcomes in underserved populations.”

Example 3: “The use of technology in education has become increasingly widespread, with many schools adopting online learning platforms and digital resources. However, there is limited research on the impact of technology on student learning outcomes and engagement. This study aims to explore the relationship between technology use and academic achievement among middle school students, as well as the factors that mediate this relationship.”

Examples of Background of The Study in Research Paper

Here are some examples of how the background of the study can be written in various fields:

Example 1: The prevalence of obesity has been on the rise globally, with the World Health Organization reporting that approximately 650 million adults were obese in 2016. Obesity is a major risk factor for several chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer. In recent years, several interventions have been proposed to address this issue, including lifestyle changes, pharmacotherapy, and bariatric surgery. However, there is a lack of consensus on the most effective intervention for obesity management. This study aims to investigate the efficacy of different interventions for obesity management and identify the most effective one.

Example 2: Antibiotic resistance has become a major public health threat worldwide. Infections caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria are associated with longer hospital stays, higher healthcare costs, and increased mortality. The inappropriate use of antibiotics is one of the main factors contributing to the development of antibiotic resistance. Despite numerous efforts to promote the rational use of antibiotics, studies have shown that many healthcare providers continue to prescribe antibiotics inappropriately. This study aims to explore the factors influencing healthcare providers’ prescribing behavior and identify strategies to improve antibiotic prescribing practices.

Example 3: Social media has become an integral part of modern communication, with millions of people worldwide using platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Social media has several advantages, including facilitating communication, connecting people, and disseminating information. However, social media use has also been associated with several negative outcomes, including cyberbullying, addiction, and mental health problems. This study aims to investigate the impact of social media use on mental health and identify the factors that mediate this relationship.

Purpose of Background of The Study

The primary purpose of the background of the study is to help the reader understand the rationale for the research by presenting the historical, theoretical, and empirical background of the problem.

More specifically, the background of the study aims to:

  • Provide a clear understanding of the research problem and its context.
  • Identify the gap in knowledge that the study intends to fill.
  • Establish the significance of the research problem and its potential contribution to the field.
  • Highlight the key concepts, theories, and research findings related to the problem.
  • Provide a rationale for the research questions or hypotheses and the research design.
  • Identify the limitations and scope of the study.

When to Write Background of The Study

The background of the study should be written early on in the research process, ideally before the research design is finalized and data collection begins. This allows the researcher to clearly articulate the rationale for the study and establish a strong foundation for the research.

The background of the study typically comes after the introduction but before the literature review section. It should provide an overview of the research problem and its context, and also introduce the key concepts, theories, and research findings related to the problem.

Writing the background of the study early on in the research process also helps to identify potential gaps in knowledge and areas for further investigation, which can guide the development of the research questions or hypotheses and the research design. By establishing the significance of the research problem and its potential contribution to the field, the background of the study can also help to justify the research and secure funding or support from stakeholders.

Advantage of Background of The Study

The background of the study has several advantages, including:

  • Provides context: The background of the study provides context for the research problem by highlighting the historical, theoretical, and empirical background of the problem. This allows the reader to understand the research problem in its broader context and appreciate its significance.
  • Identifies gaps in knowledge: By reviewing the existing literature related to the research problem, the background of the study can identify gaps in knowledge that the study intends to fill. This helps to establish the novelty and originality of the research and its potential contribution to the field.
  • Justifies the research : The background of the study helps to justify the research by demonstrating its significance and potential impact. This can be useful in securing funding or support for the research.
  • Guides the research design: The background of the study can guide the development of the research questions or hypotheses and the research design by identifying key concepts, theories, and research findings related to the problem. This ensures that the research is grounded in existing knowledge and is designed to address the research problem effectively.
  • Establishes credibility: By demonstrating the researcher’s knowledge of the field and the research problem, the background of the study can establish the researcher’s credibility and expertise, which can enhance the trustworthiness and validity of the research.

Disadvantages of Background of The Study

Some Disadvantages of Background of The Study are as follows:

  • Time-consuming : Writing a comprehensive background of the study can be time-consuming, especially if the research problem is complex and multifaceted. This can delay the research process and impact the timeline for completing the study.
  • Repetitive: The background of the study can sometimes be repetitive, as it often involves summarizing existing research and theories related to the research problem. This can be tedious for the reader and may make the section less engaging.
  • Limitations of existing research: The background of the study can reveal the limitations of existing research related to the problem. This can create challenges for the researcher in developing research questions or hypotheses that address the gaps in knowledge identified in the background of the study.
  • Bias : The researcher’s biases and perspectives can influence the content and tone of the background of the study. This can impact the reader’s perception of the research problem and may influence the validity of the research.
  • Accessibility: Accessing and reviewing the literature related to the research problem can be challenging, especially if the researcher does not have access to a comprehensive database or if the literature is not available in the researcher’s language. This can limit the depth and scope of the background of the study.

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Muhammad Hassan

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National Academies Press: OpenBook

Deploying Transportation Resilience Practices in State DOTs (2021)

Chapter: chapter 1: project context, research objectives, and approach.

Below is the uncorrected machine-read text of this chapter, intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text of each book. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

10 Chapter 1: PROJECT CONTEXT, RESEARCH OBJECTIVES, AND APPROACH Introduction Large-scale disruptions to transportation systems are one of the realities of today’s world. In the case of extreme weather, events over the years have demonstrated—often with tragic consequences—that many transportation agency assets, as well as other public and private assets, are at risk of failure. Over the long term as climate change exacerbates these threats, these risks are likely to increase for many different types of transportation assets and in different regions of the nation. Transportation systems are also one of the most vulnerable targets of terrorist attacks worldwide. And in an increasingly connected digital world, cyberattacks have become an ever-increasing threat to transportation system operations. In 2020, another type of disruption—the global COVID-19 pandemic—led to major disruptions in international, national, state, and local transportation systems across all modes of transportation. COVID-19 highlighted the dependence on, and importance of, the transportation and logistics supply chains for medical supplies and equipment. Transportation system resilience has always been a critically important, if under-recognized, characteristic of effective system performance. It is becoming more so with the growing awareness of the consequences of disruptions to the transportation system. No matter the cause, the loss of transportation assets leads to significant consequences for system users, the economy, and to society in general. The level of preparedness and capacity to withstand, as well as to respond to, disruptions is one of the key challenges facing transportation officials today. The array of transportation agency preparation, response, and recovery efforts to system disruptions has often reflected the fragmentation of professional expertise and responsibility, ranging from transportation incident management and response, to issues of security and safety, and to extreme weather events and the slow onset of climate change. What has been lacking among many—probably most—public sector transportation organizations is a well-integrated, high-level approach to tackling resilience issues where synergies, as well as competing concerns across a breadth of resilience issues, can be addressed. Such an approach should be developed with the same level of policy thinking, strategic context, resource deliberations, and performance oversight that has traditionally been afforded to capital investment, long-range planning, project development, and delivery processes for transportation system and service improvements. Research Purpose The purpose of this research is to develop a set of tools and products for agencies interested in achieving a “resilience-focused” culture in their organizations. Two major research products in support of this purpose was the development of a Resilience Guide and Self-Assessment Tool for use by transportation officials and organizing a RISE (hereafter referred to as the Summit). RISE was structured to share insights and best practices among state DOTs and others that support mainstreaming resilience concepts throughout an entire organization. NCHRP Project 20-117 was part of a larger American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)/NCHRP vision of how system resilience and producing a resilience-focused culture in

