Semana 8 (2011)

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Semana 8 (2011)

  1. 1. Semana Siete Introducción a la Escritura Científica Estas notas tienen la intención de ayudarle en la redacción y desarrollo de trabajos científicos. Las gráficas son de The Craft of Scientific Writing (3rd ed., Springer-Verlag).On these notes pages, the page and chapter numbers refer to The Craft ofScientific Writing, 3rd edition (Springer-Verlag, 1996). Also referred to is the“Writing Guidelines for Engineering and Science Students,” which can befound at the following address: http://filebox.vt.edu/eng/mech/writing/csw.htmlAt that page, you will find links to the “Writing Exercises for Engineers andScientists” and to the “Handbook for Instructors.” Note that students can easilyreturn to their course syllabus by clicking on the “Writing Courses” link on anypage in the “Writing Guidelines” and then finding their course in thealphabetical listing. 1
  2. 2. Introducción a la Escritura Científica Pero en la ciencia el crédito va al hombre que convence al mundo, no a aquél que se le ocurre la idea primero. Sir Francis DarwinThis visual is a title visual for an introductory lecture about writing inengineering and science. Here you have the opportunity to give your testimonyas to the importance of writing in engineering and science. This visual is alsoan opportunity for you to give an overview of the kind of writing that studentswill do in your course.Note that these visuals use the term “scientific writing” to encompass thewriting done by engineers and scientists and the term “scientific documents” toencompass the documents written by engineers and scientists. Why not use“technical writing” and “technical documents”? I chose not to because theselatter two terms have come to include many different kinds of writing that arenot written by engineers and scientists—a police report being one example. Ifyou prefer the more general term “technical,” you can use the Replacecommand to replace “scientific” with “technical” throughout. Likewise, if youdesire a term more specific than “scientific,” you can use the same commandto insert your preferred term (“engineering” or “biological” would be twoexamples). Note that all future references to chapters and pages are for TheCraft of Scientific Writing (3rd edition). 2
  3. 3. Vd ha estudiado mucho sobre escritura porqué estudiar escritura científica? Primaria Preparatoria fonética análisis de literatura ortografía escritura de ensayos escritura de oraciones escritura creativa Secundaria Primeros semestres grámatica escritura de agumentos puntuación escritura informativa escritura de párrafos Universidad y posgrado ?????? ?????? ??????Many students in engineering and science feel as if the study of writing isunnecessary for them. Writing is a freshman subject, they might say. With thisslide, I try to have them realize that writing is a craft with many skills that theycontinually improve upon. In fact, the process of learning to write does not endwith this course, but continues through their professional careers. 3
  4. 4. Muchos aspectos diferencian la escritura científica de otros tipos de escritura • Complejidad de temas de ingeniería y ciencias matemáticas importancia en detalles imágenes complejas número de variables • Propósitos de la escritura científica informar persuadir • Limitaciones de ingenierios y científicos audiencia mecánicas procesos, fechas formatos políticas formalidad • Estilo en escritura científica estructura lenguaje ilustraciónWith this slide, I impress upon the students the differences between scientificwriting and other types of writing that they have studied. While the studentswill draw upon many of the things that they have learned in other writingcourses, students have to be critical thinkers as far as taking advice that maypertain to literary writing or journalism and applying it to scientific writing.For instance, in scientific writing, the most important goal of language isprecision--a goal that poets sometimes subordinate for the sake of rhythm.(pages 1-2) 4
  5. 5. Para empezar un documento científico Vd deberá analizar primero sus limitaciones Políticas Audiencia Quiénes son? Formalidad Ortografía? Qué saben? Documento Puntuación? Por qué están leyendo? Cómo lo leerán? Uso de la formalidad? Formato Proceso Diseño? Fecha límite? Tipografía? Colaboración? ÉticaThis visual is perhaps the most important visual of the set because it showswhat constraints students are under as they begin writing a scientificdocument. In other words, this visual tells students where they should beginthe writing process (an assumption here is that the students understand thecontent of their document and now must communicate that content). Theconstraints of audience, politics, and format are discussed in Chapter 1.Format is also discussed in Chapter 16 and in the “Writing