Figures

Ultimately, the purpose of a scientific paper is to share the results of a set of experiments that support or refute your hypothesis. Therefore it is essential that the results are presented in a clear manner that makes it easy …

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The Definite Article

When reading a paper few errors are as jarring as a misplaced or missing “the”. This particular error is very obvious to a native English speaker, yet is problematic for writers who's first language is not English. The reason is …

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Big Fancy Words

The goal of any piece of writing is to communicate an idea (or several) between the writer and the reader. In scientific publications, often the purpose is not only to commnicate the experiments and results, but also why the work …

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Consistency

One of the things that I find perplexing when reviewing papers is seeing a word spelled differently in the same paper. Sometimes in the same paragraph. I’m not talking about typos, I’m talking about an inability to settle on a …

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A little note on units

Quite often when I see scientific papers I see the following: “The samples concentrated to 2.3M and then stored in 0.5ml aliquots at -80C.” While this is not a terrible writing sin it is one that no scientist should make …

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Outlining

Outlines are like vegetables, most people agree that an outline is an important preliminary step in writing, whether it’s for an essay, a novel, or a technical article, and yet when many people sit down to write they skip this …

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Why write?

The education path to become a scientist is heavy on the technical aspects of the job. Math and science courses form the basis for our future work and they are naturally required. But very few bachelor of science degrees require …

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What’s in a paper?

The purpose of any written piece is communication between the author and the reader. Whether it’s a recipe, novel, or journal publication, the writer of the paper hopes to relate something of importance to the reader. To best accomplish this …

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