11 state DOTs could be encouraged. Many of the Transportation Research Board’s (TRB’s) Cooperative Research Program (CRP) projects have examined some facet of system resilience. The results of such research were used as input into this project. Two projects in particular, NCHRP 20-59(54), “Transportation System Resilience: Research Roadmap and White Papers” and NCHRP Project 20-59(55), “Transportation System Resilience: CEO Primer & Engagement” were intended to lead directly into the research products of this project. Research Approach Figure 1 shows the overall research approach for this project. Task 1 conducted a literature search on several key bodies of literature that were considered critical inputs into developing the research products. Importantly, examining the concept of resilience from a systems perspective was an important perspective because by doing so leads to the identification of important factors that must be considered in any organizational strategy to enhance the concept of resilience in agency actions. A systems perspective also points to the interaction of different actors/players in the institutional structure for implementing resilience strategies. Task 2 collected information on current state DOT efforts to enhance transportation system resilience. Originally, the intent was to survey state DOTs, but it was discovered that such a survey had already been conducted as part of NCHRP Project 20-05/Topic 48-13 leading to NCHRP Synthesis 527, Resilience in Transportation Planning, Engineering, Management, Policy, and Administration (Flannery, et. al. 2018). The NCHRP 20-05/Topic 48-13 researchers shared the results of the survey with the research team for this project. In addition, to gather additional information on state DOT resilience activities, state DOT officials attending the Summit were asked to prepare a conference poster that identified key actions that were part of their resilience strategy. A compendium of these posters was produced as a product of this research. See Transportation RISE 2018 Attendee Posters Compilation. The next two tasks laid the basic structure of two major research products. Task 3 developed a proposed structure and plan for the Summit, speaker topics, the poster session, and workshops. Task 4 provided an outline for the Resilience Guide and Self-Assessment Tool. Task 5 prepared materials that provided input into the Summit and the Resilience Guide and Self- Assessment Tool. The intent was to prepare enough of the Resilience Guide and Self-Assessment Tool prior to the Summit so that attendees could provide input and feedback on the materials. Other materials, such as case studies, tool and method descriptions, and Summit handouts were also prepared. Task 6 organized and managed the Summit. As will be described in a subsequent section, the Summit was organized to provide exposure to all aspects of a transportation agency’s strategy for transportation system resilience. See Transportation RISE 2018 Summit/Peer Exchange Final Program. Task 7 summarized the results of the Summit, which were used to develop the final Resilience Guide and Self-Assessment Tool in Task 8. Task 9 examined the strategies for disseminating research products and fostering the implementation of resilience-oriented actions and strategies.

12 Task 10 produced the final research products -- this final report and other dissemination products such as a PowerPoint presentation. Task 1: Identify Resilience Characteristics Task 3: Develop Summit and Peer Exchange Plan Task 4: Develop Resilience Guide and Self-assessment Tool Outlines Task 5: Develop Pre-Summit Materials including Draft Guide and Toolkit Materials Task 6: Conduct Summit/ Peer Exchange Task 9: Beyond the Summit: Dissemination to Deployment Task 7: Develop Summit/ Peer Exchange Report Task 8: Finalize Resilience Guide and Self- assessment Tool Task 10: Prepare Draft and Final Report for Project Task 2: Review State DOT Resilience Efforts Figure 1: Research Approach Organizational Perspectives on Transportation System Resilience The results of CRP resilience research suggest that the study of resilience and its relationship to the characteristics of system disruptions is multi-faceted and complex. It requires a solid understanding of transportation system and service vulnerabilities; a grasp of the nature and range of potential disruptions; and a thorough awareness of likely impacts on the economy, society, and on myriad aspects of transportation agency operations. Research has shown that among the key challenges in sustaining attention to resilience as a high-profile, mainstreamed agency topic are the infrequency and unpredictability of sudden shock events and the lack of immediate urgency for slow-onset, long- timeframe disruptions. This research began with the following perspectives on the nature of system

13 disruptions and how they relate to an organization’s capacity to prepare, respond to, and recover from such disruptions. Interconnected and Cascading Network Disruptions - Much of the attention in the resilience research has focused on natural “system shock” events such as floods, hurricanes, tornados, and the like; and human-caused shock events such as the imminent threat or reality of terrorist attacks, catastrophic structural failures, and cyberattacks. However, it is often not just the one extreme event in isolation that is the only concern. Multiple, interrelated disturbances—such as floods that cause structural failures or snow and ice storms that cause extremely disruptive traffic events, which occur within the same area over a short time period—can compound impacts while undercutting efforts to respond and recover. Clusters or rapid sequences of relatively moderate events may cause more damage and disruption than more powerful single events (National Intelligence Council and U.S. Intelligence Community 2016). Infrastructure State of Good Repair - Failure to address aging infrastructure has a potential multiplier effect on the impacts and consequences of infrastructure failure. In some ways, this is as important as the other threats mentioned above— Hurricane Katrina would not have had such a disastrous impact had there not been deferred maintenance and delayed levee improvements. Superstorm Sandy would not have had such severe consequences to New York City’s transit system had the subway flood doors been maintained. The potential consequences to the transportation system and to surrounding communities from the combination of poorly maintained infrastructure condition and system shocks is an important aspect of understanding the role of state DOTs and system resilience. This is also true for non-transportation infrastructure whose failure could significantly impact transportation facilities (e.g., the 2020 dam collapses in Michigan that resulted in downstream bridge and road failures). Organizational Commitment and Capability – There is a wide variance in transportation agency commitment and attention to transportation system resilience issues. With respect to extreme weather events, some states have adopted systematic approaches to understanding the likely future risks of changing weather conditions, while others have done relatively little. Many states that have experienced major natural disasters have undertaken, or are in the process of supporting, studies to examine network vulnerabilities and risks. States like Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Oregon, and Washington have led the way in applying risk concepts to system operations. The Federal requirement for risk-based asset management systems has begun the process of more formally incorporating such concepts into the state DOT’s investment decision-making processes. State DOTs also suffer from staff turnover (as do sister response/recovery agencies) that can impact agency capacity to plan for, respond to, and recover from system disruptions. A state with strong capabilities today may lose that status with the retirement of a few key staff members. Unlike the more traditional practices of engineering, such as bridge and highway design, where the numbers and experience levels of staff provide a better position to sustain an “engineering design culture,” the much more limited depth and breadth of technical and institutional knowledge and experience associated with operations and emergency management, so important to a culture of resilience, can be undermined with a few key staff departures. In some respects, there is a need for DOTs to be resilient against the planned and predictable event of key staff turnovers in the emerging areas connected with resilience.

14 The state-of-the-practice for system resilience among state DOTs presents a mix of strong capability and commitment in some areas and relatively little progress in others. Providing insights into the challenges and potential barriers to implementing a transportation system resilience perspective was considered a critically important aspect of this research in structuring an impactful Summit agenda and providing an insightful Resilience Guide and Self-Assessment Tool. Agency Readiness - State DOTs that have begun to address their vulnerabilities and risks in light of potentially catastrophic disruptions invariably become deeply concerned about their readiness to respond quickly and effectively to the range of threats that might plausibly (and perhaps, to some degree, implausibly) disrupt the transportation system and services for which they are responsible. They would naturally be concerned about their ability to gain a timely and reliable assessment of the damage and disruption, and what it would take to get the affected or alternative transportation facilities and services back into operation as quickly as humanly possible. They would be concerned about their readiness to respond to the need for information and communication with the governor and with other elected officials; with partner federal, state and local agencies such as law enforcement, fire and rescue, emergency coordinators and other transportation agencies; with the media (traditional as well as through social media); and with individuals and groups of citizens whose homes, livelihoods, and communities may be affected. The DOTs would be concerned about their ability to prioritize their efforts in restoring at least some stopgap service, while pulling out all stops to expedite the recovery process. State DOTs would also be concerned about the safety and well-being of their staff as they undertake immediate and longer-term actions to provide temporary relief and ultimately resolve the emergency. State DOT leaders generally understand that a lack of preparedness in responding to threats of disruption, even those that are infrequent and difficult to predict, is not tenable. A combination of notable failures in recent years in responding to extreme weather-related events and heightened anxieties with respect to human-caused events such as terror attacks, amplified through 24/7 media coverage (both traditional and social media), have raised public awareness and expectations to new heights. Failure to anticipate and be positioned to deliver a substantive response to disruptive threats is not a viable option for decision makers. This should motivate agency leaders to consider an “all-in” agency approach to resilience awareness, strategies and actions. One of the ways of enhancing the readiness and response to system disruptions is to understand a priori what options and best practice examples are available, the roles and responsibilities of the different stakeholders involved, the barriers that might diminish the effectiveness of an organization’s response, and proactive strategies for surmounting those barriers. Total Agency Involvement – Well-performing companies have recognized that consistent excellence in customer service cannot be the responsibility of a compartmentalized customer service department, but must be infused in the values, culture, and practices of the entire enterprise. So too, improving the resilience of transportation systems and services in the face of an array of potential threats cannot be the sole responsibility of individual organizational units. Planning for, and then acting upon, responses to disruptive threats must involve the entire organization, from planning and environmental staffs to engineering and operations. Engineers working on future improvements should be thinking about how their projects could be affected by future disruptions, and how such risks might be reduced. Right of way

