In high school, you learned different organizational strategies such as chronological and spatial. In scientific writing, another strategy becomes even more important: beginning with the familiar before moving to the new. Because longer scientific documents are written in sections, you are called upon to use this strategy multiples times through the document. In addition, you are called upon to use that strategy whenever you introduce a new term or abbreviation. This lesson explains that strategy.
1. For the next document that you are to write, draft a working table of contents for the headings and subheadings of the main text. For each section or subsection, draft a first sentence that orients the audience.
2. For the next document that you are to write, write down the different audiences. Now write down the terms and abbreviations that you might use in that document. For those terms and abbreviations, decide which would be the strategy for handling each term or abbreviation: (1) defining the term or abbreviation in the text; (2) simply avoiding the term or abbreviation; or (3) placing the term or abbreviation in a glossary (or list of abbreviations).
For the academic year 2019-2020, we are collecting comments, criticisms, and suggestions for the films, text, exercises, and quizzes of each lesson on scientific writing. To help us assess your input, would please let us know whether you are a student, professional, or faculty member, what your discipline is, and what your institution is?