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Research Paper Body Paragraph Structure

Author: I. Lee
Published on: May 22, 2023
Updated on: Jul 19, 2023
Table of content
  • Basics of a paragraph structure
  • Ways to start paragraph
  • Step by step guide
  • Research paragraph examples

Research Paper Body Paragraph Structure
The main goal of a research paper is to provide an unbiased interpretation of results based on empirical evidence. The research paper’s body paragraph is the basic building block. It helps clarify the paper’s purpose and establish the overall argument.

The critical question is, how to make a body paragraph, provide a concise flow to your thoughts? Let’s find that out!

Learning the basics of a paragraph structure

Academic writing involves arranging your thoughts in a clear structure. It’s critical to include the following parts in your research paper:

  • Title (cover page).
  • Introduction.
  • Literature review.
  • Research methodology.
  • Data analysis.
  • Results.
  • Conclusion.
  • Reference page.

A primary research paper involves writing body paragraphs to effectively communicate the study’s purpose, methods, results, and conclusions. While there may be some variations depending on the discipline and journal guidelines, the following paragraph structure is commonly used:


The body of research paper sets the stage. It begins with a broad opening statement that captures the reader’s attention and provides context for the study. It’s usually followed by a concise background overview that outlines the research problem or question, highlights its significance, and identifies any existing gaps in knowledge.

The paragraph ends with the research objective or purpose statement, which clearly states the aim of the study.


The methods paragraph describes the research design, procedures, and materials used to conduct the study. It begins by stating the research approach (qualitative, quantitative, mixed methods, etc.) and provides a brief rationale for the chosen course.

To write a body paragraph, you must provide a detailed explanation of data collection methods, including information about participants, sample size, data sources, and data collection instruments or techniques. Additionally, any statistical or analytical methods employed in the study are mentioned.


The results paragraph presents the findings of the research. It begins by concisely summarizing the key results. It is typically followed by a more detailed explanation of the findings, often using statistical data, tables, or figures to support the presented information.

Focusing on the most relevant and significant results is essential for the body, highlighting patterns, trends, or relationships observed.


The discussion paragraph interprets and analyzes the results in the context of the research question and previous literature. It starts by restating the research question or objective and then provides an in-depth interpretation of the findings.

The research paper paragraph structure also includes comparing the results with existing theories or studies, addressing any discrepancies, and offering explanations or possible reasons for the observed outcomes. The study’s limitations are acknowledged, and suggestions for future research are often included.


The concluding paragraph summarizes the study’s main findings and restates their significance to the research question. It emphasizes the study’s contribution to the field and may include implications or recommendations based on the findings.

The best conclusion is clear, highlighting the research objectives stated in the introduction.


The last part of a research paper paragraph structure is the reference list. All the sources cited within the paper are listed in a specific citation style (e.g., APA, MLA, Chicago). It is essential to follow the journal or institution’s formatting guidelines to ensure accuracy and consistency in the reference list.

It’s worth noting that the paragraph structure outlined above is a general guideline and may vary based on the specific requirements of the research paper and the discipline peculiarities. Additionally, longer research papers may have multiple paragraphs within each body section to provide a more detailed and nuanced discussion of the study.

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5 winning ways to start a body paragraph

Starting each body paragraph clearly and engagingly is crucial when writing a research paper. Here are some practical ways to start off a paragraph and captivate your readers:

  1. Topic Sentence: it should provide a clear focus and introduce the specific aspect you will discuss. For example, “One key factor influencing climate change is…”.
  2. Opening Statement: grab your readers’ attention with a thought-provoking or surprising statement related to your topic. For instance, “The alarming increase in global temperatures has reached a critical point, demanding immediate action.”
  3. Quotation: find a relevant quote from a reputable source. It won’t only add credibility to your research but will also engage the reader right from the start.
  4. Anecdote or example: start your academic paragraph with a funny story or a real-world example that illustrates the significance of your research topic.
  5. Background information: provide a brief background or context for the topic you are about to discuss. For example, “In recent years, the prevalence of cyber-attacks has skyrocketed, posing a severe threat to individuals, organizations, and even national security.”

To begin a body paragraph effectively, you must grab the reader’s attention and distribute the purpose of the upcoming content. By employing these strategies, you can create engaging and informative paragraphs that keep your readers hooked throughout your research paper.

A step-by-step guide to starting a concise body paragraph

A body paragraph is essential for effectively presenting your research findings and supporting your main argument in a research paper. Here’s a step-by-step body paragraph template to help you craft a strong body:

Step 1: Introduce the main point or argument.

Start the body with a clear topic sentence introducing the main point or argument you will discuss. This sentence should relate directly to your research question or thesis statement and provide a focus for the paragraph.

Step 2: Provide Evidence or Examples.

Present evidence or examples to ensure a robust body paragraph format. It can include data, statistics, quotes from experts or primary sources, or specific examples from your research. Be sure to cite your sources according to the required citation style properly.

Step 3: Explain and Analyze.

After presenting the evidence or examples, explain their significance and relevance to your main argument. Analyze the information and demonstrate how it supports or strengthens your point. Provide explanations, separate interpretations, or connections to previous research or theories.

Step 4: Connect to the Main Argument.

Connect the evidence or examples back to your main argument or thesis statement. Explain how the information in the paragraph contributes to the overall understanding or support of your research question or thesis. It helps maintain the coherence and logical flow of your academic section and the paper.

Step 5: Review and Revise.

After writing the body paragraph, review it for clarity, coherence, and logical progression of ideas. Ensure that the section effectively supports your main argument and contributes to the overall flow of your research paper. Revise to improve the paragraph’s structure, language, and organization.

Flawless body paragraph example: how does it look?

Here’s an example of a research paper body paragraph highlighting the effects of climate change:

  1. Topic Sentence: Rising global temperatures have significant implications for ecosystems and biodiversity.
  2. Evidence/Example 1: According to a study by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), global average temperatures have increased by 1.1 degrees Celsius since pre-industrial times (IPCC, 2021). This temperature rise has led to melting polar ice caps and glaciers, rising sea levels, and coastal erosion (Smith et al., 2019).
  3. Explanation/Analysis 1: The significant increase in global temperatures has caused observable changes in the Earth’s physical environment. The melting of polar ice caps not only contributes to the rise in sea levels but also disrupts marine ecosystems.
  4. Evidence/Example 2: In addition to the loss of coastal habitats, higher temperatures have also resulted in shifts in the geographical distribution of species. Research by Parmesan and Yohe (2019) indicates that many plant and animal species have altered their ranges and migration patterns in response to changing climate conditions.
  5. Explanation/Analysis 2: The observed shifts in species distribution highlight the vulnerability of ecosystems to climate change. As temperature zone modification, species that cannot adapt or migrate to suitable habitats may face reduced reproductive success and increased risk of extinction.
  6. Connect to the main argument: These examples demonstrate that the rising global temperatures associated with climate change have profound implications for ecosystems and biodiversity.

Note: This example provides a simplified representation of how to create a body paragraph for illustrative purposes. In an actual research paper, you would include more comprehensive and specific information and appropriate citations to support your claims.

The bottom line

To write a good body paragraph, you must follow its structure. Begin with a clear topic sentence that states the main point. Provide evidence or examples to support your argument, and explain their significance about your main idea. Connect the evidence back to your thesis statement and address any counterarguments.

Ensure a smooth transition to the next paragraph. Review and revise the paragraph for clarity, coherence, and logical progression of ideas. By incorporating these elements, you can create a well-developed and cohesive body paragraph that will effectively support your main argument.

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