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Writing in the sciences...: Welcome

Writing in the sciences

Learning to write about science is an important part of learning in the sciences. Your writing needs to inform your audience. So you'll need to write clearly and concisely, focusing on the content of your paper.

This guide will get you started on achieving those goals. Start by watching the videos below.

Useful books

The 5 Cs

Clarity: To be clear so that understanding is easy.
Conciseness: To be brief or to the point without losing the intent of your message.
Concreteness: To be definite, not abstract, real, complete.
Coherence: To be easily understood, consistent.
Context: To consider your scope and your audience, and the effect of your message on your readers.

(From Technical Report Writing workshop, Univeristy of the West Indies)

Some of the different types of scientific writing

To keep up to date with developments in any particular subject area you will need to read journal articles.

The two main types of papers/articles are:

  • Experimental papers  - where information is published for the first time. Because of this it is critical that they are written in a clear style and that enough detail is given to allow other scientists to reproduce the experiments.
  • Review papers  - which give a review of previously published research. They also need to be clearly written because this type of information is widely read by students and researchers from other disciplines who won't be familiar with the topic.