Broad Guide to Science Writing

Writing about Science

1. Audience.  For paper, audience is OSU contemporaries not majoring in
   science or engineering.  For talk, the audience is fellow classmates.

2. Tell a story.   There is a distinct difference between summarizing a
   collection of facts and telling an exciting and interesting story. 
   A story should have one focus and convey a single major message.

    See Dazzle 'em with Style.

3. Figures. For the 2-page paper you don't need a figure, but it is allowed.  
    The figure should be original.  That is, if you adapt a figure from
    a reference, delete all information irrelevant to the presentation.
    It should have clearly labeled axis and a self-explanatory caption.
    If you adapt the figure, you must reference the source. See referencing.

4. Sentence outline.  Required only for the long paper.  Using it for
    the short and medium length papers will speed your identification 
    of the point of each paragraph.  

    See Sentence Outline Guide.

5. Equations.  For the 2-page paper no equation is needed, but one is allowed.
   The medium length paper can contain at most three equations.  
   Long paper can contain original table (with caption) but no equations.

   In writing equations, you should introduce all the important concepts and
   their symbols before the equation appears.  For example:

      The centrality of the velocity of light c in special relativity is 
      evidenced by the energy E of a mass m moving with momentum p:

                               2  4    2  2 1/2
                         E = (m  c  + c  p )
   or better

                 	equation gif      ¹

6. References.  You must reference the source of your ideas and figures.
    See page on reference style.  See Referencing Guide.

Your comments and suggestions are appreciated.
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Broad Guide to Science Writing

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