About this book
In October 1984, the weak writing in a scientific report made national news. The report, which outlined safety procedures during a nuclear attack, advised industrial workers "to don heavy clothes and immerse themselves in a large body of water." The logic behind this advice was sound: Water is a good absorber of heat, neutrons, and gamma rays. Unfortunately, the way the advice was worded was unclear. Was everyone supposed to come up for air? Be completely submerged?
The writing conveyed the wrong impression to the public. The report came across as saying "go jump in a lake" -- not the impression you want to give someone spending thousands of dollars to fund your research. Chances are that Dan Rather will not quote your documents on national television. Still, your writing is important.
On a personal level, your writing is the way in which people learn about your work. When you communicate, you receive credit for your work. When you do not communicate, or are too slow to communicate, the credit often goes to someone else. On a larger level, your writing and the writing of other scientists influence public policy about science and engineering.
- Book Title The Craft of Scientific Writing
- DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4757-2482-0
- Copyright Information Springer-Verlag New York 1996
- Publisher Name Springer, New York, NY
- eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
- Softcover ISBN 978-0-387-94766-2
- eBook ISBN 978-1-4757-2482-0
- Edition Number 3
- Number of Pages XV, 282
- Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
Professional & Vocational Education
Popular Science, general
Job Careers in Science and Engineering
- Buy this book on publisher's site
From review of the first edition
"This book offers effective methods for improving writing efficiency and overcoming difficulties during the preparation of technical information."
Robert L. Schmitt, Doctoral Candidate at the University of Wisconsin
"A refreshing addition to a genre dominated by English teacher-style textbooks. Instead of listing rules that constrain writers, the book uses examples to lay out the path to successful communication … Especially helpful (and entertaining) is the chapter on the writing process. Anyone who has spent more time avoiding a writing task than actually doing it will appreciate Alley's tips."
–Dr. Ellen Ochoa, Deputy Director of Flight Crew Operations, Johnson Space Center