Figure 1. Sample title page.
Figure 2. First page of a paper
without a title page.
Sheet for Biology Writing
L. Case, Ed.D.
Write about the topic in your own words based on information
obtained from your references. Plagiarism (copying someone else's work)
is strictly forbidden. Do not quote the work of ohers—use you own
words and document your sources
as described below.
Developed by K. Barchas, C. Case, P. Hennings, K. Mills,
1. Key text on a computer in a 10 or
12 point nonscript font such as Helvetica (san-serif) or Times (serif).
2. Print on unused, white, 20-pound,
8½ x 11 inch white paper.
3. Be sure print is dark. Do not
use boldface type.
4. Use 1 to 1¼ inch left and right
margins; 1 inch top and bottom margins.
5. Use your own words.
Generally in science writing information is paraphrased and not
quoted verbatim. Remember, this is your report and other
authors are not receiving the grade. The exception is if something is
especially unique and must be quoted.
6. Double line space except works
cited page and quotes over 40 words which should be indented ½
inch from the left and right; always include a citation and page reference
after a quote.
7. Begin each paragraph with a ½
inch tab (indentation). Single space after punctuation such as comma or
8. If you use a title page: include
the title of the paper, your name, course, professor's name. and date
9. If you do not use a title page
include this information in the top left of the first page of your paper
and center the title about 3 inches down as shown in Figure 2.
10. Each page after the title page
should be numbered in the upper right corner with a short title and page
number. E.g., Style sheet-1.
11. Do not use a folder or binder,
staple pages in the upper left hand corner.
12. Italicize or underline
scientific names and the titles of books, pamphlets, poems, plays, movies,
TV programs, paintings, sculpture, musical works, magazines, and newspapers.
13. Use quotation marks for shorter
musical works such as individual song titles, articles, short stories,
book chapters, essays, episode of a TV series, songs or a section of a
musical work or play.
14. Use a spell checker and
proofread your paper.
Use the correct scientific symbols or Greek letters when needed, do not
write out terms such as degrees Celsius or beta, use °C or b. Your
computer and word processing application have the necessary symbols. Ask
your instructor if you can't find them.
Using figures (pictures, graphs, and tables)
When you include figures, use words to direct the reader to figures and
summarize the important point(s) of the figure. Number and write a legend
(or description) for each figure (see figures 1 and 2).
You are encouraged to read all the available information on the topic
for your paper. To select appropriate references, you must evaluate your
sources of information. Print and electronic encyclopedias and dictionaries
are often good to get familiar with a topic: however, these are not
appropriate references for a research paper. The most reliable
information is that published in peer-reviewed journals.
means that the author's work has been read and accepted
by colleagues in his/her discipline. The Internet has a great deal of
information but most of it is not peer-reviewed and requires caution when
you use it. Most government (.gov) sites are appropriate. As are the few
peer-reviewed journals available online (such as publications from the
American Society for Microbiology).
You must cite your sources if the information is not common knowledge.
Use documentation format for citing references within the text; do not
use footnotes or endnotes. When you are using ideas from someone's work,
give credit to the author(s). Use parentheses, and indicate the number
of the reference, the number refers to your Literature Cited page, (1)
or for two references on the same information (4, 8). An alternative in
writing is to use the author's name in the text: According to Smith (6),
... or According to Smith and Jones (7). Always keep author names in the
order in which they appear in the source. For three or more authors, use
the first author followed by et al; e.g., Smith et al (10)
Your entire list of references is listed in the Literature Cited section.
List only those references you have actually read and referenced in your
paper. References are alphabetical, numbered, single-spaced with hanging
indentation as shown on the reverse of this sheet. Do not separate your
references into categories. References should be alphabetized by author's
If you need examples of other types of citations, see the references
marked with an asterisk (*).
*Pechenik, J. A. 1993. A Short
Guide to Writing About Biology, 2nd ed. New York NY: HarperCollins.
editor. year published. book title, edition
.city & state of publisher.
*Anson, C. M. and R. Q. Schwegler. 1997. The Longman Handbook
for Writers and Readers. Menlo Park CA: Addison Wesley Longman.
*Giarrusso, R., J. Richlin-Klonsky, W. G. Roy, and E. Strenski.
1998. A Guide to Writing Sociology Papers, 4th ed. New York,
NY: St. Martin's Press.
*Johnson, W. A., R. P. Rettig, G. M. Scott, and S. T. Garrison.
1998. The Sociology Student Writer's Manual. Upper Saddle
River NJ: Prentice Hall.
*Wingell, R. J. 1997. Writing About Music, 2nd edition. Upper
Saddle River NJ: Prentice Hall.
Journal or magazine article
Smith, J. and L. Jones. 1996. "How
to write good term papers." Scholastic Journal 34:113-146.
year published article title journal name
(or date: pages)
Essay or Short Story from
Walker, A. 1993. "Everyday
Use." C. Davakaruni, ed. Multitude. New York NY: McGraw-Hill.
*Council of Biology Editors,
Inc. 1994. CBE Style Manual, 6th ed. Bethesda MD; Council
of Biology Editors, Inc.
Case, C. L. and S. Snitovsky.
1997. Investigations in Biology, Biology 215 Laboratory Manual.
"Digestive Enzymes," pp. 33-41. San Bruno CA: Skyline
Lambert, R. 1997. "Magnitude
Measurement." GEOL 210. San Bruno CA: Skyline College.
article is in a special section and not on sequential pages. Start with the title of the article to cite an unsigned
C. Inda. "Why I Took a Chance on Learning: From Community College
To Harvard." New York Times 3 August 1997, Education
Life 31, 40, 42.
Electronic sources, CD ROM,
*Seward, D., M. Hairston, and J.
Ruszkiewicz. 1997. CoreText Online. Menlo Park CA: Addison
Wesley Longman. [Diskette].
On-line journal or abstract (If you only
used the abstract, say so. This article has more than 3 authors.)
Cieslak, P. R., et al. 1997. "Hamburger-associated Escherichia
coli O157:H7 infection in Las Vegas: a hidden epidemic."
American Journal of Public Health 87:176-180. Abstract. Available:
Medline Article No: 97226112.
*Walker, J. R. 1995 . "MLA-Style Citations of Electronic Sources."
Http://www.cas.usf.edu/english/walker/mla.hml (28 September 1997).
Jacobson, T. and L. Cohen. April 1996. "Evaluating Internet
Http://www.albany.edu/library/internet/evaluate.html (15 October
WWW site, undated
*Perel, L.C., J. Paradis, and E. Barrett. n.d. The Mayfield Handbook
of Scientific & Technical Wriring.
(Downloaded 12 October 1997).
Bruckman, A. April 1994. "Approaches to Managing Deviant Behavior
in Virtual Communities."
Ftp://ftp.media.mit.edu/phb/asb/papers/deviance-chi94txt (4 December
Genentech, Inc. 1993. Corporate B-Roll. San Francisco: Al Vedro.
VHS, color, 30 min. [videorecording].
Television or radio broadcast
Moore, D. and M. Gerrie (Executive Producers). 10 October 1997.
The Making of the Orchestra. London: Initial Film and Television
production for Channel 4 Television.
Unpublished interview (including
email, class lecture, a classmate, or a study group)
Berg, P. Email to the
author. 17 October 1997.