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full research paper section list

  • Title
    • The name of your experiment, descriptive enough to give a reader an idea of what it's about
  • Authors
    • Name who did the work.
  • Abstract
    • A short summary of what you did and what you found
  • Introduction
    • A description of what you set out to invstigate, and how you thought to go about it. Describe the specific hypothesis that you're testing.
  • Background Discussion
    • What is the thinking that led you to create the experiment in the particular way that you did?
  • Materials
    • Describe the nature and origins of the materials that you used in the experiment: what brand of chemicals (and maybe in what condition!), what was your water source, what kind of film base, what kind of tools. It's important to describe this stuff because it has such a great effect on the outcome. The experiment may turn out to be less a test of your hypothesis than a test of a particular material!
  • Methods
    • How you did the experiment. Provide details the techniques you used. This is also important, because this is what will make your results repeatable, and it is often the source of serendipitous discovery — after the fact you may find that you didn't get what you expected, but someone else may notice that you used ten times the amount of one of the chemicals than you meant to, but you wrote it down, so the next experiment can either get it right or carry on a new path.
  • Results
    • What happened. This is both words and the place to put images of what you got.
  • Discussion
    • What you make of it all. Did your hypothesis get confirmed? How did the experiment accord with background information? Is it beautiful? Is it a successful process? Does it suggest further experiments? This is where you give your thoughts about the whole thing.
  • Acknowledgments
    • Who helped you, either personally or institutionally? This might not be relavant if you work alone, but if you did the work at WORM in Rotterdam or at a University somewhere, it might be nice to say. For this site, this isn't so important,
  • References
    • Cite other experiments or sources that you used in the experiment

An example of how this this structure is used in conventional science (with a test!) is given in an online course(external link)


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Created by Robert Schaller. Last Modification: Thursday 16 of February, 2012 04:47:18 UTC by Robert Schaller.