Original Research - Special Collection: Primary Care Research Methods

African Primary Care Research: Writing a research report

Ian Couper, Bob Mash
African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine | Vol 6, No 1 | a639 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/phcfm.v6i1.639 | © 2014 Ian Couper, Bob Mash | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 04 December 2013 | Published: 06 June 2014

About the author(s)

Ian Couper, Department of Family Medicine, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
Bob Mash, Family Medicine and Primary Care, Stellenbosch University, South Africa


Presenting a research report is an important way of demonstrating one’s ability to conduct research and is a requirement of most research-based degrees. Although known by various names across academic institutions, the structure required is mostly very similar, being based on the Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion format of scientific articles.

This article offers some guidance on the process of writing, aimed at helping readers to start and to continue their writing; and to assist them in presenting a report that is received positively by their readers, including examiners. It also details the typical components of the research report, providing some guidelines for each, as well as the pitfalls to avoid.

This article is part of a series on African Primary Care Research that aims to build capacity for research particularly at a Master’s level.


Primary care research, family medicine, scientific writing


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