A Framework can help to structure scientific papers.

There are many approaches to science. Both a diversity of scientists and a diversity of approaches strengthen the challenging undertaking of science. Therefore, the fact that scientific papers all differ in many respects is important.

However, for people beginning the process of scientific writing, the diversity of scientific styles can be overwhelming. Therefore, it can be useful to focus on a single framework for structuring scientific papers. The framework proposed here is not the only framework for presenting research, simply a sufficient framework for many questions. Using a relatively specific framework can help to clearly identify some of the most common elements of scientific papers. More importantly, using a specific framework can maintain focus on the content, not the format, of scientific writing.

Although there are exceptions, many scientific journals organize papers into 4 main sections: Introduction, Methods, Results and Discussion (the "IMRaD" format).

How can we apply the principles for reasoning and writing from the "Reasoned Writing" module, and the guidelines for hypothesis testing discussed thus far, to the IMRaD format for scientific publication?

Central to applying principles of reasoning to writing different parts of scientific papers is to recognize that each section of a scientific paper has the same overall goal.

GOAL: Every section of a scientific paper contributes to developing, defending and testing hypotheses.

Every section of a scientific paper makes a different contribution to the goal of defending and testing hypotheses:

The Introduction section explains WHY an important GAP in current scientific understanding leads reasonably to the General and Measurable hypotheses.

The Methods section explains WHY the chosen methods are necessary and appropriate to test the Measurable Hypotheses.

The Results section explains WHY the data lead to the conclusion to reject or support each Measurable Hypothesis.

The Discussion section explains WHY the results (i.e. the conclusions about the Measurable Hypotheses) either support existing General Hypotheses or lead to new General Hypotheses.

The links below explain how reasoned arguments can help to structure each section to achieve its goal: