Elements of a Scientific Paper
Every scientific paper should include the following parts:
- Abstract: This is a summary of your entire research paper, usually no more than 250 words.
- Introduction: Introduce your research by explaining your interest in the subject area and previous research in the area.
- 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?
- Observations/Data: What did your research discover? Here is the place to include any data or drafts.
- Discussion: Why does your research matter? Are their any factors that could have influenced your data?
- Conclusion: Will you be continuing this research with further research?
- Reference List/Bibliography: What sources did you cite in your paper?
See some examples at the links below.
- Does Work Affect Personality? A Study in Horses
- Effect of Restrictions on Television Food Advertising to Children on Exposure to Advertisements for “Less Healthy” Foods: Repeat Cross-Sectional Study
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.
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.
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.
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.
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