Science Communication

Learn how to find and evaluate sources, read academic articles, and write and present your scientific research

Writing Scientific Papers

Scientific paper comicThe Basics


  • Block out time for writing
  • Consider having regularly scheduled times to write
  • Choose times according to when you tend to function best (e.g. morning, afternoon, evening)


  • Use your own words
  • When using others' words put the material in quotation marks if it's short, indenting as well if it's long.
  • Always cite the source if a fact or idea is not your own
  • Use the citation style your professor recommends
    • If there is no recommendation APA is usually a safe bet for sciences.


From Nature, Writing Science Papers


  • Avoid very long paragraphs and very long sentences
  • Consider using headers, bullets, italics and boldface (but do not overuse)
  • Make easy-to-understand graphics



Keep the title simple and specific to describe the contents, but not too technical so it can be easy to understand. Always try to be concise.


The abstract is short so remember not to cram too much detail into it. Try to use an attention grabbing first statement.


Try to pick out the things that are most relevant to your work and explain how. Present the background of your work, getting straight to the most important issues.

Results and Discussion

Make your research & design sections concise but informative. Focus on the really important bits, not the minute details. Remember that discussion of strange results is often as valuable as focusing on the expected findings.


Make sure that your reference section is up-to-date by including current literature. Making use of reference citation management software like EndNote, Zotero, or Mendeley can make adding citations in the reference section and throughout the text much easier.


  • Before submitting your manuscript to a journal, make sure you have read the final version several times
  • It is always a good idea to ask others to read over your material and provide feedback

Adapted from

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