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EBIO 1940: Academic Writing for Science Students: Home

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Putting together a persuasive scientific argument

When writing a persuasive scientific piece, it is important to explore the primary scientific literature thoroughly, as well as get background information to help you understand the primary scientific literature. Using these resources to understand the science, and then construct a well-grounded argument will help you convince your reader.

In order to do these things, you'll need to search widely (which you can do on the Articles tab), using both general and focused databases, and manage your research (which you can learn more about on the Citation and Zotero tab). As you get started, you'll want to identify keywords and develop a search strategy, and perhaps search for background information in OneSearch.

Find information in books, journals, and more with OneSearch

Keyword Strategies

Before you search, it's a good idea to come up with and record some possible keywords. Remember, though, that as  you learn more about your topic, and perhaps even develop new questions, your keywords will change and shift.

As you're generating keywords, think about:

  • Breaking your research question up into concepts and grouping search terms that way. For example, if you were looking for the effect of mosquito nets on preventing malaria in developing nations, your concepts might be 1) mosquito nets, 2) malaria, 3) developing nations.
  • Then, brainstorm synonyms and group them by the bigger concepts.
  • Eliminate words like "as a cause of" or "effect of". These connect ideas in natural language, but databases do better without them.

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Abbey Lewis

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