Table of Contents to The Craft of Scientific Writing

Writing Guidelines
Writing Exercises
Writing Courses

Chapter 1
Chapter 2 (Excerpt)
Chapter 4

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1. Introduction: Deciding Where to Begin

  • Establishing Your Constraints
  • Selecting Your Stylistic Tools

2. Structure: Organizing Your Documents

  • Beginnings of Documents
  • Middles of Documents
  • Endings of Documents
3. Structure: Providing Transition, Depth, and Emphasis
  • Transitions Between Details
  • Depth of Details
  • Emphasis of Details
4. Language: Being Precise
  • Choosing the Right Word
  • Choosing the Right Level of Detail
5. Language: Being Clear
  • Avoiding Needless Complexity
  • Avoiding Ambiguity
6. Language: Being Forthright
  • Controlling Tone
  • Choosing Strong Nouns and Verbs
7. Language: Being Familiar
  • Avoiding Unfamiliar Terms
  • Defining Unfamiliar Terms
  • Incorporating Examples and Analogies
8. Language: Being Concise
  • Eliminating Redundancies
  • Eliminating Writing Zeroes
  • Reducing Sentences to Simplest Forms
  • Eliminating Bureacratic Waste
9. Language: Being Fluid
  • Varying Sentence Rhythms
  • Eliminating Discontinuities
10. Illustration: Making the Right Choices
  • Choosing Tables
  • Choosing Figures
11. Illustration: Creating the Best Designs
  • Being Precise
  • Being Clear
  • Being Fluid
  • Being Familiar
12. Writing Correspondence
  • Constraints of Correspondence
  • Style of Correspondence
13. Writing Proposals
  • Constraints of Proposals
  • Style of Proposals
14. Writing Instructions
  • Constraints of Instructions
  • Style of Instructions
15. Preparing Presentations
  • Constraints of Presentations
  • Style of Presentations
16. Format: Dressing Documents for Success
  • Typography of Documents
  • Layout of Documents
17. Actually Sitting Down to Write
  • Getting in the Mood
  • Writing the First Draft
  • Revising, Revising, Revising
  • Finishing
Appendix A: Avoiding the Pitfalls of Grammar and Punctuation

Appendix B: A Usage Guide for Scientists and Engineers



Last updated 3/99

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