My Notes on SciWrite

Unit 1

1.1 Introduction

lesson notes

  1. Content is most important thing for clear passage
  2. Logic thinking.
  3. Learnable rules of style

What else to do?

  • Read

    • Pay attention to the ‘tricks’ writers use
    • Imitate
  • Write journals

  • Academic writings habits might be not good

  • Try not to bore the readers

  • Prepared, not special inspiration

  • 心理准备: writing is hard for everyone

  • First draft is never perfect -> revise

  • Cut ruthlessly

My comments:

A checklist of things I have to do:

read more, and look for skills of a good essay
Add interesting elements into my writings
Once prepared, Start Right away.
Write out whatever sh*t I am writing, and revise it later. (大胆往下写,莫回头啊莫回头)
Delete harshly.

1.2 Something to Avoid

lesson notes

Some questions:

  • easy to read?
  • enjoyable and interesting?
  • to inform or to obscure?

A bad habit in academic writings:

Verb -> noun

Complex idea != complex writing

My comments

  1. Don’t write too complicated sentences
  2. Verb > noun (-tion, -ing, etc)

1.3 Some principles

lesson notes

More bad features:

  • nouns rather than verbs

  • vague words: “physiologic”

  • unnecessary jargon and acronyms:

    • microRNA -> miR
    • if it is made up, then readers have to adjust to the acronym
    • only the very conventional acronyms should be used.
  • passive voice

  • The distance between the subject and main verb is too far *


  1. Cut unnecessary words and phrases
  2. active voice
  3. use verb

My comments

Could be a revision checklist:

1.remove unnecessary adj.
2.move verb and subject close
3.use active voice if possible
4.-tion, -ing into verbs

1.3 Cutting Clutters

lesson notes

Example 1:

provides a reviewreviews
the basic tenets of cancer…cancer…
illustrate xxx or demonstrate xxxillustrate xxx and xxx


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 biological research.


This paper reveiws cancer biology study design, using examples that illustrate specific challenges and solutions.

Example 2:

As it is well knownomitted
has been related to a profile ofis associated with

Example 3:

experimental demonstartionexperiments
for the conceptomitted

Cut Ruthlessly

Try to cut first. (yes, at least try)

Common clutter

  1. Dead words:
    • as it is shown…
    • as it is well known…
    • it should be emphasized that…
  2. Empty words and phrases:
    • basic tenets of
    • concept of…
  3. Long words
  4. Unnecessary jargon and acronym
    • miR
  5. Repetitive
    • challenges/difficulties
    • successful solutions
  6. adverbs
    • very, really, quite, basically, generally, etc.
wordy versioncrisp version
A majority ofmost
a number ofmany
Are of the same opinionagree
less frequently occurringrare
all three of thethe three
give rise tocause
due to the fact thatbecause

The ultimate thing to do is to shorten your writing.

My comments:

Most essential ones for me:

  1. adverbs
  2. repetition
  3. dead words