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Scientific writing in English

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Robin V

on 22 October 2012

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Transcript of Scientific writing in English

The art of scientific writing in English The Achilles´ heel of every researcher Robin Vernooij
Centro Cochrane Iberoamericano
24 October 2012 Introduction Scientific writing in English is a difficult area for non-native English researchers
However, all the leading journals are published in English
An adequate style, grammar and attractiveness encourages the reader. Research is about reaching your possible audience. What makes good writing? Is it impressive and difficult jargon? Or is it a matter of using wordy sentences? 1. Communicate an idea effectively and clearly.
2. Good writing is stylish and elegant. What makes a good writer? What makes good writing? Interesting results
Logical thinking
Able to spend a lot of time on revising
Critical on own work
And learning a few tricks 1. Changing verbs into nouns “These findings imply that the rates of ascorbate radical
production and its recycling via dehydroascorbate
reductatse to replenish the ascorbate pool are equivalent
at the lower irradiance, but not equivalent at higher
irradiance with the rate of ascorbate radical production
exceeding its recycling back to ascorbate.” “These findings imply that, at low irradiation, ascorbate radicals are produced and recycled at the same rate, but at high irradiation, they are produced faster than they can be recycled back to ascorbate.” 2. Cut unnecessary words “As it is well known, increased athletic activity has
been related to a profile of lower cardiovascular risk, lower blood pressure levels, and improved muscular
and cardio-respiratory performance.” “As it is well known, increased athletic activity has
been related to a profile of lower cardiovascular risk, lower blood pressure levels, and improved muscular
and cardio-respiratory performance.” Increased athletic activity is associated with lower cardiovascular risk, lower blood pressure, and
improved fitness. 2. Cut unnecessary words 1. Dead weight words and phrases As it is well known, as it has been shown, it can be regarded that, it should be emphasized that. ... this is an important point in the physiopathology of this disease, as it is well known that estrogen sulfates are biologically inactive ... 2. Adverbs really, very, quite, basically, generally,
fast, easy, important, etc. Principle of primary surgery is preservation of fertility and chemotherapy is also considered as a very important treatment modality 3. Long words or phrases that could be short To the authors' knowledge, no study so far has described muscular and cardiorespiratory performance after laparoscopic cholecystectomy

Patients surgically cured of a malignant neoplasm had pedunculated or well-circumscribed lesions 4. Empty words and phrases basic tenets of, methodological, important, significant This article (a) briefly reviews some basic tenets of classical test theory; 5. Unnecessary jargon and acronyms Be careful with acronyms and jargon which are not common knowledge. "Tech Speak is a postcolloquial discourse modulation protocol for user status enhancement. It's a referential system for functional-structural, microscopically specific macroscopic-object redesignation. It's a universal semantic transformation procedure. It's a holophrastic technocratic sociolect. It's a meta-semiotic mode for task specific nomenclature." 6. Repetitive words or phrases Challenging the Challenge: Thirteenth Amendment as a Prohibition Against the Racial Use of Peremptory Challenges Try to cut the repetitive words and try to melt it into one sentence. 2. Cut unnecessary words Try to avoid the negative She did not bring her keys.

The researchers did not believe the drug was
harmful Do not use there are / there is There was no evidence of any detrimental effect of screening in terms of breast cancer mortality in any age group. Try to avoid prepositions They agreed that it was true
They agreed it was true 3. Use of verb tense What is the passive voice?
a form of the verb “to be” + the past participle of the main verb What is the active voice?
“Subject verb object” Our first visit to Barcelona will always be remembered by us
We will always remember our first visit to Barcelona Is it okay to use personal pronouns? Yes it is. 1. It is easier to read
2. You did the work and the myth of less objectivity is not true
3. You take responsibility Active vs Passive A recommendation about the review was made by the Cochrane committee

The Cochrane committee made a recommendation... Verb tenses in a paper Introduction: present tense
Methods: past tense
Results: present tense
Discussion: present tense
Conclusion: present tense Just a brief introduction, mastering a language takes lot of time, effort and dedication.

Thanks for your time and atention
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