8 Tips For Creating Outstanding Biology Research Papers

Most students majoring in biology assume they will have to do very little writing and will instead have to spend more time working on lab analysis. This couldn’t be more wrong. There’s plenty of writing in the field of biology – namely in one of the more difficult academic assignments around: writing the research paper. We’ve put together these 8 tips for creating outstanding biology research papers that increase your chances of earning a great grade:

Tip #1: Be Mindful of Style

Every discipline of study has a preferred style of writing that you should be aware of. Use a style guide for correct usage and formatting. If you are uncertain, check with some academic journals to find samples from which to learn.

Tip #2: Understand Your Audience

Before you start writing it’s a good idea to know who you are writing for. For instance, a research paper that will be read in class should be written in language your classmates will understand, if it’s for a group of professionals you might want to skip on long-winded definitions that are probably already known.

Tip #3: Identify Point of View

Biology research papers are usually written in the third person. But your assignment may leave room for some creative use of the first person. Read your prompt for clues and don’t hesitate to ask your professor if you are confused.

Tip #4: Write Clearly and Concisely

No good writing will ever come from using heavy-handed, didactic language. Avoid complex sentences and long words. A good rule to follow is that whatever you write should be explained simply. If you can’t do this then perhaps you don’t understand what you are trying to say.

Tip #5: Check for Consistent Verb Tense

This is one of the most common mistakes young writers make. Always use the present tense when describing things like theorems, principles, and conclusions. Use the past tense when describing things that have already passed.

Tip #6: Write in Active Voice

Active writing makes for great biology research papers. It may take you some time to master this skill but to learn how to write in the active voice will make your work livelier and will certainly get you better grades.

Tip #7: Use Short Sentences

Don’t try to squeeze multiple ideas into a single sentence. Even academics with vast experience in the discipline can get confused when students try to write long winded or run on sentences.

Tip #8: Make Proper Citations

Back to using your style guide, be sure you are making the proper citations and referencing your sources accurately. This should be done near the end of your editing phase, but learning how to do this correctly as go will save you lots of time.