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A. RESEARCH MANUSCRIPTS TYPICALLY CONSISTS OF THESE SECTIONS (and in this order!)
but descriptive, although you do not want to be vague or incorrect. This
is your first chance to grab the reader’s attention.
Capitalize all words, except articles and prepositions.
summarizes your work in one concise paragraph (usually less than 250 words).
It should state the object of the study, describe the methods employed,
and summarize results and primary conclusions. It is usually easiest to
write the abstract after completing the other sections of the paper.
should establish the existing state of knowledge of your research topic
and then identify the specific focus of your work. Information typically
flows in the following manner:
Important links -- check these out!
|MATERIALS & METHODS||In writing
the Materials and Methods section, you need to describe what you did in
such a way that other scientists can follow and duplicate your experiment.
One of the most difficult things in writing a Materials and Methods section
is deciding how much detail to give the reader. Too much detail can make
this section excessively long. You should try to be concise, but complete.
describes the results of your work and includes a summary of the data found
in your tables and figures.
is often the most challenging section to write. In this section your should
interpret your data and draw conclusions regarding your hypothesis. Avoid
repeating the results section --evaluate your data and their implications
in a broader context (i.e. why should anyone care about this?).
How has your work added to our knowledge of this phenomenon or organism or system?
|ACKNOWLEDGMENTS||Professionally acknowledge individuals and organizations that were important in making your study possible. Avoid being "gushy" or overly flip.|
|LITERATURE CITED||Each of the
references cited in your manuscript (in the Introduction, Discussion, etc.)
must be listed in the Literature Cited section. Avoid listing uncited references!
The format of this section is highly formalized and varies somewhat among journals and organizations. Be sure to determine what format is appropriate for your manuscript and follow it carefully and consistently!
Two general citation options are used in scientific papers -- the "name-year convention" and the "citation-sequence" convention. Review the examples to see how these conventions differ.
Literature citations vs. literature references: two formatting conventions (name-year vs. citation-sequence).
precise numerical presentation of data. They should be concise and organized.
All tables should have the following elements:
graphs, maps, photos, and technical diagrams. Presentation of data in graphs
is generally more desirable than tables because they aid the reader in
visualizing trends in the data. There are various types of graphs, but
the most common graphs used in scientific writing are scatter plots,
line graphs, and vertical bar graphs. Spreadsheet software
typically has good figure construction features.
Regardless of the type of graph constructed, all contain the following similar elements:
When you create figures for a manuscript, avoid using color for any element (bars, lines, symbols, axes, etc.) in the figure. All elements in the figure should be constructed in black or gray-scale. A surprising variety of bars, lines, and symbols may be created without color. (However, when making figures for posters or electronic slide shows, use of colored elements is recommended.)
* Research manuscripts commonly (but not always) include tables and figures.
material in the above table is summarized in a printable "Master"
B. OVERVIEW OF MANUSCRIPT SECTIONS -- ORDER OF COMPLETION, ETC.
|SECTION||SUGGESTED ORDER OF COMPLETION||INCLUDES
LITERATURE CITATIONS? *
|INCLUDED IN PAGE NUMBERING?|
(save for last!)
(= page 1)
(final numbered pages)
(on unnumbered pages)
* For example, Smith (1998)
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