A guide to writing research papers in physics

If you are studying physics, then there is a good chance that you could be assigned a physics research paper. Since most students only write research papers in a writing class, they do not usually know how to write a research paper for a science or math class like physics. These types of research papers have different purposes and formats than the typical research paper students might write in a literature class or history class.

Learn the Formatting Style

Once your instructor gives the assignment, your job is to complete it to the best of your ability. Your instructor will determine the length and the formatting style, because your research paper will need to have citations from the sources that you use. In an argumentative research paper, you will use sources to help you defend your argument, but in a physics research paper you will use sources for formulas and figures.

Numbers, Headings, and Length

Most physics research paper will need to have specific formatting. If your instructor did not give you a length, your paper should be at least 3,000 words, if not more, especially at the college level. Your research paper then requires a properly formatted title page that includes a one-paragraph abstract that describes what you learned through your research. Once you begin formatting the actual paper, you will need page numbers, section headings, and properly formatting figures so you can show the work you did.

References and Appendix

Your research paper will not only include words to help your reader understand what you learned, but you will need to include the figures and equations that you used to come to the understanding. Your research paper also needs to include a list of references and most instructors will ask that you show some differing points of view in your list. A properly written research paper also includes an appendix as well as a section with acknowledgements.

Balance Equations and Paragraphs

Since physics students are more concerned with equations and formulas that well-written paragraphs and unique sentence structures, most physics instructors are not as worried about the quality writing as they are about the content of the piece. Instructors are concerned that you are able to solve problems that you encounter and use your knowledge of physics to explain your discoveries. To ensure that you have a properly written research paper, you can always look for samples to compare with your paper.