Helpful Hints for Writers of Scientific Papers!

 

Title

does it reflect content?

what is the paper about?

 

Abstract:

outline purpose why did you start?

methods used what did you do and how?

important results what did you find?

what results mean what do your findings mean?

 

what you did the main problem should be stated

main results - state conclusion anything new?

main findings and conclusions

what was done

its purpose

the results

how it contributes to future work

 

Introduction

scope?

nature?

purpose? --state the problem, why did you do it?--objective must be CLEAR!!

if you modified work after beginning, state why

methods of investigation

reasons for chosen approach

how it adds to previous knowledge--the big picture

survey of previous work or history--review (try not to quote much)

other relevant investigations

geology people usually do a framework and/or field relations

things like geologic setting, time, facies, rock type, outcrop characteristics, etc.

statement of results (principle)

general topic, particular aspect

state question you intend to answer

explain importance of work

any limitations, any assumptions

last sentence: state conclusion

briefly----conclusion expands it

 

Methods and Procedures

what was studied and how experimental approach

what materials did you use - criteria

how did you use them? - Textural criteria (microstructures)

procedures used

what you did in operational order

should be repeatable by someone else

this may be brief, but clear

 

Results

full report - write in past tense

summarize results in a set of concise, numbered statements

what did you see or find?

original data in Appendix--Results are summaries

show how results follow logically from information developed during investigation

- any secondary or unexpected results

DON'T DISCUSS!

explain concisely - primary intent versus trivial

repetitive result in tables or graphs

do not repeat data on tables, graphs or text - unless needed to reinforce a specific point

statistics - use statistics to show results, not ranges

 

Discussion

don't review results

discuss relations between facts, interpret significance, and give evidence for inference

do results support or contradict findings of others?

use reasonable, testable hypothesis

what do your findings mean?

does work contribute to solution or solve problem?

examine your results - explain significance -answer the question asked in the introduction

(statement of facts in present tense)

(what you did in past tense)

must contain logical argument -explain how results add to existing knowledge

ask - can my hypothesis be refuted?

conclusion occurs 3 times-- in discussion, abstract and introduction

 

compiled by B. Cheyney from various sources