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Writing the Scientific Paper

Scientific Paper Example

❶You don't necessarily have to include all the data you've gotten during the semester. The Abstract states clearly and concisely what is dealt with in the paper.

Scientific Research Paper

INTRODUCTION
1. Schedule your writing time in Outlook

What research materials were used: Briefly explain the relevance of the methods to the questions you introduced above e. If applicable, include a description of the statistical methods you used in your analysis. Careful writing of this section is important because the cornerstone of the scientific method requires that your results are reproducible, and for the results to be reproducible, you must provide the basis for the repetition of your experiments by others.

This section should be written in the past tense. Your data should b presented succinctly in the body of the report and presented in detail as tables or graphs. However, do not present the same data in both tabular and graphical form in the same paper.

Strive for clarity, the results should be short and sweet. The results section should be written so that any college student could read the text to learn what you have done. For example, you might use a paragraph to explain what is seen on a particular graph;. When the enzyme as soaked in sulfuric acid, it produced no change in absorbance When stating your results in the body of the text, refer to your graphs and tables. Tables and graphs alone do not make a Results section.

In the text of this section describe your results do not list actual numbers, but point out trends or important features. Refer to the figures and tables by number as well as any other relevant information. Results are typically not discussed much more in this section unless brief discussion aids clarity. In referring to your results, avoid phrases like 'Table 1 shows the rate at which students fall asleep in class as a function of the time of day that class is taught.

This is the place to tell the reader what you found out, not what it means. Each table and figure should be numbered sequentially for easy reference in the text of the Results and Discussion sections.

Be sure to label both axes of all graphs e. Tables are numbered separately from the figures as Table 1 to Table X. Label columns, including units of measure, and define all treatments.

Your reader should NEVER have to go back to the text to interpret the table or figure-- thus you need to provide a legend for each figure and a caption for each table.

A figure legend is freestanding text that goes below the figure. The first sentence of the legend bold print in the example below is typically a succinct statement that summarizes what the entire figure is about. The first sentence is then followed with particulars of the figure contents, as appropriate, including information about methods, how the data are expressed, or any abbreviations etc.

An example of a legend Light Micrograph of a Human Karyotype. Fetal cells were obtained from Aimee Biophiliac in September by amniocentesis. The cells were cultured, metaphase chromosome spreads were prepared and the chromosomes stained and photographed as described in Materials and Methods. Individual chromosomes were cut out from the photograph and arranged in a karyotype. By virtue of the presence of two X-chromosomes, the karyotype indicates that the developing fetus is a female.

Based on other information data not presented , the fetus is expected to emerge March 19, A table caption is freestanding text located above the table. It presents a succinct statement of the contents of the table.

A caption must NOT include information about methods, how the data are expressed, or any abbreviations if needed, those are included as footnotes to the table, with each footnote keyed to a footnote reference in the table by sequential, lettered superscripts.

The discussion section is where you explain your results in detail, speculating on trends, possible causes, and conclusions. Try to present the principles, relationships, and generalizations shown by the Results.

And bear in mind, in a good Discussion, you discuss--you do not recapitulate-- the Results. Don't be shy; discuss the theoretical implications of your work, as well as any possible practical applications. The References section is a complete list of all references that you cited within your paper. The references are listed in alphabetical order by last name of the first author of each publication.

To show our results, we first introduce all components of experimental system and then describe the outcome of infections.

Indeed, wordiness convolutes your sentences and conceals your ideas from readers. One common source of wordiness is unnecessary intensifiers. Another source of wordiness is nominalizations, i.

To improve your sentences, avoid unnecessary nominalizations and change passive verbs and constructions into active and direct sentences.

Your Results section is the heart of your paper, representing a year or more of your daily research. So lead your reader through your story by writing direct, concise, and clear sentences. Now that you are almost half through drafting your research paper, it is time to update your outline. While describing your Methods and Results, many of you diverged from the original outline and re-focused your ideas. So before you move on to create your Introduction, re-read your Methods and Results sections and change your outline to match your research focus.

The updated outline will help you review the general picture of your paper, the topic, the main idea, and the purpose, which are all important for writing your introduction.

The best way to structure your introduction is to follow the three-move approach shown in Table 3. Adapted from Swales and Feak [ 11 ]. The moves and information from your outline can help to create your Introduction efficiently and without missing steps.

These moves are traffic signs that lead the reader through the road of your ideas. Each move plays an important role in your paper and should be presented with deep thought and care. When you establish the territory, you place your research in context and highlight the importance of your research topic. By finding the niche, you outline the scope of your research problem and enter the scientific dialogue. The three moves allow your readers to evaluate their interest in your paper and play a significant role in the paper review process, determining your paper reviewers.

