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I'm a high school student, and I'm planning on doing a few simple chemistry experiments in my spare time (not as a part of any class). I thought it might be fun to write up a faux-paper on one or more of them. Unfortunately, I don't know anything about the format of real scientific papers - are there any guides I could read? How standardized is paper format?

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Different fields tend to have their own standards regarding format of papers. So a good start is to Google something like "standard format of a [field name] paper". For example, for "standard format of a chemistry paper" I found:

You can also read some research papers in your field - even if you don't understand the contents, you can pay attention to the format: what sections are included, what's in each section, etc.

Finally, you can look up some journals in your field and look for their "Instructions for authors". There, they describe the formatting rules specific to that journal, that authors follow when submitting a manuscript. They are likely to have paper templates you can use, either in MS Word or LaTeX format depending on the field and the journal. See e.g. the instructions for authors of the Journal of the American Chemical Society, and their template.

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  • Thanks - this is exactly the kind of thing I was looking for! Aug 30, 2017 at 3:57

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