Academic/Scientific Writing Tips – Series 1

 The most important thing in academic and scientific writing is the clarity in the content.  It is surely advisable to keep the language simple and not decorative in academic writing. The stress should be more on making sure that the concept and idea is clear. This can be done by keeping the sentences short and simple. In addition to that, when complicated sentences are there then greater chances of makings make mistakes.  If you decide to depend upon the online translation software, there are good chances that there may be grammatical errors.

If you look at the content from the perspective of the editor and reviewers,   you would know that they always prefer short and clear sentences, in contrast to the lengthy and complicated ones. But the important thing to keep in mind here is that academic writing is all about formal writing. Even though the preferred choice of sentences is short, they need to in a formal tone, necessarily. The more academic literature that you read, better will be your style of writing, for sure.

Correct usage of words is also very important when one talks of formal writing as it enriches and polishes the style of writing and the sentence structure to a great extent. Often, writers are unaware of the minute difference in the meaning of the words and their correct application. Some of the words with subtle differences are discussed here, for you to understand the usage of words better for more effective Academic/Scientific writing.

Distinction in the use of About and Approximately: We usually use the term “About” when we are not sure about the exact figure. The terms approximate is closer to accuracy, in comparison.  Though a lot of writers use these two terms interchangeably, they cannot be used like that. There is a small and precise difference in their use and that is how it is to be understood.  Usually with numbers that has not been rounded off to the closest ten is the one that is nearer to being accurate. Keeping that in mind, it is important to ensure that when quoting figures, the term about be used when the rounding off has been done and the given number is not very near to accuracy. However, when the estimated figure is precise and almost near to accuracy, it is always advised to use approximately.

Distinction in the use of About and Around: Here the difference is comparatively more clear as compared to the previous one. Again a lot of academic writers use these two terms as synonyms. This won’t be literally wrong to do so. It is acceptable to use them interchangeably. But the very clear difference between both is the preference of the reader. For the British reader, About is a better term and for the American reader, Around is more suitable and acceptable.



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