Writing A Science Research Paper

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The methods and information in this lecture can be applied to almost any kind of research paper, although of course the exact structure and content will be somewhat determined by where you are submitting your research.

The general structure of scientific research papers is IMR&D (Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion).

And to do this, researchers must publish their work in journals.

Strong writing is key to making your research more accessible and powerful, and therefore this presentation is not about the rigors of research, but the demands of research writing.

The information moves from broad to specific to broad again as seen in this diagram, the Introduction and Discussion taking up the most room in your paper and the Methods and Results usually being the shortest ad most focused sections.

However, the order in which you write your paper will not be the same as the final order of the information.This section responds to the question “What do the results mean?” This section is easy to write, but difficult to write well.We won’t go into the details of how to prepare these here, but in the Results section we will go over how to write captions for the figures based on the data and research questions.For a detailed explanation of preparing and formatting figures, check out these sites (every journal will have their own formatting guidelines): Write the Results in the same order as you wrote your Methods.The Discussion section is more open than the Results and Methods section, but you should always focus first on what is MOST important and then move to what is less important to your research problem.Divide the analysis of results by paragraph and do not combine unrelated datasets in one paragraph The Conclusion offers you a chance to briefly show how your work advances the field from the present state of knowledge.This takes a completely different skillset than essay writing or sending emails to your professors and friends, and therefore it is a good idea for every researcher to keep learning how to improve research writing.Research is about more than just the scientific principles and discoveries you are making—it is about sharing these discoveries with fellow researchers and with the public.Let’s first look briefly at what each section does and then discuss how to organize and compose your work.*Discusses the problem to be solved (purpose statement) *Describes where your research fits into the current science (background and context) *Uses primary literature with citations and summarizes the current understanding of the problem (“literature review”) *Write it last—after the conclusion and before the title and abstract *Tells how you did the study—what materials and methods of research and analysis were used.


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