How to STRUCTURE Your Paper

1. Introduction (inverse triangle):

- Regardless of the type of paper you are writing, there most likely will be an introduction. Start off your paper broad and become more focused as you reach the end of the first aspect of the paper. 

2. Body (linear): 

- Discuss the bulk of your content in this section; you likely will have multiple sections in the body. Although it is more linear, you can still start broad and become focused towards the end of the body. 

3. Conclusion (triangle):

- Most papers will end with a conclusion. The end of your paper should reiterate the main points that you focused on above. It can also include broad statements that provide context (ex. implication to science) 

Formatting Your Paper

Proper formatting is also an important part of scientific writing. Make sure to always pay attention to assignment formatting specifications! 

You may be asked to format your paper based on the different citation styles (e.g. MLA, APA). The most commonly used style in scientific writing is APA. In the IMS courses, you will be asked to use the APA style for formatting but a title page template will (usually) be given to you and a running head is optional. Regardless, you should always pay close attention to assignment guidelines for specific formatting instructions. 


  • Double spaced

  • 1 inch margins

  • 12 pt font (Times New Roman)