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Professional Writing

Top-Notch Writing

Scientists use an unique style of writing when communicating information to other scientists. This style is much different than what you have been taught in non-science courses. I want you to learn and use this new style when you write your research paper. Below are a few comments to direct you in this endeavor.

The following attributes characterize good scientific writing:

1. The writing is precise.

It is very important that the information communicated in scientific writing is precise so that there can be no confusion or ambiguity about the information.

Ambiguous writing: The samples were heated for a while until they were hot.

Precise writing: The samples were maintained at 120 °C for 12 hours.

2. The writing is concise.

Concisely written papers are generally precise, shorter than their poorly written counterparts, and read more frequently.

Non-concise writing:

The water, which was slightly salty and warm to the touch, was collected from the large lake called Lake Mead near, but not too near, to the margin of the lake insight of the marina located near Highway 42 on the south side of the lake.

Concise writing:

Lake Mead water was sampled 100 m from the shore (Figure 1). This water was slightly salty and warm.

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