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3 2 Components of a scientific paper

Juvenile counts peaked during the fall recruitment season and fell to near zero by early spring. Rana yavapaiensis deposited eggs in two distinct annual episodes, one in spring (March-May) and a much smaller one in fall (September-October).

What format are scientific papers written?

Format Overview

The four main elements of a scientific paper can be represented by the acronym IMRaD: introduction, methods, results, and discussion. Other sections, along with a suggested length,* are listed in the table below.

The results or findings section presents what you discovered. This is probably the most exciting part of your abstract because you focus on the eureka moments of your study. This information helps the researcher determine how successful or unsuccessful the experiment or study was. While they still do not critique or evaluate a work, they do more than describe it. A good informative abstract acts as a surrogate for the work itself.

How to Proceed When Reading a Scientific Paper

Although it is the first section of your paper, the abstract should be written last since it will summarize the contents of your entire paper. A good strategy to begin composing your abstract is to take whole sentences or key phrases from each section of the paper and put them in a sequence that summarizes the contents. Then revise or add connecting phrases or words to make the narrative flow clearly and smoothly. Note that statistical findings should be reported parenthetically [i.e., written in parentheses]. This should be the easiest section to write, but many students misunderstand the purpose. The objective is to document all specialized materials and general procedures, so that another individual may use some or all of the methods in another study or judge the scientific merit of your work. It is not to be a step by step description of everything you did, nor is a methods section a set of instructions.

A good introduction should be fairly heavy with citations. This indicates to the reader that the authors are informed about previous work on the topic and are not working completed science paper in a vacuum. Citations also provide jumping-off points to allow the reader to explore other tangents to the subject that are not directly addressed in the paper.

How do I include figures in my report?

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.

Where the abstract summarizes your paper, the introduction justifies your project and lets readers know what to expect. It should present the main story and a few essential details of the paper for readers who only look at the abstract and should serve as a clear preview for readers who read your whole paper. In this section you describe how you performed your study. You need to provide enough information here for the reader to duplicate your experiment. Assume that he or she is someone familiar with the basic practices of your field. We monitored breeding phenology and population levels of Rana yavapaiensis by use of repeated egg mass censuses and visual encounter surveys at Agua Caliente Canyon near Tucson, Arizona, from 1994 to 1996. Adult counts fluctuated erratically within each year of the study but annual means remained similar.

Writing and publishing scientific papers

Describing one’s research work in a format that is comprehensible to others, and acceptable for publication is no easy task. When you invest a lot of time, energy and often money in your research, you become intimately and emotionally involved. Naturally, you are completed science paper convinced of the value of your research, and of its importance for the scientific community. We are all flooded by publications, and readers don’t have time to read all scientific production. They must be selective, and this selection often comes from the title.

  • Regardless of the type of source, there will always be enough information (authors, title, journal name, publication date, etc.) for you to find the source at a library or online.
  • Mathematical equations and statistical tests are considered mathematical methods and should be described in this section along with the actual experimental work.
  • Only in a few cases (e.g. sketched diagrams) would figures still be created by hand using ink and those figures would be scanned and labeled using graphics software.
  • Reviewers will check whether the title is specific and whether it reflects the content of the manuscript.

You shouldn’t put information in the table that also appears in the text. You also shouldn’t use a table to present irrelevant data, just to show you did collect these data during the experiment. Tables are good for some purposes and situations, but not others, so whether and how you’ll use tables depends upon what you need them to accomplish. Ask yourself, “Would it make any difference if this piece were a different size or made from a different material? If so, you should give as many details as necessary to prevent this experiment from going awry if someone else tries to carry it out. Probably the most crucial detail is measurement; you should always quantify anything you can, such as time elapsed, temperature, mass, volume, etc. Overall, however, the IMRAD format was devised to represent a textual version of the scientific method.

Writing for publication: a pratical six

Take into account that a huge numbers of manuscripts are rejected because the Discussion is weak. For the data, decide on a logical order that tells a clear story and makes it and easy to understand. Generally, this will be in the same order as presented in the methods section. You must take this into account, or they may be illegible to readers . Never include long boring tables (e.g., chemical compositions of emulsion systems or lists of species and abundances). But before you set out to write a paper, there are two important things you should do that will set the groundwork for the entire process.

completed science paper