Scientific Writing

What is written without effort is in general read without pleasure.

Samuel Johnson (1709–1784)

I have dedicated part of my time to study and to teach scientific writing. This becomes more intense after a training at the University of Bath (UK) supported by the UNICAMP (see the info here in English and in Portuguese).  Here I present some material I have collected along my studies that may be useful to improve writing skills.  I have used these materials during my courses , especially in FT081 – Academic Writing.

Websites and tools
  1. Prof. Chris Mack’s website with good texts regarding scientific publication and writing:  http://www.lithoguru.com/scientist/science-writing.html (See for instance, the text about the 350 years of the scientific journals and about  style.
  2. Tool for determining some characteristics of your text (e.g. lexical density): http://www.analyzemywriting.com/
  3. Tool for determining how is your text regarding the Academic Word List (AWL): http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/alzsh3/acvocab/awlhighlighter.htm
  4. Material of the Plain English Campaign (http://www.plainenglish.co.uk/): a) Alternative Words and  b) How to write in plain English
  5.  Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA)
  6. Linguistics, Style and Writing in the 21st Century – with Steven Pinker
  7. Cientistas precisam ter estilo – Prof. Dr. Wagner Cotroni Valenti
  8. Become a More Successful Author, Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. (1993) [doi:10.2136/sssaj1993.03615995005700010001x]
Books
  1. Eloquent Science, David Schultz (chap.  “The motivation to write” is a good beginning)
  2. Guia de Escrita, Steven Pinker (see also the material (in Portuguese) from the Galileu magazine and an interview (in Portuguese) with the author in the revista Carta Capital magazine)
  3. Scientific Writing, Jennifer Peat (I recommend chap. 8 “Writing style”)
  4. English for Research Papers: a handbook for Brazilian authors, Jim Hesson

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