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Style of Scientific Writing

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Abstract

Critical aspect of the scientific process is the reporting of new results in scientific journals in order to disseminate the research findings and other forms of nursing knowledge to nursing professionals to practice evidence based. While an increase in nursing research has been apparent in recent times, there seemingly remains reluctance for nurses to publish the findings of their work. A research report is not as essay. It is an account of how and why a problem was studied, and what was discovered as a result. The identified barriers to writing for publication primarily focus on a lack of confidence in the ability to write in this arena, and uncertainty, apprehension and confusion regarding how exactly to go about writing and submitting a manuscript. The primary aim of this paper is to demystify the style of scientifically writing for publication in different types of journal or in books; to communicate the results or research findings to contribute to the pool of knowledge within nursing and health care disciplines. However, the style in which many research journal articles are written especially reports of quantitative studies which makes it difficult for beginning research consumers to become interested in the story. To unaccustomed audiences, research reports may seem stuffy, pedantic and bewildering. Four factors contribute to this impression: 1. Compactness 2. Jargon 3. Objectivity and 4. Statistical information The style of writing should be concise, straightforward and avoid jargon. Highly technical terms and complex sentences are not best way to convey ideas. The best scientific writing is characterized by brevity, clarity, and precision. With regards to references and specific technical aspects of the manuscript, various styles have been developed. These all styles are often imposed by journal editors and university regulations. University of Chicago Press (1993), the American Psychological Association (2001), and the American Medical Association (1997) are widely used for reference style. Aspect of writing scientific: The first task to accomplish in the process of writing is to organize the information as in outline. Always be aware that scientific writing requires special attention to order and organization. Before writing keep the following nineteen suggestions in mind for better writing of scientific paper: 1. Know your audience and write for that specific audience 2. Your supervisor/professor is not here to teach you basic grammar and spelling. 3. Do Not Turn in a First Draft! 4. Get and use stylebooks 5. Avoid abusing word forms. 6. Do not use more words where fewer will do. 7. Use an outline to organize your ideas and writing 8. Think about the structure of paragraphs 9. Pay attention to tenses 10. Captions should not merely name a table or figure; they should explain how to read it. 11. When citing a reference, focus on the ideas, not the authors. 12. Show us don't tell us. 13. Write about your results, not your tables, figures, and statistics. 14. Develop a strategy for your Discussion. 15. Introductions and conclusions are the hardest parts. 16. Break up large projects into small pieces and work on the pieces. 17. Make your writing flow and resonate 18. Use word processors effectively and back up your work religiously. 19. Take editorial comments seriously. Types of research reports: There are four major kinds of research reports: 1. Theses and Dissertations 2. Traditional Journal Article, 3. On-line reports and 4. Presentations at professional meeting (Oral Reports and Poster Presentation) Content of Scientific research article 1. Title of scientific papers can be indicative, informative, question type or main-subtitle (series) type format. 2. Quantitative reports follow a conventional format referred as the IMRAD format (Introduction, Method, Result and Discussion). 3. The Section of IMRAD format addresses the following questions: - Introduction:- Why was the study done? - Method: How was the study done? - Results: What was learned? - Discussion: what does it mean? 4. Literature Citation Styles of research reports: While writing the reports following style a research scientist must do – • Plan your writing • Talk to people about your ideas before writing • Have a theory • Use a conceptual framework to explain your theory • Conduct a thorough review of relevant published research • Carefully read the relevant research literature • Analyze the findings of similar studies • Use literature that is sometimes not in agreement with your theory • Organize your paper: outline your ideas • Use headings and subheadings • Use many shorter paragraphs • Use precise language • Review your spelling carefully: there is not their; it’s vs its; whose vs who’s are all silly mistakes that cause grades to be lowered • Pay attention to tense • Use the Academic Medicine, or the APA style for footnotes, endnotes, and reference bibliography. • Paraphrase long quotes as often as possible, making certain to appropriately cite the source. • Proofread, proofread, proofread: • Look at grammar & spelling • Have others read it: does it make sense to them? • Does the conclusion stem from the argument first laid out in the introduction? • Is the argument throughout cohesive? • Did I cite all references, paraphrases and quotes? While writing the reports following style a research scientist should Not Do:- • Write your final draft first • Write without a system of thought • Explain your study based on your or other’s opinions • Write a paper using other person’s ideas without giving them credit (plagiarism) • Copy another person’s writing without citing their work (plagiarism) • Write without a full rage of ideas and experiences that have been described in the literature • Have a haphazard approach to the paper • Have a single paragraph covering one or more pages • Forget to have a title page with your name on it! • Use passive voice when possible • Write in 1st or 2nd person. Pronouns such as “I,” “we,” or “you” are inappropriate • Leave sentences incomplete: subject, verb, object • Use symbols (such as & instead of “and”) • Use excessively long quotations • Forget to spell check • Forget to cite every reference, quote and paraphrase • Forget to check your grammar • Forget to have someone else read your paper • Ignore the reader’s comments • Argue with the reader, they are telling you something about your paper! The format and structure discussed in this article is a general one; the various scientific journals, and oftentimes specific disciplines, utilize slightly different formats and/or writing styles. It is intended that this paper will provide a valuable contribution by encouraging nurses to develop their research findings or other scholarly ideas into a better scientific report or manuscript writing which to be submitted for publication.
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