Ten quick tips for improving your scientific writing

October 22, 2011

Writing is craft, and you improve your writing through some combination of osmosis–absorbing the talents of your favorite authors–practice, and the toolkit of rules you build as you go. As I work through the writing assignments of our new, very good, cohort of graduate students, I accumulated the following list of simple rules that will push your writing closer to the Big Leagues.  Yes I know, many are oldies but goodies, but they are so easy and easily learned, they are a gateway to quickly improving your writing. And, as David Foster Wallace once pointed out,

This, like many clichés, so lame and unexciting on the surface, actually expresses a great and terrible truth.

So on with the terrible truths. Read the rest of this entry »