Top Ten Writing Tips for Scientists

Writing tips for Scientists (courtesy of sciencebase)

If you’re more at home with numbers than words, writing can be a difficult prospect. Learning a few simple techniques can make all the difference, says Sciencebase guest contributor Rob Ashton.

Ask most scientists, engineers and technologists why they got into the profession and they’re unlikely to say it was because they love writing. But love it or hate it, writing is an essential part of a scientific career. Report writing skills are crucial to communicating your research, ideas and recommendations. Losing the gems of months of research in confusing, convoluted prose helps neither you nor your readers. The way you write can be more important that what you write. An instantly readable report will usually have more impact than one that is difficult to decipher.

Science doesn’t exist in a vacuum. So if you cannot communicate effectively to colleagues and the general public, your work is likely to be perceived as less important. In fact, if you can’t communicate what you do, you could argue that you might as well not do it in the first place.