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BIOL 5503: Research Methods

Writing Scientific Articles

The typical structure of an original research article in the sciences is:

  1. Introduction - Describes why the topic matters, previous research and the purpose of the research in the current article.
  2. Materials & Methods - Describes in detail how the study or experiment was designed and implemented, how data was gathered and processed, etc.
  3. Results - Summarizes the findings of the study or experiment with charts, graphs and written explanation.
  4. Discussion - Explains how the new findings fit into previous research. May describe weaknesses in the study/experiment or identify questions for future research.
  5. Conclusion - A separate conclusion is not always included and may be combined with the Discussion section. If a Conclusion section exists, it briefly summarizes the purpose of the study/experiment, its main findings and
  6. References - List of all previous research mentioned or referenced within the article.


Resources for Writing Scientific Articles