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In most fields there is a standard format or "genre" to research articles. Education and the social sciences mimic the hard sciences whereas the humanities such as art and literature follow a different format. Some disciplines have a format unique to the field - for example, historiography in the field of history.
It is worth getting to know the structure expected in your discipline as it is easier to parse the important sections to find out if an article will be useful to you and help you decide whether you should indeed read the whole thing or if you should find a different article.
The following links were created for people new to the writing of research articles, but they break down the sections nicely and will help you as a reader understand what to expect: