It's the first part of the paper the instructor reads. It must impress with a strong content, good style, and general aesthetic appeal. Never write it hastily or carelessly. Introduction and Statement of the Problem A good introduction states the main research problem and thesis argument. What precisely are you studying and why is it important? How original is it? Will it fill a gap in other studies? Never provide a lengthy justification for your topic before it has been explicitly stated.
Limitations of Study Indicate as soon as possible what you intend to do, and what you are not going to attempt. You may limit the scope of your paper by any number of factors, for example, time, personnel, gender, age, geographic location, nationality, and so on. If there are different procedures to describe, you can make separate heading for each to make it readable.
Results This is usually the variable section of your research paper and it entirely depends on your results as well as your goals. Most of the time, in short research papers, the results and discussion sections are mixed up by the authors. You must try your level best only to state the observations of your findings. You may choose to reserve the interpretations for the next section i.
As you are going to state your own results so it must be written in the past tense, as you are already done with everything. All other general statements must be in present tense. If more than one result from different experiments has to be stated here, you can divide this section, as per your requirements. There is no fixed length for this section too but it is usually the short one.
There are a few things which are considered important to include in this section, which are the following: Conclusion summary — The conclusion of data by the author i. Aberrant results — If there is an existence of any abnormality in data, which may impact the result as well, that anomaly must also be stated here and must be explained to the reader to remove all kind of ambiguities.
Implications — Practical or theoretical implication of your work. The grand summary must be there at the end i.
If any of your work is listed, it must be in past tense. On the other hand, current knowledge must be stated in the present tense. The last but not the least thing to mention here is the length of this section. It can vary depending upon work but is usually kept between to words. After all, the paper will be submitted after all of the work is completed. Organize your ideas, making one major point with each paragraph. If you make the four points listed above, you will need a minimum of four paragraphs.
Present background information only as needed in order support a position. The reader does not want to read everything you know about a subject. As always, pay attention to spelling, clarity and appropriateness of sentences and phrases. Materials and Methods There is no specific page limit, but a key concept is to keep this section as concise as you possibly can.
People will want to read this material selectively. The reader may only be interested in one formula or part of a procedure. Materials and methods may be reported under separate subheadings within this section or can be incorporated together.
General intent This should be the easiest section to write, but many students misunderstand the purpose. The objective is to document all specialized materials and general procedures, so that another individual may use some or all of the methods in another study or judge the scientific merit of your work.
It is not to be a step by step description of everything you did, nor is a methods section a set of instructions. In particular, it is not supposed to tell a story. By the way, your notebook should contain all of the information that you need for this section.
Writing a materials and methods section Materials: Describe materials separately only if the study is so complicated that it saves space this way. Include specialized chemicals, biological materials, and any equipment or supplies that are not commonly found in laboratories. Do not include commonly found supplies such as test tubes, pipet tips, beakers, etc.
If use of a specific type of equipment, a specific enzyme, or a culture from a particular supplier is critical to the success of the experiment, then it and the source should be singled out, otherwise no.
Materials may be reported in a separate paragraph or else they may be identified along with your procedures. In biosciences we frequently work with solutions - refer to them by name and describe completely, including concentrations of all reagents, and pH of aqueous solutions, solvent if non-aqueous. Methods: See the examples in the writing portfolio package Report the methodology not details of each procedure that employed the same methodology Describe the mehodology completely, including such specifics as temperatures, incubation times, etc.
To be concise, present methods under headings devoted to specific procedures or groups of procedures Generalize - report how procedures were done, not how they were specifically performed on a particular day. If well documented procedures were used, report the procedure by name, perhaps with reference, and that's all.
For example, the Bradford assay is well known. You need not report the procedure in full - just that you used a Bradford assay to estimate protein concentration, and identify what you used as a standard. Style: It is awkward or impossible to use active voice when documenting methods without using first person, which would focus the reader's attention on the investigator rather than the work. Therefore when writing up the methods most authors use third person passive voice.
Use normal prose in this and in every other section of the paper — avoid informal lists, and use complete sentences.
What to avoid Materials and methods are not a set of instructions. Omit all explanatory information and background - save it for the discussion. Omit information that is irrelevant to a third party, such as what color ice bucket you used, or which individual logged in the data. Results The page length of this section is set by the amount and types of data to be reported. Continue to be concise, using figures and tables, if appropriate, to present results most effectively.
The bacteria were then incubated at 37 C for 24 hr. Note that superfluous detail and otherwise obvious information has been deleted while important missing information was added. The two sentences have been combined because they are related actions. Designators such as Tube 1, Tube 2, or Site 1 and Site 2 are completely meaningless out of context and difficult to follow in context.
Problematic example: In this example the reader will have no clue as to what the various tubes represent without having to constantly refer back to some previous point in the Methods.
Tube 4's A was measured only at Time 0 and at the end of the experiment. The A of the no-light control was measured only at Time 0 and at the end of the experiment. Function: The function of the Results section is to objectively present your key results , without interpretation, in an orderly and logical sequence using both text and illustrative materials Tables and Figures. The results section always begins with text, reporting the key results and referring to your figures and tables as you proceed.
Summaries of the statistical analyses may appear either in the text usually parenthetically or in the relevant Tables or Figures in the legend or as footnotes to the Table or Figure.
Important negative results should be reported, too. Authors usually write the text of the results section based upon the sequence of Tables and Figures. Style: Write the text of the Results section concisely and objectively. The passive voice will likely dominate here, but use the active voice as much as possible.
To make a paper readable Print or type using a 12 point standard font, such as Times, Geneva, Bookman, Helvetica, etc. Course Syllabus. Content In general, the content of your results section should include the following elements: An introductory context for understanding the results by restating the research problem that underpins the purpose of your study. Abstract The summary should be two hundred words or less.
There is no fixed length for this section too but it is usually the short one.
The two sentences have been combined because they are related actions. Often the results of a study point to the need to provide additional background information or to explain the topic further, so don't think you did something wrong. Refer to generally accepted facts and principles in present tense.
Regardless of placement, each non-textual element must be numbered consecutively and complete with caption [caption goes under the figure, table, chart, etc. The background information you described in the introduction section should provide the reader with any additional context or explanation needed to understand the results.
Think of the results section as the place where you report what your study found; think of the discussion section as the place where you interpret your data and answer the "so what? Very briefy describe the experimental design and how it accomplished the stated objectives. Style: When you refer to information, distinguish data generated by your own studies from published information or from information obtained from other students verb tense is an important tool for accomplishing that purpose. The first listed way of writing the title i. If you find yourself repeating lots of information about the experimental design when describing the data collection procedure s , likely you can combine them and be more concise.
This section should present the results, but not discuss their significance. A complete reference must state the name of the author, article title, the name of the journal, volume number, year of publications as well as the page numbers. It must include the investigated variables as well as the methods utilized. Style: When you refer to information, distinguish data generated by your own studies from published information or from information obtained from other students verb tense is an important tool for accomplishing that purpose. Introduction and Statement of the Problem A good introduction states the main research problem and thesis argument. Text should complement any figures or tables, not repeat the same information.
February ; Results. Document them, then state in your discussion section why you believe a negative result emerged from your study.