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BIO 127 & 128: General Biology: Writing Scientific Papers

The resources in this course guide are carefully selected to support students enrolled in Biology 127 and 128.

Different Sections of a Scientific Paper

The basic structure of a scientific paper usually contains the following:

  • Title
  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Methods
  • Results 
  • Discussion
  • Acknowledgements
  • References/Literature Cited (e.g. APA or MLA) 

Provided here are descriptions of each part of a scientific paper: Structure of a Scientific Paper 

Always refer to the assignment instructions related to your paper. Many peer-reviewed journal articles in biology and the sciences mostly follow this same structure or format. 

Helpful Strategies on Understanding Scientific Research Articles

Effective Search Strategies

Limit your search to articles that are published with in the last 5 years.
Use boolean operators such as AND, OR, NOT to refine your search

Truncation and Wildcards: Use truncation symbols(*) or wildcards(?) to broaden or narrow your search terms.

Do not be to specific with your search

Use peer reviewed articles



Helpful Pointers on Understanding Scientific Research Articles

Comprehending scientific articles can be challenging. However, you can save time by reading over the titles and abstracts first related to your topic or study of interest. If these are unrelated to your research topic, don't waste any more time, and move on to finding other articles. Next, after you have read through the titles/abstracts of your articles, it's always a great idea to take notes and write down the overall main purpose of each particular study.


Plagiarism is the practice of taking someone else's work or ideas and passing them off as one's own.

CRAAP Method


Sample Biology Paper

Provided is a sample biology paper to serve only as a guide. Please consult your professor/instructor for additional assistance. Remember not to plagiarize, or try to re-produce this same paper. 

Helpful Pointers on Writing an Effective Paper

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