Writing papers in the biological sciences

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All papers written on biological sciences must stick to a certain format, and students need to follow it to present their experiments and findings in an organized way. When you master the main elements and everything they include, you’ll find writing papers in the biological sciences a much easier academic task. Some instructors or teachers may have their unique criteria, so check relevant course materials and formatting instructions before getting started. A quality academic paper of this kind always exemplifies the basic skills expected by all professors, including:

  • Your attention to details;
  • A correct organization;
  • A critical analysis;
  • Evidence-based decision making.

How to get started

Creating a concise and brief title page is the first step that should be taken when writing papers in the biological sciences. It provides readers with a better idea of your biological experiment. If you have any specific results, you need to state them, but don’t overthink a title of your paper. It’s highly advisable just to describe a specific experiment without making a title too long. Include your name on this page to receive credit for this writing piece. When writing a group lab report or other similar papers, include the names of all the students included in your group. You also need to add the date, class title, and the name of your instructor below a title. Talk to teachers to find out if they have any specific title instructions and let them keep track of your writing.

Writing an introductory paragraph

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The introduction of your biology papers should provide readers with a certain framework and show that you really understand the purpose of writing it. State a particular problem in this paragraph and explain to the audience the following details:

  • What you’re studying;
  • Why it’s important;
  • How you want to gain knowledge in this biology study.

There are certain results expected to be observed during a biological experiment or study. That’s why you need to present your hypothesis in the introduction. It’s not always conformed by results, but it’s just a prediction made before performing a given experiment. Consider that a strong hypothesis always ends with its anticipated outcomes.

Present any background data that readers need to understand the main purpose of your biological study. Include any theoretical or historical backgrounds relevant to your biology research and accompany them with a review of primary and other important materials. Next, you need to determine terminology and explain it in the introduction, especially if your paper uses ant specific jargon.

Make sure that you use appropriate words to explain to the audience what you’re going to do. When writing papers in the biological sciences, you’re quite likely to document, test, or describe something. It’s impossible to verify, prove, or demonstrate that you’re right about something because you can’t do it within the realm of science.

Write an abstract if your assignment prompts have this requirement. This section is quite a brief summary of your biological experiment or study, and it needs to cover the following:

  • Your reasoning why a particular experiment is conducted;
  • What its main result is;
  • Different methods used during it;
  • Your overall conclusions.

List methods and materials

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In the next section, you need to list all the materials used for your experiment or study. It’s necessary to incorporate all material descriptions into a procedural explanation because specific items were used during it. Don’t forget to include specific times, amounts, and measurements.

Write a detailed description of all procedures and make sure that the level of detailing is high enough to allow other people to repeat or duplicate the same biological experiment. However, you should avoid including unnecessary information that will only overwhelm the audience. Describe how all specimens were gathered and indicate whether your experiment was done outside. If it’s possible to reproduce it without certain facts or details, you can leave them out.

Write everything in this section in the past tense because it should sound like the accounting of everything what you did instead of being an instruction manual. Use the first person perspective when completing this task. You’re allowed to utilize both passive and active voices. Some teachers ask their students to use the third-person perspective when writing papers in the biological sciences. In any case, the main goal is keeping your writing as easy-to-follow and straightforward as you can.

Explaining all results

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Your results are all about the collection of the factual data obtained during a specific biological experiment. First, you need to state them all in the text, and then use different visual aids to show results. Keep in mind that graphs and tables aren’t self-explanatory and they should be explained and described to the audience in your text.

Tables, graphs, and charts are quite helpful tools when presenting results in the format that is easily understood by readers. Each one helps you organize important data clearly and logically, but make sure that you label all of them. They also need to be accompanied by a special short paragraph that explains the data contained.

Identify any parents and trends in your results to ensure that they are made clear to the audience. Avoid interpreting data in this section because this step is always taken in a concluding paragraph of biology papers.

Drawing a concluding paragraph

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When writing the conclusion, include a summary of any important information without copying the data section. Highlight major points and make sure that they are relevant before elaborating with a personal interpretation of data.

Discuss all potential errors in your biology experiment and comment on what may cause them. You should give a brief explanation of how this experiment can be changed to correct all mistakes. It’s necessary to discuss errors only if they’re verified by specific data in your biology study. As an example, if rainy conditions are likely to have an impact on expected outcomes, reflect that in your paper, but don’t state that they cause possible errors if you have no evidence to prove that.

Present a brief and concise concluding paragraph as this is where you interpret the results of your biological experiment. You need to either reject or accept a hypothesis and explain your reasoning. The key objective is to convince other people that you fully understand relevant data and consider it intelligently and completely.

Don’t make your conclusion too long when writing papers in the biological sciences. All you need to do is to present the data relevant to your study in a logical and well-organized manner.

Crediting references

Use the required bibliography format, like MLA or APA, to list all citations. Give credit when needed and ensure that all sources are cited correctly. Otherwise, you will face harsh plagiarism consequences. There are some basic details that should be included when referencing the sources used in your paper, including the year, title, page range, author, etc.

Be sure to paraphrase ideas taken from other sources when completing your biological assignment. Some instructors and tutors don’t like seeing quotations in such paper, so they prefer students to paraphrase all sources and present interesting ideas in their own words. You can easily weave any information into the text with just a lead in phrase and adding a special parenthetical note. However, some students find paraphrasing a confusing task because changing only a few words is not enough.

When formatting your biological papers, there are some basic rules that must be followed according to a specific style. If you fail to do that, you won’t be able to earn high marks after submitting your assignment.

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