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6

Consider incorporating your fine print into the body of the article. Nothing in your Fine Print section requires any special understanding of the science involved, or even a good understanding of how science proceeds. As a bonus: If you do that, you can drop the opening part of that section, which is about you, and not about the topic. If the authors' ...


6

Realism has several components. Different ones dominate in different genres/settings and among individual readers. (Real) setting accuracy: If you're describing a real place or a time in history, people who know something about that will respond based on how closely you match what they know. If there isn't a lot of noise and traffic on your mid-day NYC ...


5

You want to do whatever makes the text easiest to understand. For me, that means a mix of long and short sentences. Scientific writing is already going to be dense and complex. There are times when you have to write long sentences because you have to string a lot of information together, and separating the ideas will make them less clear. When you can, ...


5

It sounds like you have a very understanding prof - I'd take advantage of that! Maybe you could write a children's book about it - how could you simplify the experiment to a level that a child (teenager?) could perform at home, using household objects? You could have a side-panel that explains how it was done in the lab, if that's needed for academic ...


4

Take a look at creative nonfiction. This approach relies on facts like a journalist, but uses the literary techniques of a novelist. Lee Gutkind has promoted this genre extensively through Creative Nonfiction magazine and several books. You may be able to find some of them in your library. There's a book by Philip Gerard, also titled Creative Nonfiction, ...


4

Don't Minimize the uncertainty, celebrate it! Sensational science reporting does not worry about details just bold headlines: 'Cell Phones Cause Breast Cancer!' Responsible reporting hedges their bets: 'Link between Cell phone usage and Breast Cancer Found.' Great reporting shows what the details mean: 'Developed nations have more cell phones and breast ...


3

There's nothing confusing about the paragraph you have at the end. Given the replication rates for correlation-based studies, there no reason for the reader to believe that the study established a new insight into the effects of trans fats. A layperson shouldn't base his idea of the effect of trans fats on a single correlational study based on self ...


3

I think the approach to this is to make what you write entertaining. Try to keep the style light, so you're not overwhelming the reader with facts. Use a steady build up, make the first few chapters skipable by someone who understands the field, but allows the layman to grasp the basics of where you're going. Keep the obvious stuff at the beginning, with ...


3

It seems to me to mostly depend on your target audience. Scientists of this field will want full throttle facts, General scientific types will expect to be convinced by strong backable data Interested non-scientists may relate more to argument that make sense and are logical rather than specific proof, The general skeptic reader will not trust any ...


3

In our college days, my best friend used to write his reports as diplomatic communiqués from Ambassador Sarek of Vulcan. Fortunately, the teacher was also a Trekkie, and appreciated the humor. YMMV on that one.


2

The explanation I loved most is from Terry Prachett's "Discoworld" universe. Magnetism: "See this metal? It is special kind of metal which is loved by all other metals. So when other metals are around, they are atracted to it." Electricity: "I finally bound the lighting to the metal and can produce my own small lightnings." So, if you want your character ...


2

I'm not entirely sure what you are aiming for here, but it sounds like you need people in an ancient culture to refer to electricity and magnetism without actually using those words. Describe the effects. Is the piece of metal moving? The reader will probably come up with magnetism. Is there a spark? The reader will probably guess electricity. If this is ...


1

Successful example: Arthur C. Clarke's Rama series. The first book, Rendezvous with Rama, read to me like a history book written 50 years from now. Very hard sci-fi, technical, a bit dry. The next three in the series, written with Gentry Lee, are more typical fiction, and center on the adventures of one family who are (I think — it's been a while) ...


1

You have to target your writing to the background of the reader. "Correlation does not prove causation" is a well-known slogan in scientific and statistical circles, so if you were writing for such technical people, just quoting the phrase should be sufficient to make the point. But if your writing for the ordinary layman, the odds are that they are NOT ...


1

Do some volunteer work for non profits that need technical writing, then list that work on your resume. It won't take much to get someone interested in you. Then take a contract doing documentation. Companies who create in-house software are notoriously deficient when it comes to technical documentation, and they know it. Anyone who wants to do that job ...


1

The term you want is verisimilitude. Basically, you want to avoid breaking the readers suspension of disbelief. This means that what happens must be consistent to the rules of what can happen that the reader has accepted for the setting. If the story is set in the real world, this is close, but not identical, to realism. You'd still be expected to adhere to ...


1

I think you will still have a sense of realism. As long as you explain the physics laws/magic laws/whatever differs before they take effect, the reader will know why/how things are happening. As long as your definitions are clear, detailed, and consistent with the effects, you should be fine. Consider: Any novel that deals with magic has an unknown set of ...


1

M.Y.T.H. Inc. comes to mind, and possibly Dinotopia. H.P. Lovecraft's work, while more focused on horror, contains elements of both fantasy and science.


1

I would say that the sentences need to be the appropriate length to what you are saying, which is liable to be, on average, shorter than novel writing. One of the reasons for using long sentences is to convey a mood, to put a lot of ideas together in one, to build and build the picture you are drawing. In scientific writing there is no need for this, so this ...


1

I think you should simply try writing the lab report using active voice, simple words, and clear prose. Make Strunk & White proud. Even if you work within the typical headings and content requirements of a lab report, this would still represent a departure from the norm. As an added benefit, other scientists might see the advantages of clear prose, too. ...


1

Joseph M. Williams's Style. It's a book (in about 63 different editions), but there's a short version. It's about how to write so as to match the way readers read.



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