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The Scientist's Guide to Writing: How to Write More Easily and Effectively Throughout Your Scientific Career

4.48  ·  Rating details ·  176 ratings  ·  17 reviews
A concise and accessible primer on the scientific writer's craft



The ability to write clearly is critical to any scientific career. The Scientist's Guide to Writing provides practical advice to help scientists become more effective writers so that their ideas have the greatest possible impact.

Drawing on his own experience as a scientist, graduate adviser, and editor, Stephe
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Paperback, 320 pages
Published April 12th 2016 by Princeton University Press
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Average rating 4.48  · 
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 ·  176 ratings  ·  17 reviews


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Phil
May 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-help
As usual, I don't really know how to rate this kind of book. It could be 3 stars, but I'm going with 4, if nothing else because there are no other books like this one.

The book is about how to write scientific papers, regardless of field. I picked it because it is organized as a very readable (to the degree possible) guide rather than a reference manual, which seemed more likely to work out in Kindle format. Despite best intentions, this is still surely a "eating a big plate of vegetables for you
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Jennifer Shaiman
May 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: for-work
What a great book on writing in the sciences! There aren't many good books on this topic available, and this is the first one I've seen that isn't discipline specific. Heard covers pre-writing approaches, IMRaD structure and approaches for each section, clear style, and revision (from self-revision to professional review). Each section is packed with helpful advice and techniques.

Heard's writing is clear and well-organized. This book is readable from cover-to-cover as well as easy to dip into f
...more
Madison
Jun 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Feels a bit weird to put this on my goodreads, but I did read it cover to cover so... This is truly an excellent guide to writing in the sciences. Enjoyable, organized, humorous, accessible and useful.
Alireza
Dec 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book isn't about rigid grammatical instructions to follow to succeed as a writer -- the author deliberately steers off that subject. Instead, the book talks about everything else that surrounds the process of administering and documenting your research. The early chapters are dedicated to the method of producing the science; the role of writing in the development of a scientific study, its results, and proper presentation of the work. For me, the first few chapters were critical skills that ...more
Pierre
Apr 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A highly recommended reading for any scientist, even experienced ones.

Even after a few years as a scientific writer and academic, I learned a lot from the advices provided by Stephen B. Heard. Throughout the book, you'll learn to organize your thoughts in order to tell a compelling and coherent story in your paper. The book then explains how each part of a manuscript can be approached to reach the ultimate goal of "crystal-clarity".
Everything is narrated with a light and amusing tone.

This is de
...more
Michiel
May 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A lucid guide for scientists who want to improve their craft of writing. In addition to the standard chapters on how to write a results section and a convincing abstract, it also deals with the meta-aspects of writing: gaining momentum to write, revisions, managing co-authorship and even having fun while writing!

Clear, applicable and well-organized, this is a guide for all scientists who want to grow their writing skills.
Johnny
Sep 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A great explanation on scientific writing. The book explains how you can get to this dense writing that is so typical for scientific papers. Even when I will never create such a type of writing, it gave me many helpful ideas on how to structure a large text and how I should organize my editing phase.
Jennifer Holmes
A definitive guide on writing as a scientist, especially researchers early in their careers. Heard covers not only the basic IMRAD (Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion) structure of a scientific paper but everything from getting and staying motivated to write to writing the response to reviewers letter after peer review.
Maria
Jan 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
I've read quite a few books on writing and scientific writing, so there was some redundancy in this book, but still very much worth skimming. I particularly liked the notes on early writing, the structure of the introduction, and common challenges for non-native speakers of English. ...more
Jessie Tanner
Sep 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Useful and also fun. Clearly expresses some vague feelings I had constructed from writing and reading but could never really articulate. Has some especially useful things to say about motivation and procrastination.
Eryne
Aug 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
A good resource for those of us who write for a living. It's got some really good advice that's presented clearly. I keep a copy in my office and regularly lend it to younger staff so they can improve their writing. ...more
Skeetor
Dec 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I thought this was well-written. It was easy to read and contained all the information needed for writing a scientific paper.
Matt
Dec 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: how-to-write
Good guide for graduate students
Mika Kurohata
Dec 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
The part II is really encouraging and helpful. I will read it someday again.
Anya
Apr 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: academic-writing
This review is far from being objective because the book has appealed to me. That is, I am likely to oversee some drawbacks and rather focus on the positive. Who knows – maybe that is, in fact, an objective sign that the book is good?

The author cares about the topic and thus goes deeply into it. The book is not some superficial compilation of advice and tools by an experienced scientist who is ready to share his tips and tricks. The text shows that Stephen Heard has a pure interest in the writin
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Hilary
Aug 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Academics who write or teach writing or both *must* read this. I have read or used many previous books, and this one is gigantic head and shoulders above them.
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