Plan the steps of the experiment carefully with your lab partners. The less you rush, the more likely it is that you’ll perform the experiment correctly and record your findings accurately. Also, take some time to think about the best way to organize the data before you have to start putting numbers down. If you can design a table to account for the data, that will tend to work much better than jotting results down hurriedly on a scrap piece of paper. APA Style and APA FormattingAPA style is a widely accepted editorial style used for social science papers.

Because readers of academic journals tend to be professionals in the field, authors explain the background in order to permit readers to evaluate the study’s pertinence for their own work. In any event, both professional researchers and undergraduates need to connect the background material overtly to their own work.

Scientific Writing

The main text is followed by the Conclusion, Acknowledgements, References and Supporting Materials.  Emphasize the implications of the findings, explaining how the work is significant and providing the key message the author wishes to convey.

CONCLUSIONS. It is often important to extract the main conclusions from the text and summarize them as the “take home” ideas of the paper. This is frequently done with a numbered list of the points made. Note that articles by one or two authors are always cited in the text using their last names. However, if there are more than two authors, the last name of the 1st author is given followed by the abbreviation et al. which is Latin for «and others». The main purpose of the ‘Materials and Methods’ section is to provide enough detail for a competent worker to repeat your study and reproduce the results. The scientific method requires that your results be reproducible, and you must provide a basis for repetition of the study by others.

Write with the Reviewers in Mind: Why You Got a Rejection and How to Avoid the Next

When other scientists tried to duplicate the experiment, however, they didn’t achieve the same results, and as a result many wrote off the conclusions as unjustified . To this day, the viability of cold fusion is debated within the scientific community, even though an increasing number of researchers believe it possible. So when you write your Methods section, keep in mind that you need to describe your experiment well enough to allow others to replicate it exactly. This part of the how to make essay shorter Introduction demonstrates to the reader your awareness of how you’re building on other scientists’ work. Answering these questions will lead you to a more complete understanding of the experiment, and this “big picture” will in turn help you write a successful lab report. Overall, however, the IMRAD format was devised to represent a textual version of the scientific method. To take some of the guesswork out of answering these questions, try to think beyond the classroom setting.

The long answer is that the research paper summarizes the theory behind your experiment. Science fair judges like to see that you understand why your experiment turns out the way it does.

Research paper FAQs

For units of measurement, follow the International System of Units . Another common problem is the misuse of lines and histograms. Lines joining data only can be used when presenting time series or consecutive samples data (e.g., in a transect from coast to offshore in Figure 5). However, when there is no connection between samples or there is not a gradient, you must use histograms . Include clear symbols and data sets that are easy to distinguish. Whatever your choice is, no illustrations should duplicate the information described elsewhere in the manuscript.

  1. A list of references ordered alphabetically by author’s surname, or by number, depending on the publication, must be provided at the end of your paper.
  2. Together with the title, it’s the advertisement of your article.
  3. Therefore, you should assume they have a basic understanding of psychology, but you need to provide them with the complete information necessary for them to understand the research you are presenting.
  4. Reviewers will criticize incomplete or incorrect methods descriptions and may recommend rejection, because this section is critical in the process of reproducing your investigation.
  5. Generally speaking, authors writing journal articles use the background for slightly different purposes than do students completing assignments.

The short answer is that the research paper is a report summarizing the answers to the research questions you generated in yourbackground research plan. It’s a review of the relevant publications discussing the topic you want to investigate. The introduction of a scientific paper discusses the problem being studied and other theory that is relevant to understanding the findings. Unlike a lab report, all scientific papers will have an abstract.

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Don’t put your readers to sleep by beginning your paper with the time-worn sentence, “Past research has shown ” They’ll be snoring within a paragraph! Try to draw your reader in by saying something interesting or thought-provoking right off the bat. One way to begin is to provide an example quote transition words or anecdote illustrative of your topic area. The discussion section is probably the least formalized part of the report, in that you can’t really apply the same structure to every type of experiment. In simple terms, here you tell your readers what to make of the Results you obtained.

What are the 3 parts to a conclusion?

  • Answer: the thesis statement, revisited.
  • Summary: main points and highlights from the body paragraphs.
  • Significance: the relevance and implications of the essay's findings.

An important issue is that you must not include references in this section; you are presenting your results, so you cannot refer to others here. If you refer to others, is because you argumentative essay definition are discussing your results, and this must be included in the Discussion section. For the data, decide on a logical order that tells a clear story and makes it and easy to understand.


Only appendices referred to in the text should be included. Whenever you draw upon information contained in another paper, you must acknowledge the source. A brief paragraph of speculation about what your results may mean in a general sense is usually acceptable, but should not form the bulk of the discussion. Be sure to address the objectives of the study in the discussion and to discuss the significance of the results.

how to write a scientific research paper example

The Method section typically includes Participants, Materials and/or Apparatus, and Procedure sections. If the design is what is commentary in writing particularly complicated , you might also include a separate Design subsection or have a “Design and Procedure” section.

Results, Discussion, and Conclusions

Make your title specific enough to describe the contents of the paper, but not so technical that only specialists will understand. The title should be appropriate for the intended audience. You need to check how your paper sounds to someone else; if something doesn’t make sense to one of your readers, it probably needs to be rewritten. Although readers in your field of expertise would probably understand any jargon, try to minimize its use to make your paper accessible to a broader audience and to enable a larger impact.

  1. Moreover, you can suggest future experiments and point out those that are underway.
  2. Don’t add any new information in your conclusion, but feel free to say your own personal perspective or interpretation if it helps the reader understand the big picture.
  3. Headings often used include “Geologic Setting”, or “Location”, or (“Stratigraphic”, “Depositional” or “Structural”) “Setting”.
  4. Once you have a list of what you want to talk about, consider the best order to present the information.
  5. Resist the urge to include every bit of data you collected, since perhaps not all are relevant.

Never ignore work in disagreement with yours, in turn, you must confront it and convince the reader that you are correct or better. Use mean and standard deviation to report normally distributed data.

Other Useful Sources

The list of references can be in alphabetical order (author–date style of citation) or in the order in which the sources are presented in the paper . Follow your style guide; if no guidelines are provided, choose a citation format and be consistent. Successful production of a written product for submission to a peer‐reviewed scientific journal requires what is an argumentative text substantial effort. Such an effort can be maximized by following a few simple suggestions when composing/creating the product for submission. By following some suggested guidelines and avoiding common errors, the process can be streamlined and success realized for even beginning/novice authors as they negotiate the publication process.

how to write a scientific research paper example

All tables should have a descriptive title, and a caption for each figure should be provided. The caption should include the subject or title of the figure and all other information that will help the reader understand or interpret what is being illustrated. The abstract must be concise; most journals specify a length, typically not exceeding 250 words. If you can convey the essential details of the paper in 100 words, do not use 200. The abstract, together with the title, must be self-contained as it is published separately from the paper in abstracting services such as Biological Abstracts or Current Contents. Omit all references to the literature and to tables or figures, and omit obscure abbreviations and acronyms even though they may be defined in main body of the paper. The vast majority of scientific journals follow the so-called “IMRAD” format, i.e. introduction, methods, results and discussion.