Quest for Clarity in Scientific Writing

Good scientific writing considers readers expectations. The text is organized to tell a story. When the subject of the story is clearly articulated and appropriate background is given even the most complex ideas can be clearly communicated.

Following the guidelines given below will improve the clarity of your writing.

  • Limit the number of words that separate the subject of a sentence from the verb.
  • The topic or context of a sentence should be at the beginning.
  • New information should be at the end in the stress position.
  • Connect ideas by beginning successive sentences with the idea in the stress position of the previous sentence.
  • Use of " this, those and these" can often be ambiguous and should be avoided.

A scientific paper is divided into 4 major sections, introduction, methods, results, and discussion. Because readers have expectations about what will appear in each section of a scientific paper it is important that your writing conforms to their expectations. Take time to review the structure of a scientific paper and guidelines for writing.

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