Structure: IMRaD

The first step to getting a reader’s attention

The title is the first thing anyone will read when encountering your work. Therefore, having a good title is important. Your title functions as an advertisement for your work by being  informative and accurate so the reader quickly knows whether your work is relevant to their own field.

A summary of your study

The abstract provides the reader with a short and clear summary of the study.

Putting your work into context

The introduction places your work into its broader scientific context. It provides the necessary background information allowing the reader to understand the relevance and importance of your study. Furthermore, the introduction specifies your research objectives.

Explaining how you did your study

The materials and methods section describes the steps you have taken to obtain your results. It has several functions: a clear description of your methods helps the reader to interpret your results, and establishes your expertise and credibility as a scientist.

An objective presentation of your results

The function of your result section is to objectively present your findings that are relevant to answer your research question.

Interpreting your findings in the light of previous knowledge

In the discussion, you interpret your results by viewing them in light of earlier research.This section is very much connected to the introduction. Here, you answer  your research questions, and review your hypotheses, building up to the wider context with which your introduction started.

Thanking those that helped carrying out the study

In the acknowledgements you acknowledge the funding support of your study, and contributors that are not listed as co-authors. This section is sometimes optional.

Acknowledging previous research in the field

References serve multiple purposes: they show the reader that you have done a thorough literature search, they allow the reader to track down the sources you have used, and they credit and acknowledge other researches and their works.

Additional information and data relevant to the study

An appendix contains information that usually is too detailed for the main text, but that is still relevant to the research question.