Elements of the Scientific Paper
Shared knowledge is indispensable to the practice of science, and the scientific paper--whether published in a journal or collation volume--is the chief means by which scientists communicate ideas and results to their colleagues. Mastering the genre is thus an essential element in every scientist’s training.
Using a published paper as a guide, Michael J. Katz takes the reader through every step of the writing process, including the use of standard formats (abstract, introduction, materials and methods, results, discussion, acknowledgments, and references), language (style and word usage), and publication (choosing the appropriate journal, the review process, and revising). Other chapters discuss figures (photographs, schematic diagrams, and graphs), writing with a computer, and numbers (algorithms and statistics). Nine appendices provide a handy reference to commonly needed information such as scientific abbreviations, non-technical words, and mathematic formulae.
While recognizing that the scientific paper is constrained within a well-defined form, the book also stresses that the genre is narrative prose requiring a lucid, precise, and careful style. The elements of composition--gestation, diction, revision, and rewriting--are discussed in detail.
Elements of the Scientific Paper is a useful handbook for young scientists and graduate students beginning their publishing careers, as well as for anyone wishing a review of or introduction to the elements of scientific style.
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