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A Guide to Writing
in the Biological Sciences
The Scientific Paper: Abstract
|First page||Abstract||Introduction||Methods||Results||Discussion||Literature Cited||Examples|
An abstract is a shortened version of the paper and should contain all information necessary for the reader to determine:
(1) what the objectives of the study were;
(2) how the study was done;
(3) what results were obtained;
(4) and the significance of the results.
Frequently, readers of a scientific journal will only read the abstract, choosing to read at length those papers that are most interesting to them. For this reason, and because abstracts are frequently made available to scientists by various computer abstracting services, this section should be written carefully and succinctly to have the greatest impact in as few words as possible.
Although it appears as the first section in a paper, most scientists write the abstract section last.
See examples of abstracts.
|An introduction to writing in Biology|
|Practical tips for scientific writing|
|Professors' perspectives on student writing|
|Specific Information for Writing Assignments|
|Short answers for tests|
|Summary of a scientific article|
|The poster session|
The Scientific Paper
|Examples of student papers|
References and Credits
|General Ecology||The Writing Center|