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Scientific Writing 2014 IEH

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Scientific Writing 2014 IEH Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Science Writing Jackie Wirz, PhD
  • 2. LESSON IN A TWEET: Vanilla phrase, then: excessively specific subtitle. SixWordPaperTitle — Taka Tanaka (@astrobassball) February 8, 2014
  • 3. LESSON IN A TWEET: Title No Longer Matches Content. Sorry. #SixWordPaperTitle — Ben Robertson (@BenRobertson) February 8, 2014
  • 4. why are we writing about research, anyway?
  • 5. data does not speak for itself…
  • 6. You speak for your data!
  • 7. but you can’t be everywhere all the time
  • 8. dogma since 1665
  • 9. communication is important
  • 10. 4 Constraints of Scientific Writing From Michael Alley – The Craft of Scientific Writing
  • 11. 1. Audience 2. Format 3. Mechanics 4. Politics
  • 12. Image © Jorge Cham, PhD Comics www.phdcomics.com
  • 13. *Let me digress…
  • 14. LESSON IN A TWEET: Don’t write in a vacuum, literally or figuratively.
  • 15. Some Practical Tips…
  • 16. subjects & actions
  • 17. 1. Put actions in verbs 2. Put characters in subjects 3. Keep subjects near verbs
  • 18. Put actions in verbs Action Nominalization to regulate to analyze to occur to understand to investigate to delineate to perform regulation analysis occurance understanding investigation deliniation performance
  • 19. Put actions in verbs Sentence Action We performed an analysis on the data nominalization We analyzed the data. verb
  • 20. Put characters in subjects Readers expect the main character in a clause to be found in the subject.
  • 21. Put characters in subjects Sentence Subject? The movement in the liquid medium of the bacteria was accomplished by microflagella. Movement? Liquid medium? The bacteria move themselves in the liquid medium with microflagella. Bacteria!
  • 22. <logical flow sidebar>
  • 23. <logical flow sidebar>
  • 24. Keep subjects near verbs who is the sentence about? what are they doing?
  • 25. Keep subjects near verbs Sentence Distance The ABC database has been subject to different improvements, modifications, and extensions in structure and content over the years. 5 words The ABC database has been improved, modified, and extended in both structure and content over the years. 2 words The curators improved the structure and content of the ABC database. Bonus!
  • 26. Cohesion, Coherence & Emphasis
  • 27. 1. Put new information last 2. Use passive voice judiciously 3. Make your paragraph match
  • 28. Put new information last Most readers will find your writing more clear if you consistently begin sentences with familiar (old) information and conclude sentences with unfamiliar (new) information.
  • 29. Use passive voice judiciously Active: The dog chased the ball. Passive: The ball was chased by the dog. Passive: The ball was chased.
  • 30. Make your paragraph match
  • 31. KISS
  • 32. aim here! concisewordy clear pretentious
  • 33. LESSON IN A TWEET: See spot run. Run, spot, run!
  • 34. So now what?
  • 35. Practice Practice Practice Practice Practice Practice Practice Practice Practice Practice Practice Practice Practice Practice Practice Practice - Your mother Don’t practice until you get it right... Practice until you can’t get it wrong. Practice Practice Practice Practice Practice Practice Practice Practice Practice Practice Practice Practice Practice Practice Practice Practice Practice Practice Practice Practice Practice Practice Practice Practice Practice Practice Practice Practice Practice Practice Practice Practice
  • 36. REVIEW
  • 37. WHY it’s important 4 Constraints of Science Writing 1. Audience 2. Format 3. Mechanics 4. Politics Some Practical Tips • Subjects & Actions • Cohesion, Coherence & Emphasis • KISS
  • 38. thank you!
  • 39. Jackie Wirz wirzj@ohsu.edu 503.494.3443