In some fields, bachelor’s and master’s theses and scientific research articles usually have a structure that follows the IMRaD model. IMRaD stands for
- Material and method
In the introduction, you place yourself within a scientific field and demonstrate that you are knowledgeable about previous research. The introduction should introduce your readers to what they already know, and what they do not know.
You do this by:
- presenting the problem or phenomenon you set out to study
- presenting other research conducted within the same field
- indicating gaps in information that you seek to fill out
- presenting the research questions or hypotheses you intend to investigate
Towards the end of the introduction, you could also explain briefly your text is structured, as a short guide to the reader.
Material and method
In this section, you should describe your method and your material. Then, you should explain how you conducted your research, and how you analysed your findings. In so doing, you show that the results were generated in a reliable, valid manner. If your research had to be approved by an ethical committee, you should also mention this.
If you are writing a literature review, the method section will be a little different. Read more
You should present your results as objectively as possible. You do this by presenting, explaining, and evaluating them. For example, if your results are inconsistent with other studies, you should include this information.
In the discussion, you should explain and interpret your results.
- How do the results correspond with your research questions?
- What are the implications of these results?
A good tip is to revisit your research questions to remind your reader of that they were.
You should also compare your results to existing results from other studies:
- What did these studies find?
- How do your findings relate to theirs?
- How reliable and relevant are your findings?
- You should also demonstrate how important your findings are, and to whom.
You should look back at your research and evaluate its reliability and validity.
- What could you have done differently?
- Does it have any particularly strong or weak points?
You could, for example, critically evaluate the methods you have used, and explain what you could have done differently.
The discussion should also offer suggestions for future research based on your findings. Perhaps there are some aspects that should be studied more closely? You can also suggest practices that need changing or call for action.
Finally, your discussion should offer a conclusion or summary of your findings.