Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Reading Notes for Writing in the Sciences (Ch 04)

  • introduction
  • methods and materials: past tense, active or passive voice
  • results: past tense
  • discussion
  • references
Common Moves in Research Article Introductions
  • establish topic and significance
  • establish need for present research
  • introduce the present research
Reporting Results
  • the major generalization(s) you are making about your data -- such generalizations are often stated in topic sentences at the beginning of paragraphs.
  • in pact form, the data supporting the generalization(s)
    • refer readers to the visual explicitly
    • tell them what patterns to notice
Discussion Trends and Implications
  • briefly summarize the major findings
  • acknowledge the advantages and limitations of the methods
  • explain the implications of the findings
  • outline the research questions that remain
Most Common Words
  • verbs: 
    • suggest, indicate, show, demonstrate
  • adverbs and adverbial phrases:
    • possibly, probably, very likely, necessarily, certainly, without doubt, presumably, in all probably, hypothetically, maybe, so far as the evidence suggests, as far as we can determine
  • modal auxiliary verb:
    • may, might, would, could, should, must, can, shall
  1. the topic will be introduced in present tense, usually in a sentence or two; 
  2. the background and/or need for the study will be outlined in another few sentences; 
  3. methods and results will be briefly described in past tense; and 
  4. the major conclusions and implications of the study will be stated in present tense.
How Scientists Read Reports
  • Readers typically began by scanning the title and abstract of an article and then looking for the data, focusing on the tables and graphs in which the data are summarized. Only after examining the data themselves did these scientists read the results sectin provided by the authors.
Checklist for Writers of Research Reports:
  • importance of the research
  • originality of the work
  • analysis of previous literature
  • appropriateness of the approach and experimental design
  • adequacy of experimental techniques
  • soundness of conclusions and interpretations
  • relevance of discussion
  • clarity of presentation and organization of the article
  • demonstration of reproducibility
  1. Ann M. Penrose, Steven B. Katz. Writing in the Sciences (3rd edition). Longman. 2009

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