The Craft of Scientific Writing

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9780131888555: The Craft of Scientific Writing

Designed to help both professional and student scientists and engineers write clearly and effectively, this text approaches the subject in a fresh way. Using scores of examples from a wide variety of authors and disciplines, the author - himself a writer and physicist -- demonstrates the difference between strong and weak scientific writing, and how to convey ideas to the intended audience. In addition, he gives advice on how to start writing, and how to revise drafts, including many suggestions about approaching a wide variety of tasks - from laboratory reports to grant proposals, from internal communications to press releases - as well as a concise guide to appropriate style and usage.

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Review:

From review of the first edition
"This book offers effective methods for improving writing efficiency and overcoming difficulties during the preparation of technical information."
Robert L. Schmitt, Doctoral Candidate at the University of Wisconsin

"A refreshing addition to a genre dominated by English teacher-style textbooks. Instead of listing rules that constrain writers, the book uses examples to lay out the path to successful communication … Especially helpful (and entertaining) is the chapter on the writing process. Anyone who has spent more time avoiding a writing task than actually doing it will appreciate Alley's tips."

–Dr. Ellen Ochoa, Deputy Director of Flight Crew Operations, Johnson Space Center

From the Back Cover:

The Craft of Scientific Writing is designed to help scientists and engineers - both professionals already active in the disciplines as well as students preparing to enter the professions - write about their work clearly and effectively. The author, who is both a writer and an applied physicist, approaches the subject in a fresh way. Using scores of examples from a wide variety of authors and disciplines (including such well-known figures as Einstein, Bohr, and Freud), the book demonstrates the difference between strong scientific writing and weak scientific writing. In essence, this book shows you how to bring your ideas across to your intended audience. In addition, it contains advice on how to start writing and how to revise your drafts. Written for use as a text in courses on scientific writing, the book includes many useful suggestions about approaching a wide variety of writing tasks - from laboratory reports to grant proposals, from internal communications to press releases - as well as a concise guide to style and usage appropriate for scientific writing. The book will also be useful for self-study and it will be an important reference for all scientists and engineers who need to write about their work. Topics covered include deciding where to begin - structure: organizing your documents; providing depth, transitions, and emphasis - language: being precise, clear, and concise; being forthright, familiar, and fluid - illustration: making the right choices; creating the best designs - handling special situations - and actually sitting down to write: drafting, revising, finishing.

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