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Research Tips and Tricks

This Tips and Tricks research guide provides information on how to perform a search, ranging from how to choose what type of search to make, how to string key words together, and what to do with texts once you've found them.

Section Headings

Section headings divide an academic paper into more manageable chunks and clearly define sections of a research study. Common headings include "Literature Review," "Methods," "Procedure," "Discussion," and "Conclusion." 

In Holland's 2016 article, note the heading "Methods and Procedures" with the subheading "Data and Sample." Subheadings further divide sections into smaller pieces that build together to make a larger piece make sense. 

Think about it like a five-paragraph essay. The introduction, body, and conclusion make the paper. In a longer academic piece, rather than breaking a paper down into its three main ideas, a more complex piece requires sections and subsections in place of paragraphs and examples within those paragraphs. 

Here, we have a heading, subheadings, and sub-subheadings. Headings and subheadings can take multiple levels. In APA, a Level 1 heading serves as a section heading, Level 2 as a subheading, Level 3 as a subheading within that subsection, etc. In this article, the subheading "Stigma" within the subsection "Independent Variables" within the section "Measurement" provides a definition and explanation of one of the terms central to Holland's study.