Scientific writing: accuracy, clarity and brevity

Unlike literary writing that can be used for many purposes: telling stories, expressing feelings, offering a point of view, etc., scientific writing has a single purpose: to effectively communicate the results of scientific research. To achieve this goal adequately and effectively report the findings, no special skills are necessary; scientific writing is a skill that can be learned, although some prerequisites, such as language proficiency, are necessary. The construction of coherent and cohesive texts as well as the knowledge of orthographic norms is a necessary requirement to acquire the necessary skills in scientific writing.

Needless to say, the scientific writing is one of the most important aspects for the acceptance and publication of articles in high impact journals, since a dark or difficult to understand article may detract from the research presented. It is essential, therefore, to master the basic aspects of scientific writing, which are none other than precision, clarity and brevity.

Precision is achieved using the word that expresses exactly what is meant, avoiding colloquial expressions, wildcard words that dilute meaning. Instead of saying “make a report” we can use “write a report”. Clarity is important if we want the text to be understood perfectly. Therefore, it is advisable to flee from a dark and plethoric language that conceals the main ideas of the author, for the benefit of clear and direct writing, preferably in an active voice, and following a logical order. And, finally, we must opt for brevity in the expression of information, saying only what needs to be said, avoiding wordiness and redundancy.

In this way, we will get an effective communication of our research presenting the ideas in an orderly, concise and fluid way that will lead us to reach the receivers properly and to better disseminate the results.

Reference:

American Psychological Association. (2010). Manual of publications of the American Psychological Association (Third Edition). Mexico City, Mexico: The Modern Manual.

Mari, J.A. (S / f). Manual of scientific writing. Madrid: University of Alcalá.

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