Writing Science How to Write Papers That Get Cited and Proposals That Get Funded

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 11/29/2011
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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As a scientist, you are a professional writer: your career is built on successful proposals and papers. Success isn't defined by getting papers into print, but by getting them into the reader's consciousness.Writing Scienceis built upon the idea that successful science writing tells a story. It uses that insight to discuss how to write more effectively. Integrating lessons from other genres of writing with those from the author's years of experience as author, reviewer, and editor, the book shows scientists and students how to present their research in a way that is clear and that will maximize reader comprehension. The book takes an integrated approach, using the principles of story structure to discuss every aspect of successful science writing, from the overall structure of a paper or proposal to individual sections, paragraphs, sentences, and words. It begins by building core arguments, analyzing why some stories are engaging and memorable while others are quickly forgotten, and proceeds to the elements of story structure, showing how the structures scientists and researchers use in papers and proposals fit into classical models. The book targets the internal structure of a paper, explaining how to write clear and professional sections, paragraphs, and sentences in a way that is clear and compelling. The ideas within a paper should flow seamlessly, drawing readers along. The final section of the book deals with special challenges, such as how to discuss research limitations and how to write for the public. Writing Scienceis a much-needed guide to succeeding in modern science. Its insights and strategies will equip science students, scientists, and professionals across a wide range of scientific and technical fields with the tools needed to communicate effectively.

Author Biography

Joshua Schimel is Chair of the Environmental Studies Program and Professor of Soil and Ecosystem Ecology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is a leading environmental scientist, studying how soil processes regulate ecosystems and the earth's climate. He has authored over 100 papers and has served on panels for the National Science Foundation, NASA, and other agencies.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xiii
Writing in Sciencep. 3
Science Writing as Storytellingp. 8
Making a Story Stickyp. 16
Story Structurep. 26
The Openingp. 35
The Funnel: Connecting O and Cp. 50
The Challengep. 58
Actionp. 67
The Resolutionp. 83
Internal Structurep. 95
Paragraphsp. 104
Sentencesp. 112
Flowp. 124
Energizing Writingp. 133
Wordsp. 145
Condensingp. 158
Putting it All Together: Real Editingp. 174
Dealing with Limitationsp. 180
Writing Global Sciencep. 189
Writing for the Publicp. 195
Resolutionp. 204
My Answers to Revision Exercisesp. 207
Writing Resourcesp. 212
Indexp. 215
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