Organizing Your Social Sciences Research Paper: Academic Writing Style

This article is to help you give your social sciences paper a proper organization. But, before you start writing your social science research paper, read the instructions of your instructor. What we provide in this article are general guidelines. They may differ slightly with the requirements of your professor. The instructions of your professor will always come first and not our guide.

First, we look at the general organization of your research paper.

  1. Introduction

The first section of your social sciences research paper is the introduction. In this section, you explain the problem you are going to address in your paper. Here, you also introduce the background of your research. This information helps the reader to know what is already known and the existing gaps. Also, explain how you plan to fill these gaps.

  1. Literature review

In this section, you explain in detail what is already known about your topic. It ensures that your reader understands the your topic. It may include definitions, histories, and sometimes theories. When writing it, look for scholarly articles with great content. Make sure that these articles are current. Your professor may say the number of articles to include in this section. Read instructions carefully to avoid losing points.

  1. Methodology

The next section is the methodology. Here you explain how you did your research. Make sure that other researchers can use your methodology. Deep information is important in this section. Explain how you chose your data, how you collected it, and how you analyzed the data. Give the way behind your choices. For example, explain the type of study you conducted and why you chose that design. In summary, this is what you should address in this section.

  • Firstly, your study design and reasons for choosing it
  • Secondly, what you studied
  • Thirdly, how you choose your sample and the sample size
  • Fourthly, tools used in data collection
  • Fifthly, data analysis methods
  • Finally, limitations of your methodology
  1. Results

Present your findings. Here, you use tables and charts to present study findings. Remember this is a presentation of data from your analysis. You also state whether your hypothesis is accepted or rejected in this section (when applicable).

  1. Discussion

In this section, you explain what the findings mean. Show different ways in which your research agrees or disagrees with previous studies.

  1. Conclusion

Conclude your research with the answer to your research question based on research results. Remember to also include recommendations for further research.

  1. References

Unless directed otherwise, present your reference page in APA writing style. But, remember to read the instructions again. You do not want to format your paper in APA only to find out later that your professor needed Harvard style. Before you start writing your paper, check the style needed by your professor.

To add on!

Remember, these are general guidelines. Check if your instructor requires a specific organization. Also, make sure your research paper has the following characteristics;

  • Formal tone

Present your argument in a formal tone. Avoid biased language especially when writing the arguments you disagree with. Use a neutral language. Avoid confrontational language. Use punctuation properly to show your tone.

  • Choose proper words

Make sure you choose proper words. Avoid using general words when passing a particular idea. Go for solid words. This way, you will avoid confusing your reader.

  • Use proper language

By proper language, we mean clear language. State what you mean. Use clear topic sentences. Also, structure your paragraphs well.

  • Support your arguments with relevant evidence

Your professor needs you to show your point of view in the research paper. But, this point of view should be based on evidence. This shows that you understand the existing body of knowledge. Get evidence from scholarly sources such as peer reviewed journals. Such makes your argument stronger.

  • Acknowledge sources used in your research paper

Always remember to cite all sources used in your paper. This helps in reducing chances of plagiarism. Also, in text citations help your reader to find your sources for checking their quality.

Problems to avoid

When writing your social sciences research paper, avoid the following problems

  • Use of personal nouns

Unless instructed so, avoid the use of personal nouns such as me or I. Otherwise, your paper will sound subjective. So, limit their use.

  • Slangs

Avoid slang terms in your research paper. Otherwise, they will be open to interpretation. Use standard language.


If you want to earn higher grades in your research paper, you must produce a high quality paper. One way to do this is to properly organize your paper. We have provided general guidelines on how to organize your social sciences paper. But as already stated, your instructor’s requirements comes before our guidelines. This means that you must read and follow them without failure. When they are not clear, we recommend that you talk to your professor for clarity. Remember you can lose points for the failure to follow instructions.

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