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Geography 210: Physical Geography: Research Process

Why Use Scholarly Sources?

Components of a Scientific Paper

The "IMRAD" (Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion) format of scientific research papers is widely-accepted, though there are variations within each discipline. This list adds a few additional sections that are typically found in scientific research papers.

  • Title - Succinctly describes the topic of the paper and includes appropriate terminology to help readers retrieve the paper and understand its contents.
  • Abstract - In paragraph format, this summarizes the main ideas, methods, results and conclusions of the paper.
  • Introduction - The purpose of the paper is clearly stated, along with background information on the topic and a summary of research that is relevant to the topic.
  • Methods - Explains the type of scientific methods or procedures that were used in the research.
  • Results - The data collected in the study are presented here in text, charts and graphs.
  • Discussion/Conclusion - This section contains the analysis and discussion of the data presented in the results and draws conclusions based on the data.
  • Acknowledgements - Any person or organization who helped with the study through funding or other support is mentioned here.
  • References - All the sources used in the paper are cited in the style that is appropriate to the discipline.

Research Paper Guidance

Try one of these sites to give you guidance as you work through the research paper process.

Get Help: Ask a Librarian