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Organization and structure

How do I organize and structure my academic text?

Because it is so important that a research work is clearly understood by others, academic writing should be clear and logical. Your choice of vocabulary will help achieve clarity in your text. But it’s just as important to clearly connect your sentences, paragraphs, and sections.

The overall structure of your paper will often be:

These sections are self-contained, but should follow each other in a logical way. They should be connected to form a unified whole. Obviously, the writing style and formatting rules should be the same across sections. But there should also be narrative links that tie the sections together.

For example, the Abstract should summarize the entire paper. The Introduction sets the background of your study and introduces the research questions that will be answered later on. Some studies mentioned in your Literature review can be referred to in your Discussion. Your Conclusion will serve as a mirror to your introduction.

Often, these connections will be made implicitly, but it is fine to make explicit links if you want to refer to a specific claim from a previous section. If that is the case, you may use phrases like ‘as mentioned in Section 3’, ’as discussed in Chapter 2’, etc.

You can find useful phrases to use from your Introduction to your Conclusion in Writefull’s Sentence Palette.