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How to write an outline for scientific paper

  • 07.02.2019
How to write an outline for scientific paper

Each major point should be a clear claim that relates to the central argument of your paper. Sample Major Point: Employment and physical health may be a good first major point for this sample paper. Here, a student might discuss how dropping out of high school often leads to fewer employment opportunities, and those employment opportunities that are available tend to be correlated with poor work environments and low pay.

Minor points are subtopics within your major points. Minor points develop the nuances of your major points but may not be significant enough to warrant extended attention on their own.

These may come in the form of statistics, examples from your sources, or supporting ideas. Sample Minor Point: A sample minor point of the previous major point employment and physical health might address worker injury or the frequent lack of health insurance benefits offered by low-paying employers. You can also use shorter writing phrases which inform the reader about the content.

It is very common for the APA style. These styles are used in academic writing, and each of them has its peculiar features and rules to follow. Your teacher will check your paper's compliance with these rules, and in case you couldn't follow them or missed something, it will be reflected in your grade. Both of them have a lot of differences starting from citation rules to the way you write the author's name.

Sometimes it can influence the way you structure your papers. How to create an APA research paper outline If you have to write using the APA format, you should follow the general rules of creating the outline.

It starts with a title which you are to write in uppercase letters. Next step is ordering your topics and sub-topics. Point out the main thesis you are covering and add other details into subheadings. As a variant, you can create a list of possible outline headings, and then, in the process of writing or even at the last stages, you could choose the most appropriate options. The outline has to show the logical flow of your ideas.

So lead your reader through your story by writing direct, concise, and clear sentences. Rule 4: Be clear, concise, and objective in describing your Results. While describing your Methods and Results, many of you diverged from the original outline and re-focused your ideas.

So before you move on to create your Introduction, re-read your Methods and Results sections and change your outline to match your research focus. The updated outline will help you review the general picture of your paper, the topic, the main idea, and the purpose, which are all important for writing your introduction.

The best way to structure your introduction is to follow the three-move approach shown in Table 3. Establish a research territory a. Show that the general research area is important, central, interesting, and problematic in some way; Move 2.

Find a niche a. Indicate a gap in the previous research, or extend previous knowledge in some way. Move 3.

Occupy the niche a. Outline purposes or state the nature of the present research; b. List research questions or hypotheses; c. Announce principle findings; d. State the value of the present research; e. Indicate the structure of the research paper. Open in a separate window Adapted from Swales and Feak [ 11 ]. The moves and information from your outline can help to create your Introduction efficiently and without missing steps.

These moves are traffic signs that lead the reader through the road of your ideas. Each move plays an important role in your paper and should be presented with deep thought and care.

When you establish the territory, you place your research in context and highlight the importance of your research topic. By finding the niche, you outline the scope of your research problem and enter the scientific dialogue. The three moves allow your readers to evaluate their interest in your paper and play a significant role in the paper review process, determining your paper reviewers.

As a result, many novice writers do not present their experimental approach and the major findings, wrongly believing that the reader will locate the necessary information later while reading the subsequent sections [ 5 ]. To interest the reader, scientific authors should be direct and straightforward and present informative one-sentence summaries of the results and the approach. Another problem is that writers understate the significance of the Introduction. Many new researchers mistakenly think that all their readers understand the importance of the research question and omit this part.

However, this assumption is faulty because the purpose of the section is not to evaluate the importance of the research question in general. The goal is to present the importance of your research contribution and your findings.

Therefore, you should be explicit and clear in describing the benefit of the paper. The Introduction should not be long. Indeed, for most journals, this is a very brief section of about to words, but it might be the most difficult section due to its importance.

Rule 5: Interest your reader in the Introduction section by signalling all its elements and stating the novelty of the work. Discussion of the results For many scientists, writing a Discussion section is as scary as starting a paper. Most of the fear comes from the variation in the section. Since every paper has its unique results and findings, the Discussion section differs in its length, shape, and structure. However, some general principles of writing this section still exist. The structure of the first two moves is almost a mirror reflection of the one in the Introduction.

For example: Dr. Clara A. Scott C. Abstract In this summary of your research, you must state your subject i. Avoid using acronyms and abbreviations in the abstract, as the reader may not be familiar with them. Use full terms instead. Keywords Below the abstract, include a list of key terms to help other researchers locate your study.

