What is a conference report?

The best conference reports use narrative form description to capture the content of conference proceedings. Because this approach uses speakers’ own words, presentations and background information, it avoids both the tediousness of verbatim transcriptions and the dullness of a point form summary. Written … Continue reading → The post What is a conference report? appeared first on Plain Language Science.

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Quick Editing Tips

Replace “to be” verbs – “is”, “was”, “were” – with active verbs. When practical, eliminate prepositions – “of”, “to, “in”. Vary the structure and length of sentences; cut long sentences in two. Cut the adverbs (words that end with “-ly”), … Continue reading → The post Quick Editing Tips appeared first on Plain Language Science.

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Technical Writing: Layout Tips

Once you have a clear sense of audience, purpose, and context, you can apply the following principles to enhance communicative competence of your documents: 1) Typographic devices — boldface, italics, shading — can highlight items in a text and help … Continue reading → The post Technical Writing: Layout Tips appeared first on Plain Language Science.

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Basics of Technical Documentation Development (Part 1)

Technical documentation comes in many styles and formats, depending on the medium and subject area. While printed and online documentation may differ in various ways, it still usually adheres to largely identical guidelines for prose, information structure, and layout. Usually, technical … Continue reading → The post Basics of Technical Documentation Development (Part 1) appeared first on Plain Language Science.

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Scientific Discovery and the Idea of Freedom

Traditionally, we envision the concept of freedom in two ways: as negative freedom, in the sense of lack of constraint on what science can do or be; and as positive freedom, or the power science has because of what it … Continue reading → The post Scientific Discovery and the Idea of Freedom appeared first on Plain Language Science.

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Re-thinking Science Communication in Plain English

We all know, or at least have a hunch: abstractions don’t explain — they themselves need to be explained. A word — whether a pompous scientific term like Micropachycephalosaurus (a dinosaur) or a more over-the-counter and down-to-earth Acetaminophen— is not the thing it … Continue reading → The post Re-thinking Science Communication in Plain English appeared first on Plain Language Science.

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Understanding Science vs Philosophy Debate

If the recent spate of public debates about the relationship between science and philosophy is a prime example of “science-by-press-conference“, it’s also a chance to re-evaluate what we think the issue is about. Some of us — Stephen Hawking, for example — claim … Continue reading → The post Understanding Science vs Philosophy Debate appeared first on Plain Language Science.

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Analyzing Government Communications

Any piece of government writing can be analyzed using the binary dimensions of purpose and audience. PURPOSE In government writing, clear purpose means being able to situate what you are writing within the broader strategy of the department or organization … Continue reading → The post Analyzing Government Communications appeared first on Plain Language Science.

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