How to Write a Scientific Research Paper - What Formatting Style You Should Use


It is difficult to have a cut and dried answer as to which particular format style you should use when writing a scientific research paper. Both the APA and MLA guidelines allow you to create a research paper in a science subject. The choice may very well boil down to the preference of the teacher. In fact the instruction from your teacher may settle the issue. Do they have a required format?


You need to understand that with a scientific research paper, there is often likely to be a requirement for you to include tables, charts, photographs and illustrations. If this is the case then both the MLA and APA formats allow you to include these sorts of things but again you would need to know the specific requirements of each format.


A major difference between the two major format styles occurs with the use of tables, illustrations and the like. If you are using the MLA format then any such references to tables and illustrations means that they will appear as close to the text which relates to them as possible. In the MLA format if you are talking about the data and illustrate this fact with a table, that table must appear as close to that text as possible.


The opposite applies if you're using the APA format. Unless you are given a specific instruction by your teacher, in the APA format all the tables, illustrations and photographs etc., will appear at the end of your research paper.


Additional points relevant to the writing of a science research paper


Once you have chosen the particular format, it's most important that you know each of the rules pertaining to this format. They do vary from APA to MLA so getting the spacing, the fonts, margins and the citation of references just right is vitally important. But there are other points which you need to be aware of because your research paper is of a scientific nature.


  • Do not have such a scientific title that the technical wording is secure.
  • Make sure that your title clearly defines the contents of your research paper.
  • You can release the outcome of your scientific paper in your title.
  • Be sure to acknowledge the work of anyone you have relied upon to create your scientific paper.
  • Keep your abstract short but do not use abbreviations.