Please do not think that good English is not critical in science writing. In fact, scientists try to be so concise that their English should be better than that of workers in other disciplines! If English is not your first language, then proofreading by a native-speaker might be helpful. The Writing Center offers free assistance in English as a Second Language.
If you have read scientific papers, you will have noticed that a standard format is frequently used. This format allows a researcher to present information clearly and concisely. For this class, you should prepare your paper in the accepted standard fashion. You will learn short-cuts and various deviations from this format with experience.
Although these descriptions are especially adapted to help General Ecology students write papers for the Rhizobium experiment, the information presented will be useful to any student who wishes to write a scientific paper in the biological sciences.
The following sections should be included in your report (see Examples):
(1) Abstract (2) Introduction (3) Methods (4) Results (5) Discussion (6) Literature Cited
Other sections can be included as necessary. It is important to understand the differences between sections and to put information in the appropriate location. Students frequently begin discussing their results in the Results section or present some of their