Research Resources for Biology

Original Research

Original research papers, or empirical articles, report on original research, as the name suggests. They are usually detailed studies that report research you have conducted that is original. These are classified as primary literature. Generally, these academic articles will include a hypothesis, the context, methods, results and an interpretation or discussion of those results. These publications are typically long, ranging anywhere from 3,000 to 8,000 words and may extend to 12,000 words for some journals.

They follow a typical structure, including:

  • The title, which summarises the main idea or ideas of your study. A good title contains the fewest possible words needed to adequately describe the content and/or purpose of your research paper.
  • An abstract, which should be a very short, clear and concise summary of the entire paper. An abstract should include enough detail so the reader will know whether or not they wish to read the paper. It should reveal both the purpose and conclusions of the paper.
  • The main text, which includes an introduction, background, research questions and hypothesis, methods, results and discussion. This section guides the reader through what the problem or research question was, how you conducted the study, how you analysed the data, what you found and what it means.
  • Acknowledgements
  • References
  • Supplementary materials

Charlesworth Author Services, 2021.