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Animal Science Research

Sources, tips, and methods for doing research in Animal Science.

Parts of a Scientific Article

sample article from Journal of Animal Science

Research papers generally follow a specific format. Here are the different parts of the scholarly article.

Abstract (Summary)

A concise summary of the whole article. Usually it highlights the focus, study results and conclusions.


Introduction (Why and Who Else)

Introduces the topic, explains the purpose of the study, and tells why it is important. Often will contain a literature review that places the research in context by citing similar research that relates to this study, that tells what we already know, and what knowledge this study will contribute.

Look for the author's hypothesis or thesis here.

Notice the Introduction goes from broad to specific, from a general topic to the specific hypothesis.


Materials and Methods (How)

How they did the study. There should be enough specifics so that someone else could repeat the study if they wanted to


Results (What happened)

The findings from the study. Often includes data and statistical results in the form of tables, charts, and graphs. Very objective. Save the interpretation for the Discussion.


Discussion/ Analysis(What it means)

What the authors feel the results meant or what was significant about their findings.


Conclusion (What was learned)

May include how the study addressed their hypothesis, how it contributes to the field, the strengths and weaknesses of the study, and recommendations for future research. Some papers combine the discussion and conclusion.

Sometimes other research is cited here.


Literature Cited

Sometimes entitled References.  Full details about the other scholarly papers mentioned in this article. Follows a precise style guide. Lets interested readers find other studies similar to the article.