Explains the tactics that should be used to write technical material - ranging from reports to manuals - in a coherent, readable style. It discusses in detail choice of vocabulary, phrasing and sentence structure; each piece of advice is supported
In seminars and workshops over the past 40 years, I have had the good fortune to be able to discuss style with several thousand specialists in engineering, medicine, and science. This book presents the essence of our discussions and some supporting statistical evidence.
I wish to acknowledge my debt to the participants in those seminars, who listened to my ideas, tried them out, and told me which were useful and which were not. I hope this presentation of the ‘useful’ category will contribute to the gradual improvement of standards of professional communication.
I am well aware that specialists in pure science, applied science, medicine, dentistry, veterinary science, engineering, and computing are distinctive groups; but it would have been tedious for readers if I had referred continually to all those groups, or even just to ‘engineers and scientists’; so, since the communication problems confronting professionals in all groups are very similar, and since this book is concerned with how to write readably, I hope readers will accept my adoption of the convenient all-embracing terms scientist, scientific writer, and scientific writing. I have distinguished between groups of writers and types of writing occasionally, when there seemed an important reason for doing so.