Format - The IMRAD format is often used to structure scientific and technical articles.
As the descriptions of these sections indicate, the IMRAD format consists of two sections in which the new study is
actually described (Methods and Reporting Results), framed by two sections that place the new work in the context of previous
knowledge (Introduction and Discussion). Both of these framing sections describe
the current state knowledge in the field that created the need for the study - and the discussion describes the new state
of the fields knowledge now that the new results have been added to the knowledge pool.
The distinction between framing sections and describing sections is often signaled by verb tense: framing sections
usually use present tense, while describing sections typically use past tense in order to describe actions already taken and
data already recorded. One of the effects, and thus uses, of past tense, then,
is to localize and limit findings to particular researchers or labs, while present tense identifies a claim or conclusion
as part of the fields current understanding.
Moves in Research Article Introductions
Move 1 Announce
Summarize previous knowledge and research
Prepare for present research by indicating a gap in previous research and/or by raising a questions about previous research.
Move 4 Introduce
the present research by stating the purpose and/or By
outlining the research.
B. Methods Section: The contents of the methods section will vary according to the type of research being done. There are some basic organizational similarities however. Methods
descriptions begin by identifying the subjects of the study, whether they are viruses, forests, or human beings. Once the subjects of study have been identified, the materials and procedures used to study them can be
described. This description should be detailed and complete enough to enable
knowledgeable colleagues to repeat the experiment, observation, or calculations successfully.
Standard procedures that will be familiar to your in-field readers can be identified quickly without citations, further
explanation or justification. Procedures established in previous studies may
appear with citations. New procedures or substantial modifications will be explained
and justified. The degree of justification needed for a procedure depends on
the status of these procedures in the research community.
C. Reporting Results: This section consists of summarized data and is intended to point out trends
or patterns in the data which suggest conclusions. The relationship between the
data and the conclusions is usually presented in the form of graphics, i.e. tables or graphs.
Tables are less visual than graphs but are helpful when it is important to show exact values of the data. Graphs work very well for presenting trends and patterns. It
is important that any graphics used in the article are explained as clearly and concisely as possible and are clearly labeled..
D. Discussion Section: The purpose of the discussion section of the article is to explain how the research question has been answered. It may be looked at as the mirror image of the introduction. In the introduction, the writer starts from outside the data with
information about the general topic and existing research in order to justify the need for the research described in
the article. In the discussion section, the writer begins with the results of
his/her research and then locates this work in relation to the work that has been done previously. The discussion section contains comments on:
and direction of the effects observed (compared with what others found or compared with what might be expected)
and limitations of the methods used in the research (and how these features may have influenced the observed effects)
of the findings for current practice or theory
questions that remain
References: This section provides the sources of documents relevant to the study.