A major part of a paper's readability includes the overall organization. The organization is greatly facilitated by including headings in your paper. Headings help to organize your thoughts and communicate that organization to the reader. What follows is a basic outline of the different headers that should be used in a research paper.
- Literature review
- Why this is important
- Objectives of the study
- Data – describe your data: where you obtained it (include URL); what you did to your data (cleaned, removed outliers, etc.); issues with the data.
- Analysis – describe the methods you used to perform your analysis.
Approach this in a systematic manner.
- Present your findings and analysis.
- Remember to think of the presentation of the results. Some might be better illustrated in a table, graph, map or a combination of these.
- Interpretation of your results and findings
- Future work
- Listed alphabetically by author
Here is a resource that discusses the major errors encountered with the writing process. This site has many spot-on examples of common errors and ways to prevent them from creeping into your paper. A short site, but worth the read.