15 staff may well become involved in securing staging areas for pre-positioning resources and staging areas. Maintenance forces will almost invariably serve on the front lines of emergency responses in providing people, materials, equipment and the “know how” to deploy these resources in a safe and effective manner and in concert with other responders. Despite the fact that few if any state DOTs have established “total agency involvement” in resilience issues, most are increasingly recognizing the need to demonstrate that predictable, long-term threats, as well as less predictable sudden threats are being planned for in a strategic sense across their organizations. While most if not all state DOTs have a long way to go in this regard, there is a growing recognition that this includes not only vulnerability assessments and generalized contingency planning, but also the design and deployment of resilience-oriented improvements in the physical system of infrastructure as well as in the operational strategies and processes involved in the management of transportation facilities and services. This also means identifying and committing financial resources and establishing effective institutional arrangements with a range of other agencies and organizations that will be critical partners in responding to different disruption contexts. Concern for resilience must also be accounted for in the internal management systems that are vital to the day-to-day functions of an organization. Anticipation of threats and the significance of resilience measures to protect the integrity of internal systems must be addressed early on, and they should include systems for asset management, financial management, equipment and materials management, program and project management, human resource management, and contract management. This latter system is often essential to procure and deploy contractors on an emergency basis. Internal and external data sharing, data management, and knowledge-sharing inside and outside the agency each become important components of a resilience-focused organizational culture. Interconnected and Intermodal Consequences - The interconnected and intermodal nature of the transportation system can be an important characteristic of a resilient system (e.g., providing modal substitutions when one modal network is disrupted). At the same time, significant disruptions to one part of a network or one sector of services can have a domino effect on other transportation system elements and services. In the freight sector, this is particularly evident given the range of economic activities that rely on a resilient and reliable transportation system to provide essential raw materials and resources, and to deliver finished products on just-in-time schedules along a supply chain extending across continents and oceans and affecting a vast multitude of stakeholders. In the case of human- caused, malicious disruptions, the targeting of transportation systems has the potential to result in profound long-term losses to the economy, but more critically can result in compromised lives and safety of people whose welfare and sustenance depends on the movement of vital goods or the provision of essential passenger transportation services. The 2020 COVID-19 pandemic has illustrated the two-way nature of the interconnections between transportation and other sectors. On one hand, the delivery of medical supplies and equipment and other products was highly dependent on a functioning supply chain system that itself was heavily affected by the pandemic (the supply side of transportation). On the other hand, the highly volatile and changing market and demand for goods resulted in major shifts in the need for transportation. For public passenger modes, the shutdown of major cities resulted in 90 to 95 percent reductions in transit

16 ridership resulting in major cutbacks in service. And yet many essential workers were dependent on transit to access their jobs. On a smaller scale, but no less important to those affected, the loss of service for a critical bridge on a busy highway bypass, which might arise from an unexpected finding in a routine structural inspection, could cause massive disruption along the surface streets of the community served by the bypass as well as to the people and goods that are attempting to move through the area. System interdependencies can also affect network performance among different infrastructures. For example, an electric grid that experiences brownouts during extreme temperature events could cause electric rail networks to curtail service; or a failure in a water main or in the capacity of a storm sewer may result in a flooded and severed transportation facility; or a bridge that carries utilities over a river could disrupt utility service if the bridge itself was damaged. Where the resilience of the transportation facility or service is directly related to the resilience of other infrastructure over which transportation officials have little or no control, the risks associated with this interconnectedness must be considered in any effort to assess system vulnerabilities comprehensively. Multi-agency Responses - Key parts of a broad resilience systems perspective, e.g., critical infrastructure, infrastructure protection, all hazards response, and system risk management, have their own set of operational characteristics. This suggests that agencies outside the purview of the DOT, e.g., emergency management, public safety agencies, Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), FHWA and the like, will have critical roles in responding to system disruptions. These roles will vary by type of disruption and how long the effects are likely to last. In many ways, this is the approach taken by DHS in its operational concept for incorporating system resilience into its activities. The DHS broadens the perspective of system resilience from simply the actions of individual agencies, and notes that, “In the public and private sectors, the ability of critical systems and key functions to fully recover from a catastrophe depends on the pre-planned as well as ad hoc actions and reactions of staff, contractors, volunteers, and ordinary individuals” (DHS 2007). Depending on the type of disruption, DHS noted that the characteristics of resilience could include personal, organizational, community, infrastructure, state, national, and global factors. Thus, system resilience must be viewed from beyond the agency boundaries and address such questions as how transportation system resilience can effectively support community resilience in the broadest sense. DOT leadership in agencies that are advanced in their resilience culture are likely to become personally engaged in the process of building partnerships and establishing working relationships at all levels with other agencies in assessing commonly-faced risks, and in formulating and directing the implementation of response and recovery strategies. They are likely to have thought about the need for some degree of redundancy to compensate for partner agencies that may, for whatever reason, be unable to fulfill their roles in responding to system and service threats. They are also likely to be engaged in communicating their strategies and actions in terms of how they will minimize the adverse economic and social impacts of system and service disruptions. They will be advocates for inter-agency, table top, and field exercises to test how well their contingency plans translate into demonstrable and harmonized action.

17 Report Organization Chapter 2 summarizes the key transportation system resilience literature. This review examined alternative definitions of “resilience,” a systems perspective on resilience, characteristics of disruptions, and measures of resilience. Chapter 3 summarizes the RISE meeting and presents the key findings. The Resilience Guide and Self-Assessment Tool is presented in Chapter 4. As noted earlier, the guide and tool are published in a separate research document. Chapter 5 discusses possible implementation strategies for the results of this research, with an emphasis on how a policy and organizational focus on system resilience could be encouraged. Chapter 6 presents the research conclusions. Appendix A contains the RISE program.

Over the past 15 years, the nation’s transportation systems have experienced numerous significant disruptions that have resulted in economic loss and loss of human life. The 2020 COVID-19 pandemic is a recent example of how unexpected events can affect the performance and role of transportation systems.

The TRB National Cooperative Highway Research Program's NCHRP Web-Only Document 293: Deploying Transportation Resilience Practices in State DOTs examines the concept of transportation system resilience and how state departments of transportation could mainstream resilience-related approaches and procedures into their culture. The document is related to NCHRP Research Report 970: Mainstreaming System Resilience Concepts into Transportation Agencies: A Guide .

Supplemental materials to the report include RISE Posters and the Program and Highlights from the Transportation Resilience Innovations Summit and Exchange in October 2018.


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8 Key Elements of a Research Paper Structure + Free Template (2024)

8 Key Elements of a Research Paper Structure + Free Template (2024)

Table of contents

example of context in a research paper

Brinda Gulati

Welcome to the twilight zone of research writing. You’ve got your thesis statement and research evidence, and before you write the first draft, you need a wireframe — a structure on which your research paper can stand tall. 

When you’re looking to share your research with the wider scientific community, your discoveries and breakthroughs are important, yes. But what’s more important is that you’re able to communicate your research in an accessible format. For this, you need to publish your paper in journals. And to have your research published in a journal, you need to know how to structure a research paper.

Here, you’ll find a template of a research paper structure, a section-by-section breakdown of the eight structural elements, and actionable insights from three published researchers.

Let’s begin!

Why is the Structure of a Research Paper Important?

A research paper built on a solid structure is the literary equivalent of calcium supplements for weak bones.

Richard Smith of BMJ says, “...no amount of clever language can compensate for a weak structure."

There’s space for your voice and creativity in your research, but without a structure, your paper is as good as a beached whale — stranded and bloated.

A well-structured research paper:

  • Communicates your credibility as a student scholar in the wider academic community.
  • Facilitates accessibility for readers who may not be in your field but are interested in your research.
  • Promotes clear communication between disciplines, thereby eliminating “concept transfer” as a rate-limiting step in scientific cross-pollination.
  • Increases your chances of getting published!

Research Paper Structure Template

example of context in a research paper

Why Was My Research Paper Rejected?

A desk rejection hurts — sometimes more than stubbing your pinky toe against a table.

Oftentimes, journals will reject your research paper before sending it off for peer review if the architecture of your manuscript is shoddy. 

The JAMA Internal Medicine , for example, rejected 78% of the manuscripts it received in 2017 without review. Among the top 10 reasons? Poor presentation and poor English . (We’ve got fixes for both here, don’t you worry.)

5 Common Mistakes in a Research Paper Structure

  • Choppy transitions : Missing or abrupt transitions between sections disrupt the flow of your paper. Read our guide on transition words here. 
  • Long headings : Long headings can take away from your main points. Be concise and informative, using parallel structure throughout.
  • Disjointed thoughts : Make sure your paragraphs flow logically from one another and support your central point.
  • Misformatting : An inconsistent or incorrect layout can make your paper look unprofessional and hard to read. For font, spacing, margins, and section headings, strictly follow your target journal's guidelines.
  • Disordered floating elements : Ill-placed and unlabeled tables, figures, and appendices can disrupt your paper's structure. Label, caption, and reference all floating elements in the main text.

What Is the Structure of a Research Paper? 

The structure of a research paper closely resembles the shape of a diamond flowing from the general ➞ specific ➞ general. 

