How to write a paper (2):
Language
Kyushu University
Warren Raye, PhD
Senior Life Sciences Editor
Edanz Group Japan
21 Jan...
Language
英語の質
 Most journals are very clear regarding their
English requirements
Brain Structure & Function

Language: Ma...
Japanese scientific writing style
日本語科学論文スタイル
 Passive voice

受動態

 Cause/reason comes first

原因・理由が最初

 Followed by th...
English scientific writing style
英語科学論文スタイル
 Active voice
能動態

 The conclusion is stated first
結論を最初に記述

 Reasoning or ...
Reader Expectations
 Information is easier to
interpret and more uniform
when placed where most
readers expect to find it...
Verb placement
 Readers expect verbs to closely follow subjects
Sentence

Subject

syntactic resolution
Verb
Verb
.

Subj...
Avoid reader confusion
 Readers can be confused if subject and verb are
separated by too much content
The smallest of the...
Avoid reader confusion
The smallest of the URF's is URFA6L, a 207-nucleotide (nt) reading frame
overlapping out of phase t...
Which voice? Active vs. passive
 Use the active voice unless your target
journal states otherwise

Blood samples were col...
Active voice
Subject
Verb

Active

 Sentences written in the active voice are:
SIMPLE
DIRECT
CLEAR
EASY TO READ
Edanz Gro...
Stress position
 Readers focus on information at the end of a
sentence.
Subject

Verb

take-home information
“Save the be...
Stress position
The dog sat when her mistress offered a treat.
The dog sat when a treat was offered by her
mistress.
When ...
Topic position
 Readers expect a sentence/phrase to be a story
about whoever shows up first

Topic position

Subject
Verb...
Topic position
sentence
idea

idea

idea

idea

Topic link

 Linkage and context
The family went into the courtyard to se...
Topic sentences Easier to read
トピックセンテンス
 Indicates to the reader the main idea of
a paragraph
 Provides the writer with...
Topic sentences Example
IN HIS STUDIES OF THE CONDITIONED REFLEX,
PAVLOV WORKED ALMOST ENTIRELY WITH DOGS
AND WITH THE SAL...
Readability
可読性
“only 4% of readers understand a 27-word sentence

first time”
 Reader objectives
 Only need to read onc...
Sentence length Keep it short & simple
1文は短く簡潔に
 We examined numerous peer-reviewed journals

 Easy to read articles had...
Goals to aim for …
 Maximum 25–30 words per sentence
 Not more than four 30-word sentences in the
whole manuscript
 Use...
Reader expectation Example
 Match the expectation with the contents
1

All samples were collected at the same time (10 AM...
Simple is best
簡潔に書くことが大事
 Simple language IS best
 Makes YOUR science more relevant
 Minimizes confusion – maximizes u...
Simple words Examples
簡潔な単語

PREFERRED
more
enough
clear
try
show
try
very

AVOID
additional
adequate
apparent
attempt
dem...
Unnecessary words Write simply
簡潔に書く
 In order to…
In order to determine the fractalkine expression in the aorta of
ApoE ...
Unnecessary words Further examples
PREFERRED

AVOID

Because
First
Soon
Four
Green
After
Before
Usually

For the reason th...
Common mistakes Comparisons





Frequently made in the Results section
Compare “like” with “like”
Avoid ambiguity
Use...
Avoiding ambiguity Comparisons
 Relative terms, such as more, higher and greater,
require a reference for comparison
 Us...
Possible resources
 Books

 Style Manuals
 Writing courses
 BUT … not always practical

Edanz Group Japan | 27
Online resources
 Paradigm Online Writing Assistant
http://www.powa.org/

 Springer Exemplar
http://www.springerexemplar...
Help your readers understand
“If you can’t explain something simply,
you don’t understand it well.”
– Albert Einstein

 W...
Resources and links
参考資料

http://edanzediting.co.jp/kyushu201201

This presentation
Templates
Guidelines

Edanz Group J...
Any questions?

