Writing About, Scientific Method

Scientific Method Essay Writing Guide

Oct 22, 2019

Writing about science, as well as the whole process of any scientific investigation, is a demanding task. This academic style has its own rules and guidelines that frequently differ substantially from how we're taught to write strong essays in English or history. In those classes, you may have the freedom to organize the information as you wish. But, any scientific assignment has a rigorous outline that every high school and college student must follow. But why do science papers have such specific rules? The answer lies in the scientific method.

What is the Scientific Method Essay?

The scientific research methods imply an application of a certain technique for asking questions about the world around and answering those by using empirical data. It could be information gathered from observations or any other reliable and relevant data you can use to test a hypothesis. For hundreds of years, it's been the standard for a good process of research conducting. Every development or discovery you hear about in Physics, Chemistry, or Biology was studied using a particular scientific method. Today, students are taught the processes of scientific investigation from an early age. Most post-elementary children will have a basic idea of how to formulate a subject question, collect relevant data, and answer the issue.

The Origin

While almost every science area is as old as civilization itself, the methods as we know them today didn't develop until the 17th century. Then, philosophers, including Francis Bacon, encouraged inductive reasoning based on observational evidence. They stated that using empirical evidence is the only way to make accurate claims. Over the centuries, there have been several competing philosophies that had different views on how exactly we can verify our belief or scientific theory. Then, Bacon's idea could have undergone significant changes. But with the help of such researchers as Galileo and Isaac Newton, his method became the model we still use today in the study of different issues.

Scientific Method Step by Step

This specific essay and its strategy are so widely established that most of us use it every day without even noticing. Let's say that one day you want to order a pizza. So, you look up the contacts of your favorite place and dial, but instead of getting the restaurant, you get an error message saying the number has been disconnected. Since you really want that pizza, you start considering what could have gone wrong:

  • You redial the number, just to be confident that it is incorrect.
  • You may double-check the number or look online to see if it was changed.
  • You might have someone else try to use their smartphone to see if something is wrong with your device.
  • If none of those work, you're likely to give up on that particular restaurant and try calling somewhere else.

In that scenario, you've completed all six steps in scientific inquiry without even intending to do so. Let's discuss the features of the elements predetermined by this paper.

  1. Identify a problem or question
    The first step in the scientific essay on method is simply observing the world around. From that observation, you develop a question. You may focus on how a certain issue works or what a phenomenon's origin is, etc. In our example, during the process of trying to order a pizza, we observe that the phone number doesn't work. Thus, our question is: why can't we reach the restaurant?
  2. Form a hypothesis
    In this step of controlled experiments, we try to come up with a reasonable solution to our issue. A hypothesis is about the answer that we think we'll get after investigating a question with an experiment. For instance, if your theory is that you mistook the phone number, by dialing a correct one, you will finally reach the restaurant. The method lets people research true strategy for the investigation
  3. Perform an experiment
    Up until this point, we've only been thinking about the problem. Now, we're going to consider a way to test the hypothesis and see if it's appropriate. Keep in mind that in terms of science, we cannot really "prove" something - all we have is a certain level of probability. When we look up the pizza place's number and dial it again, we're performing an experiment to determine whether our hypothesis is acceptable.
  4. Conclusion
    Once we've been through all the steps of a study and collected the relevant data, we can draw a conclusion about our hypothesis. If the phone call still doesn't go through, we can conclude that the problem wasn't in our carelessness. If, in the end, we can reach the restaurant and order a pizza, we've likely been phoning the wrong number.
  5. Extra questions
    After you've reached a conclusion, it's time to step back and look at what you've accomplished. You have new data that hopefully tells something new about the research question, which means you can now start making new observations and asking new questions. Let's say, in our pizza example, calling the number again doesn't work. The next hypothesis might be that your phone is broken, and you will have to perform a new experiment to test that assumption.
  6. Repeat
    The results of a scientific experiment need to be reproducible. That's why scientists publish their findings so that other researchers can review their works and check the results. So, you call the pizza place again next week. This way, you're making sure that the results of the experiment can be reproduced. That means you choose a scientific method to answer the research question and can apply it as many times as you need to be confident about the outcomes.

The studies performed by researchers are much more complicated than our example. Scientists will work for years to test a question that is just a small part of a larger and more intricate theory. But it doesn't matter how extensive or complicated the question is - the basic idea is the same:

  • Develop a hypothesis
  • Test it with a scientific method, and
  • Draw conclusions

Now, when we recalled the requirements, let's discuss the way they affect your assignment.

Research and the Scientific Method Essay

You have to understand the scientific method's purpose. When writing on scientific matters, make sure your paper has a rigid structure. If you've ever written or read a research paper, you might have recognized the six steps listed above as the sections of the IMRAD model. IMRAD (introduction, methodology, results, and discussion) is the standard format for many academic assignments, and it is designed to provide students with a relevant essay writing strategy as well.

Many academic projects start with the introduction, which lays out the background information of your work along with the main question and hypothesis. In the methodology section, you explain the features of conducting your investigation. Then, you dwell on the results of your study, present your conclusions, and discuss extra avenues for any further investigations in this area. Consider the way of interconnection between the study and the scientific method you apply. Don't skip any step while carrying out your work - you won't be able to write a coherent assignment (essay, research, etc.).

Understanding the scientific method issue will also help you structure the ideas in your paper. Think of it as an hourglass:

scientific-method-shaped-like-an-hourglass

Your paper should be structured just like the hourglass. Start with a broad introduction, then narrow the focus and concentrate on your subject matter, the main question, and even to the methodology used. The most precise part of your writing is about the specific results you got from the investigation. Then, you may widen your narration again - show what contribution or implications for your field those particular findings have. The paper ends with a discussion of what the next step in the research would be. And, one of the main features of the scientific method is that you may flip the hourglass over and start the whole process again to conduct a new experiment.

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