How do you know if you are doing too much or not enough? Are you taking too broad an approach? Are you taking too narrow an approach? You want to assume the reader knows something about the field, but do not assume the reader is an expert. Checklist for prewriting and revising introductions to scientific papers, Ask yourself: What am I trying to discover or prove?
Which kind of problem am I working on? Why is this problem new or distinctive? Hacker, Diana. Rules for Writers. Explanation In most ecosystems, the supply of nitrogen is the most limiting factor to plant growth.
To combat this problem, leguminous plants have developed a symbiotic relationship with the nitrogen fixing bacteria, Rhizobium spp. This relationship and its mechanisms have become the center of much study, both in the physiological mechanisms and population interactions.
It moves from the general to the specific and gives the context for the research. It sets up the literature review that will follow.
Unlike in the Humanities, scientific papers are more concerned with the data or information than the way it is worded.
Scientific papers use paraphrases and summaries often but not direct quotations. Conclusions What is the purpose of a conclusion in the scientific field? It is also where the writer can raise questions, discuss ambiguous data, and recommend places for further research. An ideal conclusion will incorporate some or all of these goals: Note: Always be mindful that different types of scientific papers will require different types of conclusions.
For example, a conclusion in a lab report will not generally be speculative or provide practical applications. Always check with your professor about what type of information is appropriate. Interpret results, supporting conclusions with evidence. Move from the general to the specific. The present tense is, are is used when stating generalizations or conclusions. The present tense is most often used in the Introduction, Discussion and Conclusion sections of papers.
The paper should read as a narrative in which the author describes what was done and what results were obtained from that work. By reading the title, the work being reported should be clear to the reader without having to read the paper itself. The title, "A Biology Lab Report", tells the reader nothing. An example of a good, self-explanatory title would be: "The Effects of Light and Temperature on the Growth of Populations of the Bacterium, Escherichia coli ".
This title reports exactly what the researcher has done by stating three things: 1. The environmental factors that were manipulated light, temperature. The parameter that was measured growth. The specific organism that was studied the bacterium, Escherichia coli. If the title had been only "Effects of Light and Temperature on Escherichia coli ", the reader would have to guess which parameters were measured.
That is, were the effects on reproduction, survival, dry weight or something else? If the title had been "Effect of Environmental Factors on Growth of Escherichia coli ", the reader would not know which environmental factors were manipulated.
If the title had been "Effects of Light and Temperature on the Growth of an Organism", then the reader would not know which organism was studied. In any of the above cases, the reader would be forced to read more of the paper to understand what the researcher had done.
Exceptions do occur: If several factors were manipulated, all of them do not have to be listed. Instead, "Effects of Several Environmental Factors on Growth of Populations ofEscherichia coli " if more than two or three factors were manipulated would be appropriate. The same applies if more than two or three organisms were studied. The researcher would then include the names of the bacteria in the Materials and Methods section of the paper.
An abstract is more than a summary. A summary is a brief restatement of preceding text that is intended to orient a reader who has studied the preceding text. An abstract is intended to be self-explanatory without reference to the paper, but is not a substitute for the paper.
The abstract should present, in about words, the purpose of the paper, general materials and methods including, if any, the scientific and common names of organisms , summarized results, and the major conclusions. Do not include any information that is not contained in the body of the paper.
Exclude detailed descriptions of organisms, materials and methods. Tables or figures, references to tables or figures, or references to literature cited usually are not included in this section. The abstract is usually written last. An easy way to write the abstract is to extract the most important points from each section of the paper and then use those points to construct a brief description of your study. It should give readers enough information to appreciate your specific objectives within a larger theoretical framework.
After placing your work in a broader context, you should state the specific question s to be answered. This section may also include background information about the problem such as a summary of any research that has been done on the problem in the past and how the present experiment will help to clarify or expand the knowledge in this general area.
All background information gathered from other sources must, of course, be appropriately cited. Proper citation of references will be described later. A helpful strategy in this section is to go from the general, theoretical framework to your specific question. However, do not make the Introduction too broad. Remember that you are writing for classmates who have knowledge similar to yours.
Present only the most relevant ideas and get quickly to the point of the paper. For examples, see the Appendix. The researcher describes the experimental design, the apparatus, methods of gathering data and type of control.
If any work was done in a natural habitat, the worker describes the study area, states its location and explains when the work was done. If specimens were collected for study, where and when that material was collected are stated. DO NOT write this section as though it were directions in a laboratory exercise book. Instead of writing: First pour agar into six petri plates. Then inoculate the plates with the bacteria. Then put the plates into the incubator.
Simply describe how the experiment was done: Six petri plates were prepared with agar and inoculated with the bacteria. The plates were incubated for ten hours. The materials that were used in the research are simply mentioned in the narrative as the experimental procedure is described in detail. If well-known methods were used without changes, simply name the methods e. If modified standard techniques were used, describe the changes.
