A guide to writing scientific papers
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When the investigation of a scientific problem has been completed it must be described in writing. This must be done in such a way that a reader of similar experience can readily understand what the writer has to say. Often the process of writing is regarded as a chore because few of us have a natural ability to write well. However, scientific writing is an art which can be learnt through guidance and practice. It is important that scientists learn this art so that their efforts to contribute to knowledge may be made known to other investigators. A paper which is poorly written and presented detracts from the value of research work and gives a poor impression of the author. Scientists are busy people with a growing literature to read. They are unlikely to bother with a paper when the author has not taken the trouble to make it easily readable. The purpose of this paper is to give a brief account of the way in which scientific information should be presented and to comment on the style in which it should be written. Clearly, no single suggested arrangement will be suitable for every paper. The method of presentation must be made to fit the nature of the subject, the purpose of the article and the interests of probable readers. However the outline which follows may be used in the presentation of a wide variety of papers and can be adapted for special requirements.