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

Examples of the three types of core maps

It is very important to understand the differences between the three types of discourse that explanation, argument and description/report maps represent. In particular it is very easy to confuse explanation and argument. The main difference is that in an explanation the author assumes that the statement in the top box is something known and accepted, and tries to explain it, but in an argument there is no such assumption, so the focus switches to the believability of the statement. Ocasionally, the same statement can sometimes be the starting point for either an argument or an explanation. We will use global warming as a framework to examine the way that descriptions, explanations and arguments can be mapped.

Description/Report Maps

The two maps below present very similar information, but note how the involvement of the author is only made obvious in the second map, which is therefore a report map.


Explanation Maps

In these two explanations, the author assumes the audience believes in global warming, and that they want a mechanism to explain it. The two maps each provide a different mechanism. Notice how, in the first map especially, each box suggests another phenomenon that explains the one in the box above, and that as we go down the map, the information provided becomes more and more specific (or fundamental).


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An Argument Map

Finlly we compare the adequacy of the two explanations given above. Note how the wording of the main claim precisely captures the fact that we are comparing explanations. The main claim will often state the author's net assessment of the argument, but sometimes, when the evidence is mixed, a non-core box will need to be added to tell the reader the author's final conclusion