Some Tips on Writing Science in English


There are many views about good English; different ideas about spelling and grammar are found in the English-speaking countries and among different social classes within them. Like other living tongues, English changes over time.

Remember your aim: to explain why you did your research, what you did and how, what you discovered and what it means. Scientific writing seeks not to gain a Nobel prize in literature; rather, it serves to communicate, in a factual manner, the details of a research project or otherwise to summarise research. It
should be easily understood, precise and unambiguous, especially for people whose first language is not English. Sentence structure differs among the various European languages, and people writing in English often use the sentence structure of their native tongue. This makes their text heavy to read. To avoid difficulties for readers, you should use short sentences and to use the active rather than the passive voice. The journal in which you hope to publish may prefer American or European spelling. Use your computer’s spell checker before dispatching your manuscript. You should study carefully the journal’s instructions to authors and follow them. Use a good style manual, to give guidance in correct usage of English.