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West Hills College Chemistry 1B Lab 14 Scientific Writing and Periodical Searches Name: Date: Scientific writing is a unique style of presenting information very different from creative or stylistic writing. The purpose of scientific writing is to clearly and concisely present facts which lead to a specific conclusion. It should follow a well thought out plan with each paragraph designed to express a single idea. Sentences should be kept short avoiding vague terms. Personal opinions are usually not expressed. However, conclusions can be drawn if well supported by facts. Most scientific writing is in the past tense indicating work already completed. In contrast, writing a grant proposal would require the use of future and past tense to describe the research to be done with the grant funds and the work already completed. The use of acronyms should always present the full name followed by the acronym. After the first usage the acronym can be used without the full name. Use of numbers should always include the correct significant figures, units and any statistical data such as standard deviation. In general scientific writing lacks emotional language. Its intent is not to inspire or sensationalize but rather convey information succinctly. Scientific writing commonly employs a similar form to include the following: Title: The title should indicate the contents of the research be as concise as possible. Purpose (optional): A Brief identification of the experimental goals. This is often times incorporated into the abstract or used for instructional labs. Abstract: A Summary of the most important points of this experiment including an introductory sentence, the most important data, and at least one sentence to summarize the most important conclusion from this experiment. Abstracts are usually half a page long (but can be longer). Introduction (Background): Includes information obtained from other sources including periodical work with a detailed description of the chemistry involved in the experiment.
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