How to Structure a Scientific Article: LDR

Crafting a well-structured scientific article is essential for effectively communicating your research findings. Clear structure not only guides your reader through your thought processes but also helps to highlight the importance and impact of your work. There are several models you can follow when structuring your article, each with its strengths and suitable applications. One of these models is the LDR (Lead-Discussion-Resolution) structure, and in this article, we will delve deeper into what the LDR structure entails, its advantages, and how best to utilise it in your scientific writing.

Anatomy of the LDR Structure

The LDR structure breaks down into three key components:

  1. Lead: The Lead is your opening gambit, your initial thesis statement where you state your main point or finding right from the get-go. This statement sets the tone for the rest of the article, creating a context that engages the reader’s attention and provides a roadmap for what’s to come. The lead must be clear, succinct, and impactful, serving as a hook that draws the reader in and sparks curiosity about how the research unfolds. It is also the main point of the article, which is then supported by the rest.
  2. Discussion: This is the ‘meat’ of your article, where you expand upon your lead by detailing the evidence or arguments that back up your primary statement. It’s a comprehensive elaboration of your main point, allowing the reader to understand the foundations upon which your lead stands. The discussion involves a careful balancing act between the data you’ve obtained, the inference derived from these results that would be apparent to anyone in your field, and your unique interpretation or speculations. This is where the complexity and depth of your work come to the fore, but it’s crucial to retain clarity and coherence to keep your reader engaged and informed.
  3. Resolution: The resolution is your closing argument, a synthesis of your findings and their implications in your field of research. It serves as the culmination of your lead and discussion, tying all the threads together and underlining the significance of your work. The resolution needs to be strong, direct, and compelling, reaffirming the essence of your research and its contribution to the body of knowledge in your field.

Advantages and Applications of LDR Structure

Adopting the LDR structure offers several benefits for scientific writing. One of the standout advantages is its upfront presentation of the conclusion, often appreciated by readers who prefer to grasp the basics right at the start. This approach is particularly advantageous when writing for a target audience of busy professionals who value an immediate understanding of the paper’s core findings.

Furthermore, the LDR structure tends to infuse your paper with a more vibrant and energetic tone, which can be instrumental in captivating your readers. By declaring your conclusion first and then supporting it with comprehensive arguments and evidence, you craft a narrative that’s both compelling and persuasive, enticing your reader to delve deeper into the paper.

The LDR structure also lends itself well to research papers that benefit from a problem-solution approach. With the lead presenting a distinct problem or hypothesis, the discussion unravelling the research process, and the resolution presenting the solution or conclusion, the entire article can effectively tell a complete story. This storytelling aspect can make your research more relatable and engaging, which in turn can lead to better reading comprehension and recall.

Crafting an Effective LDR Structure

To make the most out of the LDR structure, it’s crucial to ensure each component is effectively executed. The Lead should be concise and impactful, immediately presenting your key finding or argument. Avoid complex jargon that may alienate some readers; instead, strive for clear, accessible language that immediately communicates the crux of your research.

The Discussion should be thorough yet focused. Avoid straying too far from your main point, and remember that clarity is key. Use visual aids like graphs and tables where appropriate to help communicate your data and highlight key findings.

Lastly, the Resolution should not merely repeat your lead but should present it in a new light given the supporting details from the discussion. It’s an opportunity to emphasize the impact of your research and to suggest potential future directions or applications.

The resolution in the LDR is the same as the resolution in the OCAR structure. You can find more detailed information about the resolution here.

When not to use LDR

The advantages of the LDR structure are also its disadvantages. While you can capture readers immediately by giving them what they came for (e.g. the conclusion), they can only get it if they already understand the basics of what is happening. LDR structure suffers from the same problem as point-first paragraphs, which are LDR on a smaller scale. When the audience does not understand the information or does not understand the significance, the LDR structure is more confusing than helpful.


In conclusion, the LDR structure is a potent tool in scientific writing, offering a clear, engaging, and persuasive model for presenting your research. Its strength lies in its simplicity: by stating your main point upfront, offering a comprehensive discussion, and wrapping up with a solid resolution, your research can leave a lasting impact on your reader.

Read the guide to structuring scientific articles here.

Interested in learning more about Scientific English? You can read a brief post on the History and Use of Scientific English here. More posts on Scientific English are available on the Scientific English page.

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