Psychology: Scientific Writing Guide

How to Write Scientifically

Good scientific writing is: 

  • clear - it avoids unnecessary detail;
  • simple - it uses direct language, avoiding vague or complicated sentences. Technical terms and jargon are used only when they are necessary for accuracy; 
  • impartial - it avoids making assumptions (Everyone knows that...) and unproven statements (It can never be proved that...). It presents how and where data were collected and supports its conclusion with evidence;
  • structured logically - ideas and processes are expressed in a logical order. The text is divided into sections with clear headings; 
  • accurate - it avoids vague and ambiguous language such as about, approximately, almost;
  • objective - statements and ideas are supported by appropriate evidence that demonstrates how conclusions have been drawn as well as acknowledging the work of others.

Developed by the University of Surrey

Definition of a Scientific Paper

What is a Scientific Paper?

  • A scientific paper is a written/published report describing original research results
  1. It must be the first publication of original research results,
  2. In a form whereby peers of the author can repeat the experiments and test the conclusions, and
  3. In a journal or other source document readily available within the scientific community.

Developed by Dr. K. Shiva Rama Prasad


Scientific Writing Citation Styles

Books on Scientific Writing