How to Write a Scientific Analysis
If you are a college or university student pursuing a science program, you should know how to write a scientific analysis. Scientific analysis is also called scientific method. It is an evaluation that entails determining the results of an experiment and the next or appropriate actions that should be taken- wikipedia.org. Writing a scientific analysis enables you to share the results of a science project or experiment.
While writing a scientific analysis, you discuss the data that you collected from the experiment or project and interpret it. You also explain whether the collected data supports the hypothesis. A scientific analysis can also discuss the mistakes that were made during the experiment as well as ways through which future projects or experiments can be improved.
There is a standard format that is usually followed when writing a scientific analysis. This format includes the abstract, an introduction, methods and materials, results and the discussion or the analysis section- ehow.com. Usually, the analysis section of the body is where the results are interpreted in details. This includes telling readers what the results tell you in relation to the problem, discussion of potential ways of designing the experiment to make it better in the future and the exploration of the steps that can be taken to further the study of the problem.
A guide on how to write a scientific analysis in 5 simple steps
- Write the abstract
The abstract of a scientific analysis should summarize the study. It should provide an overview of the study and the scientific analysis in a brief manner.
Provide relevant background information of the problem in the introduction. Also define all hypotheses that will be examined in the analysis. Provide a summary of the purpose or goal of your study or experiment and what was done. Two or one phrases are enough for that. For instance, a study can be summarized as follows; “While trying to elucidate genetic factors’ identity as implicated during stroke, a case-control study that was genotyped 200 SNPS for 1000 cases as well as 1000 stroke controls was conducted.”
- The body
By reading the body of your scientific analysis, one can easily tell whether you know how to write a scientific analysis or not depending on its content and organization.
In the body:
Describe the experiment or project in terms of method and materials
The body of a scientific analysis should start by an explanation of what happened during the experiment and what was used during the experiment. It should provide the process’ outline as well as the data that was collected. After the description of what happened during the experiment, the discussion can start. This includes the interpretation of the collected data and what was learned from the collected data. The discussion should show how the collected data relates to the hypotheses. It should tell readers whether the experiment supported your hypothesis or not. Also discuss the trends or patterns of your results and their implication.
For instance, if the hypothesis of your scientific analysis was, “Without sunlight, plants would not form carbohydrates and therefore they would die,” show how the experiment was set up to find out if sunlight is really necessary for the formation of carbohydrates by plants. Provide information and data from your experiment to show the role of sunlight in the formation of carbohydrate in plant. This section should also declare the independent and dependent variables of the experiment.
Compare the findings of you scientific experiment or project
You should also discuss how the results of your experiment compare to those of the experiments of other scientists who have done similar experiments or projects. If the results of other researchers are supported by your results, cite their studies and then describe the differences and similarities in results and approaches in a brief manner. If there are differences between the results of your research and those of previous studies, discuss them and what was done differently during your study as well as what you think may have caused the variation. If there are few possibilities that you are thinking of without being certain of what caused the differences, talk about such possibilities but recommend further studies on the subject. If the experiment’s process had differences, clarify them. Also state what could have caused errors that may have led to variation in results.
Discuss unexpected findings or conflicting explanations
In the section where you discuss the findings of your experiment, provide a detailed analysis of the experiment while addressing ways through which the experiment can be made better. You should also explain any conflict in the results and then support or reject them. If you found something new or unexpected from the results of the experiment, tell your readers what the unexpected outcome was. Also explain why you did not expect the outcome as well as what this could mean to you regarding the questions that the experiment was attempting to answer. For instance, if your experiment was aimed at finding out what foods are preferred by ants, you may realize that out of 100 ants, 70 eat donuts rather than potato chips. This can be interpreted to mean that foods that have sugar are preferred by ants. If in a different experiment you expected ants to prefer donuts rather than hot dogs your thought could be that ants like protein or salt but they can all opt to eat hot dogs.
- Write the conclusion
Conclude your scientific analysis with a conclusion that is based on the findings that were discussed in the body. The conclusion should have a phrase that summarizes the major findings of the experiment or study. The hypotheses should not be changed in the conclusion because they must match the evidence and the conclusion drawn from them.
- Include your recommendations
In the recommendation section, raise new questions that you may have thought of while conducting the experiment. Discuss the experiment that you can do next in order to expand the lessons learnt from the current experiment. Here, take a logical approach and in case you are stuck, consider the experiments that have been conducted by other researchers on the same subject to find out what they have suggested. However, avoid plagiarizing. Note that you can say that a certain researcher recommends a certain follow up for their work and you also support additional work on the subject. In that case, show how your experiment or project supports the idea and what can be achieved from conducting further research.
Additional tips on how to write a scientific analysis
Include non-textual results
A good scientific analysis includes graphs and charts that display the results. For instance, a scientific analysis for an experiment that was aimed at determining if the time taken by sugar to dissolve in water reduces when water is heated, a bar graph can be used.
Use past tense
A scientific analysis describes what has already been done and observations that have already been made. Therefore, it is appropriate to use past tense in a scientific analysis. Using present tense indicates an extrapolation that is past the collected data and generalization. However, present tense and generalization can be used in the conclusion- magazine.amstat.org.
The topics that are presented in every section should be ordered in a consistent manner to make the analysis easier to read. This is very important especially if your scientific analysis has repetition. For instance, if the analysis has a series of figures and tables with similar independent variables, present all variables in all figures and tables in a similar order. However, you can change the ordering when communicating different results in an order.
Avoid reiterating methods within the section where you discuss the results
What was done to realize the results should remain in the body section where the experiment or project was described in terms of the used method and materials. In most cases, statistical modeling details are also considered as methods. Do not reiterate them in the results’ section.
Include exogenous or lurking variables
Whether the findings of the experiment confirmed the hypothesis or failed, you should consider other things called the exogenous or lurking variables that could have influenced the outcomes. For instance, if the hypothesis of an experiment was, “If I attempt to start a car and it fails to start, then it does not have gas.” In such an experiment, the car may start after adding the gas. However, you cannot be sure that the car started because you added gas and not due to temperature changes. You may also realize that you performed an inconclusive test.
Samples of scientific analysis
When you have samples of scientific analysis, knowing how to write a scientific analysis on your own becomes easy.
Here are links to samples of scientific analysis:
- Scientific analysis of nuclear inspection samples in Iraq- iaea.org.
- Scientific analysis on how sunlight affects plant growth- ischoollmpiadozo.wordpress.com.
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