Sooner or later, all students are asked to write awell-structured and logical scientific research paper. What isthis academic assignment all about? The short answer is that thispaper is a certain report that sums up answers to generatedresearch questions in a background plan. It’s a detailed reviewof relevant publications, including magazines, sites, and books,which discuss the scientific topic that you choose forinvestigating. The long answer to this question is that aresearch paper sums up the theory behind your particularscientific experiment.
Professors and instructors want to see that their studentsunderstand why experiments turn out the way they do. How to writea scientific research paper? You conduct your online and libraryresearch to make the accurate prediction of what will happen inyour scientific experiment. You get the right knowledge tounderstand the things that cause the outcomes that you observe,whether your prediction is wrong or right.
Basic information about scientific research papers
From a practical perspective, any scientific research paper alsodiscusses the tools and techniques necessary to investigate thechosen topic. Some methods and devices are more reliable becausethey’ve been used many times. Determine if you can use for yourscientific project the procedure similar to the experiments donebefore. If it’s possible to get this information, your researchproject will be better and more successful. Consider specialfacts or details that should be included in this assignment.Basically, many scientific experiments can be easily explainedthrough mathematics. When writing research papers, be sure toinclude as much relevant information as you understand. If youthink that a simple equation can describe the main aspects ofyour project, don’t hesitate to include it.
Writing scientific research papers
As you keep reading reliable sources in a bibliography, you needto take notes. Many teachers advise their students to take noteson special note cards that contain sources and key points quotedor listed. Others prefer typing important notes right into afavorite word processor. Keep track of all the sources used toget facts and evidence, no matter how you decide to take notes.
How to organize your writing project
Do a little planning is one of the most effective ways to speedthe writing process. Before you get started, consider the rightorder to discuss major section in your research paper. Ingeneral, you should start with a particular assignment questionto let readers know its main purpose. What will come next?Consider the information that other people need to know first tounderstand the rest of your writing project. A standardorganization of scientific research papers looks like that:
- Your project topic or question;
- Definitions of all significant concepts, words, and equationsrelated to your experiment;
- The history of similar projects and experiments;
- Mathematical formulas needed to describe the results of yourproject;
- Answers to major background research questions.
How and when to reference or footnote used sources
When writing your research papers, you may decide to copydiagrams, pictures, words, or thoughts from the sources that youuse. Students can copy this information as long as they referenceit with correct citations. If it’s a sentence, paragraph, orphrase, you need to put this information in special quotationmarks. Quotation and citation marks tell other people where youget particular ideas or facts.
For a scientific research project, using reference citations is apopular method to reference any information that you copy.Citation referencing seems confusing to some students, but it’ssimple. All you need to do is to put in parentheses the followingdetails (after the information that you want to copy):
- Publication year;
- Author’s last name;
- Page number.
Place reference citations at the end of a sentence, but it shouldbe before a final period. Check whether the sources of all copiedparts are in your bibliography.
Key info to include
While doing your research, follow a background plan and takenotes from reliable sources of information because they will helpyou submit a better summary. The main purpose of your scientificresearch paper is providing readers with the informationnecessary to understand why a particular experiment goes the wayit does.
For each picture or fact in your paper, you need to follow itwith the citation that tells others where you find it. The keypurpose that citation serves is to document used sources clearly,briefly, and accurately. If you copy any text from sources, placeit in special quotation marks too because this simple step willhelp you avoid plagiarism. It’s not allowed to copy the works ofother people and call them yours, so you always need to givecredit when it’s due. Instructors want scientific research papersto have the following sections:
- Title page with your name and date;
- Your report;
Ask your teacher if there are any extra requirements that must bemet, including a table of contents or page numbers.
Important scientific research paper characteristics
For many students, the idea of writing their scientific researchpaper may seem both overwhelming and exciting. It can be hard todetermine how and where to start your writing process if you’refaced with a lot of information, notes, and other importantelements. However, if you conduct your research well and choosean appropriate topic, it’s a good start to approach this processmethodically.
There are certain characteristics that any successful scientificresearch project must have. Above all, this type of writingshould aim for accuracy, simplicity, and clarity. These are thebenchmarks or touchstones of completing this academic assignmentsuccessfully. It’s a fine balance that your research writingshould maintain, so ensure that your work is easilycomprehensible to the audience.
