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How to Write Scientific Names? Student’s Guide

how to write scientific names

There is a standard format when writing scientific names of plants and animals. Also, the method of how to write scientific names has been acknowledged internationally. We usually refer plants and animals with their common names. But aside from this, they also have their unique scientific names. Common names of plants and animals are the ones that are used locally but they can differ from one place to another. On the other hand, scientific names are the names that are commonly used in the scientific community. These are unique names which means that it will precisely identify the particular plant or animal. Also known as scientific nomenclature, these names are based on the specific field of study.

How to Write Scientific Names Correctly?

The scientific names of plants and animals are based on scientific nomenclature. This consists of various codes that are created by taxonomists. They are widely used and are updated now and then by the consensus. It was first introduced by Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus in the 1700s. The system that Linnaeus invented was known as “binomial nomenclature.” In this procedure, there will be two names that will be used. The genus or the generic name, then followed by the specific epithet or the species name.

During the mid-1800s, an expanded system of nomenclature was established by scientists and these are currently used as of today. This includes the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature, International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants, International Code of Phytosociological Nomenclature, International Code of Nomenclature of Bacteria, and finally International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants.

The common names of plants and animals may differ in various regions, but by using a universal standard, confusion can be reduced, and consistency can be ensured. Everyone should learn how to write plant scientific names. For instance, do you know that the pine tree scientific names are Pinus?

Hierarchy of Writing Scientific Names for Animals and Plants

If you want to know how to write scientific names, then you should also learn about the “taxonomic hierarchy.” This includes numerous groups of species that are identified based on their genetic and phylogenic qualities. If you’re writing a biology thesis, we advise you to consult our biology experts.

The highest level of the hierarchy is known as the “kingdom.” This level is composed of seven different categories including Bacteria, Protozoa, Plantae, Animalia, Archaea, Chromista, and Fungi. Before these seven classifications were established, there were only two kinds of living organisms which are the animals and plants. The taxonomic hierarchy is comprised of the following classification which is arranged from the highest to the lowest:

  • Kingdom
  • Phylum
  • Class
  • Order
  • Suborder
  • Family
  • Genus
  • Species
  • Subspecies

How to Write Scientific Names of Plants?

Things to remember when creating scientific names for plants:

  1. The standard way of writing scientific names for plants is based on the binomial nomenclature invented by Linnaeus.
  2. Using this procedure, you have to identify the genus or generic name of the plant then look for its specific epithet or species name.
  3. The genus name will be written first and its first letter should be capitalized. It is then followed by the specific epithet name which is not capitalized. This is the standard of how the scientific name of a plant or animal should be written.
  4. The genus name and the specific epithet name must always be either underlined or italicized.

Here is an example of writing the scientific name of the snake plant.

  • Genus Name: Sansevieria
  • Specific Epithet: trifasciata
  • Scientific Name: Sansevieriatrifasciata or Sansevieria trifasciata

How to Write Scientific Names of Animals?

You are familiar with the common names of animals but do you know how to write scientific names in a paper?

  1. Just like the scientific names of plants, when writing the scientific names of animals, it should also include the genus name and specific epithet.
  2. The genus name comes first then followed by the specific epithet name.
  3. The first letter of the genus name is capitalized while the first letter of the specific epithet name is not capitalized.
  4. The entire scientific name must either be underlined or italicized.

Here is an example of writing the scientific name of the wolf.

  • Genus Name: Canis
  • Specific Epithet: lupus
  • Scientific Name: Canis lupus

Other Examples of Scientific Animal Names

  • Scientific Names for Spiders – Araneae
  • Scientific Names for Butterflies – Rhopalocera
  • Ladybug Scientific Names – Coccinellidae
  • Penguins Scientific Names – Spheniscidae

What Is Natural Science?

Natural science is defined as the information based on the laws of nature. Natural science is a broad term that usually refers to the different areas of science. The main concern of natural science is energy and matter as well as the transformation and reaction of these two elements. Generally, there are several areas of natural science, but the three major categories are biology, chemistry, and physics. Each of these categories has its subareas.

Tips When Writing Science Research Paper

Sometimes you will be required to write a science paper in school. If it is your first time, then the experience can be very overwhelming but at the same time, it can be exciting. You will be dealing with lots of information and doing a lot of research.

To begin, you must search for a science research paper topic that you are interested in. When creating your scientific paper format, always ensure accurateness, clarity, as well as simplicity.

  • Accurateness – When making a scientific paper, the information, data, figures, and references must be well researched. It must also be verifiable in case your readers want to check your sources.
  • Clarity – The work that you have done on your science paper must be explicit. This means that it does not include any unnecessary details or conjectures. As much as possible, keep your paragraphs and sentences shorter. In this way, your readers can quickly comprehend the concepts. It would not be ideal if the reader will keep on re-reading the sentence or paragraph to understand what the author is trying to say.
  • Simplicity – You can use a science paper format that is simple yet creative. This will match the sentence and paragraph structure that you use which can be easily understood by anyone.

Always remember that your goal in writing your science research paper is to convey your message and present your findings.

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