How to Write a Biology Research Paper: A Step-By-Step Guide

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A Step-by-Step Guide to Writing a Biology Research Paper

Just like other science research papers, the format is somewhat basic. Apart from the laboratory experiment or dissecting of animals, it is important to know how to present your work in a standard research paper format. When it comes to Biology, of course like other sciences, your paper will be based on scientific evidence and you will build on previous works. There are two major methods that could affect what type of research paper you will write as it concerns Biology, it could either be universal or individual scientific methods.


The following are terms that are aspects of what forms a universal kind of research paper:

Modelling: In this case, this method involves forming an angle of opinion or perspective about a thing, then scientific researchers will then seek to collect proof using the presented perspective as a basis.

Observation: In this method, the research is carried out when a particular thing of interest is measured and observed. Data is thereby gathered and confirmed using repeated study and multiple observations. From this, conclusions can be drawn.

Experiment: In this method, the research question is answered by carrying out experiments thereby generating results that can be further interpreted and used.

Individual scientific methods

The following are terms that are aspects of what forms an individual scientific method:

Genealogical: This methods involve collection of genes of human beings or animals to check through their ancestry and observe their characteristics.

Historic: In this method, certain facts that have continue to be true over some length of time are employed.

Paleontological: This method focuses on relationships among organisms that are antique found in the earth.

In writing the paper there are steps you should follow in order for you to come up with a scholarly research paper. The format is basically the same with other scientific papers. The format basically follows the structure of ‘i. Title, ii. abstract, iii. introduction, iv. methods,  v. results, vi. discussion and vii. reference.’

Follow this step-by-step guide in the writing process

Get a title

This should be initially settled, even if you don’t coin a final title yet, you should have an original one that will serve to guide you in the focus and the writing of your research. Ensure that your hypothesis and aims of your work are well defined. At the end of your work you could then coin out a more appropriate title for your research paper.

Gather journals

You should search for and gather scholarly articles in the area of research interest, papers that are relevant to your work which you will also include in the reference list at the end of the paper. You can gather about 30 journals of significance to your work.

Organise your tables and figures

You should organise all the tables and figures you want to include in your paper. Ensure that they are in order, the tables should not be too long or boring, the figures should not be too complex. Knowing when and how to use either a figure or a table is important. Tables are used to present the exact results gotten from the experiments, while figures are used for comparisons. Ensure that in presenting your results either in tables or figures, you do not allow duplication of results, that is presenting again what you have presented before in your paper. Your figures should be understandable and not too complex. When presenting pictures in your paper, you should ensure that they are neat and clear.


Your methods explain the procedures you took in solving the research problem, i.e. how you went about answering your research question. Write the methods you used in the order in which they are presented in your results, so that everything can have a good flow and can be easy to understand. When you are using a new method, you will need to explain in detail the method, so that your method can be used by another researcher to reproduce similar results to yours. But if you are using a well-known and popular method, you don’t have to do too much explanation or giving of details as much as when dealing with a new method.

Organise your results

Organise and present your results. The data you obtain is very important to your work and your paper, presentation of your results must be done in a most articulate and clear way so that your findings from your research work can be easily understood by your reader. This section of your work is to answer the question of what you have discovered through your research. What new knowledge have you discovered? You should not hoard or keep part of your result away, present your findings. You should use sub-headings to group results that are alike together. This will even help to make your presentation clearer and well arranged. This section of your work should not include references since you are presenting your own results.

Go ahead with the discussion

You should then go ahead to explain your results, how they are relevant to your research question and the aim of your study? From your results, can you say that your findings support or justify your original hypothesis?  You should also explain in this section how your results compare with what other researchers have found previously. You should explain what the limitations your results have. Also state what is new in your results without overblowing it out of proportion.

Write Conclusion

This part of your paper can be the last part of your discussion section or it can take a separate section by itself. In this section you discuss how your work has added to the previous knowledge in your area of research, and you can also make suggestions on what further experiments in that line can be done.

Form your introduction

At this point you can now put a good introduction together. Your introduction should explain what research problem you want to solve and present if there is any other solution(s) that has been used to solve that problem before, what limitations that previous solution has and what you think your present research can accomplish in line of your research question.

Write abstract

Your abstract is like the part of your write-up that sells your research. If you write it well, you get the attention of your reader, but if it is floppy, that won’t be helping. After the title, the next thing that your reader is likely to read apart from the content table is your abstract, you should make it as interesting and compelling as possible. Your abstract should summarise your whole work from the beginning to the end, by reading your abstract, your reader should be able to tell what to expect from your research paper.

The following are tips you should put into consideration when writing research papers in the sciences like Biology.

Scientific names

Ensure that all scientific names for plants and animals are well written in the correct way. Not writing this in the due order will show some kind of carelessness on your part.

Chemical Formulas

You should also make sure that when writing chemical formulas, you write/type them appropriately.


Be careful to put the right units where you need to when dealing with measurements or anything that has to do with units.


Ensure you use the correct font style and font size for your research paper.

Good grammar

Double-check your work to ensure that grammatical errors are not here and there in your work. Let it be well edited.

Concise values

You should use quantitative values instead of just giving an unspecific idea of what you are talking about.

Statement check

Be careful not to use statements that cannot be supported by your results.

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