As a result, many novice writers do not present their experimental approach and the major findings, wrongly believing that the reader will locate the necessary information later while reading the subsequent sections [ 5 ]. To interest the reader, scientific authors should be direct and straightforward and present informative one-sentence summaries of the results and the approach. Another problem is that writers understate the significance of the Introduction.

Many new researchers mistakenly think that all their readers understand the importance of the research question and omit this part. However, this assumption is faulty because the purpose of the section is not to evaluate the importance of the research question in general. The goal is to present the importance of your research contribution and your findings.

Therefore, you should be explicit and clear in describing the benefit of the paper. The Introduction should not be long. Indeed, for most journals, this is a very brief section of about to words, but it might be the most difficult section due to its importance.

For many scientists, writing a Discussion section is as scary as starting a paper. Most of the fear comes from the variation in the section. Since every paper has its unique results and findings, the Discussion section differs in its length, shape, and structure. However, some general principles of writing this section still exist.

The structure of the first two moves is almost a mirror reflection of the one in the Introduction. In the Introduction, you zoom in from general to specific and from the background to your research question; in the Discussion section, you zoom out from the summary of your findings to the research context, as shown in Table 4.

Adapted from Swales and Feak and Hess [ 11 , 12 ]. The biggest challenge for many writers is the opening paragraph of the Discussion section. This is important in those cases where the researcher presents a number of findings or where more than one research question was presented.

One of the most frequent mistakes of the novice writer is to assume the importance of his findings. Even if the importance is clear to you, it may not be obvious to your reader. Digesting the findings and their importance to your reader is as crucial as stating your research question.

Another useful strategy is to be proactive in the first move by predicting and commenting on the alternative explanations of the results.

Addressing potential doubts will save you from painful comments about the wrong interpretation of your results and will present you as a thoughtful and considerate researcher. Moreover, the evaluation of the alternative explanations might help you create a logical step to the next move of the discussion section: The goal of the research context move is to show how your findings fit into the general picture of the current research and how you contribute to the existing knowledge on the topic.

This is also the place to discuss any discrepancies and unexpected findings that may otherwise distort the general picture of your paper. Moreover, outlining the scope of your research by showing the limitations, weaknesses, and assumptions is essential and adds modesty to your image as a scientist. However, make sure that you do not end your paper with the problems that override your findings.

Try to suggest feasible explanations and solutions. This should be a general statement reiterating your answer to the research question and adding its scientific implications, practical application, or advice. Just as in all other sections of your paper, the clear and precise language and concise comprehensive sentences are vital. However, in addition to that, your writing should convey confidence and authority.

The easiest way to illustrate your tone is to use the active voice and the first person pronouns. Accompanied by clarity and succinctness, these tools are the best to convince your readers of your point and your ideas. Now that you have created the first draft, your attitude toward your writing should have improved. Moreover, you should feel more confident that you are able to accomplish your project and submit your paper within a reasonable timeframe.

You also have worked out your writing schedule and followed it precisely. Just as the best and most precious diamond is no more than an unattractive stone recognized only by trained professionals, your ideas and your results may go unnoticed if they are not polished and brushed. Despite your attempts to present your ideas in a logical and comprehensive way, first drafts are frequently a mess. Use the advice of Paul Silvia: The degree of your success will depend on how you are able to revise and edit your paper.

The revision can be done at the macrostructure and the microstructure levels [ 13 ]. The macrostructure revision includes the revision of the organization, content, and flow. The microstructure level includes individual words, sentence structure, grammar, punctuation, and spelling. The best way to approach the macrostructure revision is through the outline of the ideas in your paper. The last time you updated your outline was before writing the Introduction and the Discussion.

The outline will allow you to see if the ideas of your paper are coherently structured, if your results are logically built, and if the discussion is linked to the research question in the Introduction. You will be able to see if something is missing in any of the sections or if you need to rearrange your information to make your point. The next step is to revise each of the sections starting from the beginning.

Ideally, you should limit yourself to working on small sections of about five pages at a time [ 14 ]. After these short sections, your eyes get used to your writing and your efficiency in spotting problems decreases. When reading for content and organization, you should control your urge to edit your paper for sentence structure and grammar and focus only on the flow of your ideas and logic of your presentation.

Experienced researchers tend to make almost three times the number of changes to meaning than novice writers [ 15 , 16 ].

Revising is a difficult but useful skill, which academic writers obtain with years of practice. In contrast to the macrostructure revision, which is a linear process and is done usually through a detailed outline and by sections, microstructure revision is a non-linear process. While the goal of the macrostructure revision is to analyze your ideas and their logic, the goal of the microstructure editing is to scrutinize the form of your ideas: You do not need and are not recommended to follow the order of the paper to perform this type of revision.

