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关于英文论文写作你决不能错过的一本书

发表时间:2017-02-04 13:31:49

这是一篇非常经典的关于论文写作和修改的文章,每次写文章之前我都要重读一遍。至于你提出的问题,作者当然也回答了。主要是说要划出固定的时间用于写作,比如每天早上七点就来到实验室,然后写作两个小时再开始做实验。这里需要注意,作者的母语是英语,所以没有关注语言问题,也没有关注其他答案中所说的收集信息的问题。作者可能没有考虑过这些,这是我们这些初学者及知识积累不够的人需要考虑的问题。

Scientific Writing and Communication: papers, proposals, and presentations

下面给出一些关于科技论文写作的资料,时间仓促,只给标题,自己谷歌吧!

1. Getting Your Writing Published.

2. The Most Common Habits from more than 200 English Papers written by Graduate Chinese Engineering Students.

最近在学习Angelika H. Hofmann的《Scientific Writing and Communication: papers, proposals, and presentations》,感觉这本书不错(耶鲁大学的科技论文写作教材),所以做一些笔记供大家参考。
序(Tahia Thadddeus Reynaga, Ph.D.)

在给作者的写作建议中,下面这个是频率最高的:将你的所思所想写出来。然而,它是基于这样一个共识:清晰的表述依赖清晰的思维。那么我们就有两个核心问题需要考虑:如何清晰的思考以及如何将它们表述出来。简单的说,这需要教育和练习。然而,仅仅靠教育和练习还不足以让你获得基金资助或者打动同行。如果你不能学会为读者写作(write for the reader)而仅仅停留在向读者写作(write to the reader),你就只能制造平庸的作品来减损自己的学术贡献。
看过这本书的目录你一定会爱不释手。在你的整个学术生涯中,这本书应该成为你桌上的标准工具书。

第一部分 科技写作原理 风格与组成

第二章 单词 (关于如何选择合适的词语及辨别近义词)

Writing principle 1: Write with the reader in mind.

Writing principle 2: Use precise words.

Science is quantitative. A quantitative detail is much clearer than a qualitative term.

"With" is one of the vaguest and most ambiguous terms in English. Because "with" can mean so many things, it's clearer to use a precise term whenever possible.

Writing principle 3: Use simple words.

Scientific writing has many technical terms. Therefore, to keep your writing from being too heavy, choose simple words for the rest of the sentence.

Writing principle 4: Omit unnecessary words and phrases.

Avoid any verbosity and wordiness by omitting unnecessary words and phrases and jargon (一个科技或专业群体内部使用的行话,不同于普遍使用和接受的术语).

Writing principle 5: Avoid too many abbreviations.

在一篇十页的手稿中出现超过十次的术语可以用缩写代替。短时间内连续出现多次的词语也可以用缩写代替,但是要注意在一篇文章中这样的缩写词不能超过四到五次。另外还要注意在一句话中不能使用过多的缩写而导致这句话无法被理解。

一些来源于拉丁文的缩写经常在科技领域被使用且必须使用斜体,但是一下这些由于使用频率太高一般不斜体:

e.g. = exempli gratia-for example

et al. = et alia-and others

i.e. = id est-that is

Writing principle 6: Use correct nomenclature and terminology

Special cases: Watch out for misused words.

Special cases: Avoid sexism.

第三章 词序(关于单词在句子中位置的问题)

Writing principle 7: Establish importance

You should know what's important, what's less important, what's not important. In general, the end position in a sentence is more emphasized than the beginning position, and the main clause is more emphasized than the dependent clause.

Writing principle 8: Place old, familiar, and short information at the beginning of a sentence in the topic position
Writing principle 9: Place new, complex, or long information at the end of a sentence in the stress position

按照这两条原则,基本的段落结构有两种:即承上启下式和中心分布式。前一种类似于下面这段话:从前有座山,山上有座庙,庙里有个和尚。后一种就是所有的句子都已某个主语开始,所有新的内容全部放在句子的后半部分。当然,这两种结构可以结合使用。

Writing principle 10: Get to the subject of the main sentence quickly, and make it short and specific. If possible, use central characters and topics as subjects.

快速进入主句的主语,不要在主句主语之前放过多介绍性语句或使用很长的主语。如果可能的话,主语最好是这句话或者这段话的中心议题。

Writing principle 11: Avoid interruptions between subject ans verb and between verb and object
不要破坏主语和谓语动词之间的连贯性,也不要破坏谓语动词和宾语之间的连贯性。

第四章 句子(关于语法)

Writing principle 12: use the first person.