Edanz Group Japan | 31
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How to write a paper 2 20120121

  1. 1. How to write a paper (2): Language Kyushu University Warren Raye, PhD Senior Life Sciences Editor Edanz Group Japan 21 January 2012
  2. 2. Language 英語の質  Most journals are very clear regarding their English requirements Brain Structure & Function Language: Manuscripts will be checked by our copyeditors for spelling and formal style. Clear and concise language will help editors and reviewers concentrate on the scientific content of your paper and thus smooth the peer review process. 査読なしでリジェクト する Edanz Group Japan | 2
  3. 3. Japanese scientific writing style 日本語科学論文スタイル  Passive voice 受動態  Cause/reason comes first 原因・理由が最初  Followed by the conclusion 結論が後に続く  Ki-sho-ten-ketsu 起承転結  採用率を高める科学英語の書き方:日本人の論文に 特徴的な問題点とは. 2011. International Nursing Review, Supplement 151, 34(3), 94 102 Edanz Group Japan | 3
  4. 4. English scientific writing style 英語科学論文スタイル  Active voice 能動態  The conclusion is stated first 結論を最初に記述  Reasoning or explanation comes after the conclusion 理由や説明が結論の後に来る Beginning middle end Edanz Group Japan | 4
  5. 5. Reader Expectations  Information is easier to interpret and more uniform when placed where most readers expect to find it  Good writers are aware of these expectations  Readability Edanz Group Japan | 5
  6. 6. Verb placement  Readers expect verbs to closely follow subjects Sentence Subject syntactic resolution Verb Verb . Subject and verb far apart = poor readability Edanz Group Japan | 6
  7. 7. Avoid reader confusion  Readers can be confused if subject and verb are separated by too much content The smallest of the URF's (URFA6L), a 207nucleotide (nt) reading frame overlapping out of phase the [NH2]-terminal portion of the adenosinetriphosphatase (ATPase) subunit 6 gene, has been identified as the animal equivalent of the recently discovered yeast H-ATPase subunit 8 gene. Edanz Group Japan | 7
  8. 8. Avoid reader confusion The smallest of the URF's is URFA6L, a 207-nucleotide (nt) reading frame overlapping out of phase the [NH2]-terminal portion of the adenosinetriphosphatase (ATPase) subunit 6 gene; it has been identified as the animal equivalent of the recently discovered yeast H-ATPase subunit 8 gene. The smallest of the URF's (URFA6L) has been identified as the animal equivalent of the recently discovered yeast H-ATPase subunit 8 gene; URFA6L is a 207-nucleotide (nt) reading frame overlapping out of phase the [NH2]terminal portion of the adenosinetriphosphatase (ATPase) subunit 6 gene. We identified the smallest of the URF's (URFA6L) as the animal equivalent of the recently discovered yeast HATPase subunit 8 gene. URFA6L is a … . Edanz Group Japan | 8
  9. 9. Which voice? Active vs. passive  Use the active voice unless your target journal states otherwise Blood samples were collected from 256 patients. We collected blood from 256 patients. Edanz Group Japan | 9
  10. 10. Active voice Subject Verb Active  Sentences written in the active voice are: SIMPLE DIRECT CLEAR EASY TO READ Edanz Group Japan | 10
  11. 11. Stress position  Readers focus on information at the end of a sentence. Subject Verb take-home information “Save the best until last” . Edanz Group Japan | 11
  12. 12. Stress position The dog sat when her mistress offered a treat. The dog sat when a treat was offered by her mistress. When the mistress offered her a treat, the dog sat.  Readers, without thinking, concentrate on the end of a sentence. Edanz Group Japan | 12
  13. 13. Topic position  Readers expect a sentence/phrase to be a story about whoever shows up first Topic position Subject Verb Stress position . Edanz Group Japan | 13
  14. 14. Topic position sentence idea idea idea idea Topic link  Linkage and context The family went into the courtyard to see the new puppy. The dog sat when her owner offered a treat. Everyone was so excited they broke into applause. However, as the courtyard was situated right next to my bedroom, the sound woke me from my sleep. Edanz Group Japan | 14
  15. 15. Topic sentences Easier to read トピックセンテンス  Indicates to the reader the main idea of a paragraph  Provides the writer with a focus  Should be the first sentence of a paragraph  Then discuss/explain the topic  Summarize with a concluding sentence Beginning Middle End Edanz Group Japan | 15