Guidelines forEngineering and Science Students.”The constraint of process refers to how the student actually puts words ontopaper. Will the student write as an individual or part of a group? Does thestudent have a fixed deadline? Chapter 17 discusses this constraint in moredetail. Formality refers to the expectations that the audience has as far asmechanics, which is also discussed in Chapter 1, Appendix A, and AppendixB. Interactive exercises for mechanics can be found in the “Writing Exercisesfor Engineers and Scientists.”On this visual, you should make it clear to the students that no simple recipesexist for the challenging documents that they will have to write. Studentsshould assess the audience, format, formality, and other constraints of thesituation before committing words to paper. The visuals that follow elaborateon each of the constraints. 5
  6. 6. Ingenieros, científicos, y profesionales técnicos frecuentemente escriben para diversas audiencias Quién es la audiencia? Qué saben del tema? Por qué están leyendo este documento? Cómo leerán el documento? Ingenieros Ingenieros Fuerza en dinámica en materiales ÁereaOften in scientific writing, engineers and scientists write to more than one typeof audience. The picture above from a the design of a new parachute for the F-111 fighter jet illustrates this case. The engineers at Sandia National Labs whodesigned the new parachute had three distinct audiences given on the slide.(pages 3-6) 6
  7. 7. Formato, otra limitante, es el arreglo de su escritura tipo de letra tamaño de letra alineación espaciamiento longitud de línea espacios en blancoInformation about the constraint on format in scientific writing can be foundon pages 6-7 and Chapter 16. 7
  8. 8. Existen dos tipos de letra: serif y sans serif Times New Roman Arial abcdefghijklmnopqr abcdefghijklmnopqr stuvwxyz1234567890 stuwxyz1234567890 Serif font Sans serif font Diseñado para periódicos Tipo de letra popular Usos: grandes cantidades Usos: encabezados, de texto y visuales, encabezados postersInformation about selecting typefaces in scientific writing can be found onpages 222-226. I discuss this aspect early in courses because it is so practicaland applies to every assignment that the students submit. 8
  9. 9. Con el formato, evite párrafos con letra mayúscula PALABRAS, TODAS EN Palabras, todas en MAYÚSCULAS, UTILIZAN mayúsculas, utilizan un UN ESPACIO espacio significativamente SIGNIFICATIVAMENTE mayor – hasta el 35 por MAYOR – HASTA EL 35 POR ciento – que el mismo escrito CIENTO – QUE EL MISMO en letras minúsculas. ESCRITO EN LETRAS MINÚSCULAS. TYPE IS TO READ Type is to readInformation about avoiding all capitals in scientific writing can be found onpages 225-226. When showing this slide, I tell the students how much morespace the paragraph on the left takes up as opposed to the paragraph on theright, which has the same number of words. I also ask them to think aboutpresentations they have seen in which the presenter has used slides with allcapitals--how tiring those presentations often were because the audience had toread each letter on the presentation visuals. I also mention to students howmuch faster it is to read words set in lowercase because we can recognize themby the ascenders and descenders, rather than having to read every letter. 9
  10. 10. Elija un tamaño que sea fácil de leer 48 point posters 36 point visuales 24 point 18 point títulos 14 point 12 point texto 10 point 8 point pies de páginaInformation about lettering size in scientific writing can be found on pages224-225. When showing this slide, I tell the students the story of a symposiumin which one person in the large lecture hall became so disgruntled with thepresenters, who simply photocopied their 12-point papers onto overheadtransparencies, that the person stood up in the middle of one presentation,pulled out a pair of binoculars, and focused on the screen. The audience, whocould not see what was on the screen, soon noticed this person and beganlaughing. Given the commotion, the presenter just turned off the overheadprojector and began speaking without transparencies. I have no sympathy forthis presenter--showing transparencies that the audience cannot read isimpolite. 10
  11. 11. Limitaciones también surgen de políticas y ética Lo que puede ser dicho: límites de la propiedad de información límites de información clasificada Lo que debe decirse: consideraciones éticas de la seguridad consideraciones éticas de la propiedadInformation about politics and ethics can be found on pages 8 and 9. 11
  12. 12. Formalidad también afecta la gramática, puntuación y uso del lenguaje Informal Fragmentos estilísticos permitidos Comas usadas informalmente Uso casual (“un montón”) Formal Únicamente oraciones completas Reglas estrictas de comas Uso formal (“demasiado”)One confusion that students have is that they see grammatical rules broken insome situations. Students have to realize that they must be critical thinkerswhen it comes to grammatical rules. Informal situations, such as brochures,allow writers to use fragments, but in formal situations such as reports, writersare obliged to write solely in sentences. 12
