Why are scientific words so long

Scientific writing style

Scientific writing style - a must for every student. Each course of study has its own technical language, which you can use to everyone book and every other publication can see. Then there is the general scientific writing style. When it comes to your bachelor's or master's thesis at the latest, it becomes important that you not only understand this scientific language, but also be able to use it yourself when writing. This article explains how to express yourself correctly in scientific texts and how to find your own scientific writing style.

Scientific writing style: characteristics

A scientific writing style is clearly distinguished from everyday language and, above all, from journalistic or popular science language through certain regulations (cf. Haines 2009: 143). This includes, among other things, the use of a vocabulary from numerous technical terms. If you want to be successful in your studies, you have to master this scientific writing style.

1. Scientific writing style: Avoid filler words

Scientific texts are peppered with information. However, any statements must be made with references or quotations to the appropriate literature or source in the correct Citation style (cf. Krumbiegel-Esselborn 2010: 16). In order to include all the necessary information in a bachelor thesis, master thesis or dissertation with a limited number of pages, it must be brought to the point precisely and unambiguously (cf. ibid. 41 and see the Guide from the Technical University of Freiberg).

The writing style in the course must therefore be as precise and clear as possible. There's no point in writing empty-handed around a statement or getting lost just to fill a page. Rather, you should be in front of the Submission of the thesis Delete such text passages or unnecessary filler words so that the central statements are in the foreground (Heimes 2011: 75).

Typical filler words are for example: well, mostly, as a rule, to a certain extent, apparently, correspondingly, certainly, already or namely.

2. Scientific writing style: Comprehensible sentence structure

This clear expressiveness should also be followed in the sentence structure. Ultimately, the sentences must be logical and understandable for the reader. Nested constructions that span several lines make it difficult to read and should be rephrased in short, simpler sentences (cf. Haines 2009: 117 and Heimes 2011: 72).

Example:
The author, who published his work for the first time in 1956, triggered a public dispute in which numerous leading scientists took part with his statements, which were commonly described as provocative.

In 1956 the author published his work for the first time. Because of his provocative statements, he initiated a public dispute. Numerous leading scientists took part.

3. Scientific writing style: precise choice of words

The same applies to the choice of words: This should be accurate and not allow for ambiguities. Empty phrases, metaphors and colloquial terms have no place in a scientific text (cf. Heimes 2011: 99).

Examples:
The author's work is as varied as a colorful bouquet of flowers.
The discussion about his work turns in circles.
The author appears as a typical know-it-all.

Scientific writing style: technical terms in the bachelor thesis & master thesis

A certain technical vocabulary is common in every science and is used for communication between experts. Therefore it should also be used in the bachelor thesis or master thesis to show that one understands these foreign words and can use them correctly. However, it is important to use such technical terms only to a limited extent (cf. Haines 2009: 115).

Ultimately, the thesis should remain understandable despite the technical terminology. When writing, you should therefore always keep in mind who the reader is. The text shouldn't just be for that supervisor written as a specialist scientist, but also understandable for laypeople and non-specialists (cf. Rost 2012: 236 and Haines 2009: 142). Specific technical terms therefore require a brief explanation.

On the other hand, those who throw themselves around while writing with foreign words quickly give the impression that they are only trying to impress and distract from the main content of the work (cf. Rost 2012: 236). Instead of a puffy-sounding “in conclusio”, the German phrase “summarizing” can be used without further ado.

In addition, one should make sure that one is aware of the correct meaning of the terminology used (cf. Haines 2009: 143). For example, if you confuse economic with ecological, this shows the auditor that he or she does not master the technical vocabulary. Such words must therefore at the latest at the Proofreading of the bachelor thesis or master's thesis can be compared again with a foreign dictionary.

How to objectively express it linguistically?

One of the most important criteria for a scientific work is the objectivity (cf. Krumbiegel-Esselborn 2010: 14). Therefore, it is also important when writing to express yourself neutrally and to ignore your own subjective opinion. Certain formulations should therefore be avoided in the scientific writing style.

On the one hand, this applies to a personal mode of expression in which one writes in an I or we form. Instead, one should take a passive position and write from the author of the work (cf. Haines 2009: 117). Many sentence constructions can also be reformulated by using the passive voice, as the following example shows.

Example:
In my work I worked out that ...
-> In the thesis it was worked out that ...

However, in some sciences a rethink is already taking place and personal formulations are more and more accepted, for example in comments. Anyone who is unsure should therefore clarify in advance with the examiner of the thesis which attitude they represent and which requirements the respective degree program has on this topic (cf. Krumbiegel-Esselborn 2010: 15).

You should also pay attention to objectivity when choosing words. Here it is only important to use words that are factual and are not associated with any evaluations or emotions. From a Presentation of the Technical University of Dresden In addition to academic writing, there is the following negative example:

Example:
In this impressive Chapter the author addresses this unfortunate Failure of his third marriage.
This statement, on the other hand, says the same thing in a scientific way:

-> In this one emotional and anecdotal Chapter the author addresses the failure of his third marriage, which he regrets again and again in the further course of the book.

Personal academic writing style in the bachelor thesis and master thesis

In some degree programs, it is common practice to write shorter term papers from the first semester onwards, before finally doing the bachelor thesis, master thesis or dissertation dares to venture out on the long haul. If, on the other hand, you choose a technical or scientific course of study, you often have to prove that you can write scientifically only in the final thesis (cf. Haines 2009: 116).

Depending on the situation, there is a lack of writing practice, routine and confidence when writing. Hence, it helps with the Literature research For the thesis not only to pay attention to the content, but also to how other authors structure their texts and express themselves linguistically. When reading, you can develop your own writing style from this (cf. Heimes 2011: 21 and Haines 2009: 118).

Above all, it is important that the personal style is read consistently and fluently. By reading what is being written out loud to yourself, you can hear where you stumble upon your own words. These passages in the text should then be improved and, for example, sentences shortened or the sentence structure rearranged (cf. Haines 2009: 116).

If several styles mix in a work, this is also an indication for the examiner that you are not expressing yourself in your own words. Then the question arises for him whether it is perhaps a matter of plagiarism, i.e. whether statements by other authors were used here without marking them as such (cf. Heimes 2011: 73). By a Plagiarism check the fraud can then be exposed.

To write scientifically does not mean to overwhelm your texts with foreign words. Despite specialist vocabulary, the bachelor thesis, master thesis or dissertation should remain understandable. Above all, it is important that the writing style is objective and that the research results get to the point.

Literature: Scientific writing style

Haines, Maria (2009): ABC of the scientific thesis, Paderborn.

Heimes, Silke (2011): Writing during your studies: the PiiP principle. With 50 tips from students for students, Göttingen.

Krumbiegel-Esselborn, Helga (2010): Write correctly scientifically. Scientific language in rules and exercises, 5th edition, Paderborn.

Rost, Friedrich (2012): Learning and working techniques for studies, 7th edition, Wiesbaden.