It is astonishing how many scientists - even well-established ones - don't know how to write. The only book one needs to read is "on writing well" by William Zinsser. What's the excuse?
My takes from this book, relevant to scientists:
1. Writing is a craft, and like any craft it can be learned.
2. Good writing = good thinking. Muddled brains write muddled sentences.
3. There needs to be "joy" while writing. If you feel the drudgery, your reader will too. Usually you will need to force yourself to be joyful. Apparently most good writers do this.
4. In the end all writing is for yourself. Though you want to have a general audience in mind, you cannot write to specifically impress the editor or reviewer (a "rebuttal" may be the only exception). You need to write for yourself.
5. This is the most important thing to realize.....IT'S HARD WORK. Clear sentences are no accident, they are a product of innumerable revisions.
Some old ones Reposted...
8/18/13 - A Classification of PI's - find yours' in the list!
7/6/12 - Way to a "Science paper"
5/30/11 - 20/20 Hindsights
9/30/11 - Evolution of a bizzare, new Idea
11/17/2011 - Rationale for curiosty-driven research...
lessons from a 4 year old
1/28/12 - "GTFM" - hilarious article on grant writing!
The PI Blog
This blog exists because my wife seemed a bit tired of being the only recipient of my random pontifications on life and Science for many years; and gently encouraged me to vent in a blog instead. From time to time, I put down thoughts that occur to me as I naiively stumble through a life in Science - bestowed upon me by accident (literally!). Please keep in mind that these musings are rather obvious things of little or no use to anyone, and are certainly not personally targeted in any way, even though they are obviously derived from my experiences. OK, enough said.