Writing in the sciences is just as important as it is in other fields of endeavor. Scientists must be able to effectively communicate the results of their experiments in a clear and accurate manner. In the course of your studies at Kenyon, you will be asked to write several assignments in the format of a scientific research paper. These papers, at least in biology, are divided into seven parts consisting of a Title, Introduction, Materials and Methods, Results, Discussion, Acknowledgments and References. The headings (e.g. Introduction, Materials and Methods) should be placed at the beginning of each section. Once you understand the type of material that goes into each section you will find that writing a scientific paper is no more difficult that preparing a paper for other classes.

Scientific writing requires the use of precise language. Avoid using vague, uninformative terms and try to keep jargon to a minimum. In many instances using the active voice will make it easier to describe complex procedures. According to the Council of Biology Editors Style Manual (1983) the active voice should be used unless there is a reason for using the passive voice.