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The Sections of a Paper Written in Scientific Journal Style and Format (click on hotlinks for more information)

Most journal-style scientific papers are subdivided into the following sections: Title, Authors and Affiliation, Abstract, Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, Acknowledgments, and Literature Cited, which parallel the experimental process. This is the system we will use. This website describes the style, content, and format associated with each section.

The sections appear in a journal style paper in the following prescribed order:

Experimental Process                                                                       

Section of Paper

What did I do in a nutshell?  


What is the problem?                                                                                                        


How did I solve the problem?                                                                    

Materials and Methods

What did I find out?                                                                                    


What does it mean?                                                                                    


Who helped me out?                                                                                   

Acknowledgments (optional)

Whose work did I refer to?                                                                          

Literature Cited

Extra information                                                                                        

Appendices (optional)



Adapted from

Bates College.  Department of Biology.  (2009).  How to write a paper in scientific journal style and format.