Science-terrific Writing. Swim against the current In direct opposition to everything your high school teacher and probably your college English professor.
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Presentation on theme: "Science-terrific Writing. Swim against the current In direct opposition to everything your high school teacher and probably your college English professor."— Presentation transcript:
Swim against the current In direct opposition to everything your high school teacher and probably your college English professor taught you… We’re conveying information not painting a picture Shorter is better! –Overall and sentences
Before You Write Be completely familiar with problem, possible solutions, methods, analyses and implications –Know your ….. Know the “story” (plan what you will write) –Where does it begin (problem, possible solution) –What goes on in the middle (try out the solution) –How does it end (did the solution work) Know who your audience will be
Start Writing – Kind of… Detailed outline to the level of each paragraph –List topic sentences for each paragraph –Topic sentences should summarize an idea and content of paragraph –Include Goal and List of Objectives Review topic sentences for logical structure –Do the topic sentences follow the story line Reality – Often, this after you’ve written But, IT MUST BE DONE!!!
Write like you’ve never written before! Be “clear, simple, concise, and organized” (JWM guidelines: Ratti and Smith 1998:7) Rules –1. Never tell me anything I don’t need to know –2. Never fail to tell me anything I need to know To repeat the study To understand the study/results –3. Never tell me something more than once (except maybe in discussion for emphasis)
Introduction No heading “Set up” problem –Summarize current knowledge and state any gaps (this is what you will be addressing) –Have an obvious “knock me over the head with it” problem statement State Goal (general statement) –Should directly address problem statement State specific objectives –Numbered objectives are always good –Answers/results from objectives should achieve goal
Study Area Present information about study area in past tense (e.g., precip., temp.) Figure showing study area at the state level is always good.
Methods Organize in order of objectives –For each objective have an obvious method. “To determine density I (we) …” “To estimate survival I(we)…” Be sure to cite those responsible for or describe a particular method/analysis 2 Parts – 1. Data collection 2. Data analyses –Data collection Who, WHY, when, where, how Do not describe anything that is not used in an analysis –Data analyses Should be clear (from data collection section) where data for each analysis came from
Separate “second level” heading Data Analysis State analyses explicitly do not leave anything open to interpretation –Important for repeatability Again follow order of objectives –Make sure there is an analysis for each objective –Make sure there is not an analysis that is not presented as an objective
Results Present sample sizes Arrange according to objectives These can be very short at times (don’t worry) Use tables and figures to present information more concisely –Highlight pertinent information from table in text –Reference Tables/Figures correctly (see guidelines) –Do not include extraneous information –Extraneous – not needed for replication or understanding
Discussion Do not repeat information in results section Use this section to convince me whether you solved the problem (or not!) What have/would others say about your results –This section should contain quite a few citations Should we do anything else to clarify the problem Did the results create any new/interesting questions?
Assignment for Next Week Use information in this presentation Write an outline with major sections of final paper Within each section, list topic sentences Check for logical structure (it might be good to have someone unfamiliar with your study read and check for logical structure)