Chapter 2

Conceptualizing the Research Article

You are probably familiar with some of the sections included in a typical research article (and if not, you’re in the right place!), but even if you have read many articles, you may not have thought critically about what the writers’ intentions are in various parts of it. One of the aims of this book is to help you see the purposes of academic research writing from the perspective of a writer – specifically, with regard to goal setting and strategy implementation.

 Learning Objectives

After completing this chapter, you should be able to …

  • explain the organizational structure of a research article (RA);
  • recognize the common sections of an RA;
  • apply knowledge of the structure to understand basic communicative goals;
  • evaluate the organizational pattern in terms of general vs. specific information.

The first step for learning about how to do research writing is understanding the organizational structure of an RA. With that in mind, use the warm-up activity below to activate your thinking about this topic.


Consider these questions as you prepare to read:

  • We often visually depict a research article with the image of an hourglass. Why do you think this image is so useful for envisioning the various sections of an RA?
  • What do you consider to be the major parts of a research article (RA)?
  • Which ones contain more general information?
  • Which ones are more specific?

Test yourself with this quick activity:


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