Trough Science Term Paper

The section headings (Abstract, Introduction, etc.) should be centered and the body of each section should follow immediately below the heading. Do not begin each section on a new page. If one section ends part of the way down the page, the next section heading follows immediately on the same page.

One important general rule to keep in mind is that a scientific paper is a report about something that has been done in the past. Most of the paper should be written in the PAST TENSE (was, were). The present tense (is, are) is used when stating generalizations or conclusions. The present tense is most often used in the Introduction, Discussion and Conclusion sections of papers. The paper should read as a narrative in which the author describes what was done and what results were obtained from that work.

 

TITLE

Every scientific paper must have a self-explanatory title. By reading the title, the work being reported should be clear to the reader without having to read the paper itself. The title, "A Biology Lab Report", tells the reader nothing. An example of a good, self-explanatory title would be: "The Effects of Light and Temperature on the Growth of Populations of the Bacterium, Escherichia coli ". This title reports exactly what the researcher has done by stating three things:

If the title had been only "Effects of Light and Temperature on Escherichia coli ", the reader would have to guess which parameters were measured. (That is, were the effects on reproduction, survival, dry weight or something else?) If the title had been "Effect of Environmental Factors on Growth of Escherichia coli ", the reader would not know which environmental factors were manipulated. If the title had been "Effects of Light and Temperature on the Growth of an Organism", then the reader would not know which organism was studied. In any of the above cases, the reader would be forced to read more of the paper to understand what the researcher had done.

Exceptions do occur: If several factors were manipulated, all of them do not have to be listed. Instead, "Effects of Several Environmental Factors on Growth of Populations ofEscherichia coli " (if more than two or three factors were manipulated) would be appropriate. The same applies if more than two or three organisms were studied. For example, "Effects of Light and Temperature on the Growth of Four Species of Bacteria" would be correct. The researcher would then include the names of the bacteria in the Materials and Methods section of the paper.

 

ABSTRACT

The abstract section in a scientific paper is a concise digest of the content of the paper. An abstract is more than a summary. A summary is a brief restatement of preceding text that is intended to orient a reader who has studied the preceding text. An abstract is intended to be self-explanatory without reference to the paper, but is not a substitute for the paper.

The abstract should present, in about 250 words, the purpose of the paper, general materials and methods (including, if any, the scientific and common names of organisms), summarized results, and the major conclusions. Do not include any information that is not contained in the body of the paper. Exclude detailed descriptions of organisms, materials and methods. Tables or figures, references to tables or figures, or references to literature cited usually are not included in this section. The abstract is usually written last. An easy way to write the abstract is to extract the most important points from each section of the paper and then use those points to construct a brief description of your study.

 

INTRODUCTION

The Introduction is the statement of the problem that you investigated. It should give readers enough information to appreciate your specific objectives within a larger theoretical framework. After placing your work in a broader context, you should state the specific question(s) to be answered. This section may also include background information about the problem such as a summary of any research that has been done on the problem in the past and how the present experiment will help to clarify or expand the knowledge in this general area. All background information gathered from other sources must, of course, be appropriately cited. (Proper citation of references will be described later.)

A helpful strategy in this section is to go from the general, theoretical framework to your specific question. However, do not make the Introduction too broad. Remember that you are writing for classmates who have knowledge similar to yours. Present only the most relevant ideas and get quickly to the point of the paper. For examples, see the Appendix.

 

MATERIALS AND METHODS

This section explains how and, where relevant, when the experiment was done. The researcher describes the experimental design, the apparatus, methods of gathering data and type of control. If any work was done in a natural habitat, the worker describes the study area, states its location and explains when the work was done. If specimens were collected for study, where and when that material was collected are stated. The general rule to remember is that the Materials and Methods section should be detailed and clear enough so that any reader knowledgeable in basic scientific techniques could duplicate the study if she/he wished to do so. For examples, see the Appendix.

DO NOT write this section as though it were directions in a laboratory exercise book. Instead of writing:

Simply describe how the experiment was done:

Also, DO NOT LIST the equipment used in the experiment. The materials that were used in the research are simply mentioned in the narrative as the experimental procedure is described in detail. If well-known methods were used without changes, simply name the methods (e.g., standard microscopic techniques; standard spectrophotometric techniques). If modified standard techniques were used, describe the changes.

 

RESULTS

Here the researcher presents summarized data for inspection using narrative text and, where appropriate, tables and figures to display summarized data. Only the results are presented. No interpretation of the data or conclusions about what the data might mean are given in this section. Data assembled in tables and/or figures should supplement the text and present the data in an easily understandable form. Do not present raw data! If tables and/or figures are used, they must be accompanied by narrative text. Do not repeat extensively in the text the data you have presented in tables and figures. But, do not restrict yourself to passing comments either. (For example, only stating that "Results are shown in Table 1." is not appropriate.) The text describes the data presented in the tables and figures and calls attention to the important data that the researcher will discuss in the Discussion section and will use to support Conclusions. (Rules to follow when constructing and presenting figures and tables are presented in a later section of this guide.)

