What do you understand by the structure of the academic text? It is the way your content flows. There is a specific way in which academic text is organized. You will always see a clear structure in a perfect academic paper. It’s the structure that makes the content readable and understandable.
It flows in a way that helps the reader grasp the whole concept and gist of your topic. The structure of the academic text should be flawless and clear throughout the content. Each section, paragraph and sentence should be connected to your main topic. You can say that academic text is the soul of your paper.
The Structure of Academic Text for Each Section
There are different types of academic text. When the major is science, most academic texts adhere to the model “Imrad”. It is an acronym for introduction, methods and materials, results, and discussion. The academic paper is divided into different sections to elaborate on the aim and research questions. These sections are the backbone of any academic text. If you are confused, we have listed below an overview of what should be included in every section of an academic text. The description will also help you in understanding the importance of academic text. We have also provided advice for students, which will help them in making a perfect structure of a specific academic text and make their paper more comprehensible.
The aim is the arrow which is shot to hit at the right point and earn you a prize. It is the summary and the purpose of writing academic text. Your academic text and the whole content throughout your paper is determined by the aim. It captures the goal; what you are actually looking to achieve with the help of your study. Let’s take an example of the aim of the study, i.e. “to find the ways technology is damaging our environment”. It is very important that the aim shall stay consistent throughout the paper. No matter what is the structure of sentences, the aim should get highlighted somehow. The title of your study should relate and highlight the same aspects of the study that your aim is doing. If you want to write a perfect academic paper, all the subsequent sections of the text should relate to the aim and goal you are trying to achieve.
- Research questions
It is impossible to achieve your aim without asking the perfect research questions. There is a plan to achieve every goal. You cannot run over water. Research questions help students in narrowing down the aim and achieving it with a proper pattern. We can say that research questions lead us to the aim. As we set an example of achieving the aim “to find the ways in which technology is damaging our environment”.
Here, our research question can be, “How was the world and its environment before technology?” Don’t forget to maintain a clear link between your aim and the research questions. Irrelevant questions will never help you achieve your aim. You will be stirring the pot by asking questions that are not helping you study and it can turn your professor red in anger. However, your aim and research question should not be identical; it is better to keep the structure of the entire text different. Try to ask questions that help your aim.
If you have a set of research questions, it will help if you keep them in order. Look out for the logical order. Wondering what a logical order is? It is simple. Your audience can find it difficult to understand your questions. If there are questions that sound easy after having read others, align them properly. If some questions are important, prioritize them. You are not wasting your time while providing a better order to your research questions. It will be fruitful. So, place the research questions in an order that is easy for the audience and follow the same pattern throughout your thesis.
You cannot cover the whole world in a single thesis paper. Therefore, your aim and the thesis you are about to write must be delimited and tapered. That’s the main reason why study, methods and results are considered better when they are narrow in the imrad model.
What is Academic Text? – A Brief about IMRaD Model
Most students are worried about the academic text meaning; let us make it simple for you as we have already discussed “IMRad”, which is an acronym for introduction, methods and materials, results, and discussion.
The introduction is the face of your research paper. It is the first thing people will come to read. If you failed to ace your introduction, don’t expect the paper to do wonders. Different papers have different introductions according to the nature of the academic text. You must be thinking about how to make your introduction interesting; the secret is simple.
As your paper carries delimited research, try to be a bit vague in the introduction. Make it relatable to the masses and in the end; you can get to the point. Initially, placing it in a larger context will help your case. Don’t start asking research questions at the start; take some time, let the readers understand your topic and make them comfortable.
Try to keep the structure of the paragraph like a funnel that is broad from the top and gets narrowed in the end. Keep your topic general in the intro and then start zooming in. The academic text should begin with something relatable, which makes it clear to the reader that your study is contributing to a particular field and how will it get the job done.
Your introduction should tell every bit of your study and it should make the reader understand why it is important. The aim of your study should be productive. It should bring something new or improve the lives of people. Only then people will take an interest in reading your study and your professor will get impressed with your hard work.
