UNIT_II_Basic_ABELLO.pdf - Unit II Basic Principles and...

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1 Unit II Basic Principles and Techniques in Scientific Writing Larcy C. Abello Introduction This part of your lesson will not be an uncommon learning experience because you have been exposed to different patterns of paragraph development in your expository writing courses. In this module, however, you will focus on the five writing techniques of special importance to technical people: 1. definition 2. classification 3. description of a process description of a mechanism 4. comparison and contrast 5. interpretation Though each technique will be discussed separately, you must bear in mind that in writing your reports, several of them will appear. The combination results in an intermingling of different techniques for an effective delivery of your message to your target readers. This module hopes to provide you with practical guidelines in your scientific writing. Objectives: At the end of this module, you are expected to 1. differentiate the five writing techniques; and 2. identify the appropriate arrangement of information that would best communicate ideas to the readers. DEFINITION When you want to clarify or specify a certain meaning of unfamiliar terms or common terms used in a special way, or to discuss significant terms to be used on a longer work, use definition. There are two types of definition, the formal and the informal.
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2 Informal definition consists of two or more synonymous expressions, substituted for the unfamiliar term. Example: Eosin, a beautiful red dye, is the potassium salt of tetrabromo- flourescin used in making red painting ink. Formal definition consists of three parts: term, genus and differentia. Term is the word to be defined, genus is the group or class under which the term belongs and differentia states the distinctive characteristics of the term. Here’s an example. Term = genus + differentia Space probe is a robot machine sent from Earth to explore other worlds in space . In formulating a formal definition, you observe the following rules: 1. Use simple words. 2. If the term being used is a noun, the word after is should also be a noun. 3. Avoid using the term itself or any of its derivatives. 4. Do not put the term in too broad or too narrow a class. Now try to examine the sentences in the following exercise. However, there are serious definitions requiring amplification, extension or expansion. In this case, you achieve extensive explanation using details, examples, comparison, contrast, analogy, analysis and cause and effect. You do this when a one-sentence formal definition is inadequate to make your reader understand the difficult term. Let us look at this example. An Amplified Definition A space probe is a robot machine sent from Earth to explore other worlds in space. Probes can take close-up pictures of planets and moons, and even land on their surfaces. They can check sites for future visits by astronauts.
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