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Geological Sciences

Scientific Writing

Scientific writing or science writing usually refers to research articles reporting original research in journals. Science writing also includes other kinds of writing such as review articles (which summarize and synthesize previous research articles on a specific topic), annotated bibliographies (which aid others in performing their research), abstracts or notes (which summarize experiments or studies), and grant proposals (which seek funding for research). The point of science writing is for a scientist to communicate with an audience of peers. Since the purpose is communication and not entertainment, scientific writing should be precise, clear and objective.

Here are some resources to help you write for academic science audiences:

CSE Style Guide

CSE style was developed by Council of Science Editors for use with all scientific research and is the most commonly used citation format in the science disciplines.

CSE Style Examples

Author, A, Author, BB, Author, CC. Year. Article title. Abbreviated journal title. Volume(issue):pages.


Greer, E, Blanco, M, Gu, L, Sendinc, E, Liu, J, Aristizabal-Corrales, D, Shi, Y. 2015. DNA methylation on N-6-adenine in C-elegans. Cell. 161(4): p. 868-878.

Author, A, Author, BB, Author CC. Title of Web Page. [Internet] Title of Web Site; [cited date]. Available from URL


Edgley, M. 2015. What is C elegans? [Internet] University of Minnesota; [cited 2018 Mar 6]. Available from https://cbs.umn.edu/cgc/what-c-elegans

Last, AA, Last B, Last CC. Year. Book Title. Edition. Place of publication: publisher. Number of Pages.


Olsen, A, Gill, MS. 2017. Ageing: Lessons from C. elegans. Cham: Springer International Publishing.433

Include the author's last name and publication year. For a direct quotation, include the page number.

An increase in global life expectancy has dramatically increased over previous decades (Olsen and Gil 2016).

As they age, the most tissues of nematodes go through major changes (Herndon et. al 1998).

Lažetić and Fay (2018) showed that many factors contribute to molting.

APA Style Guide

APA Style was developed by the American Psychological Association for use in the social sciences but is frequently used by researchers from other scientific disciplines as well.

APA Style - 7th edition

Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Date of publication). Title of article. Title of Journal, volume number(issue number), page range. DOI's URL 


Baider, L., Uziely, B., & Kaplan De-Nour, A. (1994). Progressive muscle relaxation and guided imagery in cancer patients. General Hospital                          Psychiatry, 16(5), 340–347. https://doi.org/10.1016/0163-8343(94)90021-3


List up to 20 authors by their last names followed by initials. Use an ampersand (&) before the last author.

Author (person or organization). (Year published or updated) Title of page. Website. https://xxxxx

*Substitute (n. d.). for the year if there is no known date of publication.



U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. (2010). Facing down PTSD, vet is now soaring high. http://www.mentalhealth.va.gov/featureArticle_Feb.asp

Walker, A. (2019, November 14). Germany avoids recession but growth remains weak. BBC News. https://www.bbc.com/news/business-50419127


Last, A. A., Last, B. B., & Last, C. C. (Year). Book title. Publisher.

*Substitute (n. d.). for the year if there is no known date of publication.


Achterberg, J. (1985). Imagery in healing. Shambhala Publications.



List up to 20 authors by their last names followed by initials. Use an ampersand (&) before the last author.


Include the author's last name and publication year:


Teaching techniques and reflecting on the group process are unique components of guided imagery received in a group context (Yalom & Leszcz, 2005).


Or you can introduce the citation like this:


For example, Ball et al. (2003) conducted guided imagery in a group psychotherapy format with 11 children  ...


For a direct quotation, include the page number:


Guided imagery and relaxation techniques have even been found to “reduce distress and allow the immune system to function more effectively” (Trakhtenberg, 2008, p. 850).


For more information on in-text citing, consult this page: