Scientific writing part ii july 23 2003
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Scientific Writing Part II July 23, 2003. The Scientific Paper (overview). A scientific paper contains specific parts that are organized in a specific manner The paper’s objectives and goals are explicit The paper is addressing a specific audience. The Scientific Paper (overview).

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The scientific paper overview
The Scientific Paper (overview)

  • A scientific paper contains specific parts that are organized in a specific manner

  • The paper’s objectives and goals are explicit

  • The paper is addressing a specific audience


The scientific paper overview1
The Scientific Paper (overview)

  • The paper reflects the level of research

    • Past research

    • Opposing research

    • Reconciles issues

  • The paper has been through the review process many times

    • Self proofing

    • Colleagues, advisors, non-specialists

    • Editors, anonymous reviewers


Structure of the scientific paper
Structure of the Scientific Paper

  • Title page

  • Abstract

  • Introduction

  • Materials and methods

  • Results

  • Discussion

  • Acknowledgements

  • Literature Cited


Structure of the scientific paper1
Structure of the Scientific Paper

  • The TITLE PAGE (1/8)

    • The title of the paper

      • A single sentence that describes the topic of the paper

    • Author’s name and address


The population genetics of epinephelus merra of the society islands

Scientific names of organisms are in italics

The population genetics of Epinephelus merra of the Society Islands

Example of a title page:

Gregorio Benavides

University of California, Santa Cruz

Center of Ocean Health

Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Email: benavides@biology.ucsc.edu


Structure of the scientific paper2
Structure of the Scientific Paper

  • The ABSTRACT (2/8)

    • “Abstracts and summaries are hard to write because you have little space to create a big impact”

    • “This is the first – and sometimes last – impression that readers and reviewers get of your work”

    • “It is worth slaving over”

      Dr. Laurel Fox, UCSC


Structure of the scientific paper3
Structure of the Scientific Paper

  • The ABSTRACT (2/8)

    • It is a brief synopsis of the entire paper in a series of sentences:

      • First sentence: Summary of your introduction

      • Next sentence or two: Your methods

      • Next sentence: Your results

      • Final sentence: The most important conclusion


Structure of the scientific paper4
Structure of the Scientific Paper

  • The ABSTRACT (2/8)

    • The abstract does not contain referenced sentences

      “The geography of speciation has long been contentious. In recent years, phylogenetic approaches have been proposed to determine the geographical mode of speciation (Brooks et al., 1991; Barraclough and Vogler, 2000; Berlocher, 1998).


Structure of the scientific paper5
Structure of the Scientific Paper

  • The ABSTRACT (2/8)

    • In some cases, you may want to include the name of a researcher

      • Name of the hypothesis or process is named after the scientist

        “McArthur and Wilson’s theory of island biogeography dictates that…”


Structure of the scientific paper6
Structure of the Scientific Paper

  • The INTRODUCTION (3/8)

    • Serves two purposes:

      • To provide background on the question you will address

      • To state and justify your hypothesis


Structure of the scientific paper7

Reflect the level of understanding that you have on the subject

Structure of the Scientific Paper

  • The INTRODUCTION (3/8)

    • Background on the question you will address: what it entails

      • Review the primary and secondary literature

      • Summarize and synthesize

      • Condense into one or two paragraphs


Structure of the scientific paper8
Structure of the Scientific Paper subject

  • The INTRODUCTION (3/8)

    • Whenever you quote someone, or even paraphrase their idea, you must CITE THEM


Structure of the scientific paper9
Structure of the Scientific Paper subject

  • Examples of how to cite references:

    • “For complex calculations, parallel processors are superior to current computer architecture,” (Smith 1980)

    • The use of parallel processors for complex mathematical calculations was first proposed by Smith (1980) for handling complex calculations

    • As early as 1980, parallel processors were believed to be the optimal computer architecture for handling complex calculations (Smith)


Structure of the scientific paper10
Structure of the Scientific Paper subject

  • Examples of how to cite references:

    • “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people” (Smith and Wesson, 1980; Uzi 1990a, 1990b)

    • The results of numerous studies on smoking have shown that smoking is not addictive to any significant degree (Benson 1980; Hedges 1985)

    • The use of DDT for controlling mosquito populations has not been shown to have an adverse effect on the brown pelican or other shore birds (Monsanto et al., 1977; Shellthinner 1985)


Structure of the scientific paper11
Structure of the Scientific Paper subject

  • The MATERIALS AND METHODS section (4/8)

    • Provide information on your experimental design

      • Setup of your experiments

        • Location, number of replicates, how you measured activity, diagrams, etc.


Structure of the scientific paper12
Structure of the Scientific Paper subject

  • The MATERIALS AND METHODS section (4/8)

    • Provide information on your experimental design

      • Identify experimental conditions

        • Directly relates to your question

        • Should be explicitly stated


Structure of the scientific paper13
Structure of the Scientific Paper subject

  • The MATERIALS AND METHODS section (4/8)

    • You may need to cite references in the M&M

      • Method you are using is based on or is exactly like on used in another study

        • You want to replicate study

        • Shorter than re-stating the whole experimental design


Structure of the scientific paper14
Structure of the Scientific Paper subject

  • The RESULTS section (5/8)

    • There is only one goal: the presentation of your data

    • Focus on information that pertains directly to your hypothesis


Structure of the scientific paper15
Structure of the Scientific Paper subject

Avoid reporting results twice


Structure of the scientific paper16
Structure of the Scientific Paper subject

  • The RESULTS section (5/8)

    • Use text to present data, or

    • Use tables and figures, but

    • Don’t say the same thing twice!!


Structure of the scientific paper17
Structure of the Scientific Paper subject

  • The RESULTS section (5/8)

    • Things that you will report:

      • Data that will allow you to verify/backup your hypothesis

      • Results of the statistical tests

      • Results of your experiments


Structure of the scientific paper18
Structure of the Scientific Paper subject

  • The RESULTS section (5/8)

    • Things that you will NOT include:

      • Interpretation of the data

      • In most cases, references

      • Discussion of your results

      • More background data


Structure of the scientific paper19
Structure of the Scientific Paper subject

  • The DISCUSSION section (6/8)

    • Here is where you interpret the data

      • Were your hypothesis supported?

      • Speculate on the results

      • Synthesize what you know about the topic

      • Use you imagination


Structure of the scientific paper20
Structure of the Scientific Paper subject

  • The DISCUSSION section (6/8)

    • Here is where you interpret the data

      • What are the implications of your findings?

      • Step back and examine the SIGNIFICANCE of your findings

        • Are they universal? Can they apply to other systems?


Structure of the scientific paper21
Structure of the Scientific Paper subject

  • The DISCUSSION section (6/8)

    • Here is where you interpret the data

      • Reconcile your findings with those of other people’s work

      • Offer why there may be differences

      • Look AHEAD


Structure of the scientific paper22
Structure of the Scientific Paper subject

  • The ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS section (7/8)

    • Here is where you thank anyone who helped with the design and execution of your project.

    • Thank and list the funding sources


Structure of the scientific paper23
Structure of the Scientific Paper subject

  • The LITERATURE CITED section (8/8)

    • List all of the references that you cited in the paper

    • Use the convention or “rules” set by the journal or professor


Structure of the scientific paper24
Structure of the Scientific Paper subject

NOW YOU ARE DONE!!