You can start from the end or from different sections. You can even revise by reading sentences backward, sentence by sentence and word by word. One of the microstructure revision strategies frequently used during writing center consultations is to read the paper aloud [ 17 ]. You may read aloud to yourself, to a tape recorder, or to a colleague or friend. When reading and listening to your paper, you are more likely to notice the places where the fluency is disrupted and where you stumble because of a very long and unclear sentence or a wrong connector.

Another revision strategy is to learn your common errors and to do a targeted search for them [ 13 ]. All writers have a set of problems that are specific to them, i. Create a list of these idiosyncrasies and run a search for these problems using your word processor.

The same targeted search can be done to eliminate wordiness. The final strategy is working with a hard copy and a pencil. Print a double space copy with font size 14 and re-read your paper in several steps. Try reading your paper line by line with the rest of the text covered with a piece of paper.

When you are forced to see only a small portion of your writing, you are less likely to get distracted and are more likely to notice problems.

You will end up spotting more unnecessary words, wrongly worded phrases, or unparallel constructions. After you apply all these strategies, you are ready to share your writing with your friends, colleagues, and a writing advisor in the writing center.

Get as much feedback as you can, especially from non-specialists in your field. You may decide what you want to change and how after you receive the feedback and sort it in your head. Even though some researchers make the revision an endless process and can hardly stop after a 14th draft; having from five to seven drafts of your paper is a norm in the sciences.

It is late at night again. You are still in your lab finishing revisions and getting ready to submit your paper. You will submit your paper tomorrow, and regardless of the outcome, you know that you can do it. If one journal does not take your paper, you will take advantage of the feedback and resubmit again.

You will have a publication, and this is the most important achievement. What is even more important is that you have your scheduled writing time that you are going to keep for your future publications, for reading and taking notes, for writing grants, and for reviewing papers.

You are not going to lose stamina this time, and you will become a productive scientist. National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. Yale J Biol Med. If you had a complicated protocol, it may helpful to include a diagram, table or flowchart to explain the methods you used. Do not put results in this section. You may, however, include preliminary results that were used to design the main experiment that you are reporting on.

Mention relevant ethical considerations. If you used human subjects, did they consent to participate. If you used animals, what measures did you take to minimize pain? This is where you present the results you've gotten.

Use graphs and tables if appropriate, but also summarize your main findings in the text. Do NOT discuss the results or speculate as to why something happened; t hat goes in th e Discussion. You don't necessarily have to include all the data you've gotten during the semester.

This isn't a diary. Use appropriate methods of showing data. Don't try to manipulate the data to make it look like you did more than you actually did. If you present your data in a table or graph, include a title describing what's in the table "Enzyme activity at various temperatures", not "My results". For graphs, you should also label the x and y axes. Don't use a table or graph just to be "fancy". If you can summarize the information in one sentence, then a table or graph is not necessary.

Highlight the most significant results, but don't just repeat what you've written in the Results section. How do these results relate to the original question? Do the data support your hypothesis? Are your results consistent with what other investigators have reported? If your results were unexpected, try to explain why. Is there another way to interpret your results? What further research would be necessary to answer the questions raised by your results?

How do y our results fit into the big picture? End with a one-sentence summary of your conclusion, emphasizing why it is relevant. This section is optional. You can thank those who either helped with the experiments, or made other important contributions, such as discussing the protocol, commenting on the manuscript, or buying you pizza. There are several possible ways to organize this section.

Here is one commonly used way: In the text, cite the literature in the appropriate places: Scarlet thought that the gene was present only in yeast, but it has since been identified in the platypus Indigo and Mauve, and wombat Magenta, et al. In the References section list citations in alphabetical order.


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There are many ways to approach the writing of a scientific paper, and no one way is right. Many people, however, find that drafting chunks in this order works best: Results, Discussion, Introduction, Materials & Methods, Abstract, and, finally, Title.

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A scientific paper should be precise, structured, and meet the guidelines for scientific works. Find out how to write a convincing scientific paper. Scientific Paper Format. Unlike some other written paper types that have a more relaxed approach to formatting, a scientific .

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WRITING A SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH ARTICLE | Format for the paper | Edit your paper! | Useful books | FORMAT FOR THE PAPER. Scientific research articles provide a method for scientists to communicate with other scientists about the results of their research. In this paper, I will discuss the issues related to the writing process of a scientific paper. Specifically, I will focus on the best approaches to start a scientific paper, tips for writing each section, and the best revision strategies.

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The "rules" of writing a scientific paper are rigid and are different from those that apply when you write an English theme or a library research paper. For clear communication, the paper obviously requires proper usage of the English language and this will be considered in evaluating your reports. In this section of the MOOC, you will learn what is necessary before writing a paper: the context in which the scientist is publishing. You will learn how to know your own community, through different exemples, and then we will present you how scientific journal and publication works.