Basics of writing a scientific essay
Many students groan in their hearts when they hear about the submission of scientific papers. To some, it may be a dry subject and hence difficult to tackle. In case you are among the latter, don’t worry. Read the following suggestions to understand what goes into making a great scientific essay. More than that, keep a fresh mind and understand what you need to showcase in your essay; then you would have a great chance of doing well.
What is special about scientific essay writing?
Scientific essay writing, in general, follows the standard pattern of other essays. But there are a few differences. You are expected to be very thorough with the subject and issues. This means, that your essay has to demonstrate scholarship of high quality. This is evidenced by the use of quality research material as the source of your information. Hence the references you use become very important in determining the quality of your essay.
Unlike other subjects, the subject of science deals strictly with an objective assessment of phenomena. Scientific studies do not accept subjective interpretations on issues or topics such as opinions and views and assertions made by different persons on an issue. Hence, unlike qualitative studies and humanities, scientific thinking is convergent rather than divergent.
Each statement or assertion has to be supported by evidence. Studies used should preferably have been replicated a number of times by other groups; this would ensure that the results are reproducible and hence increases the reliability of the results.
The structure of the essay
The usual essay structure is followed. It starts off with the introduction in which you introduce the topic to be discussed after providing a brief context for it. The argument/ the proposition or the thesis statement is expressed and an interpretation of it is given. Any important terms or phrases would be introduced here and you will also give the reader a brief idea of what your essay is going to be about.
The abstract should not be long and tedious; it is usually one paragraph long and between 50-100 words, depending on the length of the essay. The abstract should contain the most important ideas. The reason for the research question has to be presented with reasoning as to why you chose to answer this question.
Then the reader has to be lead into the discussion on the issue at hand. The discussion can start with the hypothesis or argument you want to prove and the subsequent paragraphs should be built on this, layer by layer. The whole body should demonstrate clarity of thought and argument. Each argument should be supported by supporting facts.
There should be a flow and connection between succeeding paragraphs. It would be good to give different sub-headings so that the reader can see at a glance, what are the points covered in the essay. Scientific essays would need statistical/experimental data in the form of figures/tables/graphs to support the claims. Hence, your essay must show this information in an appropriate way and linked to the particular point.
The last part of the essay should focus on the implications and the future directions of research. This is a part of the conclusion. The conclusion should restate the gist of the essay with some new insights, which points towards future directions of research in the topic and further questions of interest. Your conclusion should be made with sufficient reasons to support it.
Understand your science essay and the expectations of your supervisor, and you shall certainly score better in your assessments. Read the requirements of assignment submission: check whether you need to provide a cover letter or an abstract along with your essay. Explain the choice of topic, its relevance and your conclusions concisely in the abstract. Pay attention to the formatting, the use of references and bibliography; follow the recommended format.
Good writing is essential to a good scientific essay. It is very important that the language be used in such a way that it makes your results communicable to everyone. The expression should be such that all that has to be conveyed is conveyed, without ambiguity and with absolute clarity. It is great to have fantastic data, but it would be of far greater importance if that data is presented in a language which allows easy transmission. Do ensure that all spelling mistakes, grammatical mistakes, are weeded out. Ensure that the structure of the essay is faultless. Draft and re-draft your many essays many times, till a polished essay is produced.
In short, a good scientific essay requires attention to form, content, and language. In addition, it should demonstrate objectivity and the use of the scientific method.
Image courtesy [Imagekanok] at FreeDigitalphotos.net