This guide has been compiled,
edited, and revised by Greg Anderson
of the Bates College Department of Biology. The guide is intended to provide general
content, style, and format guidelines for biology students learning
to write papers in a standard, scientific journal style and format
that can be easily adapted to specific journal requirements or
disciplinary conventions. Much of the specific content has been
shaped by the particular needs of the beginning scientific writers
in our biology
program. We therefore
make no claims about completeness or depth for more advanced
writers in the biological sciences, or those in other science
disciplines. Many excellent published style manuals for scientific
exist for graduate students and professional scientific writiers.
The guidelines presented here are largely based upon the CBE
Style Manual (Huth
et al 1994), and
we provide suggestions as to other
useful published writing guides.
How to Use This Guide
We provide this website
as a introductory guide for writing a journal-style scientific
paper in a standard format acceptable for most courses in the
Biology Department. We suggest that you either have this document
running in your browser while you are writing to provide quick
answers regarding style and format, or to print a copy for easy
reference anytime. Most sections of the document are now available
as printer friendly pdf files. To print hardcopy of the information
use the File, Print option in your browser or pdf
Each section is accessed
from the Table
of Contents and
within each section you will find links to other relevant information.
Link menus are provided at the top of each page to facilitate
rapid access of the information for which you are looking. A
menu at the bottom of each page allows quick return to the Table
of Contents or to the On-Line Resources home page.
Top of Page
Huth J, Brogan
M, Dancik B, Kommedahl T, Nadziejka D, Robinson P, Swanson W.1994.
Scientific format and style: The CBE manual for authors, editors,
and publishers. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 825 p.
Many thanks to Seri Lowell,
the Scientific Writing Specialist at the Writing at Bates Program for her invaluable comments that
have greatly improved this guide during its most recent revision.
This guide was originally inspired by a document which came to
Bates College from Adelle Binning, a visiting faculty member
in Biology at Bates College (1987-88), who excerpted it from
a document written by William S. Brooks of Ripon College. Some
material was patterned on a similar guide prepared by E.H.Williams
of Hamilton College. I am grateful to Kathleen
O'Connor and her students
in the Bowdoin College Writing Fellows program who graciously
critiqued an early version of this document and whose comments
have improved it greatly. My wife, Patsy
Dickinson, of the
Bowdoin College Department of Biology, has provided invaluable
critical feedback at many stages in its development. Finally,
many thanks to the primary user group, the Natural Sciences students
at Bates College who continually provide invaluable feedback
on the organization, content, and utility of this guide.
I welcome and encourage
feedback from others who may use this guide and ask that it be
Greg Anderson (email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
44 Campus Avenue,
Bates College, Lewiston, ME 04240