COMMUNICATION IN THE BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES
Department of Biology
AVOID GLIB SUPERLATIVES, COLLOQUIAL EXPRESSIONS
AND AWKWARD EXPRESSIONS
As you prepare scientific documents (literature reviews, research manuscripts, etc.) be careful to avoid expressions similar to those below. Maintain an objective, unemotional, and professional writing style.
"Individuals from seacoast populations consumed very high concentrations of omega-3 fatty acids compared to individuals from inland populations."
Better: "Individuals from seacoast populations consumed 3.2 times more omega-3 fatty acids than individuals from inland populations."
"Poa pratensis is virtually eliminating other species."
Better: "Our results suggested that Poa pratensis is out-competing native flora."
"Prairie restoration has been the source of countless studies."
"There have been many efforts at attempting to restore plants."
"Throughout the years scientists have been concerned with prairies."
Better: "Issues associated with prairie restoration have been well studied (e.g., Smith 1983, Jones 1993, Klinefelter and Quinsy 1998, and Dorsey et al. 2000)."
"The diversity measures seemed to go down slowly."
Better: "Diversity indices declined gradually during the course of the investigation."
Eliminating alien species has been the major uphill battle in restoring prairies.
Better: "Various studies have shown that colonization by alien plant species is difficult to prevent in restored prairies (Smith 1983, Jones 1993, and Dorsey et al. 2000)."
"This was by far the most interesting result."
Better: "The study demonstrated that ..."
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