 

DISCUSSION

Here, the researcher interprets the data in terms of any patterns that were observed, any relationships among experimental variables that are important and any correlations between variables that are discernible. The author should include any explanations of how the results differed from those hypothesized, or how the results were either different from or similar to those of any related experiments performed by other researchers. Remember that experiments do not always need to show major differences or trends to be important. "Negative" results also need to be explained and may represent something important--perhaps a new or changed focus for your research.

A useful strategy in discussing your experiment is to relate your specific results back to the broad theoretical context presented in the Introduction. Since your Introduction went from the general to a specific question, going from the specific back to the general will help to tie your ideas and arguments together.

 

CONCLUSIONS

This section simply states what the researcher thinks the data mean, and, as such, should relate directly back to the problem/question stated in the introduction. This section should not offer any reasons for those particular conclusions--these should have been presented in the Discussion section. By looking at only the Introduction and Conclusions sections, a reader should have a good idea of what the researcher has investigated and discovered even though the specific details of how the work was done would not be known.

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

In this section you should give credit to people who have helped you with the research or with writing the paper. If your work has been supported by a grant, you would also give credit for that in this section.

 

LITERATURE CITED

This section lists, in alphabetical order by author, all published information that was referred to anywhere in the text of the paper. It provides the readers with the information needed should they want to refer to the original literature on the general problem. Note that the Literature Cited section includes only those references that were actually mentioned (cited) in the paper. Any other information that the researcher may have read about the problem but did not mention in the paper is not included in this section. This is why the section is called "Literature Cited" instead of "References" or "Bibliography".

The system of citing reference material in scientific journals varies with the particular journal. The method that you will follow is the "author-date" system. Listed below are several examples of how citations should be presented in the text of your paper. The name(s) of the author(s) and year of publication are included in the body of the text. Sentence structure determines the placement of the parentheses.

  • Virginia Kearney 13 days agofrom United States

    Hi Selena. For a science journal, you need to record the date, the information you get from a source and the bibliographical information. Generally, I suggest that students write a short summary of the information they get from a source and then their response to that information, which can include what they learned, what questions the information made you think about, and what you thought was useful or important.

  • Selena Leong 2 weeks ago

    This real helped me I was looking for topics for my research paper for days. Great thanks alot.

    Any advice on how to write a science journal ?

  • Virginia Kearney 2 weeks agofrom United States

    Hi Gloria, there are some life science samples in the topics above. Here are a couple more:

    How is DNA analysis of ancient bones changing our concept of the evolutionary tree?

    How is Biopharma changing healthcare?

  • Yolo 2 weeks ago

    Thanks so much

  • Gloria T. Jauod. 2 weeks ago

    I haven't tried doing science research but I want to try. I am interested on life science. Could you give me some samples?

  • Donald Trump 2 weeks ago

    Good topics

  • JEROME 3 weeks ago

    LOVE SCIENCE

  • Nkateko 5 weeks ago

    Thanks for your idears they are so helpful

  • Virginia Kearney 7 weeks agofrom United States

    That's a good idea explorer.

  • explorer1234 7 weeks ago

    More topics related to space science would be great!

  • Valerie Chan 7 weeks ago

    Interesting research on a great app for me to get a great time to share.

  • Angelyn 7 weeks ago

    I love all the topics. All of it are interesting. Well, i need something for my research that the output will be tangible or can be use by others. Thanks for the help.

  • Alice 2 months ago

    can you do a topic on drugs cigarettes and smoking?

  • Jerome Allen 2 months ago

    This is a very great website

  • Virginia Kearney 2 months agofrom United States

    Hi Bella--You need to look at my science fair article about growing flowers.

  • bella 2 months ago

    hi love the articles but Im doing a lab that the title is: will a flower grow faster and more efficiently in cold or hot water but I don't know that purpose is? or the hypothesis.

  • katie eldeen 2 months ago

    ok thankyou so much you have been very helpful I think I have a pretty good idea of what I'm going to do

  • Virginia Kearney 3 months agofrom United States

    Hi Katie--I'd start with an example of when the physics of motion is helpful, or used, or happens in daily life. To decide which sort of motion to research, I'd go to some physics websites (or even Wikipedia) and look up the different kinds and see which one you find most interesting, or which one you think you could find the most information about. Sometimes, I suggest that before choosing a topic that students do some preliminary research, looking for information. If you can't find anything useful in 30 minutes or so, you should probably choose another topic.

  • katie eldeen 3 months ago

    hi Virginia, I love your articles. I'm doing a 10-15 page research paper on physics of motion. this is a huge topic and I really need a good attention grabber. I have no idea what section of motion I'm going to be discussing, I also need some advice there. if you could help I would really appreciate it

  • lilibethlopez0123@gmail.com 3 months ago

    I need this for my science and research class. I could see it's of great help.

