worthy of - ugh - an MFA student. This article's lead section does not adequately summarize key points of its contents. Most journals use the past tense. The following example shows a sentence written in both the passive and active voices. The usual practice is to summarize the finding or other information in your own words and then cite the source.
The main audience for scientific papers is extremely specialized.
Scientific writing in English started in the 14th century.
The Royal Society established good practice for scientific writing.
Founder member Thomas Sprat wrote on the importance of plain and accurate description rather than rhetorical flourishes in his History of the Royal Society of London.
Direct your paper toward the average reader in your intended audience. Im still fairly new at this science thing. Using tenses Scientific writing frequently uses the past tense, particularly when the main focus of the writing is to describe experiments or observations that took place prior to the time of writing, for example: The data were analysed.
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Remember always that scientific terminology very often has precise meaning. In practice, scientific writing is much more complex and shifts of tense and person reflect subtle changes in the section of the scientific journal article. I cant think of a better lone career. If youre co-authoring a paper, most of your notoriety will derive from the order of authors and not from the content of your paper - so make sure to have vehement and petty debates about whose name goes first. Top of Page First. Why cant we write like other people write? I hadnt meant the word to be poetic.
Thomas Sprat wrote on the importance of plain and accurate description rather than rhetorical flourishes in his. If the intent of the writer is communicated, the writing was effective, regardless of rules kept or broken. Active: " the mouse consumed oxygen at a higher rate." passive: " oxygen was consumed by the mouse at a higher rate." The clarity and effectiveness of your writing will improve dramatically as you increase the use of the active voice.