Writing a clear and engaging paper

The paragraph reproduced below is the Abstract of the article ‘Writing a clear and engaging paper for all astronomers’ in Astronomy Communication, 290 221 (2003), by Leslie Sage, a senior editor at Nature who handles manuscript submissions in astronomy, planetary science and physics.

Scientists usually receive no formal training in how to communicate effectively scientific information. What little training we do get comes from our PhD supervisors, who may or may not be good communicators themselves. Moreover, too many scientists seem to feel that the goal of scientific writing is to impress others with the author’s intelligence, and most of the rest forget that even people in closely related fields may not be aware of the jargon, background and technical details specific to each subfield. Yet the principles of clear writing are easily grasped, and with a little practice will become natural to implement. Even in a technical journal the audience is not restricted simply to a few direct competitors, so you need to explain why the general topic is interesting, what problems there are in the field, what you have done and how it has helped advance us towards the resolution of one or more of the problems.

The publisher, Springer Science and Business Media, has kindly given us permission to reproduce the author’s version of this paper here, for the personal use only of those downloading it. We hope you enjoy reading it, and find it helpful in preparing your papers for submission to a Nature journal, whether in the field of astronomy or any other scientific discipline.

Download the article here; Word document


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    Research Paper Writing said:

    Thanks for your topic on ‘Writing a clear and engaging paper’. I think it will add a great value to refine my skills and abilities in research writing.

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    Dr. B. Mallick said:

    It’s really nice and useful for the researchers in different fields.


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    Academic Career Links said:

    More related advice (perhaps somewhat tilted towards mathematics but mostly of general use too) from the Fields medal (the closest mathematical equivalent of the Nobel prize) winner Terence Tao can be found here.

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