Why a Scientific Format?
The scientific format may seem confusing for the beginning science writer due to its rigid structure which is so different from writing in the humanities. One reason for using this format is that it is a means of efficiently communicating scientific findings to the broad community of scientists in a uniform manner. Another reason, perhaps more important than the first, is that this format allows the paper to be read at several different levels. For example, many people skim Titles to find out what information is available on a subject. Others may read only titles and ...view middle of the document...
This is the system we will use. This website describes the style, content, and format associated with each section.
The sections appear in a journal style paper in the following prescribed order:
Section of Paper
What did I do in a nutshell?
What is the problem?
How did I solve the problem?
Materials and Methods
What did I find out?
What does it mean?
Who helped me out?
Whose work did I refer to?
Main Section Headings: Each main section of the paper begins with a heading which should be capitalized, centered at the beginning of the section, and double spaced from the lines above and below. Do not underline the section heading OR put a colon at the end.
Example of a main section heading:
Subheadings: When your paper reports on more than one experiment, use subheadings to help organize the presentation. Subheadings should be capitalized (first letter in each word), left justified, and either bold italics OR underlined.
Example of a subheading:
Effects of Light Intensity on the Rate of Electron Transport