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Racha Salha ENGH 121 12/11/13 Structural and Linguistic Patterns in Scientific Writing There are different kinds of academic

writings. Some of them may be scientific, and the author would be trying to demonstrate this or that experience. Others may be historical, and the author would be rather telling a sort of story. Thus, every kind of writing is based on specific patterns, structurally and linguistically. For example, one of the most important characteristics of scientific writings is clarity. Indeed, in order to convey his message, the author has to be as clear as he can, by using simple sentences for example, and by organizing his writing. This means that he has to put titles in between each paragraph, in addition to an indented introduction, body, and conclusion. Also, a scientific article has to be completely neutral, and that is because if the author gives his opinion, then the reader may doubt his words. Indeed, science is supposed to be objective, so when a scientist wants to demonstrate a study, it should be more about proving it than persuading the reader to believe it. Thus, the more neutral the article sounds, the more credible it will be. This analysis is about a scientific article on the associations between media use and health in US children, and it is written by several scientists. Two main points will be discussed throughout this essay: first, the structural patterns of a scientific article, then the language that is generally used by the author. The first thing we notice in the article is that it starts with a summary, which is a typical scientific article's pattern. This summary contains a quick review of what will follow. It briefly introduces what is the path that has been taken by the leaders of the study, their objectives, the methods they used, and the results they finally obtained. It also gives the key words of the article. This way, it is enough to read this part to briefly know what the article will be about. This summary is a one of the structural scientific article's patterns. Indeed, it's

part of the article's clarity since it concisely gives all the information about it. On the other hand, it makes the article look organized since the author states, from the beginning, what the conclusion he will lead to is. Thus, the writer seems to perfectly know what he is going to talk about, and this very organized knowledge makes the reader more likely to believe what he reads, and the article immediately becomes more credible. If we move on to the general structure of the article, we notice that it is also very organized, with a title for every different paragraph (Methods, Results, and so on). Those specific titles combined with an indentation at the beginning of each paragraph, and sometimes even in between each different part of the same paragraph, gives the article a very concise organization, and makes it clearer and predictable. On the other hand, if we look to the references of the article, they are at the very end of the article, as they always are in scientific articles. By putting the references at the end of the writing instead of at the bottom of each page, the author pushes the reader to only focus on the study led in the article, instead of losing attention in between every page because of the references list, as in a historical article for instance. Another characteristic of a scientific writing is the use of supporting material, like tables for example. This helps the author to "illustrate" the results, and it is also a way to clarify the information, since by using a descriptive table for instance, the author writes the final results down, making them "seeable" for the reader. It is also a way to recapitulate all that has been said previously, before moving to the next point. Thus, in case the reader has lost the thread, he may easily catch up. If we look at the three main parts of the article, the introduction, the body, and the conclusion, we notice that the body is far longer than the two others. In fact, the body is divided in many parts, and each one is very specific. It starts with the methods, then the results, and finally the discussion that sort of gathers all the information up and allows the

author to finally "discuss" the study he led. The conclusion comes after that, and it is pretty short compared to the rest. This structure is a source of clarity and credibility because it shows that before discussing the subject, the author takes the trouble to prove that he made diverse research, and so that he is an "expert" on it. Moreover, by specifically stating every step he takes, the writer reinforces the organization and the clarity of the article, in addition to the fact that he appears even more credible. Concerning the linguistic, it seems very simple at first sight. Indeed, if we look at the four first sentences of the introduction, they are all simple sentences. There is no opinion, and everything the author says is neutral. To be continued.