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Practical Tips for Academic Writing: Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, Title, Abstract, and Odds and Ends

Writing academic scientific papers can be difficult.  Much like any skill, it requires baseline knowledge, deliberate practice, and intermittent reflection and improvement.  The most common structure for scientific papers is the IMRaD model—Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion.  In this series of podcasts we will try to delve into each of these sections, provide some educational theory, possible structured approaches, practical tips for success, and pitfalls to avoid in order to help you become a better more thoughtful academic writer.


Practical Tips for Academic Writing:  the Methods Section

In this podcast we'll discuss the Methods Section of the IMRaD model, provide an understanding of its overall importance and place within the paper, some practical tips on structure and necessary components, and end with some tips for success.

 

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References:

Methods Section:

  1. Arora, S. K., & Shah, D. (2016). Writing Methods: How to Write What You Did? Indian Pediatr, 53(4), 335-340.

  2. Azevedo, L. F., Canario-Almeida, F., Almeida Fonseca, J., Costa-Pereira, A., Winck, J. C., & Hespanhol, V. (2011). How to write a scientific paper--writing the methods section. Rev Port Pneumol, 17(5), 232-238.

  3. Kotz, D., & Cals, J. W. (2013). Effective writing and publishing scientific papers, part IV: methods. J Clin Epidemiol, 66(8), 817.

  4. Ng, K. H., & Peh, W. C. (2008). Writing the materials and methods. Singapore Med J, 49(11), 856-858

  5. Reporting Guidelines for Main Study Types.  Enhancing the QUAlity and Transparency Of health Research (EQUATOR Network).  www.equator-network.org.

  6. Stenson, J. F., Foltz, C., Lendner, M., & Vaccaro, A. R. (2018). How to Write an Effective Materials and Methods Section for Clinical Studies. Clin Spine Surg.

  7. Veale, B. L., & Moore, Q. T. (2016). Writing a Methods Section: Detailing Your Approach. Radiol Technol, 88(1), 111-112.


Practical Tips for Academic Writing:  the Introduction Section

In this podcast we'll tackle the Introduction Section of the IMRaD model, provide some practical tips on structure, necessary components, highlight the Problem-Gap-Hook heuristic, and end with some examples from recent papers in major journals.

 

*If you are unable to play the podcast please click here to download the file.

 

References

Introduction Section:

  1. Annesley, T. M. (2010). "It was a cold and rainy night": set the scene with a good introduction. Clin Chem, 56(5), 708-713.

  2. Cals, J. W., & Kotz, D. (2013). Effective writing and publishing scientific papers, part III: introduction. J Clin Epidemiol, 66(7), 702.

  3. Dewan, P., & Gupta, P. (2016). Writing the Title, Abstract and Introduction: Looks Matter! Indian Pediatr, 53(3), 235-241.

  4. Foote, M. (2006). How to make a good first impression: a proper introduction. Chest, 130(6), 1935-1937.

  5. Lingard, L. (2015). Joining a conversation: the problem/gap/hook heuristic. Perspect Med Educ, 4(5), 252-253.

  6. Sauaia, A., Moore, E. E., Crebs, J. L., Maier, R. V., Hoyt, D. B., & Shackford, S. R. (2014). The anatomy of an article: title, abstract, and introduction. J Trauma Acute Care Surg, 76(5), 1322-1327.

Last Reviewed: February 2019