Essay Writing in the Natural Sciences

Natural sciences study the physical and natural world and the events that occur in nature using scientific methods, and writing in this field is often used to assess your knowledge. The fields within this area of science include, but are not limited to, the following areas:

Astronomy, Atmospheric Science, Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science, Environmental Science, Oceanography

The most common writing assignments in the natural sciences are case studies, field reports, lab reports and literature reviews.

This field is frequently referred to as “hard science” because of the quantitative methods applied and the heavy use of objective data. A great deal of what defines modern civilization are advances in technology and knowledge gained by investigations in the natural sciences. Statistics and mathematics provide the framework for this field, where quantifiable data and accuracy are essential components.

The main goal of the natural science essay is to utilize problem-solving techniques that report results through analysis and observation.

Expectations for writing in the natural sciences

Whatever your topic when writing in the natural sciences, make sure you understand the assignment before you start. There are characteristics to take into consideration when writing an essay in this field, which include the amount of technical language you use, how much background information is adequate and the type of evidence needed. The composition of this type of written piece requires meeting these writing standards:

  • Prepare by doing an extensive amount of background scientific research reading
  • Select key references, and introduce a critical examination of the problem
  • Introduce the essay topic, justify it as a scientific problem and completely discuss and recap the conclusion
  • Use passive constructions in data interpretation to stay objective

Essay structure for writing in the natural sciences

When writing in the natural sciences, you typically inform your readers about a specific topic and report results of an experiment. In the natural sciences, empirical evidence is used to support statements. Use tables, graphs and maps to organize information and present numerical data; these visual aids make the presentation of the information much easier to read.

For these types of essays and reports, the structure consists of three main parts: an introduction, the main body of the essay and the conclusion.

The introduction of your essay when writing in the natural sciences should do the following points:

  • Present the question
  • State the argument
  • Interpret the topic
  • Provide definitions for terms
  • Outline the general approach to the topic

The body paragraphs of your essay when writing in the natural sciences are divided into well-defined sections with headings. They should follow this framework:

  • Provide an analytical development of the subject
  • Establish the reasons for the accepted point of view
  • Furnish relevant information to support the argument
  • Present verbal and graphic forms of presented facts
  • Reference all sources of research used

The conclusion of your essay when writing in the natural sciences should accomplish the following:

  • Restate the purpose of the essay
  • Summarize the main objectives of the research
  • Reiterate your formulated conclusions
  • Indicate further research possibilities

A list of references is required when writing in the natural sciences. You must give credit to original sources by citing information you use with direct and indirect quotations. The format of this list is determined by assignment instructions and the official style guide you are asked to follow, which is usually MLA or APA formatting.

Whatever question you ask when writing in the natural sciences, make sure to approach your topic by presenting the question, stating the argument, reading relevant background information, preparing an outline and citing information sources.