- Clarity means that your scientific project is unambiguous andhas no extraneous details or conjectures;
- Accuracy means that all citations, figures, references,tables, and data are represented both verifiably and honestly;
- Simplicity means that your language and sentence structureare easy to follow and understand without losing scientificcredibility or authority.
The right structure of your scientific paper
Most students are familiar with the right structure of scientificresearch papers because there are clear standards. However,writing within this basic structure requires your deeperunderstanding of the role played by every section.
- Title provides readers with an enticing and clearintroduction of the chosen subject;
- Authors name every major contributor to the work;
- Abstract is a brief summary of the main focus of your paper;
- Introduction reveals the main question or issue;
- Materials and methods explain how this question wasapproached specifically;
- Results reveal important findings;
- Discussion talks about their meaning;
- Acknowledgements are optional and they recognize anyinstitutions or people who helps you with your research;
- References or literature cited account for all supportingdocuments.
When it comes to the title and abstract of your research paper,they are focused on drawing in readers with a concise and clearlanguage. An introductory paragraph should highlight the mainissues of your research while providing the audience with somecontext for the main problem of question that will be discussed.Methods and materials describe specific protocols and details ofyour scientific experiment and they should be explicit enough foryour research to be easily duplicated by others.
Results and discussion are quite succinct sections focused on allcritical findings, including the unexpected ones. Your literaturecited should match references in the main body precisely. Beselective when picking the sources that you want to cite andavoid using too many references in your text.
Effective and simple writing strategies
The main goal of any academic writing is to communicate animportant message. When writing a scientific research paper, youneed to adhere to a particular structure and communicate your keymessage to readers. Use helpful writing strategies to achievethis goal and impress teachers.
How to achieve clarity
In research writing, clarity is achieved through correct grammarand language use in addition to proper sentence structuring. Forinstance, shorter sentences and paragraphs allow readers to graspall concepts easier. No one likes going back and rereadingeverything a few times only to grasp something that author wantsto say. If you fail to achieve enough clarity, your paper willonly discourage potential readers. It’s advisable to writeinformative and simple sentences without sounding unsophisticatedand choppy.
Correct grammar and language use helps you improve the flow ofyour research paper and improve a reading experience. It preventsany possible bias because poor grammar and language use may causeother people question your educational background and assume thatyour scientific project is not worth of their consideration, nomatter how excellent your research is.
Editing and time management
Writing academic papers is a time-consuming task. For studentswho are making the first attempt at writing scientific researchpapers, it’s quite imperative to spend time on working onspecific sections on a daily basis. That’s why you should make adetailed schedule and stick to it. Research writing is detailedand complex so that every section requires careful rereading andattentive editing. You may grow weary of your text before it’sready to be submitted. For this reason, it’s helpful to ask otherpeople to review your final draft and share their comments orsuggestions for the necessary changes. You will always benefitfrom helpful reviews because they can improve the quality of yourresearch papers significantly.
The modern academic world is no longer divided into isolatednationalities and cultures. Even if a classroom is full ofstudents with similar national and cultural backgrounds, they aretrained to be a part of the global community of scientists.Therefore, it’s important to think about the audience andexisting guidelines while writing your research paper.
Scientific experiments are quite demanding and excitingendeavors, but their results should be properly communicated toother to have a huge impact. A research paper offers an effectivemethod of communication and an attempt to tell other people aboutthe information you gather and its meaning in the context of yourresearch. The main rules of completing this academic assignmentare quite rigid and they differ from the ones applied whenwriting creative or literary essays.
To guarantee a clear and efficient communication, you need to usethe right language because it’s the first thing that will beconsidered when evaluating your research writing. This papershould be written concisely and clearly to let readers withsimilar backgrounds easily understand everything you do in theright order if they want to repeat the same scientificexperiment. You should assume that your readers have theirsimilar knowledge in a particular field.
General scientific research writing rules
There are certain rules that must be followed when writing anyscientific research paper. As an example, all section headingsshould be centered, while the body of every section must followbelow a heading. It’s not allowed to start every section on a newpage. Another important general rule to keep in your mind is thatscientific research papers are detailed reports about somethingdone in the past. This means that most of it should be written inthe past tense, while the present tense is used to stateconclusions and generalizations (in such sections as theconclusion, discussion, and introduction). Ensure that yourresearch paper is read as an interesting and logical narrativewhere you describe a particular scientific experiment and itsresults.
