A Scientific Approach to Writing for Engineers and by Robert E. Berger

By Robert E. Berger

A clinical method of WRITING

Technical principles can be good or perhaps groundbreaking, but when those rules can't be truly communicated, reviewers of technical documents—e.g., proposals for study investment, articles submitted to clinical journals, and enterprise plans to commercialize technology—are more likely to reject the argument for advancing those ideas.

The challenge is that many engineers and scientists, completely happy with the good judgment and rules of arithmetic and technological know-how, deal with writing as though it possesses none of those attributes. The absence of a scientific framework for writing frequently leads to sentences which are tough to keep on with or arguments that go away reviewers scratching their heads.

This publication fixes that challenge by way of proposing a “scientific” method of writing that mirrors the sensibilities of scientists and engineers, an method in accordance with an easily-discernable set of ideas. instead of purely pointing out principles for English grammar and composition, this e-book explains the explanations in the back of those ideas and indicates that solid purposes can advisor each writing decision.

This source can also be compatible for the becoming variety of scientists and engineers within the U.S. and in different places who communicate English as a moment language, in addition to for someone else who simply desires to be understood.

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Extra info for A Scientific Approach to Writing for Engineers and Scientists

Example text

Minor Qualifiers 17 Usually, commas are not needed to separate a prepositional phrase from its antecedent (see definition in the accompanying box). As a rule, a prepositional phrase should appear immediately behind its antecedent. Thus, in the sample sentence, (1) the prepositional phrase of the coolant appears immediately behind its antecedent, the surface temperature; (2) the prepositional phrase, of the power electronic devices, appears immediately behind its antecedent, the operation; and (3) the prepositional phrase, of the silicon semiconductor material, appears immediately behind its antecedent, the safe operating temperature.

The author makes this determination to let the reader know what is essential and what is nonessential when reading the sentence. Only the author, as the subject matter expert, can control how the information and content is communicated. Rule for Punctuating That Clauses and Which Clauses In choosing between the words that and which, use that as the relative pronoun for restrictive clauses (those that are essential to the sentence), and do not use commas to separate the clause from the rest of the sentence.

For completeness, we present an example of an explanatory phrase used as an introductory phrase: The nation’s largest consumer of fly ash, the Portland cement industry can only utilize fly ash with loss-on-ignition values less than six percent. [54] However, this form usually is considered too stylistic for technical writing and is rarely used. In all of the above examples, the explanatory phrase functions much like the which clause discussed earlier—as a “by the way” type of remark. In fact, all four examples could have been written as actual which clauses, as shown below for Example 3: Distillation, which is the conventional process for the production of ethanol, is not cost-effective for small-waste biomass streams.

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