  13. 13. Errores comunes de Gramática, Puntuación y Uso del Lenguaje Las marcas de puntuación son las señales de tráfico colocadas en el camino del lector … Los ingenieros de tráfico no siempre están de acuerdo , con qué signos deberían de usar ni dónde colocarlos; tampoco los escritores ni los editores. Theodore Bernstein The Careful WriterOpening visual for discussion of grammar, punctuation, and usage. Manyteachers and students consider discussion of these topics as trivial, but it isinteresting how some of these rules change over the years and how some ofthese rules depend upon location. These changes cause all sorts of disputes,especially in engineering and science because many engineers and scientistslook for rules without exceptions. English is a language of exceptions. Alsointeresting to note is that students often complain about grammar, but Englishhas few grammatical rules compared with other languages such as German.Strictly speaking, grammar refers to the order of words to produce meaningfulsentences. What’s probably most difficult about English is usage becauseEnglish is such a hodgepodge of other languages. (Appendix A, Appendix B)The quotation on this visual comes from Theodore Bernstein’s The CarefulWriter (Atheneum, 1969). Bernstein served for years as a consulting editor forthe New York Times. 13
  14. 14. Como profesionistas, escribimos en oraciones – no en ideas incompletas o fragmentos El Rubidio no tiene usos mayores, sin embargo, Incompleto es más común de encontrar en la tierra que el zinc, cobre o nickel. Aunque el rubidio no tiene usos mayores, es más común en la tierra que el zinc, cobre o nickel. Varios sistemas pueden detectar explosivos plásticos. Por ejemplo, el sistema de activación Fragmento térmica de neutrones. Varios sistemas pueden detectar explosivos plásticos. Un ejemplo es el sistema de activación térmica de neutrones.With mechanics (grammar, punctuation, and usage), I have a bias as far as themost egregious error that a student can make, and that error is notunderstanding what constitutes a sentence. The sentence is the fundamentalunit of expression in professional writing. If a student does not understandwhat constitutes a sentence, then he or she is far behind as being able tocommunicate as a professional. The most common mistake as far as running ona sentence occurs in the top example. Here, the student does not recognize that“however” is an adverb, and therefore cannot join two independent clauses.In showing this visual, I cover up the column on the right and ask the studentswhat each group of words is: a sentence, a run-on, or a fragment. A briefdiscussion of sentences and run-ons is found on pages 258-259. Also, aninteractive exercises on sentences, run-ons, and fragments can be found at the“Writing Exercises” link on the “Writing Guidelines for Engineering andScience Students” (http://www.me.vt.edu/writing/). 14
  15. 15. Colocar un modificador en su lugar correcto es también importante en la gramática El primer paso es encontrar una impresión latente. Después de ser detectado, debe empolvar la impresión con talco. El primer paso es encontrar una impresión latente. Después de detectar la impresión, la empolva con talco. En aguas de baja temperatura y altos niveles de toxididad de aceite, probamos qué tan bien los microorganismos sobrevivieron. Probamos qué tan bien los microorganismos sobrevivieron en aguas de baja temperatura y altos niveles de toxididad.Another common grammatical error is the misplacement of modifying phrasesor words. Termed a misplace modifier or dangling modifier, this errorcommonly occurs with introductory participial and prepositional phrases. Italso commonly occurs with the word “only.” In showing this visual, I cover upthe revisions and the X’s, and ask the students to identify where in thefollowing sentences there are errors as far as placement of modifiers. A briefdiscussion can be found on pages 92-93.Moreover, an interactive web exercise on placement of modifiers (Grammar#2) can be found at the “Writing Exercises” link on the “Writing Guidelinesfor Engineering and Science Students” (http://www.me.vt.edu/writing). 15