On the other hand, it is very important to provide the synopsis or highlights of your study in the introduction. The beginning of your research paper should convince the reader that it contains new information or whatever is written will benefit them. It can be a new drug, an innovative treatment method or any other improved way of doing something. When you succeed in making students understand your topic, they will get better positioned to answer your research question, which is the source of achieving your aim.
In the academic text, the introduction is also called background. It is again about making your reader understand the basics and origin of your study, where it came from and where it will be leading. It is the writer who raises the reader’s attention and refers to different things related to the study.
- Methods and Materials
While writing an academic text, the methods section should be given importance because they make the readers understand the way through which the whole data was collected. The pattern you followed to achieve your aim and how you collected the answers to your research questions. Your readers deserve to know how you got the results; it will increase the credibility of your paper. Secondly, it will also help them in duplicating your research.
Most of the students get confused here and they write down the whole process of how they collected the content. No! You don’t have to tell your reader that you went to ABC library or you talked to the librarian. Academic text looks better when only the significant facts are mentioned, which will help the reader in understanding the sources and a way in which he/she can duplicate them.
Avoid talking about how many methods did not work out and focus on what happened. Readers don’t have time to consume knowledge that is not useful for them.
It will provide you with an upper hand if you start your method section by writing something overarching about your method. You can mention your study design. If you are able to portray in the method section that your work is a literature review or it consists of interviewing environmentalists, it will become easier for the reader to understand the details.
In the results section, you need to provide the data in an objective manner. You don’t have to interpret the results in this section because the interpretation of the results is done in the discussion part while writing academic text. You are bound to write the results accordingly; for example, if you posed several research questions, follow the same order. The consistency will help in making the academic text coherent and your reader will be able to understand the content you are presenting.
Make the reader feel easy and comfortable, and representing the results in the form of illustrations such as tables and charts will help the case. However, it is necessary to keep the illustrations clear and linked to your text. Avoid repeating the information that you are providing in the chart.
It would be a better idea to account for the aspects or trends that are most important. Highlight them in tables or charts. It is your job to let the readers know what you want them to observe. Make sure to include captions that indicate what particular things represent because your goal should be to make charts and tables understandable without body text.
Students usually find this part of their academic text a bit difficult because they have to interpret their results for the readers. Here, you have to do the writing and analyzing at the same time. Every part of your discussion should analyze the results. You might need to take your reader back to the significant points you made back in the paper for reference, but it does not mean that you are free to make repetitions. Try to avoid what you have already written in your introduction, methods and materials, and the result section. Always keep the structure of the academic text in your head.
Each paragraph of your academic text should include some analysis of your topic – excluding the first one. Here is an outline for a perfect discussion section.
The first paragraph of your paper should highlight the aim. It should be providing the reader with a solid clarification regarding how your study is going to help the field. Secondly, you can briefly account for the most important part of your result. If you have any hypotheses, you can link back to them as well. In other words, your first paragraph chips in the discussion. It helps the reader understand the discussion without having a complete overview of your thesis.
However, the main purpose of your discussion is to analyze your results. Keeping the following questions in mind can help you in writing a better discussion.
- What are your results?
- How are they different from previous researches?
- What was the role of your method in your results?
- What are the strengths and weaknesses of your studies?
- What is the research related to your topic that can help in future and why?
You can also divide the discussion part into two and write results discussion and methods discussion separately. It depends on your writing style and how you do it comfortably. However, it is important to focus on the results of the study first and then you can scrutinize your methods.
Try to fulfil the aim of your study and elaborate on what you have achieved in your study. There are several academic text examples that can help you in writing a compelling conclusion for your paper. While writing your conclusion, you can revise and recheck if all the sections of your thesis are connected accordingly.
It is pertinent to mention here that the conclusion is not a revision of results. Your conclusion should focus on what your results are suggesting and how they are contributing to the field. If the examples of academic texts are not helping you, it is better to reach out to the best dissertation writing services UK.