The Science of Scientific Writing
Scientific writing is a crucial parameter to assess scientific progress. However, until undergraduate courses its importance is merely in the form of a report submitted a day before the due date. For many, the focus remains on the scientific process and neglects scientific writings.
Scientific writing is challenging
For the majority of writing, scientific content is a tough task. It is highly structured, precise, and accurate. Also, writing on complex topics makes it challenging. The theoretical know-how of scientific writing and the real one has a lot more complexity and variation.
The importance of scientific writing skills
Comprehensive, logical writing supported by previous studies and on par with new results requires thorough knowledge of the subject.
Crucial steps in scientific writing
- Elucidating Correlation among the present work and previous studies
Before beginning to write content we should be well aware of past studies on the topic of its kind by referring to textbooks, manuals, and journals. We can conduct an explicit search on the web of science or Google scholar. The question we should try to frame is “what is already known about the topic”, “How the present study fits in the already existing facts”, “What aspects are still unidentified in the said topic”.
Having known the in and out of previous information pertaining to the field of study forms the story base over which you will write the new extension in form of present or intended study.
- Identify the audience of content
Scientific writing needs you to know your audience or reader group. And the aim is to make them understand your work. The scientific writer is well are of the background of the content.
It is the beginning of the writing project. It is a glimpse of what is known about the topic from the beginning till date by citing the research inputs of many authors. It gradually defines the aim and objective of the present study. Introduction writing involves in-text citations of various authors, whose work demarcates “what is known” and also identifies the informational gap regarding the topic. A clear narration of the effective steps taken during the study to close the lacuna forms the core of introduction writing.
- Materials and Methods
It is straightforward writing that can be carried out as the experiments are performed. The protocols performed and any variation in the steps undertaken by the researcher can be the part of material and methods.
For clarity, heading and subheading should be placed in material and methods to describe clearly each protocol. Time intervals, the concentration used, other minute details should be clearly mentioned also with the statistical analysis.
This section represents the finding in an objective manner. It consists of graphs, figures, tables that represent the key outcome of the study. Results can be divided into separate sections containing a small summary related to each experimental data. The result section is meant to provide the output of the research finding and not the interpretation.
- Discussion and conclusion
Discussion is the interpretation of the results. The discussion joins the introduction, method, and results and completes the story.
The discussion focus on how the information gap has been addressed by the author by providing explanations of the results. The discussion reminds the audience about the hypothesis of the manuscript and the evidential support in form of the results. Discussion can represent multiple interpretations of the findings and in turn provide scope for future research. However, the discussion should be backed by the results of the manuscript.
Conclusion marks the last paragraph and summarizes the significance of the work and thereby should make the reader inquisitive. It should also highlight the future scope of the study.
- Peer review
Once the manuscript draft is ready, review and rereading are key fault-finding steps which proved the scope for improvisation. A classmate, family member, or friend can review the paper to provide constructive feedback.
The art of scientific writing demands in-depth knowledge of the subject and systematic presentation of the information that keeps the reader inquisitively connected thought-out. Furthermore, implants questions on the future scope of the study.