  16. 16. Topic sentences Example IN HIS STUDIES OF THE CONDITIONED REFLEX, PAVLOV WORKED ALMOST ENTIRELY WITH DOGS AND WITH THE SALIVARY REFLEX. Implicit in all of his work is the notion that everything the dog learns from puppyhood on is a result of the association of certain events (which happen to occur at the same time) with the biologically adequate stimulus to some native response such as withdrawing, struggling, eating, sex behavior, or the like. What the dog can learn… Henry Garrett, “Great Experiments in Psychology” Edanz Group Japan | 16
  17. 17. Readability 可読性 “only 4% of readers understand a 27-word sentence first time”  Reader objectives  Only need to read once  Do not have to read slowly  Can understand author logic immediately Edanz Group Japan | 17
  18. 18. Sentence length Keep it short & simple 1文は短く簡潔に  We examined numerous peer-reviewed journals  Easy to read articles had an average sentence length of around 17 words  Sentences that are 15 20 words  Long sentences and repetition One sentence: one idea 1文には1つのアイデア Edanz Group Japan | 18
  19. 19. Goals to aim for …  Maximum 25–30 words per sentence  Not more than four 30-word sentences in the whole manuscript  Use punctuation to your advantage  periods (.) and commas (,)  Think about ‘reader expectation’ and match the expectation with the contents Edanz Group Japan | 19
  20. 20. Reader expectation Example  Match the expectation with the contents 1 All samples were collected at the same time (10 AM) every day to prevent any effects of circadian variation and then stored after treatment at 5 C until assayed. 2? All samples were collected at the same time (10 AM) every day to prevent any effects of circadian variation. They were then stored after treatment at 5 C until assayed. Edanz Group Japan | 20
  21. 21. Simple is best 簡潔に書くことが大事  Simple language IS best  Makes YOUR science more relevant  Minimizes confusion – maximizes understanding  Science is often complex  Use simple language to help more people understand your work Edanz Group Japan | 21
  22. 22. Simple words Examples 簡潔な単語 PREFERRED more enough clear try show try very AVOID additional adequate apparent attempt demonstrate endeavor exceedingly Edanz Group Japan | 22
  23. 23. Unnecessary words Write simply 簡潔に書く  In order to… In order to determine the fractalkine expression in the aorta of ApoE −/− mice and the effect of high-dose aspirin intervention on fractalkine expression and atherosclerotic lesion formation, we studied … To determine the fractalkine expression in the aorta of ApoE −/− mice and the effect of high-dose aspirin intervention on fractalkine expression and atherosclerotic lesion formation, we studied … Edanz Group Japan | 23
  24. 24. Unnecessary words Further examples PREFERRED AVOID Because First Soon Four Green After Before Usually For the reason that In the first place In the not too distant future Four in number Green color Subsequent to Prior to Except in a very few instances Edanz Group Japan | 24
  25. 25. Common mistakes Comparisons     Frequently made in the Results section Compare “like” with “like” Avoid ambiguity Use with, NOT to The tumor excised from the pancreas was compared with the liver. The tumor excised from the pancreas was compared with that from the liver. Edanz Group Japan | 25
  26. 26. Avoiding ambiguity Comparisons  Relative terms, such as more, higher and greater, require a reference for comparison  Use than or compared with Reactions with the new thermal cycler were faster. Faster than what? Reactions with the new thermal cycler were faster than those with the old cycler. Edanz Group Japan | 26
  27. 27. Possible resources  Books  Style Manuals  Writing courses  BUT … not always practical Edanz Group Japan | 27
  28. 28. Online resources  Paradigm Online Writing Assistant http://www.powa.org/  Springer Exemplar http://www.springerexemplar.com/  Google Scholar http://scholar.google.com/  Purdue Online Writing Lab http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/ Edanz Group Japan | 28
  29. 29. Help your readers understand “If you can’t explain something simply, you don’t understand it well.” – Albert Einstein  Write to express NOT impress  Consider your audience – their native language may not be English “Plain language … means clear and effective communication” – Joe Kimble Edanz Group Japan | 29
  30. 30. Resources and links 参考資料 http://edanzediting.co.jp/kyushu201201 This presentation Templates Guidelines Edanz Group Japan | 30
  31. 31. Any questions? Edanz Group Japan | 31

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