LibrariesOutreachWriting Help
Writing Help
This video (created by University Libraries Instruction) offers some suggestions on how to avoid
plagiarism in your papers.

Elements of a Scientific Paper

Every scientific paper should include the following parts:

  1. Abstract: This is a summary of your entire research paper, usually no more than 250 words.
  2. Introduction: Introduce your research by explaining your interest in the subject area and previous research in the area.
  3. Methods: This is a place for you to describe your research process. Did you conduct experiments? Were they in a lab? Did they model an experiment previously conducted?
  4. Observations/Data: What did your research discover? Here is the place to include any data or drafts.
  5. Discussion: Why does your research matter? Are their any factors that could have influenced your data?
  6. Conclusion: Will you be continuing this research with further research?
  7. Reference List/Bibliography: What sources did you cite in your paper?

See some examples at the links below.

Citation Styles

Which style is right for your paper? Below is a quick guide to the primary subject areas for each style.

APA: psychology, education, and other social sciences.

MLA: literature, arts, and humanities.

AMA: medicine, health, and biological sciences.

Turabian: designed for college students to use with all subjects.

Chicago: used with all subjects in the “real world” by books, magazines, newspapers, and other non-scholarly publications.

For assistance learning the styles or creating bibliographies, check out the links below.

BibMe Bibliography Maker

This site offers free bibliography assistance and research organization in MLA, APA, Chicago, and Turabian formats. Users create accounts and can maintain multiple bibliographies at the same time.


This is another free site for citation management. Users make accounts and download a free app on the Firefox web browser to immediately capture web citations or other information.

OWL at Purdue

This site shares in-depth, organized information on how to cite resources in papers and create reference lists. It shows examples of real papers to show finished work should look like.

NCSU Libraries Citation Builder

The North Carolina State University website offers a citation generator feature. This generator builds citations and offers support for MLA and APA citation styles as well as includes links to other resources.

Explore our digital collections

The Catalogues of Walden University, consisting of five catalogs published between 1900 and 1917, are available as a digital collection.

Catalogues of Walden University