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BIOLH 1407: Hulett: Scientific Writing

What is Scientific Writing?

In scientific writing, [the words used should be as clear, simple, and well-ordered as possible;] there is little need for ornamentation. Flowery literary embellishments—metaphors, similes, idiomatic expressions—are very likely to cause confusion and should seldom be used in research papers. Science is simply too important to be communicated in anything other than words of certain meaning. And the meaning should be clear and certain not just to peers of the author, but also to students just embarking on their careers, to scientists reading outside their own narrow disciplines, and especially [emphasis in the original] to those readers (most readers today) whose native language is other than English. Many kinds of writing are designed for entertainment. Scientific writing has a different purpose: to communicate new scientific findings. Scientific writing should be as clear and simple as possible.

Resources on Scientific Writing

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