Due to its high rigorous structure, which is so distinct from writing in the humanities, the scientific format may appear difficult to a new science writer. One reason for utilizing this style is that it allows for efficient and consistent communication of scientific discoveries to a large group of scientists.
Another reason, maybe even more significant than the first, is that this structure enables the work to be read at many levels. Many individuals, for example, read Titles to see what information is available on a topic.
Others will only be able to read the titles and abstracts. Those interested in learning more can look at the Tables and Figures in the Results section, and so on.
But how can you structure your paper so that all of the details are correct? If you’re a scientific researcher or co-author who wants to publish your work, keep reading to learn how to structure your paper.
Main sections of a scientific paper
Functions of an Abstract:
- An abstract highlights the key points of the full work in one paragraph (typically) in the following order:
- The question(s) you looked into In the first or second sentence, define the aim very clearly.
- The experimental design and methodologies employed to communicate the study’s core design clearly.
- Without going into too much depth, name or quickly describe the methodology utilized, making sure to include the essential techniques.
- The most important findings, such as significant quantitative results or patterns, present those findings that answer the questions you were asking, that identify trends, relative change or differences, and so on.
- A brief explanation of your findings and conclusions.
Only text makes up the Abstract. When possible, use the active voice; however, passive sentences may be necessary. Write your Abstract in short, concise phrases that go right to the topic. Past tense should be used. A single paragraph should have a maximum length of 200–300 words.
THE FOLLOWING ARE NOT REQUIRED TO BE INCLUDED IN THE ABSTRACT:
- elliptical or incomplete phrases,
- long background information,
- allusions to other works,
- elliptical or unfinished phrases,
- acronyms or terms that may be confusing to readers,
- any type of image, figure, or table, or references to them
Despite the fact that it is the first portion of your work, the Abstract must be prepared last because it summarizes it. Take complete sentences or important words from each section and arrange them in a manner that summarizes the article to begin writing your Abstract.
Then start editing or adding words to make everything flow together and make sense. As your skills improve, you’ll most likely write the Abstract from scratch.
Functions of an Introduction:
- Set the context for the task being reported. This is done by reviewing relevant primary research literature (with citations) and summarizing our present understanding of the topic you’re looking into.
- In the form of the hypothesis, topic, or problem you explored, state the aim of the study; and,
- Explain your reasoning and strategy, as well as the probable consequences of your research, as briefly as possible.
As much as possible, use the active voice. It’s fine to use the first person occasionally, but not often.
The Introduction’s structure may be thought of as an inverted triangle. Organize the data such that the most broad elements of the issue are presented first in the Introduction, followed by more particular topical material that gives context, and lastly your statement of purpose and argument.
3. Materials and Methods:
Functions of materials and methods:
- the organism(s) investigated (plant, animal, human, etc.) and, if applicable, their pre-experiment handling and care, as well as when and where the study was conducted (only if location and time are critical elements); It’s worth noting that the term “subject” is only applied to human research.
- Provide a description of the research site, including major physical and biological aspects, as well as the specific location (latitude and longitude, map, etc.)
- if you conducted a field study; the experimental OR sample design (i.e., how the experiment or study was constructed. Controls, treatments, what variable(s) were assessed, how many samples were collected, replication, the data’s final form, and so on);
- the data collection protocol, i.e., how the experimental procedures were carried out and how the data were analyzed (qualitative analyses and/or statistical methods were utilized to assess significance, data transformations were employed, what probability was used to evaluate significance, etc.).
Subheadings work well for this. Organize your presentation such that the reader understands the logical flow of the experiment(s). Even if it was split up across time, each experiment or process should be reported as a unit.
Because it would be impossible to separate the experimental design and technique if they were provided separately, it is sometimes best to present them as a single unit.
In general, include enough quantitative data about your experimental technique (how much, how long, when, etc.) so that other scientists can replicate your studies.
This part should be written as though you were orally explaining the experiment’s results. To some extent, you may utilize the active voice, although this section necessitates the usage of third-person, passive constructions more than others. In this section, avoid using the first person.
Remember to use the past tense throughout — the work you’re reporting is complete and was completed in the past, not in the future.
Functions of results:
The purpose of the Results section is to convey your major findings in an orderly and logical manner, without interpretation, utilizing both text and graphic resources (Tables and Figures).
Always start with text in the results section, describing the most important findings while referring to your figures and tables as needed. Statistical analysis summaries can be found in the text (typically parenthetically) or in the appropriate Tables or Figures (in the legend or as footnotes to the Table or Figure).
The Results section should be organized around Tables and/or Figures that are arranged in a logical order to present your major results.
Write the Results section’s content concisely and objectively. Although the passive voice will most certainly prevail, utilise the active voice as often as possible. Use the past tense to express yourself.
Repetitive paragraph constructions should be avoided. This is not the place to interpret the data. The shift from expressive to explanatory language can be difficult.
This part helps the reader understand your findings by relating them to prior research and the literature as a whole. Present your overall conclusions, including an evaluation of the research’s strengths and limitations, as well as the consequences of your results.
Resolve the hypothesis and/or research question you mentioned at the beginning.
- To back up your argument, use in-text citations.
- Unless it is required for a discussion of the research’s general implications, do not repeat the material you gave in the results or the introduction.
This part is occasionally included in the discussion’s last paragraph. Explain how your research relates to your field of study and propose potential research topics.
Keep this part to a minimum.
7. References or Citation:
Author names, date of publication, title of paper/chapter, title of journal/book, and publisher name and location are all included here for each source you utilized.
The references list might be in alphabetical order (author–date citation style) or in the order in which the sources appear in the article (numbered citations). If no style standards are supplied, adopt a citation format and be consistent with it.
- When completing your final proofreading, double-check that the reference list items match the in-text citations (i.e., no missing or conflicting information).
- A hanging indent is used in several citation formats, and they can be alphabetized. Use the styles in Microsoft Word to help you format your citations.
You can include non-essential material that explains a point in this optional part without weighing down the main body of the document. That is, if you have too much information to include within a (relatively) short research report, transfer it to this section.
- This part is not commonly found in published studies.
- Check whether your journal permits extra data before submitting, and don’t include any vital information in this area.
Things to include in an appendix:
- raw data
- maps (foldout type especially)
- extra photographs
- diagrams of specialized apparati.
Appendices are frequently used to provide figures and tables. These should be structured in the same way as the body of the document, but they should be numbered in a different order.
Figure 1 would be the first figure in the appendix, Table 1 would be the first table, and so on. When there are several appendices, the Table and Figure numbering must also include the appendix number.
Even though formatting your research paper isn’t something you’re looking forward to, it’s critical to present your results clearly, consistently, and professionally.
Your chances of publishing improve with the appropriate paper style, and your research is more likely to have an effect in your field. Don’t overlook the finer points. They are the foundation of scientific study and research.
One vital tip is to look for an editing and proofreading service once you are done with the hectic process. as you can see, finishing a scientific paper is not as easy as it sounds so, leaving the editing and proofreading part to the experts will be a wise decision to make.
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Thanks and Regards,