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Writing Readable Research

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Like the sound of the proverbial tree falling in a forest with no human audience, research that is not ultimately published is ‘unheard’ and forever lost. Moreover, published research that is not reported well may not stand a chance in today’s competitive academic world. Those whose first language is not English bear a double burden in trying to make themselves heard and understood.

Writing Readable Research tries to help users create texts that are easy to read, interesting, and dynamic, yet conform to current standards of English, to criteria of the fields of social science, and to conventions of society in general. This book gives attention to all the layers of scientific writing, from nitty-gritty problems in grammar and punctuation to sensitive interpersonal issues such as criticism of other authors and advancing one’s own claims. It can be used as part of a course or independently by students.

Since the intended users of this textbook are novice writers, whether graduate students or new faculty members, the practical issues are spelled out. On the other hand, since these writers are also sophisticated scientists, the book addresses their need to understand the theoretical rationale and historical background for some of the guidelines.

Although Writing Readable Research concentrates on journal articles, it also provides valuable advice on the preparation of talks and posters for conferences, abstracts, and professional letters. Most of all, it is enhanced with a little humor, lots of authentic examples from published texts, and some challenging tasks for students to complete, presented in an easy-to-read layout.

Published: Sep 1, 2010

Book Contributors


Section Chapter Authors
Preface Beverly Lewin
Acknowledgements Beverly Lewin
Chapter 1
What Are the Constraints in Scientific Writing? Beverly Lewin
Chapter 2
Nouns and Pronouns Beverly Lewin
Chapter 3
Using Verbs Beverly Lewin
Chapter 4
Shaping Sentences and Paragraphs Beverly Lewin
Chapter 5
Being Concise Beverly Lewin
Chapter 6
Making Connections—Connectives Beverly Lewin
Chapter 7
Understanding Genre Analysis—Introductions Beverly Lewin
Chapter 8
Review of the Literature Beverly Lewin
Chapter 9
Methods Beverly Lewin
Chapter 10
Results Beverly Lewin
Chapter 11
Discussion Sections Beverly Lewin
Chapter 12
Conference Texts Beverly Lewin
Chapter 13
Abstracts Beverly Lewin
Chapter 14
Writing Professional Letters Beverly Lewin
End Matter
References Beverly Lewin
Index Beverly Lewin


'A welcome addition to the array of academically inclined instructional manuals on how to create reader-friendly scientific texts. The author is an expert in the field of teaching scientific writing in the discipline of the Social Sciences and offers a compact volume with plenty of useful advice to students and guidance to tutors of scientific writing.

The most attractive feature of the book is its balanced mix of explanations, theory and task-based approach with a strong emphasis on skills building through activities, which are all based on authentic materials showcasing some similarities but also many differences between disciplines under the Social Sciences umbrella.'
Linguist List
24.396, January 2013

'This book represents a useful addition to the pedagogical literature for teachers who instruct novice social scientists in professional writing. It could easily succeed as the main course text for an advanced undergraduate or graduate level research writing course for students in any of the social sciences.'
Journal of English for Academic Purposes, July 2011