medical BLOG | DATE- 2022-12-18

Structure of a Medical Research Paper

Structure of a Medical Research Paper

The publication of medical research results requires that articles are drafted with a current well-codified structure that must be respected to convince its readers. As with most experimental research reports, the medical research paper is a highly technical form with a standard format for the presentation of information. This format is the division of the paper into "Introduction, Methods, Results and Discussion" -- the traditional and universally adopted structure IMRD sections of the research paper. Most research article writers are familiar with the IMRD format, but not all are conscious of the fact that there exists an internal ordering of the information presented in the various sections of the research article. This lack of awareness may account partly for the difficulty which most writers face with producing clear, coherent and logically organized research reports. 

In addition to the IMRD, the research paper includes title, abstract, literature review, data Analysis, conclusions, acknowledgment and bibliography. In this article we will see a summarized structure of a medical research paper.




1. Title: it must be short and relevant in order to best reflect the contents of the article and to allow its effective search on the Internet indicating the focus of the paper. 

N.B: Be concise, precise, and informative.

2. Abstract: Most journals require a structured abstract, typically including key information on the following: 

3. Introduction: This part is a prerequisite; it presents current knowledge on the problem studied, justifies the subject of the work and specifies its objective within this context. Additionally. It provides the scientific background and clearly explain what questions you were trying to answer. 

N.B: Be brief and relevant to the study: start from a broad context of what is already known, proceed to the specific unknown problems, and finish with clearly stated study objectives.

4. Literature review: This part of a research paper is supposed to provide the theoretical framework that you elaborated during your research. It presents the sources studied while preparing for the work ahead, and these sources should be credible from an academic standpoint (including educational books, peer-reviewed journals, and other relevant publications). 

N.B: You must make sure to include the name of the relevant authors you’ve studied and add a properly formatted citation that explicitly points to their works you have analyzed, including the publication year. 

5. Methodology: Different parts of a research paper have different aims, and here you need to point out the exact methods you have used during your research work. Typical methods can range from direct observation to laboratory experiments, or statistical evaluations. Whatever your chosen methods are, you will need to explicitly point them out here. This section describes the population, the type of study and its methodology, the equipment used, the primary and secondary endpoints studied as well as the statistical methods used for analysis. It explains in a logical sequence how the study was designed, carried out, and analyzed. A typical methods section provides key information on the following:

N.B: Information should be clear, accurate, and complete (provide enough details to repeat, assess, and compare with other studies). Content should correspond with the Result section.

6. Data Analysis: while all the parts of a research paper are important, this section is probably the most crucial from a practical standpoint. Out of all the parts of a research paper, here you will be expected to analyze the data you have obtained in the course of your research. This is where you get your chance to really shine, by introducing new data that may contribute to building up on the collective understanding of the topics you have researched. At this point, you’re not expected to analyze your data yet (that will be done in the subsequent parts of a research paper), but simply to present it objectively.

7. Result: From all the parts of a research paper, this is the one where you’re expected to analyze the data you have gathered while researching. This analysis should align with your previously stated methodology, and it should both point out any implications suggested by your data that might be relevant to different fields of study, as well as any shortcomings in your approach that would allow you to improve you results if you were to repeat the same type of research. It describes the raw results associated with the statistical tests illustrated by relevant tables and figures. Report results of the investigations described in the methods section (in same order) using text, tables, figures, and statistics. A typical structure and chronology include: 

Small tips

8. Discussion: is used to underline results that are important and to compare them with those already published in the field. It may also contain comments on potential bias and suggest the impact of the results on daily practice and/or future research. Discuss what your findings mean and where they stand in the context of other studies. A typical discussion section structure and chronology includes: 

9. Conclusion: may finalize the discussion or form the subject matter for an independent section. This section is not always presented separately in a research article. As you conclude your research paper, you should succinctly reiterate your thesis statement along with your methodology and analyzed data – by drawing all these elements together you will reach the purpose of your research, so all that is left is to point out your conclusions in a clear manner. 

N.B: Any conclusions must be fully supported by the study findings.

10. Acknowledgement: State source of funding and any relevant conflict of interest. Acknowledge any person who contributed to the study but who does not qualify as an author.

11. Bibliography:  The very last section of your research paper is a reference page where you should collect the academic sources along with all the publications you consulted, while fleshing out your research project.

Below are some mostly viewed and downloaded well-structured medical research papers:






WRITTEN BY - Bezawit Girma-Med In Ethiopia Team

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WRITTEN BY - Bezawit Girma

Med In Ethiopia Team


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