Fortunately, I have a good friend who has done this sort of thing very well indeed for years.Vivian Siegel is not only a science communications guru but also very generous, and she kindly armed me with materials and advice well beyond the call of friendship (which is all a far too convoluted way of saying many thanks, Vivian! What does one put in a course about science writing?So now I’m climbing down from my soapbox (which Wikipedia pleasingly remarks is exemplified in the modern day by a blog) and treating you to my top tips for good science writing.
Coming from a half white/half Chinese mongrel background, I’ve never felt like a culturally imperialist oppressor before, but it suddenly seemed very unfair, speaking to an audience of highly intelligent, literate people, to be telling them that their form of written English did not conform to mine, and therefore needed correcting.
And parenthetically, it’s even more unreasonable when journals see fit to impose their dubious “house style”: for example, what right do they have to tell authors they can’t use the word “done” when describing an experiment? Probably, as unless we want to relegate English to a minority language, we need to have a form that is widely understood.
"Starting Star" holds a pencil at the beginning of each writing space to give the visual cue of where to start.
Kindergarten Story Paper is portrait orientation with 13 lines per page.
What people use and when, depends a lot on who they are, where they live and what they do.
In some countries, you can only use black ballpoint for your schoolwork or official forms.Intellectually though, it’s a decent rule to live by, as getting stuck in a comfortable rut is a really bad idea (especially as an academic, as I discovered to my cost).So, when I was invited to teach a course on how to write and publish scientific papers, I said yes, even though it wasn’t something I’d ever done formally, it was way outside my comfort zone, and I had a feeling that my luminous insights might possibly be more akin to irrational rants about things that really irritated me in other people’s writing. Red ink also exists, but of course is used primarily in accounting, for noting numbers that are “in the red” (or negative…) There are other colors, too, but they don’t stand out as clearly against the white, cream or ivory papers that are our standard background to write on.I don’t think there’s a single answer as to why blue or black, back in the mists of time.In others, you have to sign your passport in blue pens, because it won’t reproduce. I think in a professional setting, black often looks crisp and clear, but blue also is acceptable as a personal choice.Blue is great as a way to edit a document that comes off a printer (which is always in black).I’d like to thank my students at LKCMedicine, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, for their patience, enthusiasm, and insight. Highlighter Paper has the lower writing area highlighted in yellow or blue indicating where the letters should be placed.And if you’re writing a personal letter (sigh — which almost no one does any more…) it’s a way to distinguish it from something that’s mass-mailed.Although advertisers have caught on to this, I’ve noticed, and are starting to use a mid-blue color for some mass-advertising junk mail stuff with addresses in italic, to make it look more like a personal letter to the casual viewer.