We’ll follow the IMRaD ( I ntroduction , M ethods , R esults , and D iscussion) format within the overarching “context-content-conclusion” approach:

➞ The context sets the stage for the paper where you tell your readers, “This is what we already know, and here’s why my research matters.”

➞ The content is the meat of the paper where you present your methods, results, and discussion. This is the IMRad (Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion) format — the most popular way to organize the body of a research paper. 

➞ The conclusion is where you bring it home — “Here’s what we’ve learned, and here’s where it plays out in the grand scheme of things.”

Now, let’s see what this means section by section.

1. Research Paper Title

A research paper title is read first, and read the most. 

The title serves two purposes: informing readers and attracting attention . Therefore, your research paper title should be clear, descriptive, and concise . If you can, avoid technical jargon and abbreviations. Your goal is to get as many readers as possible.

In fact, research articles with shorter titles describing the results are cited more often . 

An impactful title is usually 10 words long, plus or minus three words. 

For example:

  • "Mortality in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria" (word count = 7)
  • “A Review of Practical Techniques For the Diagnosis of Malaria” (word count = 10)

2. Research Paper Abstract

In an abstract, you have to answer the two whats :

  • What has been done?
  • What are the main findings?

The abstract is the elevator pitch for your research. Is your paper worth reading? Convince the reader here. 

Example page of how to structure the abstract section of a research paper with a sentence by sentence breakdown.

✏️ NOTE : According to different journals’ guidelines, sometimes the title page and abstract section are on the same page. 

An abstract ranges from 200-300 words and doubles down on the relevance and significance of your research. Succinctly.  

This is your chance to make a second first impression. 

If you’re stuck with a blob of text and can’t seem to cut it down, a smart AI elf like Wordtune can help you write a concise abstract! The AI research assistant also offers suggestions for improved clarity and grammar so your elevator pitch doesn’t fall by the wayside. 

Sample abstract text in Wordtune with suggestions under "Editor's Notes" for better writing.

Get Wordtune for free > Get Wordtune for free >

3. Introduction Section

What does it do.

Asks the central research question.

Pre-Writing Questions For the Introduction Section

The introduction section of your research paper explains the scope, context, and importance of your project. 

I talked to Swagatama Mukherjee , a published researcher and graduate student in Neuro-Oncology studying Glioblastoma Progression. For the Introduction, she says, focus on answering three key questions:

  • What isn’t known in the field? 
  • How is that knowledge gap holding us back?
  • How does your research focus on answering this problem?

When Should You Write It?

Write it last. As you go along filling in the body of your research paper, you may find that the writing is evolving in a different direction than when you first started. 

Organizing the Introduction

Visualize the introduction as an upside-down triangle when considering the overall outline of this section. You'll need to give a broad introduction to the topic, provide background information, and then narrow it down to specific research. Finally, you'll need a focused research question, hypothesis, or thesis statement. The move is from general ➞ specific.

✨️ BONUS TIP: Use the famous CARS model by John Swales to nail this upside-down triangle. 

4. methods section.

Describes what was done to answer the research question, and how.

Write it first . Just list everything you’ve done, and go from there. How did you assign participants into groups? What kind of questionnaires have you used? How did you analyze your data? 

Write as if the reader were following an instruction manual on how to duplicate your research methodology to the letter. 

Organizing the Methods Section

Here, you’re telling the story of your research. 

Write in as much detail as possible, and in the chronological order of the experiments. Follow the order of the results, so your readers can track the gradual development of your research. Use headings and subheadings to visually format the section.

example of context in a research paper

This skeleton isn’t set in stone. The exact headings will be determined by your field of study and the journal you’re submitting to. 

✨️ BONUS TIP : Drowning in research? Ask Wordtune to summarize your PDFs for you!

5. results section .

Reports the findings of your study in connection to your research question.

Write the section only after you've written a draft of your Methods section, and before the Discussion.

This section is the star of your research paper. But don't get carried away just yet. Focus on factual, unbiased information only. Tell the reader how you're going to change the world in the next section. The Results section is strictly a no-opinions zone.

How To Organize Your Results 

A tried-and-true structure for presenting your findings is to outline your results based on the research questions outlined in the figures.

Whenever you address a research question, include the data that directly relates to that question.

What does this mean? Let’s look at an example:

Here's a sample research question:

How does the use of social media affect the academic performance of college students?

Make a statement based on the data:

College students who spent more than 3 hours per day on social media had significantly lower GPAs compared to those who spent less than 1 hour per day (M=2.8 vs. M=3.4; see Fig. 2).

You can elaborate on this finding with secondary information:

The negative impact of social media use on academic performance was more pronounced among freshmen and sophomores compared to juniors and seniors ((F>25), (S>20), (J>15), and (Sr>10); see Fig. 4).

Finally, caption your figures in the same way — use the data and your research question to construct contextual phrases. The phrases should give your readers a framework for understanding the data: 

Figure 4. Percentage of college students reporting a negative impact of social media on academic performance, by year in school.

Dos and Don’ts For The Results Section

example of context in a research paper

✔️ Related : How to Write a Research Paper (+ Free AI Research Paper Writer)

6. discussion section.

Explains the importance and implications of your findings, both in your specific area of research, as well as in a broader context. 

Pre-Writing Questions For the Discussion Section

  • What is the relationship between these results and the original question in the Introduction section?
  • How do your results compare with those of previous research? Are they supportive, extending, or contradictory to existing knowledge?
  • What is the potential impact of your findings on theory, practice, or policy in your field?
  • Are there any strengths or weaknesses in your study design, methods, or analysis? Can these factors affect how you interpret your results?
  • Based on your findings, what are the next steps or directions for research? Have you got any new questions or hypotheses?

Before the Introduction section, and after the Results section. 

Based on the pre-writing questions, five main elements can help you structure your Discussion section paragraph by paragraph:

  • Summary : Restate your research question/problem and summarize your major findings.
  • Interpretations : Identify patterns, contextualize your findings, explain unexpected results, and discuss if and how your results satisfied your hypotheses.
  • Implications: Explore if your findings challenge or support existing research, share new insights, and discuss the consequences in theory or practice.
  • Limitations : Acknowledge what your results couldn’t achieve because of research design or methodological choices.
  • Recommendations : Give concrete ideas about how further research can be conducted to explore new avenues in your field of study. 

Dos and Don’ts For the Discussion Section

example of context in a research paper

Aritra Chatterjee , a licensed clinical psychologist and published mental health researcher, advises, “If your findings are not what you expected, disclose this honestly. That’s what good research is about.”

7. Acknowledgments

Expresses gratitude to mentors, colleagues, and funding sources who’ve helped your research.

Write this section after all the parts of IMRaD are done to reflect on your research journey without getting distracted midway. 

After a lot of scientific writing, you might get stumped trying to write a few lines to say thanks. Don’t let this be the reason for a late or no-submission.

Wordtune can make a rough draft for you. 

Write a research paper draft section with AI. Prompt "Please write an Acknowledgments section" with placeholder text.

All you then have to do is edit the AI-generated content to suit your voice, and replace any text placeholders as needed:

Wordtune's AI generation in purple text, placeholder text annotated for easy reference.

8. References

Lists all the works/sources used in your research with proper citations. 

The two most important aspects of referencing are: 

  • Following the correct format; and 
  • Properly citing the sources. 

Keep a working document of the works you’ve referenced as you go along, but leave the finishing touches for last after you’ve completed the body of your research paper — the IMRaD.

Tips For Writing the References Section

The error rate of references in several scientific disciplines is 25%-54% . 

Don’t want to be a part of this statistic? We got you.

  • Choose quality over quantity : While it's tempting to pad your bibliography to seem more scholarly, this is a rookie mistake.   Samantha Summers , a museum professional based in Canada, is a published researcher in Medieval History and Critical Philanthropy studies. According to her, “Adding in a citation just to lengthen your bibliography and without engaging deeply with the cited work doesn’t make for good writing.” We ought to listen to her advice — she has three Master’s degrees to her name for a reason. 
  • Select the correct referencing guide : Always cross-check with your chosen journal’s or institution’s preference for either Harvard, MLA, APA, Chicago, or IEEE. 
  • Include recent studies and research : Aim to cite academically ripe sources — not overripe. Research from the past half-decade or so is ideal, whereas studies from the 80s or 90s run a higher risk of being stale. 
  • Use a reliable reference manager software : Swagatama recommends several free resources that have helped her get her research organized and published — Zotero and Mendeley are top contenders, followed by EndNote . 

By the end, your References section will look something like this:

References section example from a research paper with correctly numbered, cited sources, and live links.

Ready, Get, Set, Publish!

Dust yourself off, we've made it out of the twilight zone. You’ve now got the diamond of the structure of a research paper — the IMRaD format within the “context-content-conclusion” model. 