How to write a catchy title
Each research paper should have its self-explanatory title. Afterreading a title, your scientific experiment should be clear toreaders without finding out more. When writing it, be sure tostate a few important things:
- Specific environmental or other factors;
- Parameters that you measure;
- Specific subjects that are studied.
Don’t leave readers guessing the parameters measured during yourscientific experiment and environmental or other factors presentduring it. If you fail to come up with a good title, you willforce the audience to read more to understand the main purpose ofyour research paper. However, there are specific exceptions tothis general research writing rule. If you manipulate a fewfactors, you don’t have to state all of them in a title. The samerule applies if you study a few subjects at the same time.
What to include in your abstract
In any scientific research paper, the abstract section is aconcise summary of its content. It’s all about a shortrestatement of the preceding text intended to orient readers whostudied it. Your abstract should be self-explanatory with noreferences to a research project, but it’s not a substitute ofyour paper. This section usually consists of 250 words and statesthe following:
- The main purpose of your writing project;
- General methods and materials;
- Major conclusions;
- Summarized results.
Don’t include any facts or details that aren’t contained in themain body. You should exclude any detailed descriptions ofresearch methods, materials, etc. Furthermore, figures or tables,references to them or literature cited aren’t included in thissection. Most students prefer to write their abstract last. Oneof the easiest ways to write it is to define the most importantideas of every section and use them to give a brief descriptionof your scientific study.
How to master introduction writing
An introductory paragraph is a brief statement of the subjectthat you investigate. It should provide the audience with enoughdata to appreciate specific objectives within a biggertheoretical framework. Once you place your scientific experimentin its broader context, the next step is stating specificquestions that will be answered in your research paper. Theintroduction may also include any useful background informationabout the chosen subject, like a summary of any similar researchdone on the same issue in the past and how your project will helpothers expand or clarify the overall knowledge in this area.
Any background information that you get from other sources mustbe cited appropriately. When writing this section, an effectivestrategy is going from a general theoretical framework to aspecific assignment question. You should avoid making anintroductory paragraph too broad because you write it for theaudience with their similar knowledge. Introduce only the mostrelevant thoughts and facts before getting to the point of yourresearch paper fast.
Methods and materials
This section should explain where, how, and when your scientificexperiment was done. As a researcher, you need to describe thefollowing:
- The apparatus;
- Experimental design;
- Type of control;
- Methods of gathering data.
When it comes to a natural habitat, it’s also necessary todescribe a particular study area, its location, and date. If youcollect any specimen for your research project, you shouldmention when and where they were collected. The general rule thatmust be followed is that this section is clear and detailedenough to let those readers who are knowledgeable in basicscientific methods and techniques duplicate your researchproject. Avoid writing this section as though they havedirections in a lab exercise book. Your basic goal is simplydescribing how your experiment was done.
You shouldn’t list the equipment used during this experiment.That’s because all the materials used in your research arementioned in a narrative as an experimental procedure anddescribed in detail. If you use well-known methods with nochanges, all you need to do is to name them. However, if thereare any modified standard methods used in your scientificproject, describe these important changes.
Describe all research results
In this section, you need to present summarized data forinspection through a narrative in addition to figures and tablesto display this information where appropriate. Be sure to presentonly results without any conclusions and interpretations aboutits meaning. The facts states in figures or tables must supportyour text and present important data in the form that is easy tounderstand for the audience.
Write the discussion section
Here, you need to interpret important information in terms of thepatterns observed, discernible correlations between variables,and links among experimental variables. Include your helpfulexplanations of how research results differ from the hypothesizedones or how they are similar to any relevant scientificexperiments done by other people in the past. Your researchproject doesn’t necessarily need to show major trends ordifferences. Any negative results may give something valuable andthey should also be explained. An efficient strategy indiscussing your scientific experiment is relating results to itsbroad theoretical context given in the introduction.
Offering your conclusions
This section should state what you think about the meaning ofsignificant data. It must be related back to the main issuestated in the introduction. Don’t offer any reasoning for yourconclusions because it should be given in the discussion section.By looking at your conclusions, readers should get a clear ideaof how your scientific experiment is done.
Acknowledgements and literature cited
Acknowledgements are designed to give credit to people who helpedyou with the research project. Literature cited is the sectionthat lists the sources that you refer to in the text in theiralphabetical order. It gives the information necessary to findoriginal literature on a given subject.
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