RESULTS Here the researcher presents summarized data for inspection using narrative text and, where appropriate, tables and figures to display summarized data. Only the results are presented. No interpretation of the data or conclusions about what the data might mean are given in this section.
Do not present raw data! Do not repeat extensively in the text the data you have presented in tables and figures. But, do not restrict yourself to passing comments either. For example, only stating that "Results are shown in Table 1. The text describes the data presented in the tables and figures and calls attention to the important data that the researcher will discuss in the Discussion section and will use to support Conclusions.
Rules to follow when constructing and presenting figures and tables are presented in a later section of this guide. The author should include any explanations of how the results differed from those hypothesized, or how the results were either different from or similar to those of any related experiments performed by other researchers.
Remember that experiments do not always need to show major differences or trends to be important. A useful strategy in discussing your experiment is to relate your specific results back to the broad theoretical context presented in the Introduction. Since your Introduction went from the general to a specific question, going from the specific back to the general will help to tie your ideas and arguments together. This section should not offer any reasons for those particular conclusions--these should have been presented in the Discussion section.
By looking at only the Introduction and Conclusions sections, a reader should have a good idea of what the researcher has investigated and discovered even though the specific details of how the work was done would not be known. If your work has been supported by a grant, you would also give credit for that in this section. It provides the readers with the information needed should they want to refer to the original literature on the general problem.
Note that the Literature Cited section includes only those references that were actually mentioned cited in the paper. Any other information that the researcher may have read about the problem but did not mention in the paper is not included in this section. This is why the section is called "Literature Cited" instead of "References" or "Bibliography".
The system of citing reference material in scientific journals varies with the particular journal. The method that you will follow is the "author-date" system. Listed below are several examples of how citations should be presented in the text of your paper. The name s of the author s and year of publication are included in the body of the text. Sentence structure determines the placement of the parentheses. One author: 'Scott's model fails to The following citations illustrate the details of punctuation and order of information for a journal article, book, Internet source, and your laboratory packet.
Schneider, M. Occurrence of indoleacetic acid in the bryophytes.
Never use percentages for very small samples e.
You want to assume the reader knows something about the field, but do not assume the reader is an expert. You need to introduce the main scientific publications on which your work is based, citing a couple of original and important works, including recent review articles. Stebbins, G. Plant growth substances, both exogenously applied and endogenous, have often been implicated in the regulation of male sterility in several plant species Frankel and Galun , Kaul If any work was done in a natural habitat, the worker describes the study area, states its location and explains when the work was done.
You need to introduce the main scientific publications on which your work is based, citing a couple of original and important works, including recent review articles. This paper discusses the theory behind oblivious hashing and shows how this approach can be applied for local software tamper resistance and remote code authentication.
Remove all redundancies such as "studies on," "the nature of," etc.
Instead, state the message of each paragraph upfront: Convey in the first sentence what you want readers to remember from the paragraph as a whole. The strain was maintained on malt extract-yeast extract MY agar as described by Tanaka and Kanbe For example, only stating that "Results are shown in Table 1. Show whether, or to what extent, you have succeeded in addressing the need stated in the Introduction. Therefore, we examined the effects of both seed predation and ground cover i. Note that this part of the introduction is not necessary.
Editors like to see that you have provided a perspective consistent with the nature of the journal. The conclusion This paragraph of results and discussion above can easily be rewritten below to convey the message first, not last. Salt Tolerance in Phaseolus vulgaris. Moreover, you can suggest future experiments and point out those that are underway. If your work has been supported by a grant, you would also give credit for that in this section.
Instead, focus on what you have found and, especially, on what your findings mean. More job opportunities for teens, especially those funded by state and local programs, would offer income for teens as well as productive work for the community. List the methods in the same order they will appear in the Results section, in the logical order in which you did the research: Description of the site Description of the surveys or experiments done, giving information on dates, etc.
All materials have properties of all varieties. However, editors hate improper citations of too many references irrelevant to the work, or inappropriate judgments on your own achievements. To this end, they must emphasize both the motivation for the work and the outcome of it, and they must include just enough evidence to establish the validity of this outcome. Sometimes you cannot clarify your idea in words because some critical items have not been studied substantially. To make this section interesting, explain the choices you made in your experimental procedure: What justifies using a given compound, concentration, or dimension?
But do not forget that you need to give the whole picture at first. Stebbins, G.
It is true that now they are less used by journals because you can search the whole text. Generally, this will be in the same order as presented in the methods section. Interplant communication: airborne methyl jasmonate induces synthesis of proteinase inhibitors in plant leaves. In any of the above cases, the reader would be forced to read more of the paper to understand what the researcher had done.
Instead, focus on what you have found and, especially, on what your findings mean. Minimize personal communications, do not include unpublished observations, manuscripts submitted but not yet accepted for publication, publications that are not peer reviewed, grey literature, or articles not published in English.
The introduction must be organized from the global to the particular point of view, guiding the readers to your objectives when writing this paper.