Doing research is a conventionalized process. Following the conventions of the field you are working in gives you, the researcher and author, a structure to follow and allows the target audience/reader to better follow your arguments and find the information they need.

Academic papers contain an introduction, a section on theory and previous research, an overview of the method applied in the current research paper, findings, a discussion, (solution), and a conclusion. Depending on your specific assignment, your research question, and the context of your work, the length and depth of each section may vary.

The general conventions are outlined below. However, it is important that you consider the specific requirements of each assignment, your supervisor, and your client.

Section numbering

Scientific papers feature no more than three levels of hierarchy. The individual sections should be numbered sequentially using the decimal classification. Each section title should contain textual content before proceeding to the next sub-section. Each sub-section should have multiple paragraphs which further develop the point of the section.

1 Section Title
1.1 Section Sub-title
1.1.1 Section Sub-title