  16. 16. Hacer listas paralelas es otro aspecto importante de la gramática Animales que entran en contacto con aceite pueden desarrollar ronchas, comezón, y pueden abandonar el área. Animales que pueden entrar en contacto con el aceite pueden desarrollar ronchas, comezón, y desarrollar tendencias migratorias. O mejor aún Animales que llegan a estar en contacto con el aceite pueden desarrollar ronchas y comezón, y pueden abandonar el área.Another common grammatical error is faulty parallelism. This error commonlyoccurs with lists. In showing this visual, I cover up the revisions and the X’s,and ask the students to identify where in the following sentence there is aparallelism error. A brief discussion can be found on pages 37-40 and 259.Moreover, an interactive web exercise on faulty parallelism (Grammar #2) canbe found at the “Writing Exercises” link on the “Writing Guidelines forEngineering and Science Students” (http://www.me.vt.edu/writing/). 16
  17. 17. Refrerencias a pronombres indefinidos pueden casuar ambigüedades Porque el receptor presentó el radiometro con un ambiente con alto nivel de flujo, fue montado quién???? en un contenedor de acero inoxidable. No existen picos en la región olefínica. Por lo tanto, no existe una significativa concentración de hidrocarbonos olefínicos en aceite fresco. Esto Ésto????? pone un límite superior a la concentración de olefines. Aunque los errores de diseño del Titanic fueron conocidos después de su hundimiento en 1912, las razones para un daño severo causado por el iceberg permanecieron como un misterio hasta su su?????? descubrimiento en 1985.Another common grammatical error is ambiguous pronoun reference. Thiserror commonly occurs with the pronouns “it,” “they,” and “this.” In showingthis visual, I cover up the right column and ask the students to identify wherein the following sentences there are ambiguous pronoun references. Adiscussion of pronoun references can be found on pages 93-94.Moreover, an interactive web exercise on ambiguous pronoun references(Grammar #2) can be found at the “Writing Exercises” link on the “WritingGuidelines for Engineering and Science Students”(http://www.me.vt.edu/writing). 17
  18. 18. Comas separan los detalles en una oración Comas separan las frases introductorias y cláusulas Después de enfriar los gases expelidos continuan Después de enfriar, los gases expelidos continuan Comas separan detalles en paréntesis La vívora de Russell, la cual es mortal requiere precaución La vívora de Russell, la cual es mortal, requiere precuación. Comas separan los elementos de una lista Los gases probados fueron metanol, etanol puro, metanol puro con 10 porciento de agua y entanol puro con 10 porciento de agua Los gases probados fueron metanol, etanol puro, metanol puro con 10 porciento de agua, y entanol puro con 10 porciento de aguaCompared with other pieces of punctuation, commas probably cause the mostproblems for students. Three common comma errors are given on this visual. Adiscussion of commas can be found on pages 94-96 and 262-264.Moreover, an interactive web exercise on commas can be found at the at the“Writing Exercises” link on the “Writing Guidelines for Engineering andScience Students” (http://www.me.vt.edu/writing). 18
  19. 19. (En Inglés) Two common usage errors are possessives and subject-verb disagreements The criteria for assessing the environmental effects of acid rain (are / is) given in the next section. are So far, the daily number of engineers applying (has / has have) remained constant. The goggles protect a (persons / person’s) eyes from person’s any damaging effects that a laser could cause. In accordance with my (boss’ / boss’s) schedule, the boss’s first series of computers was replaced.This visual shows two types of common usage errors: possessive errors andsubject-verb disagreements (sometimes catalogued under grammatical errors).In showing this visual, I cover up the revisions and the X’s, and ask thestudents to identify where in the following sentences there are subject-verbdisagreements or possessive errors. Discussions of these errors can be found onpages 260-261 and 271-272.Note that non-native speakers of English have particular problems withsubject-verb disagreements and should seek advice from an English as aSecond Language (ESL) text. Also note that these students have differentproblems depending on what their native language is. An interactive webexercise on subject-verb disagreements (Grammar #2) can be found at the“Writing Exercises” link on the “Writing Guidelines for Engineering andScience Students” (http://www.me.vt.edu/writing).Americans of German or Scandinavian descent often have problems withpossessives. An interactive web exercise on possessives occurs at the sameweb address as given above. 19
  20. 20. Ciertas palabras son comunmente mal utilizadas Producimos una pequeña (cantidad, número( de Número autos este año, aún (más pocos, menos) que el menos año pasado sus El éxito de una compañía depende de (su, sus) empleados El nuevo material está (compuesto, conformado) por plásctico e iodine. compuesto Parece (como si, si) el Departamento de Energía elegiría la tercera opción. Como siThis visual shows common usage errors that occur in engineering and science.In showing this visual, I cover up the answers on the right, and ask the studentsto identify which word is correct in each of the sentences. Discussions of theseerrors can be found in Appendix B.Moreover, an interactive web exercise on usage can be found at the “WritingExercises” link on the “Writing Guidelines for Engineering and ScienceStudents” (http://www.me.vt.edu/writing). 20
