When writing a scientific paper, it is important to follow an appropriate organizational structure. IMRaD is one such organizational format. IMRaD stands for Introduction, Method, Results, and Discussion. It is an increasingly popular organizational structure used in several scientific journals, such as public health and the natural sciences. IMRaD allows readers to navigate through content with ease. It calls for precise writing - no flowery language here and there. IMRaD further facilitates literature reviews. Let's talk about the structure of IMRaD.
The introduction states the purpose and importance of the research. When writing the introduction, you will first have to provide a summary of the research that already exists in that particular field. Then, you can provide your hypothesis that identifies or elaborates on a 'gap' in that field. This can be any kind of identifiable problem. After that, you must provide a solution to the problem or gap that you identified. The introduction essentially works to establish the known and unknown. It revisits the existing facts and brings new ones to light. Everything that is written should, of course, be related to the research question.
This section must show how you conducted your research. Rather than explaining your study, you have to write about how you gathered and sorted through all the necessary data. This section has to be very specific and comprehensive. It has to include specifics about the populations and samples you gathered data from. If you conducted a survey, you must include all the details about it. For instance, what was asked, why you surveyed that specific segment of the population, what you were expecting, and so on. Although this section is the least read, it is extremely important as it shows how you came to your results.
As the name implies, this section contains your research findings. You do not need to give an analysis of your results here. Rather, you just need to state your findings in detail. You can do so by utilizing graphs, charts, and diagrams, or by writing them in an organized manner. Usually, a substantial part of a scientific paper is dedicated to Results, as this is the essence of your study. It is advised to use the same order as the one in your Methods section, to present a streamlined appearance. The Introduction and Method of your paper should be linked to Results in such a way that it is shown as a build-up.
This is the section where you discuss and analyze the results of your research. You cannot introduce new ideas here. You have to write what your results imply and break down what the consequences can be. Your results will show the latest discoveries about your field. However, it is important to note down the limitations of your study in order to portray an accurate image. Also, details pertaining to what further research needs to be done is crucial. While it is important to connect your findings together, you must not stray away from your research to draw biased conclusions.