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Guide to Scientific Writing

  1. Mar 21, 2007 #1
    Recently, I've been trying to brush up on my writing skills in preparation for the coming graduate school storm. I've gone through Strunk and White's book twice, but I was wondering if anyone knew of a good reference, on-line or otherwise, about scientific writing. I'm just looking to brush up and maybe catch some of the subtle nuances of things without having to rewrite a paper six times.

    Any veterans out there with some advice?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 21, 2007 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    The thing that I find helps me the most in my writing, is to outline what I want to write as soon as I can, and then keep adding ideas and points and possible themes into the outline over the time of the assignment. When I have the outline started, that gives me an easy place to put down thoughts and brainstorms, and also helps me to start to see how the whole thing might come together.

    When you wait until near the end of the assignment to start writing, I find that the quality and creativeness and depth of the final work suffers. If you can give yourself an easy vehicle (like a living outline) to help guide your thoughts and give you a place to plunk ideas into about the right place, then you can really increase the quality of the final work.

    Lots of times I think of great brainstorms that I can add into an existing outline of a work in progress. And when I look back on the final work, I can usually say, "Wow, good job. It's great that I thought of that special angle...."
  4. Mar 21, 2007 #3
    Got any websites?
  5. Mar 22, 2007 #4
    George M. Whitesides out of Harvard wrote a nice little paper published in the Journal of Advanced Materials called "Whitesides' Group: Writing a Paper", published in 2004. If you can't find it, send me your email address and I will send you it direct.

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