Writing Science in Plain English (Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing, and)

Scientific writing is often dry, wordy, and difficult to understand. But, as Anne E. Greene shows in Writing Science in Plain English,writers from all scientific disciplines can learn to produce clear, concise prose by mastering just a few simple principles.
  This short, focused guide presents a dozen such principles based on what readers need in order to understand complex information, including concrete subjects, strong verbs, consistent terms, and organized paragraphs. The author, a biologist and an experienced teacher of scientific writing, illustrates each principle with real-life examples of both good and bad writing and shows how to revise bad writing to make it clearer and more concise. She ends each chapter with practice exercises so that readers can come away with new writing skills after just one sitting.
 Writing Science in Plain English can help writers at all levels of their academic and professional careers—undergraduate students working on research reports, established scientists writing articles and grant proposals, or agency employees working to follow the Plain Writing Act. This essential resource is the perfect companion for all who seek to write science effectively.

Nanci Arvizu, Writing and Reviews Editor

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3 Comments

  1. An essential guide for scientists at all levels I have a wide shelf of books on writing, but Writing Science in Plain English stands out from the rest. I believe it is an essential resource for all scientists and students. Everyone who writes about science needs to focus on the essentials of good communication, and Greene strikes gold with her approach: she presents material that science writers can actually use. So many times books on writing give long anecdotes and background that readers need to wade through to get to the author’s advice,…

  2. Quick, inexpensive way for you or your students to make a big jump in writing ability I highly recommend Anne Greene’s book. She devotes each of her very short chapters to one or two key elements, and those elements lead to very clear, concise writing in any field. When writing about science, especially journal articles, authors tend to write in the third person and use passive verbs and abstract terminology. She tells her readers how to overcome these and many more problems. Although most of the principles are simple, they are unfamiliar to many students and professionals…

  3. The book is interesting but it has too many mistakes … The book is interesting but it has too many mistakes that really bother me since this is a book on writing well. The author changes the meaning of the text when revising it, makes assumptions and omits parts of the sentences. I have found three such examples and I am only at page 17. 

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