ERIC Number: ED214190
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Mar
Reference Count: 0
The Organization of Reports of Scientific Experiments.
Sawyer, Thomas M.
Beginning teachers of scientific technical writing often have little background knowledge in the sciences; thus, they may encounter difficulty in dealing with technical reports. To achieve clear explanations of the effects of scientific experiments, scientific writers need to know the following general principles: (1) the function of all the sciences is to predict, but the philosophers of science rank the various sciences in a hierarchical order of predictive ability from physics (highest in predictive ability) through chemistry and biology to psychology (lowest in predictive ability); (2) the esoteric terminology of each science may be clarified by asking for operational definitions of terms and concepts; (3) experimental tests of prediction follow a common, simple, logical plan; and (4) the mathematical proofs of experimental results can be made clear if the aim, rather than the method, of the mathematics is discussed. When scientific writers and their teachers understand these principles, they can help to make scientific writing not only clear but interesting. (An outline of experimental investigation is attached with two illustrations of its application.) (RL)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (33rd, San Francisco, CA, March 18-20, 1982).