Writing Tips and Resources
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Tips on How to Write a Scientific Research Article

Start with your Figures. Lay them out in the order in which they will be used in your
manuscript. Do they tell a complete story? Are there other pieces of data you still need? Once
your Figures are finalized, begin to write your paper.

2. Define the main message or point of your manuscript. Write it down in one or two clear
sentences. Keep this in front of you as you write your manuscript, and emphasize it

3. Write the Abstract. The first sentence should frame the question or problem that your
research is addressing. Explain to readers WHY you have done this research- what is the gap
in knowledge that existed prior to your study? Then state your main findings while also briefly
explaining HOW you performed your experiments. This is a summary, so do not go into
unnecessary detail. Lastly, provide a one sentence conclusion that states what your findings
mean, and/or how your findings could be applied to change the way we think about or treat a
particular disease. Keep in mind that the purpose of the Abstract is to not only describe WHAT
you have done, but WHY it is important.

4. In the Introduction, provide enough relevant background information so that readers and
reviewers understand why your research is significant. Focus on what was done previously in
this particular area, and which topics remain to be explored.

5. In the Results section, describe your research findings in the past tense. Make sure that each
paragraph has a "topic sentence" that states the main point or conclusion from that set of
experiments. The topic sentence can be the first sentence in the paragraph, or you may wish
to use an introductory sentence that explains the reasoning behind a particular set of

6. In the Discussion, talk about the implications of your findings in the present tense. Consider
how your findings compliment or contrast with what is known in the field. Clearly state why
your findings are novel, and how they advance scientific knowledge in the field. You may also
wish to address areas for future investigation. What remains to be done?

* This is a short summary of some key ideas. More detailed writing references and style
guides can be found at the links below.

* Remember, scientific writing is like any other skill- the more you practice, the easier it gets.
Our scientific editing service is designed to help you increase your proficiency and mastery of
scientific writing. For specific examples on how good editing can enhance your written text,
click here.
Copyright 2008, Immunology Science Editors, All rights reserved.

Links to Writing Resources for Scientists

These are a few internet sites that we like, but many other high quality resources exist.

Writing and grammar tips:






This site offers complete writing courses, but also has some excellent articles available free of


This site is a grammar blog that contains information on many commonly encountered writing