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Writing Research Papers

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❶The revision can be done at the macrostructure and the microstructure levels [ 13 ].

1. Schedule your writing time in Outlook

Resources for learning technical writing


Some science fairs want you to discuss what additional research you might want to do based on what you learned. This is your opportunity to thank anyone who helped you with your science fair project, from a single individual to a company or government agency.

Write the abstract section last, even though it will be one of the first sections of your final report. Your final report will be several pages long, but don't be overwhelmed! Most of the sections are made up of information that you have already written. Gather up the information for each section and type it in a word processor if you haven't already. Save your document often! You do not want to work hard getting something written the perfect way, only to have your computer crash and the information lost.

Frequent file saving could save you a lot of trouble! Remember to do a spelling and grammar check in your word processor. Also, have a few people proof read your final report. They may have some helpful comments! Sample Here is a sample science fair project final report. If you did an engineering or programming project, did you state whether you met your design criteria?

Question, variables, and hypothesis. Background research your Research Paper. Data analysis and discussion including data table and graph s. Ideas for future research for some fairs only. Reproduction of material from this website without written permission is strictly prohibited. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Terms and Conditions of Fair Use.

You may nevertheless find outside sources, and you should cite any articles that the instructor provides or that you find for yourself. Copyright and Intended Use Visitors: Resources for learning technical writing Before you begin your first writing assignment, please consult all of the following resources, in order to gain the most benefit from the experience. General form of a typical research article Specific guidelines if any for the assignment — see the writeups on individual lab studies McMillan, VE.

ISBN REQUIRED for Bioc , , recommended for other science courses that include writing Writing portfolio examples pdf As you polish up your writing skills please make use of the following resources Instructor feedback on previous assignments Common errors in student research papers Selected writing rules somewhat less serious than the other resources For Biosciences majors the general guidelines apply to future course work, as can be seen by examining the guidelines for the advanced experimental sciences research paper Bioc General form of a research paper An objective of organizing a research paper is to allow people to read your work selectively.

General style Specific editorial requirements for submission of a manuscript will always supercede instructions in these general guidelines. To make a paper readable Print or type using a 12 point standard font, such as Times, Geneva, Bookman, Helvetica, etc. Stay focused on the research topic of the paper Use paragraphs to separate each important point except for the abstract Indent the first line of each paragraph Present your points in logical order Use present tense to report well accepted facts - for example, 'the grass is green' Use past tense to describe specific results - for example, 'When weed killer was applied, the grass was brown' Avoid informal wording, don't address the reader directly, and don't use jargon, slang terms, or superlatives Avoid use of superfluous pictures - include only those figures necessary to presenting results Title Page Select an informative title as illustrated in the examples in your writing portfolio example package.

Abstract The summary should be two hundred words or less. See the examples in the writing portfolio package. General intent An abstract is a concise single paragraph summary of completed work or work in progress. Writing an abstract Write your summary after the rest of the paper is completed. Purpose of the study - hypothesis, overall question, objective Model organism or system and brief description of the experiment Results, including specific data - if the results are quantitative in nature, report quantitative data; results of any statistical analysis shoud be reported Important conclusions or questions that follow from the experiment s Style: Single paragraph, and concise As a summary of work done, it is always written in past tense An abstract should stand on its own, and not refer to any other part of the paper such as a figure or table Focus on summarizing results - limit background information to a sentence or two, if absolutely necessary What you report in an abstract must be consistent with what you reported in the paper Corrrect spelling, clarity of sentences and phrases, and proper reporting of quantities proper units, significant figures are just as important in an abstract as they are anywhere else Introduction Your introductions should not exceed two pages double spaced, typed.

General intent The purpose of an introduction is to aquaint the reader with the rationale behind the work, with the intention of defending it. Writing an introduction The abstract is the only text in a research paper to be written without using paragraphs in order to separate major points.

Describe the importance significance of the study - why was this worth doing in the first place? Provide a broad context.

Defend the model - why did you use this particular organism or system? What are its advantages? You might comment on its suitability from a theoretical point of view as well as indicate practical reasons for using it.

State your specific hypothesis es or objective s , and describe the reasoning that led you to select them. Very briefy describe the experimental design and how it accomplished the stated objectives. Use past tense except when referring to established facts. After all, the paper will be submitted after all of the work is completed.

Organize your ideas, making one major point with each paragraph. If you make the four points listed above, you will need a minimum of four paragraphs.

Present background information only as needed in order support a position. The reader does not want to read everything you know about a subject. As always, pay attention to spelling, clarity and appropriateness of sentences and phrases.

Materials and Methods There is no specific page limit, but a key concept is to keep this section as concise as you possibly can. People will want to read this material selectively. The reader may only be interested in one formula or part of a procedure. Materials and methods may be reported under separate subheadings within this section or can be incorporated together. General intent This should be the easiest section to write, but many students misunderstand the purpose. Writing a materials and methods section Materials: Describe materials separately only if the study is so complicated that it saves space this way.

