This dynamic manual provides guidelines for written and oral scientific presentations, including how to effectively prepare and deliver papers and presentations, how to find reliable research, and how to write research proposals.
Writing and Presenting Scientific Papers Author: Birgitta Malmfors Author: Phil Garnsworthy Author: Michael Grossman Edition: 2nd Table of Contents CONTENTS Preface xi 1 Communicating Science 1 The ABC of science communication 1 Scientific versus popular science writing 3 The sections of a scientific paper reflect the research process 5 2 Sections of a Scientific Paper 9 Major headings 9 3 Tables and Figures 17 Tables 17 Figures 20 4 Other Types of Scientific Writing 23 Literature review 23 Conference paper and abstract 27 Thesis or dissertation 28 Popular science article 29 Research proposal 32 5 Getting Started in Writing 37 Making an outline facilitates writing 38 Use a computer for your writing 39 Start with the sections you find easiest to write 40 Write a draft - review and revise 42 6 Improving Your Writing 45 How to make your writing easier to read 45 Do I or don't I? 53 Writing correctly 54 7 Writing Statistics 67 Materials and methods 67 Results 72 Writing mathematics 73 Writing numbers, dates and time 74 8 Literature Searching and Referencing 79 Search strategies 79 Manual searching 82 Recording your search 82 Referencing published work 83 Referencing web addresses 85 Copyright 86 9 Getting a Paper into Print 89 Preparing your manuscript for submission 89 Authorship and addresses 90 Submission 91 Editor’s and referees' reports 92 Author proofs 93 10 Oral Presentation and Visual Displays 99 Planning the oral presentation 99 Preparing the oral presentation 101 Visuals support your talk 105 Creating visuals 110 Performing the oral presentation 114 11 Poster Presentation 121 Attract viewers and show the essentials 121 Designing the poster 122 Presenting the poster 127 12 Training Students in Writing and Presentation 129 Undergraduate and Masters level 130 Postgraduate level 135 Training communication skills - in summary 139 13 Reviewing Papers and Presentations 141 Written papers 142 Students’ written work 143 Book reviews 144 Assessment of presentations 145 Further Reading 147 Books 147 Journal articles 148 Web sites 148 Index 151 vii Description This dynamic manual provides guidelines for written and oral scientific presentations, including how to effectively prepare and deliver papers and presentations, how to find reliable research, and how to write research proposals. Excerpt Communicating science The aim of research is to contribute to knowledge, so that every new result adds to the previous state of knowledge, forming a basis for new thinking and interpretation, new implications, identification of needs for further research, etc. Research results, however, do not contribute to knowledge and development unless they are communicated effectively. Effective communication of science, to scientists and to other audiences, is an important component of the research process. Communication is needed, not only to spread research results, but also to articulate results. Writing or talking about your research helps to clarify your thoughts and to put your research into a deeper and wider context. Therefore, start writing and talking about your research early in the research process. Scientific communication occurs in many forms, such as papers in scientific journals, reports, conference papers and abstracts, theses and dissertations, review papers, proposals, popular science and newspaper articles, computermediated information, oral and poster presentations, interviews and discussions. Various forms of communication may differ, e.g. in purpose and audience addressed, but they also have a great deal in common – they communicate science. A good knowledge of how to handle various forms of scientific communication is needed in many professions, not only for scientists. It is essential, therefore, to include training in scientific communication at every level of education. The ABC of science communication Communicating science usually means communicating new knowledge or summarising the present state of knowledge. It is important, therefore, that what is written or said is unambiguous, so that the audience understands the message. The ABC of science communication is that it should be: • Accurate and Audience-adapted • Brief • Clear Science is international. This means that many of those who read a scientific paper or listen to a scientific presentation will be doing so in a foreign language. This further emphasises the need for clarity and for the presentation to be logical, consistent and coherent. Communication is a two-way process. Information cannot merely be delivered - it must be received and understood as well. The message delivered may be accurate, brief and clear, but may still not be received and understood. This can happen if what you write or say does not relate to the frames of reference of the audience. Adapting to the audience, therefore, is important. A basis for the scientific process is to formulate a hypothesis, which means that you pose a question and a hypothetical answer. Questions and answers are the basis for communication as well. For effective communication you cannot just think of your own topic and the message you want to deliver. You must also consider what questions your audience might have. Some components of effective communication are indicated in Figure 1:1. When preparing to write a paper or a report, or to make an oral or poster presentation, start by asking yourself the questions: Who? - Why? - What? - How? • Who are you addressing: scientists who are specialists in your field of research, a wider group of scientists, fellow students, or public audiences? • Why is your message important? Why are you communicating it? Presumably you are not doing it... Author Bio Birgitta Malmfors Birgitta Malmfors is an Associate Professor in Animal Breeding and Genetics at the Swedish University of agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden. She has written many scientific papers, reports and articles. She also has authored textbook chapters in animal breeding and a Swedish handbook on writing and presenting scientific papers. She regularly makes presentations at national and international meetings. She has taught students successfully for thirty years, and has been given a distinguished award for teaching and communication skills.<br/> Reviews "This is (by far) the best writing guide I have reviewed. . . . It really is an impressive manual." —Dr. Daniel Franklin, director of studies, Centre for Forensic Science, University of Western Australia
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