Keep this structure handy as you fill in the bones of your research paper. And if you’re stuck staring at a blinking cursor, fresh out of brain juice? 

An AI-powered writing assistant like Wordtune can help you polish your diamond, craft great abstracts, and speed through drafts! 

You've got this.

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  • USC Libraries
  • Research Guides

Organizing Your Social Sciences Research Paper

  • Choosing a Title
  • Purpose of Guide
  • Design Flaws to Avoid
  • Independent and Dependent Variables
  • Glossary of Research Terms
  • Reading Research Effectively
  • Narrowing a Topic Idea
  • Broadening a Topic Idea
  • Extending the Timeliness of a Topic Idea
  • Academic Writing Style
  • Applying Critical Thinking
  • Making an Outline
  • Paragraph Development
  • Research Process Video Series
  • Executive Summary
  • The C.A.R.S. Model
  • Background Information
  • The Research Problem/Question
  • Theoretical Framework
  • Citation Tracking
  • Content Alert Services
  • Evaluating Sources
  • Primary Sources
  • Secondary Sources
  • Tiertiary Sources
  • Scholarly vs. Popular Publications
  • Qualitative Methods
  • Quantitative Methods
  • Insiderness
  • Using Non-Textual Elements
  • Limitations of the Study
  • Common Grammar Mistakes
  • Writing Concisely
  • Avoiding Plagiarism
  • Footnotes or Endnotes?
  • Further Readings
  • Generative AI and Writing
  • USC Libraries Tutorials and Other Guides
  • Bibliography

The title summarizes the main idea or ideas of your study. A good title contains the fewest possible words needed to adequately describe the content and/or purpose of your research paper.

Importance of Choosing a Good Title

The title is the part of a paper that is read the most, and it is usually read first . It is, therefore, the most important element that defines the research study. With this in mind, avoid the following when creating a title:

  • If the title is too long, this usually indicates there are too many unnecessary words. Avoid language, such as, "A Study to Investigate the...," or "An Examination of the...." These phrases are obvious and generally superfluous unless they are necessary to covey the scope, intent, or type of a study.
  • On the other hand, a title which is too short often uses words which are too broad and, thus, does not tell the reader what is being studied. For example, a paper with the title, "African Politics" is so non-specific the title could be the title of a book and so ambiguous that it could refer to anything associated with politics in Africa. A good title should provide information about the focus and/or scope of your research study.
  • In academic writing, catchy phrases or non-specific language may be used, but only if it's within the context of the study [e.g., "Fair and Impartial Jury--Catch as Catch Can"]. However, in most cases, you should avoid including words or phrases that do not help the reader understand the purpose of your paper.
  • Academic writing is a serious and deliberate endeavor. Avoid using humorous or clever journalistic styles of phrasing when creating the title to your paper. Journalistic headlines often use emotional adjectives [e.g., incredible, amazing, effortless] to highlight a problem experienced by the reader or use "trigger words" or interrogative words like how, what, when, or why to persuade people to read the article or click on a link. These approaches are viewed as counter-productive in academic writing. A reader does not need clever or humorous titles to catch their attention because the act of reading research is assumed to be deliberate based on a desire to learn and improve understanding of the problem. In addition, a humorous title can merely detract from the seriousness and authority of your research. 
  • Unlike everywhere else in a college-level social sciences research paper [except when using direct quotes in the text], titles do not have to adhere to rigid grammatical or stylistic standards. For example, it could be appropriate to begin a title with a coordinating conjunction [i.e., and, but, or, nor, for, so, yet] if it makes sense to do so and does not detract from the purpose of the study [e.g., "Yet Another Look at Mutual Fund Tournaments"] or beginning the title with an inflected form of a verb such as those ending in -ing [e.g., "Assessing the Political Landscape: Structure, Cognition, and Power in Organizations"].

Appiah, Kingsley Richard et al. “Structural Organisation of Research Article Titles: A Comparative Study of Titles of Business, Gynaecology and Law.” Advances in Language and Literary Studies 10 (2019); Hartley James. “To Attract or to Inform: What are Titles for?” Journal of Technical Writing and Communication 35 (2005): 203-213; Jaakkola, Maarit. “Journalistic Writing and Style.” In Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Communication . Jon F. Nussbaum, editor. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2018): https://oxfordre.com/communication.

Structure and Writing Style

The following parameters can be used to help you formulate a suitable research paper title:

  • The purpose of the research
  • The scope of the research
  • The narrative tone of the paper [typically defined by the type of the research]
  • The methods used to study the problem

The initial aim of a title is to capture the reader’s attention and to highlight the research problem under investigation.

Create a Working Title Typically, the final title you submit to your professor is created after the research is complete so that the title accurately captures what has been done . The working title should be developed early in the research process because it can help anchor the focus of the study in much the same way the research problem does. Referring back to the working title can help you reorient yourself back to the main purpose of the study if you find yourself drifting off on a tangent while writing. The Final Title Effective titles in research papers have several characteristics that reflect general principles of academic writing.

  • Indicate accurately the subject and scope of the study,
  • Rarely use abbreviations or acronyms unless they are commonly known,
  • Use words that create a positive impression and stimulate reader interest,
  • Use current nomenclature from the field of study,
  • Identify key variables, both dependent and independent,
  • Reveal how the paper will be organized,
  • Suggest a relationship between variables which supports the major hypothesis,
  • Is limited to 5 to 15 substantive words,
  • Does not include redundant phrasing, such as, "A Study of," "An Analysis of" or similar constructions,
  • Takes the form of a question or declarative statement,
  • If you use a quote as part of the title, the source of the quote is cited [usually using an asterisk and footnote],
  • Use correct grammar and capitalization with all first words and last words capitalized, including the first word of a subtitle. All nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs that appear between the first and last words of the title are also capitalized, and
  • Rarely uses an exclamation mark at the end of the title.

The Subtitle Subtitles are frequently used in social sciences research papers because it helps the reader understand the scope of the study in relation to how it was designed to address the research problem. Think about what type of subtitle listed below reflects the overall approach to your study and whether you believe a subtitle is needed to emphasize the investigative parameters of your research.

1.  Explains or provides additional context , e.g., "Linguistic Ethnography and the Study of Welfare Institutions as a Flow of Social Practices: The Case of Residential Child Care Institutions as Paradoxical Institutions." [Palomares, Manuel and David Poveda.  Text & Talk: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Language, Discourse and Communication Studies 30 (January 2010): 193-212]

2.  Adds substance to a literary, provocative, or imaginative title or quote , e.g., "Listen to What I Say, Not How I Vote": Congressional Support for the President in Washington and at Home." [Grose, Christian R. and Keesha M. Middlemass. Social Science Quarterly 91 (March 2010): 143-167]

3.  Qualifies the geographic scope of the research , e.g., "The Geopolitics of the Eastern Border of the European Union: The Case of Romania-Moldova-Ukraine." [Marcu, Silvia. Geopolitics 14 (August 2009): 409-432]

4.  Qualifies the temporal scope of the research , e.g., "A Comparison of the Progressive Era and the Depression Years: Societal Influences on Predictions of the Future of the Library, 1895-1940." [Grossman, Hal B. Libraries & the Cultural Record 46 (2011): 102-128]

5.  Focuses on investigating the ideas, theories, or work of a particular individual , e.g., "A Deliberative Conception of Politics: How Francesco Saverio Merlino Related Anarchy and Democracy." [La Torre, Massimo. Sociologia del Diritto 28 (January 2001): 75 - 98]

6.  Identifies the methodology used , e.g. "Student Activism of the 1960s Revisited: A Multivariate Analysis Research Note." [Aron, William S. Social Forces 52 (March 1974): 408-414]

7.  Defines the overarching technique for analyzing the research problem , e.g., "Explaining Territorial Change in Federal Democracies: A Comparative Historical Institutionalist Approach." [ Tillin, Louise. Political Studies 63 (August 2015): 626-641.

With these examples in mind, think about what type of subtitle reflects the overall approach to your study. This will help the reader understand the scope of the study in relation to how it was designed to address the research problem.

