Writing Science in Plain English

ISBN-10: 022602637X

ISBN-13: 9780226026374

Edition: 2013

Authors: Anne E. Greene

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Bad writing is bad for science. Incomprehensible journal articles, wordy proposals, and jargon-filled theses make reading a chore for students, informed lay people, and even other scientists.  As a result, years of research and hard work can be passed over or misunderstood.  The problem is so significant that clear writing has become a legal requirement for federal agencies, thanks to the Plain Writing Act of 2010, which requires that writing be “accessible, consistent, written in plain language, and easy to understand." Writing Science in Plain English by Anne E. Greene, an experienced teacher of scientific writing, shows how to produce such clear, concise scientific prose.This is the first book to adapt the Strunk and White model for scientists and students. Designed as a short, easy-to-follow guide, it dispenses with what scientists write and focuses on how to write it well. Eleven chapters present straightforward principles based on what readers need in order to understand complex writing, including concrete subjects, active verbs, consistent terms, and well-organized paragraphs. Chapter-ending exercises and samples of real writing, both good and bad, allow readers to improve their writing immensely with little effort.This concise book is short enough that readers can gain important information in one sitting, but full of useful resources that will have them thumbing through it again and again. It can be used as the foundation for a semester-long course or a two-hour workshop. Designed to be useful to a wide range of readers, from college students to faculty, and beginning researchers to established scientists, it is the perfect resource for anyone who struggles with scientific writing.  
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Book details

Copyright year: 2013
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication date: 5/24/2013
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 128
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.50" long x 0.25" tall
Weight: 0.396
Language: English

Why Write Science in Plain English?
Before You Write
Tell a Story
Make Characters Subjects and Their Actions Verbs
Use Strong Verbs
Place Subjects and Verbs Close Together
Favor the Active Voice
Benefits of Active Voice
Proper Uses of Passive Voice
Choose Your Words with Care
Use Short Words Instead of Long Ones
Keep Terms the Same
Breakup Noun Strings
Rethink Technical Terms
Omit Needless Words
Metadiscourse and Transition Words
Affirmatives and Negatives
Old Information and New Information
Put Old Information at Beginnings of Sentences
Put New Information at Ends of Sentences
Make Lists Parallel
Vary the Length of Your Sentences
Design Your Paragraphs
Arrange Your Paragraphs
Chronological Order
General to Specific
Least Important to Most Important
Problem to Solution
Compare and Contrast
Transition Words Revisited
Basic Writing Concepts
Exercise Key
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