Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Banner Image EFSC Catalog Databases Library HomeAsk a Librarian

Nursing Research Guide for NUR/NURC1213

Research guide for finding sources for Basic Medical-Surgical Nursing

Organization of a Research Article

From the Writing Center of the University of Colorado  Denver (time 3:45) Standard YouTube License


When reviewing search results, click the abstract icon to see a summary of the article. You can view the abstract to determine if you want to open the full-text PDF.

Search Results showing abstract icon

There are structured and unstructured abstracts.

This is an example of an unstructured abstract. There are no sections in this abstract, it's just a summary paragraph.

Example unstructured abstract

What are structured abstracts?

A structured abstract is a summary of an article where the summary has been divided into bolded sections, such as:

  • introduction

  • methods

  • results

  • discussion

This is also referred to as an IMRAD abstract. The abstract sections can be labeled with other terms such as, objectives, design, conclusion, etc.

A structured abstract is usually required by peer reviewed journals for original research articles.

This format is helpful for authors to concisely summarize their article and makes it easier for readers to select articles relevant to their research needs.

Structured abstract example