It was once fashionable to avoid using "I" or "we" in scientific research papers because these terms were considered to be subjective, whereas the aim in science is to be objective. However, science is not purely objective. Writing from the point of view of "I" or "we" is appropriate in a scientific research paper wherever judgment comes in. Although in most of the sections of a scientific document, the use of first person is preferred, this use is more controversial in the Materials and Methods section. Therefor , in the Materials and Methods section, use of third person is usually preferred. In certain fields, such as in ecology, however, many journals require the use of first person and active voice even in the Materials and Methods section.

Writing principle 13: use the active voice.

Use the active voice rather than the passive voice. If the passive voice is used excessively, writing becomes very dull and dense. However, don't remove the passive voice completely. Use the passive voice when readers don't need to know who performed the action.

Writing principle 14: use past tense for observations, completed actions, and specific conclusions.
Writing principle 15: use the present tense for generalizations and statements of general validity.

The Abstract, Materials and Methods, as well as Results sections should employ past tense as they refer primarily to your own work. However, most of the Introduction describes previously established knowledge in present tense. The discussion relates your work to previously established knowledge. This section is the most difficult to write as it includes both past and present tense (Tense can be mixed in the same sentence or paragraph). Note that generally, remarks about the presentation of data should be in present tense, and descriptions of assumptions and theory should also be described in present tense in your paper.

Writing principle 16: write short sentences. Aim for one main idea in a sentence.
Short, simple sentences tend to emphasize the idea contained in them. The longer a sentence gets, the more difficult it is for the reader to identify what is of primary importance. Writing a short sentence that highlights the main topic is particularly important at the beginning of a section or paragraph.

What scientific authors should be aiming for is an average sentence length of about 20 to 22 words. This means that some sentences will be longer and some shorter, but the average number of words per sentence overall should be around 20 to 22.

Writing principle 17: Use active verbs.

Verbs are perhaps the most important part of an English sentence. With strong and active verbs, your writing enlivens and energizes. Avoid using weak verbs.

Abstract nouns derived from verbs and adjectives are called nominalizations. For better scientific style, avoid nominzlizaitons-use active verbs instead.

Writing principle 18:Avoid noun clusters

Noun clusters are nouns that are strung together to form one term. In English, nouns and adjectives can be used to modify other nouns. However, when nouns appear one right after the other, it can be difficult to tell how they relate to each other and what the real meaning of the cluster is. Avoid clusters of nouns, especially if there are more than two or three nouns in the cluster. These noun clusters are awkward and sometimes downright incomprehensible.
Note that not all sequences of nouns are noun clusters. Some noun pairs and clusters--such as "water bath", "cell wall", "egg receptor" and "sucrose density gradient"--are recognized as single words and accepted terms.
Writing principle 19:Use clear pronouns

It is essential that you use clear pronouns. Unclear pronouns are one of the most common problems in scientific writing. If the pronouns that refers to a noun is unclear, the reader may have trouble understanding the sentence. Be sure that the pronouns you use refer clearly to a noun in the current or previous sentence. If there are too many possible nouns the pronoun can refer to, repeat the reference noun after the pronoun.

Writing principle 20:Use correct parallel form and arrange ideas in a list to read from shorter to longer
Lists and ideas that are joined by "and", "or" or "but" are of equal importance in a sentence and so are ideas that are being compared. These ideas should be treated equally by writing them in parallel form. To write ideas in parallel form, the same grammatical structures are used. These grammatical structures can be single words, prepositional phrased, infinitive phrases, or clauses. If parallel ideas are written in parallel form, the reader does not get distracted by the form but can concentrate on the idea.

Writing principle 21:Avoid faulty comparisons

Aside from maintaining parallelism in your comparisons, you should avoid grammatical and logical problems when writing comparisons. These problems result in faulty comparisons, one of the most common problems in scientific writing. Faulty comparisons can arise because of ambiguous comparisons and incomplete comparisons. Faulty comparisons may also be due to the ouveruse of "compared to." Use "than" not "compared to" for comparative terms such as "smaller", "higher", "lower", "fewer", "greater", "more" and so forth.

Writing principle 22:Avoid errors in spelling, punctuation and grammar

第五章 Special ESL grammar problems (以英语为第二语言的读者需要注意的)

English as a second language (ESL) speakers not only have to formulate their research papers and talks in English, they also need to realize that the English language is a living thing deeply influenced by Internet communication and constantly changing, also in science.

Guideline: Use correct prepositions.

Prepositions are little Words that link nouns, pronouns and phrases to other Wordsworth in a sentence, indicating their temporal, spatial, or logical relationship to the rest of the sentence.

Most verbs can be used with more than one preposition, but you should be sure to choose the preposition that reflects your intended meaning. If you are unsure which preposition to use, consult a dictionary. However, be careful: the meanings of corresponding prepositions in English and other languages do not always coincide. Even native speakers are prone to incorrect use of prepositions.
A few words and expressions need special attention:

1. Compared takes the preposition to when it refers to unlike things. It takes with when two like things are examined.

2. Do not use different than when you should use different from.

3. Do not use following as a preposition.

4. The most commonly (mis)used prepositions in scientific writing include the following: in connection with, in contrast to, similar to, compared to/with, correlated with, analogous to Guideline: Use correct articles.
Guideline: Use correct plural and singular verb forms.

