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The Craft of Scientific Writing

by Michael Alley

The Craft of Scientific Writing is designed to help scientists and engineers--both professionals already active in the disciplines as well as students preparing to enter the professions--write about their work clearly and effectively. The author, who is both a writer and an applied physicist, approaches the subject in a fresh way. Using scores of examples from a wide variety of authors and disciplines (including such well-known figures as Einstein, Bohr, and Freud), the book demonstrates the difference between strong scientific writing and weak scientific writing. In essence, this book shows you how to bring your ideas across to your intended audience. In addition, it contains advice on how to start writing, and how to revise your drafts. Written for use as a text in courses on scientific writing, the book includes many useful suggestions about approaching a wide variety of writing tasks--from laboratory reports to grant proposals, from internal communications to press releases--as well as a concise guide to style and usage appropriate for scientific writing. The book will also be useful for self-study and it will be an important reference for all scientists and engineers who need to write about their work. Topics covered include: - Deciding Where to Begin - Structure: Organizing Your Documents; Providing Depth, Transitions, and Emphasis - Language: Being Precise, Clear, and Concise; Being Forthright, Familiar, and Fluid - Illustration: Making the Right Choices; Creating the Best Designs - Handling Special Situations - Actually Sitting Down to Write: Drafting; Revising; Finishing

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Recommendations: 1

Categories: Words, Language & GrammarScience

Reading time: 67 hours


Martin Gibala
Scientist, Author and Public Speaker

I’m going to sound like a scientist here but one of the books that I’ve given out a lot is called The Craft of Scientific Writing.

The way you write scientifically is obviously different from other writing. If you want to write scientifically but in a compelling way for individuals to try and translate the science into the lay public, for example, that’s really what I try to do with The One Minute Workout is boil the science down, write it in a compelling and accessible manner.

That’s a real challenge, of course. It’s an art as much as it is a science. So, a book like The Craft of Scientific Writing helps provide some tips there because if you’re a scientist coming up, you’re constantly writing. You’re writing grants, you’re writing papers and you want to convince people with the point that you’re making. You don’t want to bore them and you want to do it in a compelling manner.