  21. 21. Ciertas palabras con comunmente mal utilizadas La reducción de peso fue la (principal, primera) razón principal para escoger aluminio. La plática se centro (sobre, acerca) el (principal, sobre principio) del trabajo virtual. principio (Desgraciadamente, por desgracia), el lanzamiento fue Desgracia aplazado por tormenta. -damente Tu no necesitas proceder (más lejos, adelante) en tu adelante prueba. La cerilla tiene serios (efectos, afectos). efectosThis visual shows more common usage errors that occur in engineering andscience. In showing this visual, I cover up the answers on the right, and ask thestudents to identify which word is correct in each of the sentences. Discussionsof these errors can be found in Appendix B.Moreover, an interactive web exercise on usage can be found at the “WritingExercises” link on the “Writing Guidelines for Engineering and ScienceStudents” (http://www.me.vt.edu/writing). 21
  22. 22. “No palabras”y agrupamientos sin sentido causan problemas Cualquier diseño que elijas (está bien, es bien) Está bien conmigo (Sinimportar, Sin importar) la demora por la entrega, el Sin importar trabajo se detendrá por la huelga. Aplicando ese juego de limitaciones es una forma única (única, casi única, muy única) de resolver el problema. La cerilla tiene (unmontón, un montón) de efectos. Un motónThis visual shows more misuses of language that occur in engineering andscience. In showing this visual, I cover up the answers on the right, and ask thestudents to identify which word is correct in each of the sentences. Discussionsof these errors can be found in Appendix B. 22
  23. 23. Podemos dividir el proceso de escrbir en etapas Entrando en la idea Escribiendo el primer borrador Revisar, revisar, revisar TerminarDiscussion of making the process of writing more efficient to perform can befound in Chapter 17. When I first started teaching, I discussed the process ofwriting towards the end of the course. Recently, I’ve begun incorporatingdiscussions of it throughout the course, particularly just before assignments aredue. 23
  24. 24. Si no puede controlar las limitaciones, puede controlar el estilo words Ilustración wordswords wordswordswords wordswordswordswords wordswordswords wordswordswords wordswordswords wordswordswords Estructura Lenguaje estiloIf the constraints are what the engineer or scientist does not control in thewriting process, then style is what the engineer or scientist does control. Stylecomprises three perspectives: structure, language, and illustration (all three aredefined in Chapter 1). Students should note that unlike most terms inengineering and science, most terms in writing do not have universaldefinitions. For that reason, you and your students should agree upon a fewdefinitions so that your discussions about writing make sense. So often, I haveseen discussions about writing become unproductive because people invoketerms that others either do not understand or have different definitions for.Terms often used in discussions of writing, but not often understood bystudents, are format, style, structure, language, illustration, tone, active voice,passive voice, and the major parts of speech. These are defined in thetextbook’s glossary.The next three sets of presentations discuss these aspects of style in scientificwriting. 24
  25. 25. Se le puede pedir que escriba muchos tipos de documentos Memos Web pages Posters Emails Artículos Especificaciones Cartas Reportes Standards de Avance Propuestas Instrucciones ReportesIf the constraints are what the engineer or scientist does not control in thewriting process, then style is what the engineer or scientist does control. Stylecomprises three perspectives: structure, language, and illustration (all three aredefined in Chapter 1). Students should note that unlike most terms inengineering and science, most terms in writing do not have universaldefinitions. For that reason, you and your students should agree upon a fewdefinitions so that your discussions about writing make sense. So often, I haveseen discussions about writing become unproductive because people invoketerms that others either do not understand or have different definitions for.Terms often used in discussions of writing, but not often understood bystudents, are format, style, structure, language, illustration, tone, active voice,passive voice, and the major parts of speech. These are defined in thetextbook’s glossary.The next three sets of presentations discuss these aspects of style in scientificwriting. 25

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