Creating flow in a research paper

The problem of lack of flow in the research paper occurs mostly while writing the Literature Review. The following guidelines may help you in this regard.

Divide the content into headings and sub-headings

While you start writing, it is important to revise the objectives of the paper and accordingly plan the content. Create a layout which will act like a map while writing and you won’t lose your track.

Flow of content

Research in any topic starts by developing the background of the study. Here you will describe the current scenario and offer the latest statistics and why this topic is important for your research. The paper proceeds with defining different concepts against your topic. Describing various models, principles, theories and stating their importance and then concluding by briefing the challenges.

Avoid use of bullets and numbering for a flow

As it unnecessarily disrupts the flow of content. Also, do not leave any argument in between and must not switch from one sub-heading to another. Writing should be done in a planned manner and enough information should be gathered before you actually start writing it. In addition, every statement and paragraph must be connected to each other.

For example

A passage without a flow:

Hotels fall under the services industry category.  Hence they share the same features as any other organization within a service industry like inseparability, intangibility, inconsistency and perish-ability.  Further hotels suffer due to various problems like declining occupancy, empty beds, higher fixed costs and operating costs. Thus it is essential for hotels to provide loyalty programs which will help them to not only maintain their revenues but also enhance the same.

As it can be seen the writer has started with briefing about the service features but then suddenly switched over to challenges and without any conclusion switched to recommendations.

Passage with flow:

Hotels fall under the services industry category.  Hence they share the same features as any other organization in a service industry like inseparability, intangibility, inconsistency and perish-ability.

Elaborate upon these features now and that how these features act as the basis of distinction between product and service industry.

Challenges in hotel industry

Now you may say that hotels suffer due to various problems like declining occupancy, empty beds, higher fixed costs and operating costs. Discuss these challenges as well as others that you can do in the prescribed word limit. Recommendations should come at the end.

Give a proper introduction and closing to every heading in your paper

Literature Review consists of many important points. Each of these points should have a proper introduction and explanation:

  • What the section is going to talk about
  • Why are you discussing this point?
  • How will this point help answer your research questions?

Each heading should have a concluding paragraph:

  • What are your observations in this section?
  • What are you going to discuss in the next section and why?
  • How is the next section related to the preceding section?

If you miss out on any of these points you will not be able to convince your reader because the reader will lose track and may not understand what you are trying to convey.

Ankita Agarwal

Analyst at Project Guru
Ankita is working with the editorial board of Project Guru as a Research Analyst and Writer. With Masters in Commerce and Business Studies, Ankita learned much of what she knows about management through experience. She has previously worked in various financial institutions like Birla Global, HDFC Ltd. and Citi Financial. She is self-motivated and writes for the Knowledge Tank section of Project Guru. She has authored more than 80 articles so far in Human Resources Management, Strategic Management, Finance and Marketing. She likes to pen her thoughts about the latest issues gripping these areas across the world.

Related articles

  • What does the mentor expect from a dissertation? Dissertation is considered to be the ultimate necessity towards achieving one’s master degree or PhD degree.
  • Guidelines for review of literature for a research paper Review of published literature relating to the subject of current research is essential for any study. Review of literature involves critical analysis of the works of different scholars and researchers who have already worked on a topic relating to the subject of the current research.
  • Before you finally submit your dissertation Before understanding, why it is important to proof read your dissertation, it is more important to understand what actually proof reading is.
  • Critically review or analyze literature in a research paper Critical review means you are identifying the problems or weaknesses of a previous research. That is the meaning of the word “critic”. For example, the job of a food critic is to criticise food served to him.
  • Steps to follow while conducting research Dissertations are one of the major submissions to attain a degree. But how to go about it. If you are sure by going to library, reading articles books and posts online will help conduct the research for your dissertation, wake up! You need dissertation writing guide.


  1. Tjhetane Mofokeng

    Hi Ankita,

    I am very much impressed by your articles

    Kind regards,
    Tjhetane Mofokeng


We are looking for candidates who have completed their master's degree or Ph.D. Click here to know more about our vacancies.