How To Write A Scientific Paper Worth Reading 

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by Michael LaRocca Tuesday, January 04, 2011
How To Write A Scientific Paper Worth Reading

A free white paper from

HANOI, Vietnam -- Scientific writers are rarely literate. If a colleague says "I don't know what this means," the writer assumes it's the colleague's fault, not that he writes badly. Unfortunately, bad writing is published every day.

Simplicity and clarity are the features of good scientific writing. The meaning must be readily understood. Clear thought can be expressed clearly. An author who has something important to say doesn't need to pad it out. Communication is the object of writing. Why have so many authors forgotten that?

The process of writing is actually quite simple. Think, scribble down your ideas, sort those ideas into a logical order, write a rough draft that addresses each of those ideas, and self-edit as many times as it takes to create a finished product.

Are authors drifting away from this out of ignorance or apathy? As the old joke has it, they don't know and they don't care.

How To Write A Scientific Paper refers to long-winded passive-voice writing that leaves readers wondering about the meaning as speed bumps. If the reader has to slow down, stop, double back, and dig out the meaning, that's a speed bump. It's the result of author laziness, incompetence, or unclear thinking.

Scatter too many speed bumps into your writing and you'll lose your reader. Or, more likely, you'll annoy an Acquisitions Editor enough to make him or her reject your paper, in which case you'll have no readers at all.

So what is long-time lecturer Michael LaRocca's prescription for clear writing?

Find out at

- END -

Michael LaRocca has written 8 published novels and edited more than 300 published novels and textbooks, along with thousands of white papers and other shorter works.

0    submitted by Michael LaRocca
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