How to write scientific articles

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How to write scientific articles or blogs

Scientific communication is a powerful tool that we can use to change the world. The more people are well-informed, the more they´ll take evidence-based and smart decisions. As a scientific content writer, this power is literally at the tip of your fingers, so use it with responsibility. Here we´ll cover some tips to help you communicate science the best as you possibly can.

Always have your target audience in mind

If you´re a scientist, writing isn´t such a novelty for you. You´ve spent years writing grant proposals, projects, and papers. What´s new about scientific content writing is with whom you´re talking.

You´re used to communicating science to an audience that speaks the same language as you. You use the same jargon, acronyms, and abbreviations.

Most science blog readers don´t have science degrees. When writing for the general public, you´ll have to consider that they may not be familiar with this vocabulary. You may have to explain concepts that may be obvious for you, but not for everyone, such as nucleic acid for example.

Try to imagine that you´re explaining your research topic to your grandmother. If she understood everything, then you´re good to go.

Learn how to simplify

Now that you learned how to talk to your audience, another adaptation is needed. When writing a dissertation, you have to dive deep into a topic and bring every relevant aspect of it.

When you´re writing articles for a blog, don´t just show everything that you´ve found. Try to stick to the main point and select the information that may be more useful for your audience. People like to know that the scientific concepts you´re writing about can be applied to their everyday life.

Also, try to cut unnecessary words, and avoid the excessive use of passive voice.

Choose reliable sources

It´s essential that you only use reliable and official sources when writing about science. Fake news spreading has huge destructive power. We can use the anti-vax movement as an example.

Always track the references of the texts you´re using for research, go to the original sources, and read them. Don´t use citations of citations without doing this. There´s always a loss of information and misinterpretations in this process.

Here are examples of reliable sources that you can use:

Cite your references

Never forget to cite your sources if the concept is not yours. Use the same format for all of them. When writing on blogs, it´s also a good idea to use links along with your text. This will help your SEO, especially if you link to sites with big domain authority.

It´s all about structure

When writing a journal article, you´d begin by stating the background of the topic or explaining obvious foundational concepts in your field. You´re risking losing readers by telling people things they already know right at the beginning. They might think you don´t have anything new to add.

It´s a better idea to start with something that catches their attention. First, choose a catchy title that makes your reader want to read your article.

It´s not common for academics to start an article by it’s the conclusion, but for blog posts, things can be different. You can invert things and start by telling your reader exactly where you´re going to lead them.

When writing the conclusion of your article, don´t repeat everything the article has just said. Try to find some forward-looking insights that show greater context for your work.

  • Tips for readability

Readability is another important thing to have in mind when writing content for blogs. It´s different than writing journal articles where your paragraphs are blocks with lots of text.

Be kind to your reader, structure your text by separating it in topics, use bullet points, and separate the paragraphs leaving some white space on the page.

Use images, infographics, graphics, everything that can help you illustrate your concept.

Keep it short, use up to 100 words per paragraph. This will help your reader to skin trough your text and easily find the information they´re looking for.

Proofread your work

You’ve put a lot of effort into researching the topic, you’ve followed all of the good practices cited in this article and your text is ready for publication.

It´s always a good idea to hold the anxiety for a bit and check your text for errors. Look for grammar, misspelling, and typing errors. Even the most experienced writers proofread their work.

You can use software like grammarly to help you with this, or simply use Microsoft Word corrector.

And last

  • Bonus tips: Don´t forget to have fun in the process, practice a lot, and be open for feedback as well. Remember: scientific communication is a gift. As we all know, with great powers comes great responsibilities, use it for good.

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ana luiza

ana luiza

I´m a biologist, Ph.D. in Psychobiology, working as a freelance medical writer.

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