Academic writing: Introduction and Discussion

In most cases when I evaluate student’s papers or when I supervised my MA and PhD students, the two most common challenges are with the Introduction section or Discussion.

There are tons of useful information available on the internet about how to write the different parts of an academic paper. Recently I stumbled upon one, which I really liked, especially the short version of it:

The Sections of the Paper

Experimental process -> Section of Paper

What did I do in a nutshell? -> Abstract

What is the problem? -> Introduction

How did I solve the problem? ->Materials and Methods

What did I find out? -> Results

What does it mean? -> Discussion

Who helped me out? -> Acknowledgments (optional)

Whose work did I refer to? -> Literature Cited

Extra Information -> Appendices (optional)

See the full guide here. Unfortunately I didn’t find who the authors were. And on another note, although this guide is from the biology department and they claim that in humanities papers are very different and it might be so. However, in social sciences we follow the same structure when writing papers (we really really try to be scientific, but I have my doubts).

Originally published at on February 24, 2016.

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