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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The sentence I listed earlier also minimizes the number of words between subject and verb: Subject-verb separation is just one way a writer can confuse go;en reader. I have read my good share of writing advice, and although I have gotten better at throwing away needless words, the structure of the sentences I write always feels clunky.

The problem is that the construction makes anc reader work harder to parse out the context and the new information. 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, third, information intended to be emphasized dwan appear at points of syntactic closure. One remedy is to ask yourself simple questions about a prospective audience.

The revised sentence is much easier to understand and is more memorable. In the process of answering such questions, we discover a new way of looking at our science. This third principle was a true eye-opener to me.

Why should people care about my work? In the first post of this series, I described the first lesson I learned, which has had a huge effect on my overall communication skills: In other words, the important clause in swann sentence should be placed where the syntax of this clause is entirely determined by what came before it. What is innovative or new? True, there is nothing grammatically wrong, and most readers will understand what is meant.

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I urge you to go and read the whole thing. But now that Yopen have read some of what the authors have to say, I am no longer entirely clueless.

Gopen and Swan | The Scientist Videographer

Now we have a much clearer picture: Even if you are communicating with a specialist audience in your field, you need to consider their needs and make it as easy as possible for them to understand what you did, what you found, and why it is important. Gopen and Swan argue that good writing is about successfully managing the expectations of readers.

Only later did I realize that this was not enough. Scientists are rarely trained to write and speak clearly and effectively; we are expected to develop these skills on our own.

There 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.

A Summary of “The Science of Scientific Writing” — Lawrence A. Crowl

Do they know what DNA is? That by itself would be little more than a truism. Actually, the fault lies entirely with the author or presenter. Distill Your Message 2. 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.

That is brilliant advice. Unlike much that is written about writing, however, this article actually gives concrete ways to improve your own sentences. Many writers will see nothing wrong with this construction. If we reverse this order, the new information swab before we know the context: Have they heard of sea-level rise?


The point is that you can make it easy for the viewer or reader to grasp the substance of your information or you can make it difficult by using tortuous snd. If you use cryptic, equivocal, or imprecise language, you risk the audience misinterpreting your message. I also learned that Gopsn needed to use a structure that would ensure they would pay attention and remember my information. Use Storytelling Techniques In this post, I will tackle the first lesson: Why is your research important to society?


Are they science literate but know nothing about your particular topic? Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email.

A Summary of “The Science of Scientific Writing”

I swann to always distill my message before leaping into writing a paper or preparing a conference talk or seminar. Poor communicators tend to ignore the needs of their audience.

Are there some interesting applications based on your work? That sentence accurately describes the research finding and interpretation, but is long, contains unnecessary detail, and is not easy to grasp. In the next post, I will talk about Part 2: Being told that you suck is great; sawn get to learn so much from it! We suffer from the curse of knowledge, which cannot easily be set aside.

You swqn 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.