Note that "keywords" is one word with no space and is followed by a colon: Keywords: paper format, scientific writing. Check the use of punctuation e. Some journals e. This aids in the classification of your research. Introduction This is the reader's first impression of your paper, so it should be clear and concise. Include relevant background information on your topic, using in-text citations as necessary.

Report new developments in the field, and state how your research fills gaps in the existing research. Focus on the specific problem you are addressing, along with its possible solutions, and outline the limitations of your study.

Editors like to see that you have provided a perspective consistent with the nature of the journal. You need to introduce the main scientific publications on which your work is based, citing a couple of original and important works, including recent review articles. However, editors hate improper citations of too many references irrelevant to the work, or inappropriate judgments on your own achievements.

They will think you have no sense of purpose. Here are some additional tips for the introduction: Never use more words than necessary be concise and to-the-point.

Don't make this section into a history lesson. Long introductions put readers off. We all know that you are keen to present your new data. But do not forget that you need to give the whole picture at first.

The introduction must be organized from the global to the particular point of view, guiding the readers to your objectives when writing this paper. State the purpose of the paper and research strategy adopted to answer the question, but do not mix introduction with results, discussion and conclusion. Always keep them separate to ensure that the manuscript flows logically from one section to the next.

Hypothesis and objectives must be clearly remarked at the end of the introduction. Expressions such as "novel," "first time," "first ever," and "paradigm-changing" are not preferred. Use them sparingly. Together with the title, it's the advertisement of your article. Make it interesting and easily understood without reading the whole article.

Avoid using jargon, uncommon abbreviations and references. You must be accurate, using the words that convey the precise meaning of your research. The abstract provides a short description of the perspective and purpose of your paper. It gives key results but minimizes experimental details. It is not easy to include all this information in just a few words. Start by writing a summary that includes whatever you think is important, and then gradually prune it down to size by removing unnecessary words, while still retaini ng the necessary concepts.

Don't use abbreviations or citations in the abstract. It should be able to stand alone without any footnotes. Why is it interesting? The introduction summarizes the relevant literature so that the reader will understand why you were interested in the question you asked. One to fo ur paragraphs should be enough.

End with a sentence explaining the specific question you asked in this experiment. How did you answer this question?

There should be enough information here to allow another scientist to repeat your experiment. Look at other papers that have been published in your field to get some idea of what is included in this section. If you had a complicated protocol, it may helpful to include a diagram, table or flowchart to explain the methods you used. Do not put results in this section. You may, however, include preliminary results that were used to design the main experiment that you are reporting on.

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Why is your research important? What is known about the topic? What are your hypotheses? What are your objectives? Materials and Methods 1.
Use the styles in Microsoft Word to aid you in citation format. Use our research paper outline guide to learn how to outline a research paper. One last tip: Before you submit your research, consider using our academic editing service for expert help with paper formatting, editing, and proofreading. Explain what is new without exaggerating 5. You may decide what you want to change and how after you receive the feedback and sort it in your head.
How to write an outline for scientific paper

A seasoned editor gives advice to get your work published in an international journal

Another problem is that writers understate the significance of the Introduction. Scarlet, S. The abstract should be a little less technical than the article itself; you don't want to dissuade your potent ial audience from reading your paper. Now, it is easier since to avoid these problem, because there are many available tools. Background After the initial introduction, background on your topic often follows. What are your most significant results? You may read aloud to yourself, to a tape recorder, or to a colleague or friend. You can use any software, such as EndNote or Mendeley , to format and include your references in the paper.

How to Prepare a Manuscript for International Journals — Part 2

Are your results consistent with what other investigators have reported? Ratings of enjoyment, mood, and arousal were taken as the patients listened to preferred pleasant music and unpreferred music by using Visual Analogue Scales SI Methods. Do not repeat the information you presented in the results or the introduction unless it is necessary for a discussion of the overall implications of the research. Sample Minor Point: A sample minor point of the previous major point employment and physical health might address worker injury or the frequent lack of health insurance benefits offered by low-paying employers. Italics must be used correctly for scientific terminology. Next step is ordering your topics and sub-topics. Stem cells were isolated, according to Johnson [23]. Use Roman letters to represent the heading with the main topics Use uppercase letters for subtopics Use Arabic numbers to represent details part of a subtopic Use lowercase letters for points within subparts You can use full sentences to make the title of each outline part. Why is it interesting? A new framework for understanding cognition and affect in writing; pp.

