The Utility of Writing Assignments in Undergraduate Bioscience

If you are a Biology student wondering about why writing assignments matters for you, this article is just what you need as it is going to explain the importance of good academic writing in Bioscience. First of all, strong writing skills can facilitate your success in different areas, from university admission to getting grants for future research. High-quality writing demonstrates the basic skills expected of a competent biologist, such as attention to detail, organization, evidence-based decision making, and critical analysis. They say that qualified biologists spend at least 30 percent of their time writing in some form. Therefore, practicing scientific writing plays a vital role in a scientist’s education. Most students believe that writing in biology is boring, but is it true? On the contrary, outstanding writing strives for just the opposite. It must be engaging for the reader and deliver the intended message at the same time. The written work must reflect the quality of Biology as a science. In other words, if your writing is poor, then readers think that your research is poor too. 

Some students find it difficult to write strong academic works in the first years of study. They usually have trouble expressing their thoughts in a scientific form. Thus, young people look for help in order to handle tasks given at college. Personally, I used professional online services that could write my assignment according to my requirements. But you can use any other kind of help, like asking peers for assistance. Still, as for me, there is nothing more reliable than ordering Biology assignments from professional writers. 

As Bioscience is an interdisciplinary science, it involves multiple areas of study. That is the reason why the standards of writing in Biology are not so strict as with other sciences. For example, citations and references can be made in journal-specific formats. Moreover, papers in Molecular Biology and Molecular Ecology may have differences in their construction.

Types of writing

Research proposals. This type of writing usually must undergo peer review and include a brief justification for the work, offered methods, hypotheses as well as expected results and work implications. Sometimes, proposals may include broader impacts as defined by the National Science Foundation, for example, such as making science results available to the public, contributing to solving a social problem, or training students.

Laboratory reports. They are aimed at communicating experiment findings and include a short experimental objective, introduction, methods description, a detailed data report as well as results interpretation.

Laboratory notebooks. There are two purposes for this type of writing. First, lab notebooks serve as a resource and reference for other scientists in the lab. Secondly, they give an authentic, verifiable record of the research conducted by a particular person. Laboratory notebooks represent a record of scientist’s research activities. Thus, the information written there must be legible, accurate, and detailed.

Research manuscripts. This kind of writing belongs to primary literature that provides the results of experiments. Research manuscripts can have a form of “short notes” that highlight an important result or a form of  “full-length reports” that illustrate a series of experiments and give more complete information. Research manuscripts must include acknowledgments of any provided aid and a list of references. 

Review papers. They are considered secondary literature providing a comprehensive summary of the published findings that relate to a certain Biology topic. Review papers serve as a resource for scientists entering a new field of research. To create a decent review paper, the author needs to synthesize materials into a coherent, structured, and accurately referenced narrative. 

Primary literature critiques. The author of primary literature critiques examines the content and quality of a scientific publication. He or she needs to consider the readability of the research manuscript and analyze if it conforms to the expected guidelines. Primary literature critiques must include the strengths and weaknesses of the experiment as well as the writing style of the paper.

Abstracts. They are short summaries of a research paper that contain the most relevant information from each section. Abstracts include a brief introduction, major objectives, methodological approaches, the most important findings, and a short data interpretation. In some cases, they may highlight the implications of the research. 

As mentioned above, there are no specific ‘rules’ of writing in Biology but there are some conventions that you should follow in your papers. First of all, it is important to use correct English that is free of colloquialisms, jargon, and country-specific slang. To maintain a professional tone, biologists must write in the third person. Also, you should avoid quotes in scientific writing. The exceptions may typically be acceptable in introductions of manuscripts. Instead of quoting, biologists should paraphrase the content in their own words and provide the proper citation. What’s more, it is strictly prohibited to copy the text directly from any resource. When it comes to citations, there is no single style applied to all subdisciplines of biology. Therefore, students always need to read and follow the guidelines given for a particular publication or assignment. In case they are not specified, the typical one to use is CSE. In general, citations for primary literature include authors, year, title, journal, volume, and the number of pages. To refer to sources within a text, bioscientists typically use parenthetical notation. Resources are mentioned in a “Name and Year” format. If your work is going to be published in a journal, it is always better to ask for examples from them. 

Today, the types of “scientific writing” range from lab reports to full-length manuscripts about experiment outcomes. However, the need to communicate Bioscience to the general public keeps growing, so biologists find themselves writing about scientific research for mainly non-technical audiences. Thus, they should master not only ‘scientific writing’ but “writing about science” as well.

Author’s Bio 

Emma Rundle is an academic writer that works at an online service for students. Her work is aimed at assisting students with different types of writing, such as research papers, lab reports, assignments, courseworks, and essays. As her main professional sphere of interest is Bioscience, she is highly competent in this field. 

Written by Austin Crane

Austin is the principle web director for Untamed Science and Stone Age Man. He is also the web-director of the series for the High School biology, Middle Grades Science and Elementary Science content. When Austin isn't making amazing content for the web, he's out on his mountain bike or in a canoe.

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