科學寫作:Writing in the Science (一)

這一系列主要有鑒於最近發現我的寫作能力實在是有很多提升空間,所以想再鍛鍊寫作肌肉,這系列主要來自於Coursera: Writing in the Science 的上課心得和筆記。

起手式當然是重新加強一下觀念,重溫一些原則,如何往一個更好的寫手邁進:

  • 閱讀、刻意去關注文章是如何寫的、並且模仿看看
  • 每日或是定期的寫作
  • 請拋棄堆砌文字的壞習慣
  • 先談談(找好朋友喝咖啡的意思)你做的研究,再下手來撰寫
  • 不要等待靈感再來寫作
  • 接受寫作對於任何人來說都是很困難的
  • 不段重寫,沒有人第一次就能寫好,大多數人留太少時間再重寫,都想一次到位

聽完這些,就一定要列一下自己目前看過很會寫作的作者,當作觀摩目標,下面這些是我自己回億起來,閱讀他們的文字很令人愉悅和開心,有點會上癮的那種滋味!

  • John M.Chamber
  • Hadley Wickham
  • Jales J. Berman
  • Stephan Wolfram
  • Uri Alon
  • Bernhard Palsson
  • Leroy Hood
  • Bradley Efron
  • Trevor Hastie
  • Tim O’Reily

收集幾本跟寫作相關的好書:

這邊有幾個範例,來體會一下如何把字句更加地讓人易理解,下面是一個節錄自The Journal of Clinical Oncology的開頭:

Adoptive cell transfer (ACT) immunotherapy is based on the ex vivo selection of tumor-reactive lymphocytes, and their activation and numerical expression before reinfusion to the autologous tumor-bearing host

仔細思考上面這個段落,會發現一個學術論文很喜愛的模式,過度使用“名詞”(clunky nouns),假如要讓字串更簡單俐落,就必須要減少這類使用,以“動詞”主導論述。

These findings imply that the rates of ascorbate radical production and its recycling via dehydroascorbate reductase to replenish the ascorbate pool are equivalent at the lower irradiance, but not equivalent at higher irradiance with the rate of ascorbate radical production exceeding its recycling back to ascorbate"

修改過後如下,整體的可讀性增加,更容易理解且順暢。

These findings imply that, at low irradiation, ascorbate radicals are produced and recycled at the same rate, but at high irradiation, they are produced faster than they can be recycled back to ascorbate

如何寫的簡白(Effective Writing)的三個要點

  • 減少不必要且意義模糊的用字原則(Cut the clutter)
  • 主動語氣
  • 使用洽當的動詞

盡可能減少多餘的字,你永遠都會驚訝於能使用更少的字來表達同樣的道理

範例一

This paper provides a review of the basic tenets of cancer biology study design, using as examples studies that illustrate the methodologic challenges or that demonstrate successful solutions to the difficulties inherent in biology result.

This paper provides a review of the basic tenets of cancer biology study design, using as examples studies that illustrate the methodologic challenges or that demonstrate successful solutions to the difficulties inherent in biology result. [高手改]

範例二

As it is well known, increased athletic activity has been related to a profile of lower cardiovascular risk, lower blood pressure levels, and improved muscular and cardio-respiratory performance

Increased athletic activity is known to lower cardiovascular risk and pressure levels, and improved muscular and cardio-respiratory performance[土炮練習]

Increased athletic activity is associated with lower cardiovascular risk, lower blood pressure, and improved fitness. [高手改的]

範例三

The experimental demonstration is the first of its kind and is a proof of principle for the concept of laser driven particle acceleration in a structure loaded vacuum

The experiments demonstrate the proof of concept that laser-driven particle can accelerate in the structure loaded vacuum. [土炮練習]

The experiment provides the first of principle of laser-driven particle acceleration in a structure-loaded vacuum.[高手改]

範例四

Brain injury incidence shows two peak periods in almost all reports: rates are the highest in young people and the elderly

Brain injury incidence peaks in young and the elderly [高手改]

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