Anstey, A. “Writing Style: What's in a Title?” British Journal of Dermatology 170 (May 2014): 1003-1004; Balch, Tucker. How to Compose a Title for Your Research Paper. Augmented Trader blog. School of Interactive Computing, Georgia Tech University; Bavdekar, Sandeep B. “Formulating the Right Title for a Research Article.” Journal of Association of Physicians of India 64 (February 2016); Choosing the Proper Research Paper Titles. AplusReports.com, 2007-2012; Eva, Kevin W. “Titles, Abstracts, and Authors.” In How to Write a Paper . George M. Hall, editor. 5th edition. (Oxford: John Wiley and Sons, 2013), pp. 33-41; Hartley James. “To Attract or to Inform: What are Titles for?” Journal of Technical Writing and Communication 35 (2005): 203-213; General Format. The Writing Lab and The OWL. Purdue University; Kerkut G.A. “Choosing a Title for a Paper.” Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part A: Physiology 74 (1983): 1; “Tempting Titles.” In Stylish Academic Writing . Helen Sword, editor. (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2012), pp. 63-75; Nundy, Samiran, et al. “How to Choose a Title?” In How to Practice Academic Medicine and Publish from Developing Countries? A Practical Guide . Edited by Samiran Nundy, Atul Kakar, and Zulfiqar A. Bhutta. (Springer Singapore, 2022), pp. 185-192.

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The University of Chicago The Law School

College essays and diversity in the post-affirmative action era, sonja starr’s latest research adds data, legal analysis to discussion about race in college admissions essays.

A woman sitting on a couch with a book on her lap

Editor’s Note: This story is part of an occasional series on research projects currently in the works at the Law School.

The Supreme Court’s decision in June 2023 to bar the use of affirmative action in college admissions raised many questions. One of the most significant is whether universities should consider applicants’ discussion of race in essays. The Court’s decision in Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA) v. Harvard did not require entirely race-blind admissions. Rather, the Court explicitly stated that admissions offices may weigh what students say about how race affected their lives. Yet the Court also warned that this practice may not be used to circumvent the bar on affirmative action.

Many university leaders made statements after SFFA suggesting that they take this passage seriously, and that it potentially points to a strategy for preserving diversity. But it’s not obvious how lower courts will distinguish between consideration of “race-related experience” and consideration of “race qua race.” Sonja Starr, Julius Kreeger Professor of Law & Criminology at the Law School, was intrigued by the implication of that question, calling the key passage of the Court’s opinion the “essay carveout.”

“Where is the line?” she wrote in a forthcoming article, the first of its kind to discuss this issue in depth in the post- SFFA era. “And what other potential legal pitfalls could universities encounter in evaluating essays about race?”

To inform her paper’s legal analysis, Starr conducted empirical analyses of how universities and students have included race in essays, both before and after the Court’s decision. She concluded that large numbers of applicants wrote about race, and that college essay prompts encouraged them to do so, even before SFFA .

Some thought the essay carveout made no sense. Justice Sonia Sotomayor called it “an attempt to put lipstick on a pig” in her dissent. Starr, however, disagrees. She argues that universities are on sound legal footing relying on the essay carveout, so long as they consider race-related experience in an individualized way. In her article, Starr points out reasons the essay carveout makes sense in the context of the Court’s other arguments. However, she points to the potential for future challenges—on both equal protection and First Amendment grounds—and discusses how colleges can survive them.

What the Empirical Research Showed

After SFFA , media outlets suggested that universities would add questions about race or identity in their admissions essays and that students would increasingly focus on that topic. Starr decided to investigate this speculation. She commissioned a professional survey group to recruit a nationally representative sample of recent college applicants. The firm queried 881 people about their essay content, about half of whom applied in 2022-23, before SFFA , and half of whom submitted in 2023-24.

The survey found that more than 60 percent of students in non-white groups wrote about race in at least some of their essays, as did about half of white applicants. But contrary to what the media suggested, there were no substantial changes between the pre-and post- SFFA application cycles.

Starr also reviewed essay prompts that 65 top schools have used over the last four years. She found that diversity and identity questions—as well as questions about overcoming adversity, which, for example, provide opportunities for students to discuss discrimination that they have faced—are common and have increased in frequency both before and after SFFA.

A Personally Inspired Interest

Although Starr has long written about equal protection issues, until about two years ago, she would have characterized educational admissions as a bit outside her wheelhouse. Her research has mostly focused on the criminal justice system, though race is often at the heart of it. In the past, for example, she has assessed the role of race in sentencing, the constitutionality of algorithmic risk assessment instruments in criminal justice, as well as policies to expand employment options for people with criminal records.

But a legal battle around admissions policies at Fairfax County’s Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology—the high school that Starr attended—caught her attention. Starr followed the case closely and predicted that “litigation may soon be an ever-present threat for race-conscious policymaking” in a 2024 Stanford Law Review article on that and other magnet school cases.

“I got really interested in that case partly because of the personal connection,” she said. “But I ended up writing about it as an academic matter, and that got me entrenched in this world of educational admissions questions and their related implications for other areas of equal protection law.”

Implications in Education and Beyond

Starr’s forthcoming paper argues that the essay carveout provides a way for colleges to maintain diversity and stay on the right side of the Court’s decision.

“I believe there’s quite a bit of space that’s open for colleges to pursue in this area without crossing that line,” she said. “I lay out the arguments that colleges can put forth.”

Nevertheless, Starr expects future litigation targeting the essay carveout.

“I think we could see cases filed as soon as this year when the admissions numbers come out,” she said, pointing out that conservative legal organizations, such as the Pacific Legal Foundation, have warned that they’re going to be keeping a close eye on admissions numbers and looking for ways that schools are circumventing SFFA .

Starr envisions her paper being used as a resource for schools that want to obey the law while also maintaining diversity. “The preservation of diversity is not a red flag that something unconstitutional is happening,” she said. “There are lots of perfectly permissible ways that we can expect diversity to be maintained in this post- affirmative action era.”

Starr’s article, “Admissions Essays after SFFA ,” is slated to be published in Indiana Law Journal in early 2025.

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  • 10 Research Question Examples to Guide Your Research Project

10 Research Question Examples to Guide your Research Project

Published on October 30, 2022 by Shona McCombes . Revised on October 19, 2023.

The research question is one of the most important parts of your research paper , thesis or dissertation . It’s important to spend some time assessing and refining your question before you get started.

The exact form of your question will depend on a few things, such as the length of your project, the type of research you’re conducting, the topic , and the research problem . However, all research questions should be focused, specific, and relevant to a timely social or scholarly issue.

Once you’ve read our guide on how to write a research question , you can use these examples to craft your own.

Research question Explanation
The first question is not enough. The second question is more , using .
Starting with “why” often means that your question is not enough: there are too many possible answers. By targeting just one aspect of the problem, the second question offers a clear path for research.
The first question is too broad and subjective: there’s no clear criteria for what counts as “better.” The second question is much more . It uses clearly defined terms and narrows its focus to a specific population.
It is generally not for academic research to answer broad normative questions. The second question is more specific, aiming to gain an understanding of possible solutions in order to make informed recommendations.
The first question is too simple: it can be answered with a simple yes or no. The second question is , requiring in-depth investigation and the development of an original argument.
The first question is too broad and not very . The second question identifies an underexplored aspect of the topic that requires investigation of various  to answer.
The first question is not enough: it tries to address two different (the quality of sexual health services and LGBT support services). Even though the two issues are related, it’s not clear how the research will bring them together. The second integrates the two problems into one focused, specific question.
The first question is too simple, asking for a straightforward fact that can be easily found online. The second is a more question that requires and detailed discussion to answer.
? dealt with the theme of racism through casting, staging, and allusion to contemporary events? The first question is not  — it would be very difficult to contribute anything new. The second question takes a specific angle to make an original argument, and has more relevance to current social concerns and debates.
The first question asks for a ready-made solution, and is not . The second question is a clearer comparative question, but note that it may not be practically . For a smaller research project or thesis, it could be narrowed down further to focus on the effectiveness of drunk driving laws in just one or two countries.

Note that the design of your research question can depend on what method you are pursuing. Here are a few options for qualitative, quantitative, and statistical research questions.

Type of research Example question
Qualitative research question
Quantitative research question
Statistical research question

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If you want to know more about the research process , methodology , research bias , or statistics , make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples.


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  • Null hypothesis
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Research bias

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Federal Rules of Civil Procedure

Primary tabs.

These are the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, as amended to December 1, 2023 1 . Click on any rule to read it.

