Learning The Medical Research Paper Structure: A Quick Guide

Do you have to write a medical paper? Well, writing the content alone can be a challenge, but you must not overlook the structure. Different subjects will have different required structures, so you really need to know that you are getting it right.

Here is a quick guide to help you on your way:

  • In many ways, a medical research paper is not too different to any other essay. The one crucial difference is that all sources cited in U.S medical research papers need to conform to the guidelines of the American Medical Association's (AMA) style guide.
  • There are two different types of general research essays. Firstly there are essays that contain original research conducted by the writer. These are called quantitative studies.

The second type are called synthesis papers. These sorts of essays look at and analyze research that has already been published.

  • The structure of these two types of paper will differ. Quantitative studies should include sections like: a hypothesis, previous findings, method, limitations and results.

Synthesis papers are looking for strengths and weaknesses in the research being studied and will mention possible future areas to look into. So, the sections contained in these essays should be thought out accordingly.

  • As with approaching any other essay, you need to firstly study your selected topic and make sure you have all the necessary resources you require before you begin actually writing. Make notes before you begin and be clear in your objectives and what you wish to achieve; you can then write your first draft.

During this process, you will be able to decide on how long your chapters, introduction and conclusion are. By roughly planning how many words you want to devote to each section, you will not only save valuable time, you will also be clearer in your essay's overall structure from the start.

  • Make sure the format is correct. Your tutor should have already given you the details that are required with regards to word count, spacing and so on- so make sure you stick to it! Format accordingly, don't go over or under your word count, and you can't fail to go wrong.
  • Re-read, edit and re-read and edit again! Polish both content and structure, make sure all references given are cited accordingly and you will have written a piece you can be proud of.