Scholarly Paper – Format, Example and Writing Guide

Scholarly Paper

Scholarly Paper


Scholarly paper is a piece of academic writing that presents original research or analysis on a particular topic. It is usually written by scholars or experts in a particular field of study and is intended for an audience of other scholars or researchers. Scholarly papers typically follow a specific format and include a literature review, research methods, findings, and conclusions.

Scholarly papers are often published in academic journals or conference proceedings and are subjected to a rigorous peer-review process to ensure the quality and validity of the research presented. These papers contribute to the body of knowledge in a particular field and help advance understanding and knowledge in that area.

How to Write Scholarly Paper

Writing a scholarly paper involves several important steps that need to be followed to ensure that your work meets the high standards of academic writing. Here are some general guidelines to help you write a scholarly paper:

  • Choose your topic: Your topic should be narrow enough to be manageable but broad enough to provide sufficient scope for research.
  • Conduct research: Research your topic thoroughly using a range of sources, including books, academic journals, and online databases. Keep track of your sources and take detailed notes.
  • Create an outline: Develop a clear and logical structure for your paper. Your outline should include an introduction, a literature review, a methodology section, results, discussion, and conclusion.
  • Write your introduction: Introduce your topic and provide some background information. Clearly state your research question or hypothesis and explain why your research is important.
  • Write your literature review: Summarize the existing research on your topic, highlighting key findings, debates, and gaps in the literature. Use the literature review to provide context for your research question.
  • Write your methodology section: Explain how you conducted your research and what methods you used. Be clear about your sample, data collection procedures, and data analysis techniques.
  • Present your results: Report your findings in a clear and organized way. Use tables, graphs, and charts to help visualize your data.
  • Discuss your findings: Interpret your results and explain their significance. Relate your findings back to your research question and literature review. Discuss any limitations of your study.
  • Write your conclusion: Summarize your main findings and their implications. Discuss the contributions of your research and its potential impact. Identify areas for further research.
  • Edit and proofread: Review your paper carefully for errors in grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Ensure that your paper is well-organized and that your arguments are clear and concise.

Scholarly Paper Format

The format of a scholarly paper can vary slightly depending on the specific requirements of the academic institution or journal. However, most scholarly papers follow a similar structure, which typically includes the following sections:

  • Title page: This includes the title of the paper, the author’s name, the name of the institution, and the date of submission.
  • Abstract: This is a brief summary of the paper, typically no more than 250 words, that describes the purpose, methods, and findings of the study.
  • Introduction: This section provides background information on the topic and outlines the research questions or hypotheses that the study aims to address.
  • Literature review: This section provides a summary of existing research on the topic and discusses how the current study fits within the broader context of the field.
  • Methods: This section describes the research design, data collection methods, and data analysis techniques used in the study.
  • Results: This section presents the findings of the study in a clear and concise manner, using tables, graphs, or other visual aids as necessary.
  • Discussion: This section interprets the findings of the study and discusses their implications for the broader field. It may also address limitations of the study and suggest directions for future research.
  • Conclusion: This section summarizes the key findings of the study and highlights their importance.
  • References: This section lists all sources cited in the paper, following a specific citation style (such as APA or MLA).

Example of Scholarly Paper

Example of Scholarly Paper structure is as follows::

I. Introduction

A. Background and context

B. Research question or thesis statement

C. Importance of the research

D. Objectives or goals of the study

II. Literature Review

A. Overview of the relevant literature

B. Key concepts or theories

C. Methodologies used in previous research

D. Gaps or limitations in previous research

E. How the current study addresses those gaps

III. Methodology

A. Research design

B. Participants or subjects

C. Data collection methods

D. Data analysis procedures

E. Ethical considerations

IV. Results

A. Description of the data

B. Statistical analyses

C. Findings related to research question

D. Supporting evidence

V. Discussion

A. Interpretation of results

B. Implications of findings

C. Limitations of the study

D. Suggestions for future research

VI. Conclusion

A. Summary of main points

B. Implications for practice

C. Contributions to the field

D. Concluding thoughts

VII. References

A. List of sources cited in the paper

VIII. Appendices (if necessary)

A. Supplementary materials such as graphs, tables, or figures

B. Informed consent forms C. Other supporting documentation.

Purpose of Scholarly Paper

Scholarly papers serve various purposes depending on the field of study and the intended audience. Here are some purposes of scholarly papers:

  • To advance knowledge: One of the main purposes of scholarly papers is to contribute to the advancement of knowledge in a particular field. Scholars conduct research, analyze data, and present their findings in a scholarly paper to build upon existing knowledge or introduce new ideas.
  • To communicate research: Scholarly papers are a means of communicating research findings to other scholars, practitioners, and the general public. Through scholarly papers, researchers can share their insights, data, and interpretations with others, leading to a better understanding of the topic under study.
  • To review literature: Scholarly papers may also serve as literature reviews, which summarize and synthesize existing research on a particular topic. Literature reviews help to identify gaps in knowledge, highlight areas for further research, and inform research questions.
  • To support academic evaluation: Scholarly papers can be used to evaluate academic progress and achievement, such as in the form of thesis and dissertation papers. These papers are expected to demonstrate a student’s mastery of the subject matter and their ability to conduct independent research.
  • To inform policy and practice: Finally, scholarly papers can inform policy and practice by providing evidence-based recommendations for decision-making. Scholars may conduct research on social, economic, or environmental issues and present their findings in a scholarly paper, which can then be used by policymakers, practitioners, and other stakeholders to inform their decisions and actions.

When to Write Scholarly Paper

Here are some situations where you might need to write a scholarly paper:

  • Academic Requirements: If you are a student pursuing an academic degree, you may be required to write scholarly papers as part of your coursework or to fulfill the requirements for your degree program.
  • Publishing Research: If you are a researcher, scholar, or academic, you may need to write scholarly papers to publish your research findings or analysis in academic journals, conference proceedings, or other scholarly publications.
  • Grants and Funding: If you are applying for grants or funding to support your research or academic work, you may be required to submit scholarly papers as part of your application.
  • Professional Development: Writing scholarly papers can help you develop your writing and research skills, and can also help you build your reputation as an expert in your field.

Advantages of Scholarly Paper

Some Advantages of Scholarly Paper are as follows:

  • Credibility: Scholarly papers are usually written by experts in their respective fields, and the information presented in these papers is rigorously researched, verified, and reviewed by peers. This gives them a high level of credibility and makes them reliable sources of information.
  • Access to new information: Scholarly papers often report on new findings and discoveries in a specific field, making them an important source of new information. Reading these papers can help researchers and professionals stay up-to-date with the latest developments in their field.
  • In-depth analysis: Scholarly papers typically include a detailed analysis of the research question, methodology, and results. This level of detail helps readers understand the research and its implications more thoroughly.
  • Peer review: Scholarly papers undergo a rigorous peer-review process in which experts in the field review the paper before it is published. This process ensures that the paper meets high standards of quality and accuracy.
  • Citation: Scholarly papers are often cited by other researchers and professionals in the field, which helps to build a body of knowledge and establish the author’s expertise.

About the author

Muhammad Hassan

Researcher, Academic Writer, Web developer