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Writing Science: How to Write Papers That Get Cited and Proposals That Get Funded
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Writing Science: How to Write Papers That Get Cited and Proposals That Get Funded

4.42  ·  Rating Details ·  158 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
As a scientist, you are a professional writer: your career is built on successful proposals and papers. Success isn't defined by getting papers into print, but by getting them into the reader's consciousness. Writing Science is built upon the idea that successful science writing tells a story. It uses that insight to discuss how to write more effectively. Integrating lesso ...more
Paperback, 221 pages
Published November 29th 2011 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published January 1st 2011)
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Feb 14, 2016 Pham rated it it was amazing
There's a pattern I’ve realized through reading advice books. The best book on presentation I’ve ever read isn’t about presentation skills. Similarly, the best book on design isn’t about design skills. Now, this is the best book I’ve read on writing, and it isn’t about writing skills either. To be precise, this book does contain a lot of advices on how to write, but these advices secondarily come from a foundation which is much deeper and far greater: the author’s philosophy about writing. The b ...more
Feb 11, 2013 Tom rated it really liked it
Overall a great book and also in line mostly with my advisor's thinking on the matter. I learned a lot and clarified a lot in my thinking. I'll focus here on some concerns, but overall just make sure to read this book if you need to write science.

Some of the acronyms were hard to keep 100% in mind throughout the book. Also, sometimes my lack of familiarity with particular fields did get in the way. But not too much.

Leaving out the issue of the dynamics of the abstract is a bit odd, I think, sinc
Jennifer Shaiman
May 20, 2016 Jennifer Shaiman rated it liked it
Shelves: for-work
My rating for this book would be higher if I was looking for something to assign for a graduate class, but I'm looking for a book to use in an upper-division class on writing in the sciences instead.

Parts of this book would be hard to use in the classroom--even in a class where students are doing their own authentic research, asking them to produce an earth-shattering topic for a proposal is hard. And, it is my understanding, that this often isn't the case for practicing scientists either. Yes,
Franck Chauvel
Dec 02, 2015 Franck Chauvel rated it really liked it
This is about how to write papers, so that they read better, and engage whoever scores it. Advices ranges from how to structure your article, down to how to structure your sentences and what words and grammatical constructs to prefer and avoid.

I regret that all examples are from explanatory Science (Biology, Physics, etc.) which aim at understanding Nature. Relating research to societal challenges seems more challenging in Mathematics for instance, where theories are not directly applicable. No
Amanda Nelson
May 13, 2014 Amanda Nelson rated it it was amazing
I appreciated this book much more than I thought I would. It not only made me feel better about my more common writing mistakes by noting that I am not alone, it gave me methods to fix them. I knew I had issues with "the big picture" and "telling the story." I had been told as much by past advisors, but it wasn't until this book that I understood what that really meant or how to deal with it. I have already recommended this book to both my advisors and several fellow students, which is probably ...more
Dec 27, 2012 Anarmaa rated it it was amazing
This is not a fiction book you read before you go to bed. It is one of the "boring" science related books; probably more aimed towards people who just started their career in science as PhD students. However, this book impressed me by its clear messages and very engaging writing style. If you are scientist you don't hear everyday or even at all that science writing is "STORY TELLING". This main message clearly stuck in my head. Author does not just plainly said so, he eloquently "told" his "stor ...more
Jan 02, 2015 Babak rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A seriously good book on writing non-fiction and science. Focus on all levels from macro to micro. A lot of good practical tools to use in your own writing. It was a bit too much on core sciences (I am a computer scientist) but still very useful if you write a lot of research papers.
Kelsey King
Feb 12, 2015 Kelsey King rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

This book provides an excellent set of ideas that can improve any scientist's writing. I recommend it for any level of writer.
Kangning Huang
Apr 08, 2016 Kangning Huang rated it it was amazing
The author introduces story-telling into science writing.
This book will make your writing slower, more painful, but much better at the end.
Xi Xi
Apr 21, 2015 Xi Xi rated it it was amazing
As scientists, we are professional writers. Well written.
May 15, 2015 Susannah rated it really liked it
Although this book is directed at those who write in the scientific disciplines, there are insights that any writer would find valuable: judicious use of passive voice, where to stress (though not in the same way as poetry), and how to write a convincing thesis. An excellent examination of the "nuts and bolts" of good writing.
May 17, 2013 Elizabeth marked it as to-read
The source of the "Message Box", an integral part of Prof. Tom Baldwin's presentation "Communication training for graduate students and postdocts", as part of "From the lab to the kitchen table – communicating science to a lay audience", sponsored by the ASBMB Public Outreach Committee at Experimental Biology 2013.
Jan 21, 2014 Joel rated it it was amazing
Focuses on the big picture and how to tell a story with your scientific writing. Convincingly makes the case that citable papers and fundable proposals tell a good story. Lots of examples of bad and good writing and how to turn bad into good.
Xianglong Yu
Feb 28, 2014 Xianglong Yu rated it really liked it
Elegant book, love it, and brought one.
Rodolfo Souza
Mar 20, 2016 Rodolfo Souza rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best books about writing that I've read. This book brings a lot of tools to help us to do good writing and as well as to find important elements when we're reading a paper.
Xin Zhao
Mar 23, 2015 Xin Zhao rated it it was amazing
Excellent book to teach you how to write scientifically.
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“Also remember, you are a scientist—it is not your job to be right. It is your job to be thoughtful, careful, and analytical; it is your job to challenge your ideas and to try to falsify your hypotheses; it is your job to be open and honest about the uncertainties in your data and conclusions. But if you are doing cutting-edge work, you are not always going to be right.” 1 likes
“afraid that if they make strong statements, someone may challenge them or they may be wrong. If people feel challenged, you have engaged their interest, and that is good. Challenging proposals sometimes get funded; boring ones never do.” 0 likes
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