Astute reader Colin Smith fired the following question my way: I find that many authors call their closing section “Conclusions and discussion”, rather than ‘Discussion and conclusions”. I prefer the latter because, to me, it is logical to first discuss your results in a wider context, and then draw conclusions. However, I also understand why […]
About a month ago, I had finished reading How Music Works by David Byrne (formerly of Talking Heads). I was always a big fan of the music of Talking Heads and Byrne, and I found his movie True Stories quirky. I am a huge musicophile, as well, and when I saw the book on the […]
Our advisors coated the drafts of our writing in red ink. And, we, in turn, coat the drafts of our students’ writing in red ink. Does the volume of red ink challenge students to improve their writing, or do they just shrug it off (for any number of reasons)? I was just reading an article […]
Reader Russ Schumacher pointed out to me that the Associated Press has now accepted both “over” and “more than” as in “over 500 people attended” and “more than 500 people attended”. The outrage from the community is described here. Where do you stand?
The original post is here, and the post starts: One of the most common pieces of writing advice is to “just get words down on the page; don’t worry about detail, and don’t think too much”. This is often given as a way of overcoming writers block, or the “fear of the blank page”. Perfectionism […]
Regular reader Brian Curran sends us this link on the Plain Writing Act and the results thereof, following up on earlier discussions of clear language in government writing. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/federal-eye/wp/2013/11/19/plain-writing-in-government-agencies-plainly-speaking-arent-there-yet/ As the report card from the Center for Plain Language shows, NOAA gets a D for “Plain Writing”, although which documents were used was not stated […]
Jim Steenburgh sent me this article from The Guardian about “what pop music can teach you about building sentences.”
The point of writing a scientific article is to get it read. How do you ensure that your article will reach the largest possible audience? Search engine optimization. I found this web page from Wiley about how to optimize your article for search engines. Optimizing your article for search engines will greatly increase its chance […]
Brian Curran forwarded me this article about how to communicate with the public in active voice using straightforward, easy-to-understand language. Reading this article took me back to my time in Finland a few years ago. I loved to use colorful language and turns of phrases when I lived in the U.S. Then, in Finland, I […]
Each sentence should be clear Each sentence should make sense. Each sentence should be supported by evidence. If you can’t defend it, remove it.