10 Steps to Structuring a Scientific Research Article

Bridgette Hernandez

Writing and formatting often go hand in hand. In anything from scripts to essays, there needs to be some kind of order. Especially when dealing with difficult concepts, a robust structure can help your readers stay afloat.

In the world of science writing, structure is that much more important. Research articles pack in a lot of information. You don’t want your readers to feel bombarded. Help your readers follow along with these ten steps.

Pick a Clear and Succinct Title

Many writers struggle with picking the perfect title. It’s understandable. The title is the first thing a reader sees. However, choosing the right title will be what helps to draw readers in. Try to include plenty of description.

Long titles should be avoided at all costs. Of course, it can be easy to get carried away. There is a lot to say! Still, shorter titles will capture readers’ imagination more easily.

Include an Abstract

An abstract gives your reader a “preview” of the content. Another way to see it is a summary. Abstracts make research articles scannable. When dealing with a lot of information, they help readers decide which texts to read. Use that your advantage.

When writing an abstract, try to stick to 100-250 words. The abstract itself should include the purpose, methods, results, and conclusions of the article. Stay away from abbreviations as it is formal work. Also, avoid citations. This section of your writing should have no footnotes.

Write a Fascinating Introduction

Here we are again, that age-old recommendation. People wouldn’t say it if it weren’t true. Your introduction speaks volumes about you as a writer. Show your readers what you can do from the get-go. Use your introduction to explore the more significant themes present in your research.

This is where you can share the questions you asked yourself during your research. Curiosity is a universal unifier. Give your readers a peek inside your thought process. You can include references to literature, as well. A good rule of thumb is to write between one and four paragraphs.

Describe Your Methods

What exactly did you do to find the answer to your questions? Add these findings to your method. You want to give enough information so that if someone wants to repeat the experiment, they can. It can help to have a jumping off point. Feel free to read other research articles to see what they include here.

In the event that you used a lot of methods, you can include a diagram to clarify. Some projects require various methods to get the job done. Be sure to include any ethical considerations. Make it evident whether or not you used human or animal subjects. Transparency is appreciated.

Incorporate Your Data

This is the bread and butter of your research. It’s important to showcase all that you’ve learned from your experiment. Decide whether you want to use a table or a graph. If you are able to summarize your findings, do that instead of using a visual explanation.

If you decide to include a table or graph, be sure to give them a title. This title should be indicative of the data it includes. Graphs ought to include labels on the x and y-axes. Present your data as clearly as possible. Your readers will thank you.

Explain the Results

Do not approach your results as a diary. You don’t have to include all of the information you collected. Main findings should be summarized to optimize their effect. This way you can avoid overloading readers with small details.

Always opt for appropriate forms of displaying data. Readers won’t trust your findings if they think you are manipulating data. Any speculation surrounding results should be placed in the discussion section.

Embrace a Discussion

Nothing makes an experiment more interesting than exploring why it didn’t work. Science is imperfect. Your readers will acknowledge that. If your experiment had unexpected results, include that in your discussion.

Avoid becoming a broken record. Don’t just repeat all the same information. Include different perspectives on your experiment here. Consider whether your data support your hypothesis. Decide whether any further research might be necessary.

Be Clear in Your Conclusion

By the time you write your conclusion, you’ll have dealt with a lot of information. Your readers have, as well. Don’t tiptoe around information or write meandering statements.

Focus on precision in your conclusion. Give definite answers to the questions you asked yourself. Did you accomplish what you set out to? Why or why not?

Index your Keywords

Just like an abstract, an index helps your reader fully appreciate your article. After pouring over pages and pages of information, it can be easy to forget where keywords appeared. Simplify your reader’s search. Add an index.

Including an index will also help you organize your own ideas. When you know your own keywords, speaking about your experiment will be easier. In the long run, it will help you present your project to others. It’s a win-win situation.

List References

While doing your research, you are likely to have read a lot. That’s all a part of the research. Give credit where it’s due and list your references. It’s the least you can do.

There are several ways to cite literature. The first is in-text citations such as bees are severely endangered (Smith, 2018). Review all the formats you can use with these citations. A complete list of references should be included at the end. Alphabetical order is preferable in this case.

Helpful tools and services

When working on a scientific article, there is a broad spectrum of services and tools that you’ll definitely find handy:


Those are all ten steps to writing a better scientific research article. At this stage, you have certainly got your work cut out for you. Writing a great research article is doable with time and dedication. You are an expert in your field. Now, is the time to show it.

Once you start to write, remember to get organized. Set some goals. Make a checklist. Follow these straightforward steps. With them, you’ll be able to bring your research to the forefront.

Bridgette Hernandez is a Master in Anthropology who is interested in writing and planning to publish her own book in the nearest future. She finished her study last year but is already a true expert when it comes to presenting a text in a creative and understandable manner. The texts she writes are always informative, based on qualitative research but nevertheless pleasant to read. Bridgette is currently an editor at IsAccurate.com 

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