Writing up Scientific Text
Iyad Abou-Rabii DDS. OMFS. MRes. PhD
Extended piece of writing: Depth and breadth Detail Evaluation and interpretation Independence Volume of information Duration
Used to demonstrate your: Knowledge and understanding of a topic Analytical and evaluation skills Ability to apply theory and research findings to clinical practice Ability to communicate all of the above
Formal Structured Clear Unambiguous Logical Sound evidence and theory
Formal and Informal writing
Informal writing:I think he¶s a loser. Formal writing: Macbeth¶s horrific choices cause him to lose everything he holds dear: children, wife, friends, crown and king.
Passive voice overuse
Passive voice The systems most favoured for investment were shown to be planning, design and production. Many manual systems were reported as being current investments across the sector. Only the largest firms, however, were interested to any degree in integrated systems. Textile and clothing firms were seen to be investing in automated production, design, planning and reporting technologies. Active voice In terms of current investments, manufacturers favoured planning, design and production systems, with many firms showing a strong interest in manual systems. According to the literature, only the largest firms however, showed any degree of interest in integrated systems. Textile and clothing firms, in particular, have invested in automated production, design, planning and reporting technologies.
Structure your writing
Make sure you write in complete sentences Divide your writing up into paragraphs Use connecting words and phrases to make your writing explicit and easy to follow Check your grammar and spelling carefully
Academic writing - tips
Avoid writing in the first person Be concise ± avoid waffle Be precise Define technical terms and abbreviations Use paragraphs Avoid repetition References appropriately and consistently
A SANDWICH PARAGRAPH
Topic sentence This is a period when education faces many disturbing circumstances originating outside itself.
Budgets have been drastically cut throughout the country affecting every type of education. Enrolments are dropping rapidly, because the children of the post-World War II "baby boom" have now completed their schooling, and we are feeling the full effect of the falling birth rate.
So there are fewer opportunities for new teachers, and the average age of teachers is increasing.
Thesis statement Outline (Summary/Background)
Topic sentence Support Support Support
Intervention and influence took three forms. irstly, techniques designed to maximise efficiency were introduced into the home and scientific principles were applied to its design. In addition, housework and parenting methods were scrutinised and subject to unprecedented standards. Secondly, all aspects of reproduction attracted increasing intervention from government and the medical profession. Thirdly, state, professional and philanthropic groups began to usurp the parental role within the family through instruction and policy. As a result , the development of 'modern' social ideals brought regulation, intervention and ever-increasing unrealistic standards.
Re-read the above without the green words
A question of little ,,,,,,
In this study, four paradigms were used in order to measure the response of TOI to changes in cerebral oxygen delivery. Hypoxaemia and hyperoxia were used to alter arterial oxygen content, and changes in arterial CO 2 tension were used to alter cerebral blood flow. TOI increased significantly in response to hyperoxia and hypercapnoea, and significantly decreased in response to hypoxaemia and hyperventilation. PET studies suggest that changes in CBV occurring during experimental protocols of this type only occur in the arterial compartment and will, therefore, alter the AVR. Analysis of the combined datasets revealed that changes in TOI are significantly affected by changes in SaO 2 , EtCO 2 , CBV and MBP.
Re-read the above without commas in red ,,,,,
George Orwell¶s rules for good writing
Never use a metaphor, simile or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print. Never use a long word where a short one will do. If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out. Never use the passive where you can use the active. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent. Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous. George Orwell: µPolitics and the English Language¶, London. 1946.
Acknowledgement of your sources is a vital and integral part of the academic process. Check with course tutors what the preferred method is ³Harvard Method´ Referencing and research
Academic writing ± example
Diabetes affects all ages and about 2.35 million people have the disease in this country. We know that people with diabetes have more oral health problems. In this project I aimed to carry out a literature review to see whether there is a link between treating periodontal disease and blood sugar control in diabetes.
Academic writing ± example
Diabetes affects people of all ages and it is estimated that 2.35 million people in the UK have this disease (Department of Health, 2009). There is growing evidence that people with diabetes who do not have good control over their blood sugar levels are at greater risk of some oral health problems (Tsai et al., 2002). The aim of this project is to investigate the relationship between periodontal therapy and glycaemic control in people with diabetes.
Writing up ± early stages
Timetable your writing Decide on a structure early on Know how and when to reference
±Approved method (be consistent) ±Credible and contemporary sources ±Substantiate claims
Keep references organized separately (e.g. EndNote)
Timetable your writing
Time Management Tools
Keep references organized
Writing up ± as you go along
Use sections/sub-sections to organise content (guide in handbooks) Know which information goes in each section Use tables and figures to present information (N.B. graphs are figures) Regularly revisit your aims, objectives and research question
Writing up ± as you go along
Avoid distractions Recognise procrastination and barriers to writing Do not necessarily need to write in the order that the section appears in the final report Save different versions and backup often Write in an academic style
Writing up ± towards the end
Leave enough time to interpret the findings and write the discussion Conclusions should be based on the evidence you present Critique your own work Use Appendices for material which is too detailed for the main sections
Results and discussion
Describe and explain the characteristics and findings of the included studies (tables & text) Synthesis of results (qualitative or quantitative) Place the results in context
± Consider any flaws in the evidence (quality of studies, any heterogeneity etc.) ± The impact of any biases
Writing up - final checks
Proof read (spelling, grammar, clarity etc.). Use a spell cheque with caution Consistency of styles and formatting Tables and figures Page numbers and other formatting Word count ³Front matter´
If English is not your first language, ask an English native person to proof read projects Ensure you give him plenty of time for this.
Know the requirements and plan your time ± writing up will take longer than you think! Keep in touch with your supervisor Regularly revisit your aims, objectives and research question Leave time to proof read Refer to the marking criteria in the handbooks whilst writing and before you submit
Essential texts: Writing Academic English, by A. Oshima and A. Hague, Longman, 1999. Academic Writing for Graduate Students: Essential Tasks and Skills (Michigan Series in English for Academic & Professional Purposes), by John Swales and Christine B. Feak, University of Michigan Press, 2004
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