两个不可数名词用and连接后为复数

Guideline: Use correct form of irregular verbs.

Guideline: Do not omit endings of verbs.

ESL speakers who do not pronounce endings of words fully often omit endings of verbs in writing as well. Do not omit "-s", "-es", "-ed" or "-d" endings to use the third-person ending of a verb form or to express the past tense or past participle form of a verb.

Guideline: Follow a verb with the correct gerund or infinitive form.

Guideline: Distinguish between adjective and adverb.

形容词用于修饰名词和代词。通常被置于名词和代词的前面。形容词也可置于连接动词(linking verb)的后面修饰主语。(连接动词用于表达状态和感情,不表达动作)

副词用于修饰动词、形容词和其他副词。通常被置于句首和句尾。副词也可置于动词前面或后面,还可置于辅动词和主动词之间。

Guideline: Ensure that every sentence has a subject.

Chapter 8 参考文献和剽窃

你的研究是建立在已有已有研究的基础上,这决定了你需要参考文献。虽然在科技论文写作中很少直接引用,但重新表述(paraphrase)非常普遍。引用是对他人贡献的评判,也可以让感兴趣的读者找到更多的阅读材料。另外,编辑也可以从参考文献的作者中找到合适的审稿人。

1. 选用直接相关的参考文献并且将参考文献的数目控制在20-40条(过多的参考文献会使读者不知所措);

2. 确保精确;

直接引用原文中的语句要使用引号且确保每一个单词和标点都相同,重新表述要确保含义相同。确保文本中的每一条引用都出现在参考文献列表中,确保参考文献列表中的每一条引用在文本中都出现了。

3. 使用EndNote或者Reference Manager管理你的参考文献;

4. 对照“Instructions to Authors”来设置参考文献的格式;参考文献包含两部分:text citations和reference list。text citations常见的格式有三种:“(author,year)”,“(number)”和“(number)”。

If you cite abstracts for meetings, conference proceedings, personal communications, or unpublished data in the text, you should give a publication status in parenthesis. Following are a few sample wordings for indicating publication status:

(manuscript in preparation)

(manuscript submitted)

(manuscript in press)

(data not shown)

(unpublished data)

(personal communication)

5. 将text citations放在正确的位置

首先需要注意在摘要中不能有参考文献。一般而言,text citations可以放在ideas的后面或者作者的后面,这取决于你强调的对象时science还是scientist。但是text citations不能出现在idea的中间或者一般无关短语(如in a recent study,has been reported)的后面。这并不是说参考文献只能出现在句尾。当你的idea和其他人的idea同时出现在一个句子中时,恰当的放置text citations可以使二者区分开来。当一句话中引用多篇文献时更不能将它们全部列在句尾。

6.引用他人工作时要保持礼貌,不要侮辱其他作者。

7. 不要剽窃

Plagiarism includes:

Quoting material without acknowledging the source. (This is the most obvious kind of plagiarism.)
Borrowing someone else's ideas, concepts, results, and conclusions and passingthem off as your own without acknowledging them-even if these ideas have been substantially reworded.

Summarizing and paraphrasing another's work without acknowledging the source.

需要注意陈述一般性常识不需要引用。

8. 关于重新表述(句子或者段落会变短)

Paraphrasing means taking another person's ideas and putting those ideas in your own words. This is the skill you will probably use most when incorporating sources into your writng. Although you use your own words to paraphrase, you must still cite the source of the information in the text at the end of the sentence or idea. It is important that you distinguish between paraphrasing and plagiarizing. Changing a word or two in someone else's sentence or changing the sentence structure while using the original words is not paraphrasing but plagiarizing.

然而,在材料与方法这部分使用高度相似的词汇或者句式不算做剽窃。所有不要绞尽脑汁在这里浪费时间。

第九章 图形与表格

1. 先决定以何种方式展示结果

图形与表格虽然极具吸引力,但是它们需要耗费大量的时间和精力来准备。而且一篇文章中的图形与表格并非越多越好。所以写作者最好用最少的最具视觉效果的图形与表格来讲述“故事”。

2. 图形与表格必须自成一体

换句话说,将文章中的任何一个图形或表格单独拿出来给读者看,他们必须能够看懂而不需要翻阅文本。

3. 在下列情况下使用图形来展示结果:显示趋势、关系或者希望强调它们

在下列情况下使用表格来展示数据:显示精确的数值信息或者已有数据不足以作一张令人满意的图形

4. 图形包括:相机或显微拍摄图片(聚焦良好,对比清晰,标记相关结构)、手绘图和示意图(突出重点,忽略不相关结构)、图表(包括线图、散点图、条形图、饼图、箱线图等)。用线图展示动态变化,用散点图表示相关关系,用条形图比较组间关系,用饼图说明部分不整体的关系。

