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Home » Books » Arts & Photography » Language Arts » Composition & Creative Writing » Academic

Scientific Writing = Thinking in Words

By David Lindsay

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Format: Paperback / softback, 128 pages
Published In: Australia, 01 February 2011
Telling people about research is just as important as doing it. But many researchers, who, in all other respects, are competent scientists, are afraid of writing. They are wary of the unwritten rules, the unspoken dogma and the inexplicably complex style, all of which seem to pervade conventional thinking about scientific writing. This book has been written to expose these phantoms as largely smoke and mirrors, and replace them with principles that make communicating research easier and encourage researchers to write confidently. It presents a way of thinking about writing that emulates the way good scientists think about research. It concentrates on the structure of articles, rather than simply on grammar and syntax. So, it is an ideal reference for researchers preparing articles for scientific journals, posters, conference presentations, reviews and popular articles; for students preparing theses; and for researchers whose first language is not English. Scientific Writing = Thinking in Words expounds principles that produce scientific articles in a wide range of disciplines that are focussed, concise and, best of all, easy to write and read. As one senior scientist observed, 'This book not only made me a better writer; it made me a better scientist'.

Table of Contents

Thinking about your writing -- Writing about your thinking -- Thinking and writing beyond the scientific article.

About the Author

David Lindsay was a researcher and teacher in animal biology and behaviour at the University of Western Australia for 33 years. He initiated courses in writing scientific papers and wrote A Guide to Scientific Writing in 1984. Now retired from active research, he teaches scientific writing to scientists all over the world.

Reviews

""Scientific Writing = Thinking in Words" provides a fine assessment of scientific writing and research, surveying unspoken dogma, unwritten rules, and the complexities of article structure. Any researcher preparing articles for scientific journals and reviews will find this packed with basic principles applicable to scientific articles in a range of disciplines." "Lindsay's nitty-gritty guide to style and clarity covers all aspects of scientific writing for both text and oral presentation... This concise guide demonstrates through good and bad examples how a well-reasoned and well-expressed argument helps focus thinking to make a memorable impact. Summing Up: Highly Recommended." ."..[S]hould be read by every scientist." ..".[S]hould be read by every scientist." "Lindsay has prepared a manual that guides students, step by step, in the writing of scientific papers. He organizes the volume into three major sections: Thinking About Your Writing; Writing About Your Thinking; and Thinking and Writing Beyond the Scientific Article. Each section has numerous subsections. The overall theme of his approach to science writing is 'be precise, brief, and clear, ' which he repeats throughout his book. The book is worth recommending to graduate students, sums up the experience of journal editors, and will save a lot of frustration in the rewriting young scientists often experience because of poor writing habits."--Elof Axel Carlson, Stony Brook University "The Quarterly Review of Biology " -Lindsay has prepared a manual that guides students, step by step, in the writing of scientific papers. He organizes the volume into three major sections: Thinking About Your Writing; Writing About Your Thinking; and Thinking and Writing Beyond the Scientific Article. Each section has numerous subsections. The overall theme of his approach to science writing is 'be precise, brief, and clear, ' which he repeats throughout his book. The book is worth recommending to graduate students, sums up the experience of journal editors, and will save a lot of frustration in the rewriting young scientists often experience because of poor writing habits.---Elof Axel Carlson, Stony Brook University -The Quarterly Review of Biology -

EAN: 9780643100466
ISBN: 0643100466
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Dimensions: 24.13 x 16.76 x 0.76 centimetres (0.27 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years
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2 review(s)
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Ruth on
+1
This is a book that deserves the attention of every researcher. What Lindsay does is to tell the researcher that his work is not complete until it is written up and read by those to whom it is addressed. So, he says the end should be well in mind before the research begins. Then he goes on to explain carefully how to do this. His writing is lucid and easily understood, indeed a pleasure to read, even by someone not doing research, but fascinated by reading it. I think medical research, to which I frequently have to refer could benefit greatly from following the precepts in this book. Even the naming of the article written must seize the attention and more clarity in writing much appreciated. This applies to all spheres of knowledge. Here we have a practical book for a reasonable price and it is packed with wisdom; it is the best I have come across.
Simon on
 
An excellent and succinct guide to writing scientific papers - useful for those starting out in science (the section on writing a thesis will be useful to any post-graduate student) and also for those, like myself, who have written many scientific papers and reports over many years but who are always looking for ways to improve our writing.

The author's suggestions and recommendations should not be taken unthinkingly but they all form an excellent starting point and authors would do well to vary from those recommendations only with good reason and in particular contexts.

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