Research paper outline format

How, let's go through the main sections you might have to scientific to outline your paper. Cover Page On the first page of the paper, you must present the title of the paper along with for authors' names, institutional affiliations, and contact information. The corresponding author s i. Paper example: Dr. Clara A. Write C.
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How to write an outline for scientific paper
Use verbs instead of abstract nouns Instead of: take into consideration Write: consider 2. Many students miss this step, diminishing its overall impact. So before you move on to create your Introduction, re-read your Methods and Results sections and change your outline to match your research focus.

About the Author

You may lose evidence to reinforce your conclusion. Isn't music another language after all? Follow your style guide; if no guidelines are provided, choose a citation format and be consistent. Many citation styles use a hanging indent and may be alphabetized. Editors like to see that you have provided a perspective consistent with the nature of the journal. Who were the subjects of your study?
How to write an outline for scientific paper
We are all flooded by publications, and readers don't have time to read all scientific production. Closing the paper a. This aids in the classification of your research. Consider alternative explanations of the findings. The purpose of this section is to justify your own project or paper by pointing out a gap in the current research which your work will address. However, when looking for keywords, avoid words with a broad meaning and words already included in the title.
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Tekree

Is there another way to interpret your results? In the Introduction, you zoom in from general to specific and from the background to your research question; in the Discussion section, you zoom out from the summary of your findings to the research context, as shown in Table 4. Scarlet, S. Make their work easier and they will appreciate the effort. These styles are used in academic writing, and each of them has its peculiar features and rules to follow. How to create an APA research paper outline If you have to write using the APA format, you should follow the general rules of creating the outline.

Tor

Write succinctly 1. Your thesis statement should reflect the topic, the general idea of the paper and have the author's comment showing their opinion on the matter. Main causes of human trafficking II.

Kajigami

Moreover, the evaluation of the alternative explanations might help you create a logical step to the next move of the discussion section: the research context. To achieve good interpretations think about: How do these results relate to the original question or objectives outlined in the Introduction section? Instead of: An increased appetite was manifested by the rats and an increase in body weight was measured. The outline will allow you to see if the ideas of your paper are coherently structured, if your results are logically built, and if the discussion is linked to the research question in the Introduction.

Malagal

Are your results consistent with what other investigators have reported? Find a niche a. Your thesis statement should reflect the topic, the general idea of the paper and have the author's comment showing their opinion on the matter. I haven't read the paper but I suspect there is something special about these properties, otherwise why would you be reporting them? Rule 5: Interest your reader in the Introduction section by signalling all its elements and stating the novelty of the work. You can even revise by reading sentences backward, sentence by sentence and word by word.

Kigagul

It is obvious from figure 4 that … Another source of wordiness is nominalizations, i. Each major point should advance the paper's central argument, often building on the previous points, until you have provided enough evidence and analysis to justify your paper's conclusion. Do not slow down to choose a better word or better phrase; do not halt to improve your sentence structure. Many universities have a writing center where graduate students can schedule individual consultations and receive assistance with their paper drafts.

Gusho

One common source of wordiness is unnecessary intensifiers. Who were the subjects of your study? You don't necessarily have to include all the data you've gotten during the semester. Use mean and standard deviation to report normally distributed data.

Gat

You MUST be specific. Open in a separate window Now that you have expanded your outline, you are ready for the next step: discussing the ideas for your paper with your colleagues and mentor. Rather than simply reiterating each major and minor point, quickly revisit your thesis statement and focus on ending the paper by tying your thesis into current research in your field, next steps for other researchers, your broader studies, or other future implications. For example: Figure 1.

Nashakar

When scientists start writing a research paper, they already have their files with data, lab notes with materials and experimental designs, some visuals, and tables with results. Another important aspect of this section is to create a comprehensive and supported argument or a well-researched case.

Kazihn

Move 3. Write accurately Scientific writing must be accurate. These may come in the form of statistics, examples from your sources, or supporting ideas. Avoid excessive self-citations and excessive citations of publications from the same region. New York: St.

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