How to Write a Science Essay
Writing a good science essay requires first of all a sound scientific attitude. The scientific community praises pragmatism, objectivism and solid knowledge, meaning that you will not have the degree of freedom allowed in other types of essay. Knowing how to write a science essay implies the use of attention to detail and good judgement skills on your behalf in order to conduct a good scientific analysis; apart from this, writing science essays does not differ from writing any type of essay: planning, research, writing an outline, writing your ideas and revising what you have written being the main steps you must follow. There are certain aspects that need to be known when learning how to write a science essay, aspects we will explain as we expand on each one of the aforementioned steps.
Before devising your writing plan, make sure you have a firm understanding of your research field. Any bit of misunderstood information might have catastrophic results. Therefore, some preliminary ground work should be performed in order to provide you with a sufficient level of knowledge about your topic and the field of science it concerns. Knowing how to write a science essay implies setting an appropriate schedule, depending on how big your paper needs to be and how much time you need for research, the actual writing, and for revising your paper. Plan accordingly, because few things are as damaging as haste, no matter what subject area you study.
Research and analysis
Science requires careful research – try to use the best sources for information available. Alongside public libraries, there are many specialised websites on the Internet that offer valuable information in many areas of science. The websites of professional organisations have vast databases for you to research, and links to similar websites you can consult. Consider starting with http://academic.research.microsoft.com/ and other such professional academic databases. Nevertheless, someone who knows how to write a science essay should avoid websites with general information such as www.wikipedia.com or www.ask.com – such sources are not considered valid for a university essay, but they might be useful for writing your introductory paragraph, in which you briefly present the topic of your analysis.
When writing a science essay, choosing your information sources correctly is vital. Not only do you have to make sense of your material, but you have to pay attention to how fresh that material is; if you know how to write a science essay, surely you also know that science is under constant development, so be careful to select the latest studies in the field. Using outdated information is a recipe for failure.
An outline of your essay is the best way to keep organised and to assure a good flow of ideas. Some people with more confidence will skip the outline stage, but it is better to go through it, as it does not take much time to write. Make sure every topical area is covered, and no question remains unanswered, if you want to cover your topic in an effective and appropriate manner.
Writing your essay
If you have gathered all the necessary sources during your research, and you have written a good outline for your paper, you are on the right track for learning how to write a science essay; it is now time to proceed with writing the actual body of the paper. Along with making a good first impression, a well-written introductory paragraph will help the reader focus onto the topic, drawing his attention upon the importance of your work for the scientific community. Furthermore, summarise your references and underline how they relate to your study. When learning how to write a science essay, it is best to follow this type of scheme:
– An introduction to your topic.
– A presentation of your research questions.
– An outline of the specialised literature you have used for answering questions and addressing issues.
– The discussion of ideas and theories regarding your topic, based on the gathered material.
– The conclusion to your study, in which you eventually summarise the practical potential of your discoveries.
You may devise an even more detailed scheme, depending on the length of your study and the complexity of the chosen subject. Longer papers require more attention: be careful not to veer off course, you need to stay focused all the time.
The conclusion recaps what you have written and underlines the theoretical and practical potential of your study. Make sure you have covered every aspect of the problem, and that you leave no stone unturned. Knowing how to write a science essay also implies the capability to offer credible answers, so be logical, reasoned and rational.
Revision and editing
The revision and editing stages have the purpose of detecting and fixing any flaws your paper might have in terms of language, grammar, or coherence. Run a spell-check, re-read your paper once or twice, eventually out loud, in order to detect whether you were clear enough. Moreover, remember what you are writing: a scientific essay has no need for an ornate style or long sentences. Eliminate jargon, excess words and avoid the use of figures of speech. Knowing how to write a science essay means knowing how to be clear, concise and meaningful.
Pay attention to how you reference your sources. Format is important because it can affect the grading of your essay. For science essays, the Harvard or AMA formats are the most frequently required; consult websites such as http://www.citethisforme.com/ for help. Furthermore, ask a colleague or your instructor in case you are not sure what format to use.
Particularities of a science essay
A standard science essay has certain specific traits that differentiate it from other types of essays. One of them is the fact that you have to deal with specific theories devised by experts during years of study. Thus, there is little to no room for personal opinions in a science essay; hard facts are what the scientific community asks for. Stick to factual data and present your information into a clear and concise fashion, avoiding any ambiguities. Therefore, you need to develop a good scientific attitude in order to know how to write a science essay: a good place to start would be websites that teach you how to write on science subjects, like http://www.lib.cam.ac.uk/scienceportal/, which can put you on the right track by offering well-written examples of science essays.
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