Typical outline of a research paper

  1. Introduction
    • Well-documented motivation from the real world for the problem you select
    • Explanation of why the problem is appropriate to study in the context of the literature reviews on IS
    • Statement of research question
  2. Background Literature
    • Overview of three (?) relevant areas of theory that apply to your problem
    • Survey subsections
    • Discussion of relevant literature #1
    • Discussion of relevant literature #2
    • Discussion of relevant literature #3
    • Your findings as a synthesis of the literature
  3. Model Development
    • Modeling preliminaries and considerations
    • Conceptual / empirical / exploratory / analytical model development
    • Model hypotheses
  4. Research Methods
    • General rationale/description of method « Research proposal ends here
    • Description of relevant research design (data, sampling, unit of analysis, respondent, operationalization, descriptives)
  5. Analysis (approach, assumptions, validation, hypotheses support)
  6. Discussion of Potential Findings and Outcomes of the Research
    • Discussion of findings and contributions
    • Assessment of relevance to IS research audience and managerial audience (It is critical to close the loop between your motivation and theory at the front end to your pragmatic and theoretical contributions at the back-end)
    • Limitations