George D. Gopen and Judith A. Swan [The Science of Scientific Writing] (1).pdf – Download as PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or read online. *Examples and explanations from Gopen, George D. and Judith A. Swan. “The Science of Scientific. Writing,” American Scientist 78, no.6 (November-December . Among other things, I was told to read The Science of Scientific Writing, by George Gopen and Judith Swan. Being told that you suck is great;.
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Distill, distill I learned to always distill my message before leaping into writing a paper or preparing a conference talk or seminar. Here is an excerpt: A final point is that this reverse construction is passive because the verb is acting on the subject: In the other sentence, the action of the subject is expressed in the verb: If you use cryptic, equivocal, or imprecise language, you risk the audience misinterpreting gopfn message.
Many writers will see nothing wrong with this construction. It occurred to me that this principle could be applied to writing papers and proposals or giving conference talks.
You may have even decided that it was your fault—that your lack of comprehension was due to a lack of background in whatever topic was being presented.
Distill Your Message 2. I urge you to go and read the whole thing. What was my main finding and its significance?
That by itself would be little more than a truism. Use Storytelling Techniques In this post, I will tackle the first lesson: Focus on Your Audience Share this: Unlike much that is written about writing, however, this article actually gives concrete ways to improve your own sentences. Your audience must expend mental energy taking in the content, but they also have to strive to understand your word choice, syntax, and emphasis.
This third principle was a true eye-opener to me. But now that I have read some of what the authors have to say, I am no longer entirely clueless. To make matters worse, I had no idea why that happens. Why should people care about my work? We test the accuracy of the DDA by using the DDA to compute scattering and absorption by isolated, homogeneous spheres as well as by targets consisting of two contiguous spheres.
The Science of Scientific Writing
An improved version might read:. First, grammatical subjects should be followed as soon as possible by their verbs; second, every unit of discourse, no matter the size, should serve a single function or make a single point; and, golen, information intended to be emphasized should appear at points of syntactic closure.
Readers expect to be provided with old information context at the beginning of a sentence, which prepares them for the new information to be given at the end. In the first post of this series, I described the first lesson I learned, which has had a awan effect on my overall communication skills: That sentence accurately describes the research finding and interpretation, but is long, contains unnecessary detail, and is not xnd to grasp.
My problem was that I was presenting information I wanted the viewer to know— rather than what they needed to know.
Ggopen more insight into how structure affects comprehension of scientific writing, see Gopen and Swan That is brilliant advice. Incidentally, there must be a link between what Gopen and Swan say about writing and our theories about how gopn understand visualizations; I have to learn more about this! Now we have a much clearer picture: Why is your research important to society?
Did you give up about half-way through? Learning to distill my message has helped me write better journal articles…and blog posts! The sentence I listed earlier also minimizes the number of wnd between subject and verb: Do they know what DNA is?
This wording lacks the details about Species A and B, but these are not really needed. If we reverse this order, the new information appears before we know the context: Here is an excerpt:. Only later did I realize that this was not enough. We suffer from the curse of knowledge, which cannot easily be set aside.
In other words, the important clause in your sentence should be placed where the syntax of this clause is entirely determined by what came before it.
A Summary of “The Science of Scientific Writing” — Lawrence A. Crowl
Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. In the process of answering such questions, we discover a new way of looking at our science.
Nor is it the length of the sentence. Goprn is nothing wrong with passive sentences, which are common in scientific writing; however, use of the active voice, at least occasionally, will bring your writing to life.
What you want to present is not necessarily what your audience needs.
Have they heard of sea-level rise? Scientists are rarely trained to write and speak clearly and effectively; we are expected to develop these skills on our own. When you are done, you will probably want to know that Gopen has written an entire book on this topic, called The Sense of Structure: I have recently received a large amount of excellent writing advice, and I want to share some of it with you.
The sentence I listed earlier also minimizes the number of words between subject and verb:.