Open Writing Lab Sentence Structure 26.05.2011 CGB
A sentence must make sense! One idea, one sentence.
“Communication of scientific results is accomplished mainly by the written word.” Steve Aaronson “The failure to recognize a brilliant person is only partly due to the stupidity or stubbornness of the scientific community; it is also partly his or her own fault.” John Rader Platt “The best scientific writing is characterized by brevity, clarity and precision.” Steve Aaronson
“It is impossible to dissociate language from science or science from language, because every natural science always involves three things: the sequence of phenomena on which the science is based; the abstract concepts which call these phenomena to mind; and the words in which the concepts are expressed. To call forth a concept a word is needed; to portray a phenomenon, a concept is needed. All three mirror one and the same reality.” Antoine Laurent Lavoisier, 1789
“It does not matter how pleased an author might be to have converted all the right data into sentences and paragraphs; it matters only whether a large majority of the reading audience accurately perceives what the author had in mind.” George Gopen and Judith Swan. The Craft of Scientific Writing. 1996
STYLE “Science is built up with facts, as a house is with stones, but a collection of facts is no more a science than a heap of stones is a house.” Jules Henri Poincare “Style is the architect.” Steve Aaronson.
STYLE “Proper words in proper places, make the true definition of a style.” Jonathan Swift. 1720 (Gulliver’s Travels) “In science writing the best style is transparent; the reader sees through the words to the underlying phenomena and concepts.” Steve Aaronson. A writer’s style is an important part of what he or she says. Marin Robbins (paraphrased) “The whole of science is nothing more than a refinement of everyday thinking.” Albert Einstein “Style is what gives meaning to thoughts.” Steve Aaronson.
Tips A sentence should be comprehensible in a single pass. Make the subject clear. Keep the subject close to the verb. Choose verbs with care; make them vigorous. Set context but avoid jargon. Remove redundancy. Remember that less is more. Vary the structure.
EXAMPLES: Mass flow rate increase in the cove. This resulted in increased cove gas temperature. The increasing mass flow rate in the cove increased the cove gas temperature. A comparison of lift coefficients for the two configurations is presented in table II. Lift coefficients for the two configurations are compared in table II. The agreement between calculated and experimental heating rates was within 30 percent. Calculated and experimental heating rates agreed to within 30 percent.
Pressure distributions were obtained on the wing, elevon, and cove walls. Pressure distributions were obtained on the wing, on the elevon, and on the cove walls. The study indicated that thermal cycling caused matrix damage and fatigue cycling caused no damage. The study indicated that thermal cycling caused matrix damage and that fatigue cycling caused no damage.
_________________________, and _________________________. He enjoys walking through the country. He often goes backpacking on his vacations. He enjoys walking through the country, and he often goes backpacking on his vacations.
__________________________;_____________________________. He often watched TV when there were only reruns. She preferred to read instead. or __________________________; however,____________________. He often watched TV when there were only reruns; she preferred to read instead. -OR- He often watched TV when there were only reruns; however, she preferred to read instead..
They weren't dangerous criminals they were detectives in disguise. They weren't dangerous criminals; they were detectives in disguise.
I didn't know which job I wanted I was too confused to decide. I didn't know which job I wanted, so I was too confused to decide.
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