IN THE BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES
Department of Biology
RECIPE FOR PRETTY GOOD SCIENTIFIC WRITING
Knowledge and mastery of subject area
(paper or poster), develop an understanding of all aspects of your topic.
Use of a working outline
Example to download: outline.doc
you start writing, make a tentative outline of your project. Continue using
(and revising) this outline as you complete your project. Thus, your
outline will not be static. It will be a living document that changes
as you complete your project.
Consistent focus on your hypotheses or objectives
is important to maintain an unwavering focus on your objectives or hypotheses
throughout your writing. This is an obvious point, but one that is often
difficult to follow. All material in your document should logically lead
to, or follow from, your hypotheses or objectives.
As you write, always think, "Does this directly pertain to my hypotheses or objectives?"
paragraph should start with a clear topic sentence that introduces the
general topic that is covered in the paragraph.
The remaining sentences should be logically connected to the topic sentence and should maintain a logical flow of ideas.
Understanding and mastery of key technical words and phrases
for a professional audience, use key technical words and phrases, including
those found in technical literature and journal articles.
Avoidance of glib superlatives, colloquial expressions and awkward phrases
"Since the dawn of history ..."
Avoidance of common writing errors
Examples: "The Dirty Dozen and Then Some"
|It is important to avoid common and especially grievous writing errors. Such writing errors include incomplete sentences, mismatched nouns and verbs, improper use of common words, and several other common errors.|
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