The Science Of Scientific Writing    Set 3     Set 3-Refining claims ClaimsSeven rulesExercises 1-6Exercises 7-10Final Page Set 3.

Course Home

OVERVIEW: The way to well-written science

How to do the Course


PART I: Paragraphs and Sentences

SET A: Paragraphs: The Maps Behind Them

SET B: Paragraphs: Using Maps to Meet Readers' Expectations

SET C: Paragraphs with Something Extra: Points and Tails

SET D: The Generic Section: Expectations and Maps as Blueprints

SET E: Scientific Sections: The Methods and Results

SET F: Scientific Sections: The Discussion

SET G : Scientific Sections: The Introduction

SET H : Sentences

SET I : The Paper as a Whole



PART II: The Paper and its Sections


SET 1: Argument Parts

SET 2: Indicator Words

SET 3: Refining Claims

SET 4: Locating Arguments in Prose

SET 5: Rationale's Essay Planner

SET 6: Evidence in Arguments: Basis Boxes

SET 7: Assessing

SET 8: More on Assessing

SET 9: Analysis Maps

SET 10: Assessing Again

Synthesis 1: Position-Early Paragraphs

Synthesis 2: Position-Final Paragraphs

Synthesis 3: Writing a Discussion I

Synthesis 4: Writing a Discussion II


So what goes in the boxes?

Question mark

Seven rules:

1. No reasoning in a box (no ‘because’, ‘therefore’, ‘but’)

Example: 'The temperatures have been high therefore there must be global warming'

No reasoning in a box


2. Only one thought per box (no ‘and’ or ‘neither’)

Example: 'The proposal meets cost targets and quality requirements'

Two Claims


3. Claims should be full sentences (no 'thought bites' or shortcuts)

Example: 'Lamb roast - Sunday lunch classic'

Full sentences


4. Claims should be capable of being true or false (no questions)

Example: 'Do the two leaders really believe that this demeaning behaviour is what the Australian voters want?'



5. Claims should be to the point (no waffle)

'Very very often sheltered people who are not in the know have expected to see chap-wearing, tobacco-chewing, dusty cowboys on the streets of Houston'


To the point


6. Claims should be easy to understand (no jargon, not convoluted)

Example: 'The strikes caused collateral damage among non-combatants'

Easy to understand

7. Every box must make sense when read in isolation.

Example: 'Vegemite is healthy.  It tastes good'

Stand alone statement



Content of this page drawn in whole or part from the Austhink Rationale Exercises with permission from Austhink.