scientific writing

S L Forsburg forsburg at nospamsalk.edu
Tue Feb 25 08:48:39 EST 1997


Judith Gibber wrote:

> Learning to write isn't part of the curriculum in most science
> departments.  When I told my Physiology students that they'd have to
> write a paper this semester they were not upset so much as surprised.
> "In a science course???"  Wait till I tell them that spelling
> counts...
> 
.....
(excellent quotes deleted due to fussy newsserver)
.....

Not to mention my all time least favorite scientific
writing error, the endless use of the passive voice.
Argh!

As for me, I love to write....okay, maybe the degree in
English helps...  I find way too many students view writing as an
almost unnecessary chore.  I have news for them.  If you
can't persuade someone of the elegance and rightness of your
ideas using the elegance and rightness of your writing, 
you are going nowhere in this profession, be you academic,
industrialist, teacher, or policymaker.  Data do not speak for
themselves, you have to speak for the data.  

-- susan


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S L Forsburg          forsburg at salk.edu
The Salk Institute    http://flosun.salk.edu/~forsburg
La Jolla, CA



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