The Science Of Scientific Writing    Set A      Intro to Paragraphs   Features of Maps  Examples of Maps   Exercise 1 Quiz     Diverse Organising Principles    Example Exercise for Exercises 2-4     Exercise 2    Exercise 3    Exercise 4  Adding Non-core Content   Exercise 5     Exercise 6     Exercise 7    *Exercise 8*    Final Page.

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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: Paragraph Coherence and Cohesion

SET D: Sentences

SET E: Scientific Sections (including Methods)

SET F: Scientific Sections: The Discussion

SET G : Scientific Sections: The Introduction

SET H : The Paper as a Whole

*Exercise 8 - Create your own map*

Now it's time to get your creative juices flowing. Your job in the final exercise of this set is to compose a Description or Report map of your own. The content should be appropriate to the Materials and Methods or Results section of some real or imaginary research paper. Use the Rationale "Grouping" mode to construct the core of your map. You can add in non-core content as you wish, but be certain to add in each non-core item as a Rationale coloured "note".

Try to generate a map that has at least three levels, at least for one of the branches.

Some tips

  • Don't get hung up on scientific accuracy. One useful approach I have often used in these situations is to start with a completely imaginary organism in a fictional environment.
  • Remember "The question you must ask!" Every time you add a new core box you need to ask yourself: "Does this new box keep to the permissible types of information and inter-relationship for this type of discourse?" If it doesn't, then the information might need to be added somewhere else in the core map, or it might need to be added as a non-core box.
  • The approaches that are emphasised in this course focus on the analytic aspects of writing, and are not well suited to the creative aspects. Everyone has their own secrets for maximising creativity- some people work best at the keyboard, some with pen and paper, others think well on their feet, and then there is my favourite observation by Jeff MacNelly that "Writers stare out windows". Follow your own inclinations or experiment!

(This is an exercise that benefits from teacher feedback: all such exercises will have their titles (e.g. *Exercise 5 - Create your own map*) enclosed in asterisks. The corresponding link in the top navigation bar will also be in asterisks.)