Parts of a Scientific Paper

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Title should include:
The factor that was manipulated (the treatment variable).
The parameter that was measured (the response variable).
The organism that was used, preferably mentioned by scientific name.
What does an abstract do?
Allows scientists to determine quickly if the paper is worth their time reading
How to write an abstract
A summary of your entire paper in about 200-400 words and should include 1-2 sentences about the introduction to the broad study, 1-3 sentences about methods, 1-3 results sentences, and a concluding sentence
Purpose of Methods section
Allows others to assess the validity of your experimental design, to understand your lab techniques, and to know the experiment you used
What did you find for your experiment?? Just pure data no interpretation.
What does the discussion do?
It gives the big lessons that can be learned from the work, and it compares the work to other similar research found in the literature
Do’s of the discussion section
Always filled with references to the scientific literature, emphasis be broadly applicable to generalizations and principles
Don’ts of the discussion
Do not summarize (one paragraph in beginning is okay). Don’t use subheadings unless very complicated
Things to definitely include in discussion
Interpretations of the data in light of literature available prior to the study. Were your results expected or unexpected? Implications of the results in the real world. Main principles demonstrated from results
How to end a discussion section
Provide a clear answer to the question posed at the end of the introduction
When do you use tables?
When a reader needs to see the actual values, not just the trends. When you have too many values to list individually in the text
Organization of Tables
Number each table separately from figures, the caption goes above, organize date in columns to be read up and down, include units in column names, use a table caption and add explanation of columns if needed
Figures should include:
What results are being shown in the graph
The organism studied in the experiment (if applicable),
Context for the results: The treatment applied or the relationship displayed, etc.
location (ONLY if a field experiment),
Sample sizes and Statistical test summaries as they apply
Example figure
Figure 1: The mean diameter of the zone of inhibition of Staphylococcus epidermidis when subcultured in the presence of Triclosan and ethanol (control) over the course of 3 days (n=4). Error bars represent SE.
Alphabetical order, hanging first line, only capitalize first word of article title, no italics or underline in title, italicize journal titles and book titles, pay attention to punctiuation
Examples of journal references
One author
Abbott, T. 1999. The earth stands still when when professors speak. Journal of Irreproducible Results 50:1-5.

Two authors
Ashford, C.J. and Smith, O. 2004. Do professors know
what they are talking about? Journal of Unacceptable
Questions 101:20-30.

Structure of a methods sectiom
Follow a logical outline to the reader understands every step. Use past tense. Describe basic experimental design. Use subheadings for each major task. Use precise language. Definitions of new terms and abbreviations. Conditions of the experiment (temperature, light, pH). And finally end with statistical tests and justification.

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