  • Virginia Kearney 3 months agofrom United States

    Hi Mega Sai, It would be a good idea for you to look at my other articles about how to write research papers and argument papers.

  • Mega Sai 3 months ago

    hi ,i am so much intrested in doing research on an intresting topic thatsy i have selected the topic related to nano materials.can any one give an idea how to approach in the topic related to nanomaterials

  • Virginia Kearney 3 months agofrom United States

    Hi Katie--You might want to look at my article on Technology topics because that has information about physical science topics. If you are working on Creationism, you might want to see my article about "Can Christians believe in Evolution?

  • katie eldeen 3 months ago

    I need a cool topic about physical science, can you help?

  • Virginia Kearney 4 months agofrom United States

    Good point, Jenna--I'll add a Chemistry section.

  • Virginia Kearney 4 months agofrom United States

    Good point Jenna--I'll add a Chemistry section.

  • Virginia Kearney 4 months agofrom United States

    Yes, Eli--astronomy is the study of the universe and that is part of science.

  • Virginia Kearney 5 months agofrom United States

    Marley, you have a good idea about endangered animals. Here are some samples: How do we best save endangered animals? Or you can pick a specific one to talk about. How do we balance the interests of people and animals on our planet? Does buying up land and setting it aside as a nature refuge work to save endangered animals? Does Ecotourism help save endangered animals?

  • Marley 5 months ago

    Maybe topics about endangered animals? Those are very interesting to me and other people.

  • Dameon 5 months ago

    infectious diseases like the flesh eating disease is interesting to read about.

  • lauren 5 months ago

    really interested in molecular biology and genome mapping

  • Virginia Kearney 5 months agofrom United States

    Sure Samantha, although I don't know what information is available on that topic. You can search for "dog communication" in Google Scholar to get some idea of any studies that have already been done.

  • Samantha 5 months ago

    we are doing a project for science and i want to do a project on how dogs communicate, would that be related to science?

  • lol 5 months ago

    lol lol lol lol

  • mahnoor 5 months ago

    please add some plant related topics

  • Anonymous 6 months ago

    Interested in animals

  • maria 6 months ago

    interested in moleculer biology and medicine

  • Ahmed 6 months ago

    I am Interest in Data and communication network specially in performance analysis of VoIP over Wimax networks

  • Tshivhinda Murunwa 6 months ago

    Thank you so much

  • Virginia Kearney 6 months agofrom United States

    Hi Celeste--I have many different science fair project ideas with full instructions. Look at my profile for ideas.

  • Riley Bozarth 6 months ago

    Plenty of cool topics in the Astronomy and Physics category

  • Celeste 6 months ago

    I am at school and I wanna ask. What would be a good project for science research class? Were having difficulty picking a project for our 'science fair'. It isn't really a science fair though more like a presentation. What good ideas can I use with like space stuff?

  • Virginia Kearney 6 months agofrom United States

    EunJae, you might want to look at my science experiment about the salinity of water in agriculture.

  • EunJae 6 months ago

    How about in agricultural aspects? Are there any common problems that arising nowadays? I really need help. Thank you.

  • kabiru 6 months ago

    it was interesting

  • Yusuf kurt 6 months ago

    I'm really interested in theoretical physics

  • Virginia Kearney 7 months agofrom United States

    Hi Lily, I have a lot of different science fair projects I have designed. The one that seems to suit your idea best is "How does salt water affect seed germination." It is on owlcation, and you can find it by searching my profile page or googling it, or this link: https://owlcation.com/stem/Science-Project-How-Doe...

  • Lily 7 months ago

    Hi Virginia. I have a science fair coming up and I need help for a topic. So I've already put down environmental management as my topic and "destruction" as my heading because I was going to conduct an experiment on something else. But now that won't work and I'm planning on doing a research project. So do you have any ideas of what I could say that has anything to do with the destruction of the earth? It would help if you would reply ASAP. Thanks xxx

  • alamira.alwiraikat@gmail.com 7 months ago

    Thank you for this information and I am learning from you

  • Virginia Kearney 7 months agofrom United States

    Hi Annie, you might try one of the following: Do multi media science presentations work more effectively to help students retain information? Which type of multi media teaching method is most effective for science students?

  • Annie Blase 7 months ago

    hi! ..I would like to have a research on teaching science through multimedia,, any suggestions what would be a good topic? Thank you..

  • Virginia Kearney 8 months agofrom United States

    Jessica--Good topic idea! Something like: What is the value of space exploration of other planets for humans?

  • Jessica Jones 8 months ago

    I think something on how looking at other planets in the universe helps us learn more about our own would be a good topic

  • Virginia Kearney 8 months agofrom United States

    Hi Suzie! You've come to the right place. I have over 100 articles on writing and other articles on doing science projects. You can see my articles under my profile or just search for a topic. You can also see other articles written by me linked on the side.

  • Suzie Sheep 8 months ago

    Hello Mrs. I would like some more tips for my students in my class. They all need a project on something. Cheers.

  • Mini 8 months ago

    Thank you so much ma'am

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