Research articles are divided into sections that usually appear in the order below. Understanding the purpose of each section and the information that you're likely to find there can help you read research articles more effectively.
Abstract - Summarizes the articles and highlights key points and findings.
Introduction - Says what the research is and why it's important. Notes previous research that informs this study.
Methodology - Provides details on how the authors conducted their study and what choices they made in designing it. May also note problems they foresee or inconsistencies with their methods.
Results - Presents the findings of the study without interpretation.
Discussion - Explains what the results mean and often ties them to ideas that were mentioned in the introduction. If the study falls short in some way (e.g. the results are inconclusive), this should be mentioned here.
Note: Occasionally, these sections might have slightly different names. For example, Materials and Methods instead of Methodology or Conclusion instead of Discussion. They might also be presented in a different order. However, the overall purpose and content to be found in each section will remain the same.