Skip to main content

BSCI 1510L Literature and Stats Guide: 6 About the paper

Introduction to Biological Sciences lab, first semester

6 About the paper

The final product of this project is a paper in the format of a scientific journal article.  However, we will be constructing the various sections of the paper over the course of the semester, so it will not involve large amounts of time at any particular time during the semester.  You should maintain a word processing document to which you will add the various sections as you complete them.  

The format of the paper will be similar to what is typical for scientific journal articles.  This may be quite different to what you are used to in your other writing assignments.  The Scientific Literature Guide in the online course guide has detailed notes about the specific sections and format that should be used in the paper.  You will want to refer to this Appendix periodically as you write the various sections of the paper. 

The paper, including all graphs and tables must be done electronically (i.e. typed and graphs produced using software).  No part should be handwritten.  There is no specific page requirement for the paper.  You should use the number of pages required to present and analyze the results and no more.  In fact, papers that are too wordy or which contain material that is irrelevant to the experiment will be criticized and will have point deductions.  Although writing in the passive voice is considered poor practice in general writing, it is by some to be considered the norm in scientific papers.  This is changing and some journals now prefer active voice - see the discussion on this topic in the Scientific Literature Guide.  

It is not appropriate to engage in speculation or to make conclusions that are unsupported by data collected in the paper.  It is appropriate in the conclusions section to comment briefly on the broader implications of the results and to suggest further research that might follow the experiment. 

Late work will not be accepted.  You know the schedule and deadlines, so plan accordingly.