COTR CSE How-to Guide
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Last Updated: Jun 9, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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About Writing for Biology

Writing for scientific purposes can be challenging and usually requires both discipline-specific study and lots of practice. Scientific writing frames a problem in the context of current work in the field and explicates the author(s)' research using a format that is easy to skim for major finding and conclusions.

Writing assignments are designed to help you learn to think critically about specific scientific issues that you encounter as a citizen in your day-to-day life; to help you draw conclusions from multiple sources and clarify information about some of the current controversies and unresolved issues in a specific field; and to help you develop written communication abilities that you can use as you pursue your post-graduate career or further study.

Basic Format

  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Materials and Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion/Conclusion
  • Literature cited



Flow of Scientific Information

Writing a paper for Biology or any other science requires research using a variety of sources,  The chart below presents the different types of literature a student researcher would read before beginning to write a paper.  Student researchers in Science read primary, secondary, and tertiary literature on the topic of interest.

Originally created by Jim Parrott.
Adapted by Julie Kent & Betty Mosher, COTR, 2014

Subject Guide

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Shane Neifer

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