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While workflow technology has gained momentum in the last decade as a means for specifying and enacting computational experiments in modern science, reusing and repurposing existing workflows to build new scientific experiments is still a daunting task. This is partly due to the difficulty that scientists experience when attempting to understand existing workflows, which contain several data preparation and adaptation steps in addition to the scientifically significant analysis steps. One way to tackle the understandability problem is through providing abstractions that give a high-level view of activities undertaken within workflows. As a first step towards abstractions, we report in this paper on the results of a manual analysis performed over a set of real-world scientific workflows from Taverna and Wings systems. Our analysis has resulted in a set of scientific workflow motifs that outline i) the kinds of data intensive activities that are observed in workflows (data oriented motifs), and ii) the different manners in which activities are implemented within workflows (workflow oriented motifs). These motifs can be useful to inform workflow designers on the good and bad practices for workflow development, to inform the design of automated tools for the generation of workflow abstractions, etc.