A paper that has the structure of four main parts: Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion, it is called the IMRaD format. This format is mostly used with lab reports and reports for planned and systematic research in natural and social sciences, computer science, or engineering.
It is where you make a case for the research. It is the part where an explanation is made on why the research is necessary or essential or necessary. To start it off, you need to describe the situation or problem at hand that motivates this research. You can discuss the state of the current research and fill in the problem or gap that is in the field. At the end of this introduction, if there is a hypothesis, then it is presented there.
This section lays out the methods in which the study has been conducted. It includes the information of the population, methods, samples, and equipment. The reason for this section is to enable the readers to be able to duplicate the study. This section use subheading typically and it uses passive voices in plenty. It is usually the section on the IMRaD report that is least read.
It is the section where the findings are presented. This section only contains the findings. It does not have any commentary or explanations on the findings. Like the methods, the results are usually presented in the past tense. When filling up the result section, make sure that the figures and tables are numbered and labeled separately. Captions usually go beneath the figures, while on the tables, the captions go above. In these sections, you need to note how your findings are presented. Here you report on the findings. Case in point, Refer to the table or figure and state the significant trait.
The findings that you have found get summarized in this section. You get to understand what the study means. Apart from the summary, you get to comment on those findings. Then connect them to any other research. Limitations of the study are also presented and then used as reasons to suggest future and additional research.
In this section, you need to take note of how you present your findings. In the discussion section, your comment about your findings, unlike the report section you just report.
At the beginning of the paper, the paper’s abstract comes in. but it should be written after the full report has been drafted. This abstract summarizes the entire study. It provides more of a short overview of the paper. It also includes a few sentences, one or two, with the report’s purpose and its importance. It also includes your methods, summarized in two sentences or one. Also, a few sentences that show the main findings of the study. Not to forget, the implications of the findings are presented in a sentence or two.
Despite the IMRaD being a common paper, there are some common problems with it: there is no clear statement provided on the abstract, there is no clear communication on the importance of the research on the introduction, the methods section is disorganized and not very detailed, and finally, the results section only provides comments and some explanations instead of just reporting the results.