Scientific Writing: Steps in Writing Process

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Monday, June 29, 2015

Before starting

There are lots of different ways to communicate with your scientific surrounding. You can write a thesis, a scientific paper for a journal, a review or held a presentation or present a poster at a scientific conference. Before starting you have to think about the best way to share your results/findings with others.

The next, often underestimated, step is organisation of the work: What needs to be done until when? Is there a due date that needs to be aware of? How am I staying motivated during the long process of producing a written text? Are there any requirements from the journal I want to publish? Who else is involved?

 

Literature review

Finding supportive literature for your text is important to promote your research in the right way and to provide important context information to the reader. There will be an additional post about tips to find fitting literature and how to cite it correctly.

 

Getting started

Writing a first draft is the beginning of the writing phase. This includes a first structure, the basis of your text, which depends on the text but traditionally contains Introduction, Material and Methods, Results, Discussion, Conclusion and Abstract. Make sure you know which information you want to provide in the different parts and how to connect them.

During writing always keep in mind when you need to cite. It is always difficult to figure out where you found your information after finishing the whole text. Using a citing program and Cite-n-Write Add-ons make it easier to cite directly in the text while writing. You can cite directly in the text and also configure the style of citing

The first draft usually is not the best at all and still a lot of work is ahead revising the document. Read the text again to find misspellings, grammar mistakes and missing or redundant parts of the text. Also checking of visuals is useful: Are they self-explanatory? Are they necessary? Is the text clear or can it be explained in a visual more easily?

After revising your first draft it is advisable to let another person read and comment on your text. It is consistent? Is something important missing to understand your point?

The “Schreibwerkstatt” of the University also offers help, if you need help with your text or participate in a workshop on scientific writing: https://www.uni-due.de/schreibwerkstatt/index.shtml. They also have different tips and tutorials on their website (only in German).

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