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

Adding in non-core content

Earlier it was stressed that the core of each map type should stick to its own mode of discourse (Description/Report, Explanation or Argument). But any type of discourse can have non-core (or parenthetical) content of some other mode. Non-core content may conform to one of the three modes of discourse we have already discussed, or may conform to one or more of many other modes of discourse that we will not try to discuss exhaustively here. The important thing to understand is that we can add in many types of "commentary" to a map, but the commentary should not overwhelm the main thrust of the map.

One of the few other modes of discourse worth giving a name to is exemplified in the sentence in the top-most yellow box in the map below. This sentence belongs to the mode of discourse called metadiscourse, or, less technically, signposting. Signposting content is "self-referential" in that it tells us something about the nature of the map itself. Written text especially may contain a considerable amount of signposting, to compensate for the reduced navigational assistance typical of linear text (vis-a-vis the many cues embedded in a map's visual layout). Signposting may take up entire sentences, as here, or be provided by words and phrases such as: firstly, partly, in conclusion, considering these two arms of the argument together, etc