5. 对所有图形:自变量在X轴,因变量在Y轴。X轴标签居中首字母大写,Y轴标签自底向上首字母大写。X轴和Y轴的刻度线向外突出。不要使用网格线。图例的使用遵循以下顺序:filled circles>open circles>filled and open triangles and squares...但是不要使用X、+、*或者0作为图例。

6. 对表格:将熟悉的内容放在第一列,重要的内容放在第二列到最后一列。将自变量放在行标题中,将因变量放在列标题中。

7. 方程和等式是文本的一部分,所以也要使用标点符号。

8. 切记不要试图用不正确的图形与表格误导读者

第十章 The Introduction

Introduction Guideline 1: Interest your audience and provide context.

Introduction有两个目的:一是吸引读者阅读全文;二是向没有阅读过相关文献的读者提供足够的背景信息

Introduction部分通常会与摘要部分由重复,这是允许的。

Introduction Guideline 2: Follow a "funnel" structure.

Generally, readers expect the parts of the Introduction to be arranged in a standard structure: a "funnel", starting broadly with background information and then narrowing to what is the question of the paper. Introductions for research papers should contain the following elements:

Background

Unknown/Problem

Question/Purpose of Study

Experimental Approach

Optional: Results/Conclusion/Significance

Although not an absolute necessity, the author of this book recommends including main results and conclusions as well as to state the overall significance of the paper to round up this section.

Introduction Guideline 3: Keep the Introduction short.

Ideally, an introduction of a typical journal article should be one to two double-spaced pages (about 250-600 words).

Check the Instructions to Authors of your target journal to ensure that you are within the set word limits for the Introduction.

Introduction Guideline 4: Provide pertinent background information, but do not review the literature.

Note that you should not review the topic when you are writing a research paper. A summary pertinent to the research you are presenting in the paper should suffice.

Introduction Guideline 5: State the unknown or problem. The unknown is clearest if you signal it by stating it directly, for example, "X is unknown" or "Y is unclear." You can also use other phrases to state the unknown outright: "has not been established," or "has not been determined." Alternatively, you can imply rather than state the unknown by using a suggestion or a possibility ("Previous findings suggest that ...").

Introduction Guideline 6: State the central point (question/purpose) precisely.

The most important element in a research paper is the research question or purpose of the work. THe question/purpose is the "central point" of your Introduction and of the paper as a whole. It therefor needs to be worded very carefully. If the central point is stated precisely, the reader immediately has an idea of what to expect in the paper. Furthermore, the reader can read the paper in a directed way rather than blindly, and the experiments make more sense.

The research question/purpose of a research paper should name the variables studied as well as the main features of the study. Note that the question/purpose is usually not written in the form of a question but as an infinitive phrase of as a sentence, using a present tense verb, as in the next examples: a To determine if the triggered cellular processes affect the rRNA structure and folding dynamic in vivo, ...

b Here we asked how rheumatic fever influences heart rate.Introduction Guideline 7: State the experimental approach briefly.

In general, the experimental approach is short--usually one sentence, at most, two or three sentences.

After the experimental approach, you may briefly state your main results and conclusion. Although their inclusion is not a must, know that readers like to read about the main results and conclusion of your work in the Introduction.
At last, consider stating why your findings are important. If you state the significance or implication at the very end of your Introduction, it not only rounds up this section nicely, but also provides the overall perspective of your work for the reader.


Introduction Guideline 8: Ensure good cohesion and coherence.

To ensure good flow or continuity, that is, to ensure that the overall story is clear, you should use all the techniques of cohesion and coherence presented in this book.

Introduction Guideline 9: Signal all the elements of the Introduction.

Important writing principles for the Introduction

在Introdcution中可以使用混合时态,甚至是在一个句子中。

报道背景信息用一般现在式。

报道已经完成的研究用一般过去式,但如果其结论仍然正确,陈述研究结论时用一般现在式。

陈述研究目的用一般现在式。

描述实验方法用一般过去式。

下面是一个使用混合时态的例子:Herbert et al (9) found that peanut butter can be contaminated with Salmonella.

附赠几篇科研相关技能学习的文献供大家参考:

1. S. Keshav. June 26, 2012. How to read a paper.

2. How to read a research paper.

3. How to reply to referees' comments when submitting manuscripts for publication.

4. The top ten worst graphs.

5. 研究基因功能的”四大绝招"。

6. Celia M. Elliott. Acknowledgments in Scientific Publications and Presentation.

7. Neidhard Paweletz. Walther Flemming: pioneer of mitosis research.