  • Rule 1 . Scope and Purpose
  • Rule 2 . One Form of Action
  • Rule 3 . Commencing an Action
  • Rule 4 . Summons
  • Rule 4.1 . Serving Other Process
  • Rule 5 . Serving and Filing Pleadings and Other Papers
  • Rule 5.1 . Constitutional Challenge to a Statute—Notice, Certification, and Intervention
  • Rule 5.2 . Privacy Protection For Filings Made with the Court
  • Rule 6 . Computing and Extending Time; Time for Motion Papers
  • Rule 7 . Pleadings Allowed; Form of Motions and Other Papers
  • Rule 7.1 . Disclosure Statement
  • Rule 8 . General Rules of Pleading
  • Rule 9 . Pleading Special Matters
  • Rule 10 . Form of Pleadings
  • Rule 11 . Signing Pleadings, Motions, and Other Papers; Representations to the Court; Sanctions
  • Rule 12 . Defenses and Objections: When and How Presented; Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings; Consolidating Motions; Waiving Defenses; Pretrial Hearing
  • Rule 13 . Counterclaim and Crossclaim
  • Rule 14 . Third-Party Practice
  • Rule 15 . Amended and Supplemental Pleadings
  • Rule 16 . Pretrial Conferences; Scheduling; Management
  • Rule 17 . Plaintiff and Defendant; Capacity; Public Officers
  • Rule 18 . Joinder of Claims
  • Rule 19 . Required Joinder of Parties
  • Rule 20 . Permissive Joinder of Parties
  • Rule 21 . Misjoinder and Nonjoinder of Parties
  • Rule 22 . Interpleader
  • Rule 23 . Class Actions
  • Rule 23.1 . Derivative Actions
  • Rule 23.2 . Actions Relating to Unincorporated Associations
  • Rule 24 . Intervention
  • Rule 25 . Substitution of Parties
  • Rule 26 . Duty to Disclose; General Provisions Governing Discovery
  • Rule 27 . Depositions to Perpetuate Testimony
  • Rule 28 . Persons Before Whom Depositions May Be Taken
  • Rule 29 . Stipulations About Discovery Procedure
  • Rule 30 . Depositions by Oral Examination
  • Rule 31 . Depositions by Written Questions
  • Rule 32 . Using Depositions in Court Proceedings
  • Rule 33 . Interrogatories to Parties
  • Rule 34 . Producing Documents, Electronically Stored Information, and Tangible Things, or Entering onto Land, for Inspection and Other Purposes
  • Rule 35 . Physical and Mental Examinations
  • Rule 36 . Requests for Admission
  • Rule 37 . Failure to Make Disclosures or to Cooperate in Discovery; Sanctions
  • Rule 38 . Right to a Jury Trial; Demand
  • Rule 39 . Trial by Jury or by the Court
  • Rule 40 . Scheduling Cases for Trial
  • Rule 41 . Dismissal of Actions
  • Rule 42 . Consolidation; Separate Trials
  • Rule 43 . Taking Testimony
  • Rule 44 . Proving an Official Record
  • Rule 44.1 . Determining Foreign Law
  • Rule 45 . Subpoena
  • Rule 46 . Objecting to a Ruling or Order
  • Rule 47 . Selecting Jurors
  • Rule 48 . Number of Jurors; Verdict; Polling
  • Rule 49 . Special Verdict; General Verdict and Questions
  • Rule 50 . Judgment as a Matter of Law in a Jury Trial; Related Motion for a New Trial; Conditional Ruling
  • Rule 51 . Instructions to the Jury; Objections; Preserving a Claim of Error
  • Rule 52 . Findings and Conclusions by the Court; Judgment on Partial Findings
  • Rule 53 . Masters
  • Rule 54 . Judgment; Costs
  • Rule 55 . Default; Default Judgment
  • Rule 56 . Summary Judgment
  • Rule 57 . Declaratory Judgment
  • Rule 58 . Entering Judgment
  • Rule 59 . New Trial; Altering or Amending a Judgment
  • Rule 60 . Relief from a Judgment or Order
  • Rule 61 . Harmless Error
  • Rule 62 . Stay of Proceedings to Enforce a Judgment
  • Rule 62.1 . Indicative Ruling on a Motion for Relief That is Barred by a Pending Appeal
  • Rule 63 . Judge's Inability to Proceed
  • Rule 64 . Seizing a Person or Property
  • Rule 65 . Injunctions and Restraining Orders
  • Rule 65.1 . Proceedings Against a Security Provider
  • Rule 66 . Receivers
  • Rule 67 . Deposit into Court
  • Rule 68 . Offer of Judgment
  • Rule 69 . Execution
  • Rule 70 . Enforcing a Judgment for a Specific Act
  • Rule 71 . Enforcing Relief For or Against a Nonparty
  • Rule 71.1 . Condemning Real or Personal Property
  • Rule 72 . Magistrate Judges: Pretrial Order
  • Rule 73 . Magistrate Judges: Trial by Consent; Appeal
  • Rule 74 . [Abrogated (Apr. 11, 1997, eff. Dec. 1, 1997).]
  • Rule 75 . [Abrogated (Apr. 11, 1997, eff. Dec. 1, 1997).]
  • Rule 76 . [Abrogated (Apr. 11, 1997, eff. Dec. 1, 1997).]
  • [Rule 71A. Renumbered Rule 71.1]
  • Rule 77 . Conducting Business; Clerk's Authority; Notice of an Order or Judgment
  • Rule 78 . Hearing Motions; Submission on Briefs
  • Rule 79 . Records Kept by the Clerk
  • Rule 80 . Stenographic Transcript as Evidence
  • Rule 81 . Applicability of the Rules in General; Removed Actions
  • Rule 82 . Jurisdiction and Venue Unaffected
  • Rule 83 . Rules by District Courts; Judge's Directives
  • Rule 84 . Abrogated, eff. Dec. 1, 2015
  • Rule 85 . Title
  • Rule 86 . Effective Dates
  • Rule 87 Civil Rules Emergency
  • XII. APPENDIX OF FORMS (U.S. Courts site)
  • Rule A . Scope of Rules
  • Rule B . In Personam Actions: Attachment and Garnishment
  • Rule C . In Rem Actions: Special Provisions
  • Rule D . Possessory, Petitory, and Partition Actions
  • Rule E . Actions in Rem and Quasi in Rem: General Provisions
  • Rule F . Limitation of Liability
  • Rule G . Forfeiture Actions in Rem
  • Rules 1 - 7

1 Title amended December 29, 1948, effective October 20, 1949.

Historical Note

The original Rules of Civil Procedure for the District Courts were adopted by order of the Supreme Court on Dec. 20, 1937, transmitted to Congress by the Attorney General on Jan. 3, 1938, and became effective on Sept. 16, 1938.

The Rules have been amended Dec. 28, 1939, eff. Apr. 3, 1941; Dec. 27, 1946, eff. Mar. 19, 1948; Dec. 29, 1948, eff. Oct. 20, 1949; Apr. 30, 1951, eff. Aug. 1, 1951; Apr. 17, 1961, eff. July 19, 1961; Jan. 21, 1963, eff. July 1, 1963; Feb. 28, 1966, eff. July 1, 1966; Dec. 4, 1967, eff. July 1, 1968; Mar. 30, 1970, eff. July 1, 1970; Mar. 1, 1971, eff. July 1, 1971; Nov. 20, 1972, and Dec. 18, 1972, eff. July 1, 1975; Apr. 29, 1980, eff. Aug. 1, 1980; Oct. 21, 1980, Pub. L. 96–481, title II, §205(a), (b), 94 Stat. 2330; Jan. 12, 1983, Pub. L. 97–462, §§2–4, 96 Stat. 2527–2530, eff. Feb. 26, 1983; Apr. 28, 1983, eff. Aug. 1, 1983; Apr. 29, 1985, eff. Aug. 1, 1985; Mar. 2, 1987, eff. Aug. 1, 1987; Apr. 25, 1988, eff. Aug. 1, 1988; Nov. 18, 1988, Pub. L. 100–690, title VII, §§7047(b), 7049, 7050, 102 Stat. 4401; Apr. 30, 1991, eff. Dec. 1, 1991; Dec. 9, 1991, Pub. L. 102–198, §11, 105 Stat. 1626; Apr. 22, 1993, eff. Dec. 1, 1993; Apr. 27, 1995, eff. Dec. 1, 1995; Apr. 23, 1996, eff. Dec. 1, 1996; Apr. 11, 1997, eff. Dec. 1, 1997; Apr. 24, 1998, eff. Dec. 1, 1998; Apr. 26, 1999, eff. Dec. 1, 1999; Apr. 17, 2000, eff. Dec. 1, 2000; Apr. 23, 2001, eff. Dec. 1, 2001; Apr. 29, 2002, eff. Dec. 1, 2002; Mar. 27, 2003, eff. Dec. 1, 2003; Apr. 25, 2005, eff. Dec. 1, 2005; Apr. 12, 2006, eff. Dec. 1, 2006; Apr. 30, 2007, eff. Dec. 1, 2007; Apr. 23, 2008, eff. Dec. 1, 2008; Mar. 26, 2009, eff. Dec. 1, 2009; Apr. 28, 2010, eff. Dec. 1, 2010; Apr. 2013, eff. Dec. 1, 2013; Apr. 25, 2014, eff. Dec. 1, 2014; Apr. 29, 2015, eff. Dec. 1, 2015; Apr. 28, 2016, eff. Dec 1, 2016.