Include specialized chemicals, biological materials, and any equipment or supplies that are not commonly found in laboratories. Do not include commonly found supplies such as test tubes, pipet tips, beakers, etc. If use of a specific type of equipment, a specific enzyme, or a culture from a particular supplier is critical to the success of the experiment, then it and the source should be singled out, otherwise no.

Materials may be reported in a separate paragraph or else they may be identified along with your procedures. In biosciences we frequently work with solutions - refer to them by name and describe completely, including concentrations of all reagents, and pH of aqueous solutions, solvent if non-aqueous. See the examples in the writing portfolio package Report the methodology not details of each procedure that employed the same methodology Describe the mehodology completely, including such specifics as temperatures, incubation times, etc.

To be concise, present methods under headings devoted to specific procedures or groups of procedures Generalize - report how procedures were done, not how they were specifically performed on a particular day.

If well documented procedures were used, report the procedure by name, perhaps with reference, and that's all. For example, the Bradford assay is well known. You need not report the procedure in full - just that you used a Bradford assay to estimate protein concentration, and identify what you used as a standard. It is awkward or impossible to use active voice when documenting methods without using first person, which would focus the reader's attention on the investigator rather than the work.

Therefore when writing up the methods most authors use third person passive voice. Use normal prose in this and in every other section of the paper — avoid informal lists, and use complete sentences.

What to avoid Materials and methods are not a set of instructions. Omit all explanatory information and background - save it for the discussion. Omit information that is irrelevant to a third party, such as what color ice bucket you used, or which individual logged in the data. Results The page length of this section is set by the amount and types of data to be reported. Continue to be concise, using figures and tables, if appropriate, to present results most effectively.

See recommendations for content, below. General intent The purpose of a results section is to present and illustrate your findings. Content Summarize your findings in text and illustrate them, if appropriate, with figures and tables. In text, describe each of your results, pointing the reader to observations that are most relevant. Provide a context, such as by describing the question that was addressed by making a particular observation.

Describe results of control experiments and include observations that are not presented in a formal figure or table, if appropriate. Analyze your data, then prepare the analyzed converted data in the form of a figure graph , table, or in text form.

What to avoid Do not discuss or interpret your results, report background information, or attempt to explain anything. Never include raw data or intermediate calculations in a research paper.

Do not present the same data more than once. Text should complement any figures or tables, not repeat the same information. Please do not confuse figures with tables - there is a difference. Style As always, use past tense when you refer to your results, and put everything in a logical order.

In text, refer to each figure as "figure 1," "figure 2," etc. If you prefer, you may place your figures and tables appropriately within the text of your results section. Figures and tables Either place figures and tables within the text of the result, or include them in the back of the report following Literature Cited - do one or the other If you place figures and tables at the end of the report, make sure they are clearly distinguished from any attached appendix materials, such as raw data Regardless of placement, each figure must be numbered consecutively and complete with caption caption goes under the figure Regardless of placement, each table must be titled, numbered consecutively and complete with heading title with description goes above the table Each figure and table must be sufficiently complete that it could stand on its own, separate from text Discussion Journal guidelines vary.

Space is so valuable in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, that authors are asked to restrict discussions to four pages or less, double spaced, typed. That works out to one printed page. While you are learning to write effectively, the limit will be extended to five typed pages. If you practice economy of words, that should be plenty of space within which to say all that you need to say. General intent The objective here is to provide an interpretation of your results and support for all of your conclusions, using evidence from your experiment and generally accepted knowledge, if appropriate.

Writing a discussion Interpret your data in the discussion in appropriate depth.


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The short answer is that the research paper is a report summarizing the answers to the research questions you generated in your background research plan. It's a review of the relevant publications (books, magazines, websites) discussing the topic you want to investigate.

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Writing a research manuscript is an intimidating process for many novice writers in the sciences. One of the stumbling blocks is the beginning of the process and creating the first draft. This paper presents guidelines on how to initiate the writing process and draft each section of a research.

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Writing a Scientific Research Paper Writing Resources Besides the information noted in your course materials and this handout, other writing resources are available. WRITING A SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH ARTICLE For the correct spelling, try Biotech's Life Science Dictionary or one of the technical dictionaries on the reference shelf in the Biology or Health Sciences libraries. 3. Don't, use, unnecessary, commas. 4. Proofread carefully to see if you any words out. USEFUL BOOKS. Victoria E. McMillan, Writing.

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Apr 06,  · How do I write a scientific review research paper? This question was originally answered on Quora by Barbara Robson. Choose keywords carefully, choose a good database such as Web of Science. Share; With science fair season coming up as well as many end of the year projects, students are often required to write a research paper or a report on their project.