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o How to Draw a Biological Diagram
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The goal of a biological diagram is to represent how different parts of a specimen relate to
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each other, as opposed to what they actually look like. Drawing diagrams allows biology
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students to record their observations of a specimen and to refer to the illustration at a later
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date in order to recall the important features of a specimen, for example in preparation for a
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test. Beginner-level biology students should familiarize themselves with the correct way of
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drawing scientific diagrams
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Things You'll Need:
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Pencil
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Unlined paper
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Eraser
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Instructions:
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1. Use a pencil and unlined paper when drawing a biological diagram. Position the diagram at
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the center of the page. Draw only what you actually observe, as opposed to what you think
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you should be seeing.
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2. Use sharp single lines to represent an object. Do not use soft lines characteristic of
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sketches. Make the illustration large so that various parts of the specimen are easily
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distinguishable.
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3. Represent darker areas of an object with stippling or dots. Do not shade any areas of the
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diagram.
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4. Print when labeling the different parts of the diagram. Do not use the plural form when
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identifying a single part or object. Draw a straight line from each label to the part or object it
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describes. Make sure that these lines do not cross or overlap.
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5. Keep in mind that the first part of a scientific name, or the genus name, must be
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capitalized. The second portion, or the species name, begins with a lower case letter--except
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when used in the diagram title. Underline scientific names.
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6. Write the title of the diagram in capital letters and center it. Remember that the title must be
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concise and accurately explain the subject of the illustration.
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7. Draw scale bars indicating the length and width of a specimen. A scale bar is a straight line
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that represents the relationship between space on your page and the actual space occupied
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by the specimen.
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8. For microscopic specimens, indicate the magnification at which you observed the object
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through a microscope. Write this information in one of the corners of the page.
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9. When drawing multiple diagrams, do not include more than two diagrams on a single page.
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Erase as little possible to avoid making the diagram appear messy and/or hard to interpret.
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CROSS SECTION OF A MONOCOT STEM