References to Equity Rules

The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure supplant the Equity Rules since in general they cover the field now covered by the Equity Rules and the Conformity Act (former section 724 of this title).

This table shows the Equity Rules to which references are made in the notes to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

Equity Rules Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
1 77
2 77
3 79
4 77
5 77
6 78
7 4, 70
8 6, 70
9 70
10 18, 54
11 71
12 3, 4, 5, 12, 55
13 4
14 4
15 4, 45
16 6, 55
17 55
18 7, 8
19 1, 15, 61
20 12
21 11, 12
22 1
23 1, 39
24 11
25 8, 9, 10, 19
26 18, 20, 82
27 23
28 15
29 7, 12, 42, 55
30 8, 13, 82
31 7, 8, 12, 55
32 15
33 7, 12
34 15
35 15
36 11
37 17, 19, 20, 24
38 23
39 19
40 20
41 17
42 19, 20
43 12, 21
44 12, 21
45 25
46 43, 61
47 26
48 43
49 53
50 30, 80
51 30, 53
52 45, 53
53 53
54 26
55 30
56 40
57 40
58 26, 33, 34, 36
59 53
60 53
61 53
611/2 53
62 53
63 53
64 26
65 53
66 53
67 53
68 53
69 59
70 17
701/2 52
71 54
72 60, 61
73 65
74 62
75 75
76 75
77 76
78 43
79 83
80 6
81 86


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    The problem of context in research. In the social sciences, conceptual confusion and inconsistent use of terms is a fundamental source of difficulty in theoretical frameworks and empirical analysis (Collier et al., Citation 2006).We wish to avoid collapsing the debate into a discussion of what 'context is' or 'is not' (for reasons we elaborate on further later in the paper) but ...

  7. How Should I Contextualise and Position My Study?

    Abstract. The focus of this chapter is on contextualising and positioning your research, which involves clarifying your assumptions, stating your intentions and goals and drawing boundaries around your research and its context (s). When you appropriately contextualise your study, you are making clear (1) where you, as researcher, well as your ...

  8. How to Write a Literature Review

    When you write a thesis, dissertation, or research paper, you will likely have to conduct a literature review to situate your research within existing knowledge. The literature review gives you a chance to: Demonstrate your familiarity with the topic and its scholarly context; Develop a theoretical framework and methodology for your research

  9. Writing a Research Paper Introduction

    Table of contents. Step 1: Introduce your topic. Step 2: Describe the background. Step 3: Establish your research problem. Step 4: Specify your objective (s) Step 5: Map out your paper. Research paper introduction examples. Frequently asked questions about the research paper introduction.

  10. Organizing Your Social Sciences Research Paper

    The introduction leads the reader from a general subject area to a particular topic of inquiry. It establishes the scope, context, and significance of the research being conducted by summarizing current understanding and background information about the topic, stating the purpose of the work in the form of the research problem supported by a hypothesis or a set of questions, explaining briefly ...

  11. Series: Practical guidance to qualitative research. Part 2: Context

    This second article addresses FAQs about context, research questions and designs. Qualitative research takes into account the natural contexts in which individuals or groups function to provide an in-depth understanding of real-world problems. The research questions are generally broad and open to unexpected findings.

  12. Thinking About the Context: Setting (Where?) and ...

    Abstract. In recent years, context has come to be recognized as a key element which influences the outcomes of research studies and impacts on their significance. Two important aspects of context are the setting (where the study is taking place) and the participants (who is included in the study). It is critical that both of these aspects are ...

  13. Further emphasis on research in context

    From Jan 1, 2015, all research papers, apart from systematic reviews and meta-analyses, submitted to any journal in The Lancet family must include a Research in context panel with an enhanced structure and subheadings . Editors will use this information at the first assessment stage and when presenting papers after peer review to the editorial ...

  14. How to Write a Research Paper Introduction (with Examples)

    Define your specific research problem and problem statement. Highlight the novelty and contributions of the study. Give an overview of the paper's structure. The research paper introduction can vary in size and structure depending on whether your paper presents the results of original empirical research or is a review paper.

  15. Why 'context' is important for research

    Generating context through engagement. One of the great things about context is that it is flexible and can be defined by user engagement. Take peer review for example. This is a way of adding context to a paper, by drawing on external expertise and perspective to enhance the content of a research article.

  16. What Is Context in Writing? Types and Significance

    Read on to discover the four types of context in writing, and for an explanation about why context is important. What is context in writing? ... For example: A research paper or book written about the possibility and potential impact of pandemics after the Covid-19 pandemic is over will have a very different historical context than works on the ...

  17. Background of The Study

    Examples of Background of The Study in Research Paper. Here are some examples of how the background of the study can be written in various fields: Example 1: The prevalence of obesity has been on the rise globally, with the World Health Organization reporting that approximately 650 million adults were obese in 2016. Obesity is a major risk ...


    THE RESEARCH CONTEXT 1.1 Introduction This chapter sets the scene for this research and is divided into seven sections. The first two parts discuss the development of studies in service sector generally and the banking industry in particular in Malaysia since its independence until the present.


    10 Chapter 1: PROJECT CONTEXT, RESEARCH OBJECTIVES, AND APPROACH Introduction Large-scale disruptions to transportation systems are one of the realities of todayâ s world. In the case of extreme weather, events over the years have demonstratedâ often with tragic consequencesâ that many transportation agency assets, as well as other public ...

  20. How and Why to Write the Context of the Study in a Research Paper: A

    In this video, I will provide you with a detailed guide on how to write the context of the study for your research paper, thesis, dissertation, or research p...

  21. How to Write a Research Proposal

    Research proposal examples. Writing a research proposal can be quite challenging, but a good starting point could be to look at some examples. We've included a few for you below. Example research proposal #1: "A Conceptual Framework for Scheduling Constraint Management".

  22. How To Structure a Research Paper: 8 Key Elements

    3. Introduction Section What Does It Do? Asks the central research question. ‍ Pre-Writing Questions For the Introduction Section. The introduction section of your research paper explains the scope, context, and importance of your project.. I talked to Swagatama Mukherjee, a published researcher and graduate student in Neuro-Oncology studying Glioblastoma Progression.

  23. Context, Contextualization, and Case-Study Research

    Her research currently focuses on a variety of qualitative perspectives for the study of organizational phenomena which include causal-mechanistic reasoning, the practice approach, and visual analysis. She has long lasting interest in issues related to causal inference in case-study research and the use of case-study evidence for policy making.

  24. Code of Ethics: English

    The NASW Code of Ethics is a set of standards that guide the professional conduct of social workers. The 2021 update includes language that addresses the importance of professional self-care. Moreover, revisions to Cultural Competence standard provide more explicit guidance to social workers. All social workers should review the new text and ...

  25. Organizing Your Social Sciences Research Paper

    For example, a paper with the title, "African Politics" is so non-specific the title could be the title of a book and so ambiguous that it could refer to anything associated with politics in Africa. ... catchy phrases or non-specific language may be used, but only if it's within the context of the study [e.g., "Fair and Impartial Jury--Catch as ...

  26. College Essays and Diversity in the Post-Affirmative Action Era

    Editor's Note: This story is part of an occasional series on research projects currently in the works at the Law School. The Supreme Court's decision in June 2023 to bar the use of affirmative action in college admissions raised many questions. One of the most significant is whether universities should consider applicants' discussion of race in essays. The Court's decision in Students ...

  27. 10 Research Question Examples to Guide your Research Project

    The first question asks for a ready-made solution, and is not focused or researchable. The second question is a clearer comparative question, but note that it may not be practically feasible. For a smaller research project or thesis, it could be narrowed down further to focus on the effectiveness of drunk driving laws in just one or two countries.

  28. American Psychological Association (APA)

    The American Psychological Association (APA) is a scientific and professional organization that represents psychologists in the United States. APA educates the public about psychology, behavioral science and mental health; promotes psychological science and practice; fosters the education and training of psychological scientists, practitioners and educators; advocates for psychological ...

  29. Federal Rules of Civil Procedure

    Historical Note. The original Rules of Civil Procedure for the District Courts were adopted by order of the Supreme Court on Dec. 20, 1937, transmitted to Congress by the Attorney General on Jan. 3, 1938, and became effective on Sept. 16, 1938.

  30. Artificial intelligence and human behavioral development: A perspective

    Following these premises, in this paper, we want to point out new research reflections and perspectives that could help researchers, teachers, educators (and consequently students) to reflect on the introduction of new technologies (e.g., artificial intelligence, robot tutors) and on how these can affect on human behavioral development and on ...