Writing in Science: Practical Tips Academic Writing Science Communication
Practical Tips: Jargon - Terms - Expressions
agreement

and/or

apostrophes

article use

British vs American

capitalisation

compare to/with

conjunctions

dates & numbers

dangling participle

eponymic terms

hyphens

-ic vs –ical

italics

jargon

like vs such as

nominalisation

numbers

faulty parallelism

passive voice
prepositions

punctuation

sentence structure

showed

spell check
split infinitives

tense

that vs which

unusual plurals

verbiage

word confusion

 

Jargon - Terms - Expressions

Scientific writing, whether it is for a journal article or in lecture notes, involves a precision in the use of words not common in other writing situations.

The writing is not usually for general consumption, so scientific writers often use “jargon”, technical terminology, to communicate more precisely and efficiently to their more specialised readership / audience. These readers / listeners expect clear, precise language.

When introducing specialised vocabulary, be precise; define your terms.

  • Technically a term can be a word or group of words that designate a specific notion or concept in a particular field.
  • Terms have exact meanings.

When many terms are being introduced, I often use “expression” to denote terms containing several words to avoid being overly repetitive. Especially in technical and scientific writing, expression has a more rigorous and precise mathematical connotation.

REFERENCES

English Style Guide - A handbook for authors and translators in the European Commission [Internet accessed 19.11.2013]

Definitions of “term” and “expression”:
Reference Dictionary.com [Internet accessed 24.1.2016]
Oxford English Dictionary [Internet accessed 24.1.2016]
Merriam-Webster Dictionary [Internet accessed 24.1.2016]
Wikipedia [Internet accessed 24.1.2016]
The Free Medical Dictionary [Internet accessed 24.1.2016]

Idiom vs phrase vs expression [Internet accessed 24.1.2016]

 
 
Questions? Suggestions? contact: elinor.bartle<at>uib.no