How to Write a Medical Research Paper
How to Write a Good Medical Research Paper
Writing a medical research paper often looks like an insurmountable challenge for those facing such an assignment. Indeed, for inexperienced students, it is often a serious bottleneck to stable, positive academic performance.
So, how can you master the art of writing good medical research papers in no time? Look through our medical research paper guidelines to see how it works, and your assignments are sure to get better day by day.
What Is a Medical Research Paper
Let’s begin with an introduction to the term. When speaking about medical research papers, tutors most often mean a piece of well-researched analysis of a medication, a treatment technology, or an approach in healthcare used to cure specific diseases. Such an assignment may also be related to the analysis of promising directions in treating terminal illnesses, for which there is no cure yet.
Such studies can be prospective or retrospective, dedicated to various subjects, and having a variety of structures. But one thing they have in common is the focus on some medical concepts and the use of fundamental medical facts and evidence in the analysis.
How to Start a Medical Research Paper
The beginning of medical research is not the start of writing itself. First, you should get better acquainted with the subject matter or find one to explore. The situation is unique for every student and every assignment, but some general rules apply.
Here is a quick checklist for narrowing down the topic you can use for crafting an excellent medical research paper:
- What is the area of medicine I am interested in? (possible variants can include oncology, pharmacology, pediatric care, palliative care, infectious diseases, nursing, and many more)
- What is my subject of concern? (existing healthcare policies, existing or potential medications for treating the disorder, existing or emerging technology)
- What structure do I plan for my research paper? (comparison of existing treatments, review of clinical research on the subject, a systematic review clarifying the existing body of evidence on the subject, proposal for a new approach/drug/technology)
- What evidence can I use to substantiate my arguments? (clinical trials, systematic reviews, expert opinions, websites, books)
- What outcomes do I want to attain by conducting this study?
By answering these questions, you are likely to get a better idea of the research direction. Make a plan, search for some preliminary evidence, and see where these preliminary findings guide you.
How to Structure a Medical Research Paper
The structure of a medical research paper follows the universal format of research papers on any other subject. Thus, you will need to include the following components.
The introductory part of a medical research paper typically presents the issue of interest and provides background data about the subject. If you research the use of a specific drug, you can indicate who invented it, when it entered widespread medical use, and what effects on the illness it is known to produce. After that, you can formulate the thesis statement indicating what you will research about this drug (e.g., clinical research on its efficiency, its impact on related conditions, its competitors, etc.).
Body of the Paper
In the body of your medical research paper, you can include as many paragraphs as you consider necessary and as your word count requires. Just keep in mind that every new paragraph should be dedicated to a single idea so that there is no reader confusion with several ideas voiced in one paragraph chaotically.
To double-check that your paragraphs are effectively structured, use this template:
- A topic sentence voicing the paragraph’s central idea.
- Sufficient evidence (with citations from credible external sources) supporting the topic sentence.
- A wrap-up summarizing the argument and linking this paragraph to the next one.
If you follow this golden rule of structuring in every paragraph, you’ll see sizeable improvements in the coherence, cohesion, and flow of your material. In such a way, you’re likely to make your medical research paper understandable not only for professionals (like your tutor) but also for the broader audience of laypersons.
The final part of every medical research paper is a conclusion. Here you summarize the arguments you voiced throughout your text’s body and make inferences to the broader context of your research (e.g., the value of your findings for the broader medical field).
How to End a Medical Research Paper
Keep in mind that your work on the medical research paper doesn’t end with writing a conclusion. Once you are done with the writing part, get back to the thesis statement and check whether all elements align well (e.g., whether your thesis statement contains all arguments from the paper’s body and whether your conclusion is consonant with the opening statement). After that, proofread the paper to polish it in terms of mechanics, such as typos, grammar issues, subject-predicate agreement, etc.
Medical Research Paper Outline
Those wondering how to apply our tips to performing a real-life medical research paper assignment may benefit from the following outline example:
Introduction: Broad review of alternative and conventional medicine. Statistics proving the rise of interest in alternative medicine in the USA in the past couple of years. The thesis statement about alternative medicine is a sound alternative to conventional medicine.
Body of the paper:
Paragraph #1 – holistic approaches to health favored in alternative medicine.
Paragraph #2 – natural, non-harmful treatments for disorders promoted in alternative medicine.
Paragraph #3 – an increasing body of empirical research (e.g., clinical trials) proving clinically positive outcomes of alternative treatments.
Conclusion: summary of the advantages people resorting to alternative medicine get; a conclusion about efficiency of alternative medicine as a solution to limited healthcare access and rising healthcare costs. Caution about the need to do clinical testing and consult only certified specialists.
Medical Research Paper Introduction
Now let’s consider the outline we have just provided with real-life examples of how a medical research paper may be written based on it.
Once we compose an introduction about alternative medicine adoption in the USA, this section may look as follows:
“Alternative medicine, also referred to as naturopathy, has existed since times immemorial. Though it was replaced by conventional medicine in the past few centuries, with people relying on innovative technology and pharmacological treatments, the recent healthcare crisis has urged people to reconsider alternative medicine. The rise of people’s interest in alternative treatments as less costly, more holistic, and less invasive approaches is observed over the past decade, with 36% of U.S. citizens over 18 years old using complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) (Wong, 2019). This research paper analyzes the comparative advantages and rationale for using CAM by Americans, reviewing its clinical efficiency to find out whether it may indeed serve as a viable alternative to traditional treatments.”
For those unsure how to write a medical research paper in APA format, it’s advisable to visit the APA guide and see how the author-date referencing style is used. Here, an example was (Wong, 2019), which is a typical APA-format citation.
Medical Research Paper Body
As you can see from the outline, your medical research paper’s body should consist of the content paragraphs, each covering a separate topic. For instance, when discussing CAM in your research paper, you can structure the body as follows:
- Paragraph #1 – Discuss holistic healthcare means, illustrating it with examples and contrasting it with segmented traditional medicine.
- Paragraph #2 – Speak about the natural, herbal treatments for existing diseases, comparing these options with pharmacological treatments’ side effects and hazards.
- Paragraph #3 – Cite empirical research on the clinical effectiveness of CAM by stressing how positive health outcomes can be achieved with mild, herbal treatment methods.
Medical Research Paper Conclusion
Following the body of your paper, you can conclude that due to low costs and a non-invasive, respectful treatment of your health offered by CAM, the latter is a viable alternative to traditional healthcare. Yet, make sure to caution people against self-treatment and emphasize the need for proper diagnostics and lab testing.