Scientific writing made easy: A step-by-step guide to undergraduate writing in the biological sciences

Sheela P. Turbek, Taylor Chock, Kyle Donahue, Caroline Havrilla, Angela Oliverio, Stephanie Polutchko, Lauren Shoemaker, Lara Vimercati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Scientific writing, while an indispensable step of the scientific process, is often overlooked in undergraduate courses in favor of maximizing class time devoted to scientific concepts. However, the ability to effectively communicate research findings is crucial for success in the biological sciences, as graduate students are encouraged to publish early and often, and professional scientists are generally evaluated by the quantity of articles published and the number of citations those articles receive. It is therefore important that undergraduate students receive a solid foundation in scientific writing early in their academic careers. In order to increase the emphasis on effective writing in the classroom, we assembled a succinct step-by-step guide to scientific writing that can be directly disseminated to undergraduates enrolled in biological science courses. The guide breaks down the scientific writing process into easily digestible pieces, providing concrete examples that students can refer to when preparing a scientific manuscript or lab report. By increasing undergraduate exposure to the scientific writing process, we hope to better prepare undergraduates for graduate school and productive careers in the biological sciences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberijese.2016.416
Pages (from-to)5644-5652
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental and Science Education
Issue number12
StatePublished - Aug 13 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Lab report
  • Scientific manuscript
  • Style guide
  • Undergraduate
  • Writing guide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • General Environmental Science
  • General Engineering


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