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March 29 , 2010

A Guide to Writing in the Sciences


While teaching writing to undergraduate science students, Gilpin and Patchet-Golubev discovered that although many relatively sophisticated manuals for scientific writing exist, most are aimed at mainly professionals or specialists and are of little practical use to the majority of students. This introductory guide fills that large gap.

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Direct and friendly in tone the book provides clear and concise explanations of the basic elements of scientific writing required of students. The various genres are detailed – in particular lab reports and research essays - as well as scientific articles, poster presentations, proposals, and even essay exams. Similarities and differences among these genres are underlined in order to illustrate structural principles and to provide practical writing tips. A detailed chapter covers the elements of grammar and punctuation that are fundamental to all good writing; it also outlines some key points about scientific style in particular.

Using accessible language throughout, the authors organize their material with helpful lists, copious examples, and boxed writing and research tips. There are several useful appendices (including a classification chart of organisms and an international units conversion chart), an index, and selected bibliography on science and technical writing. Unique in its field, this guide offers a practical and valuable guide to the basic principles and conventions of science writing.

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