Word Choice

Science Writing – Word Choice

Science writing is different than narrative and other writing, but some of the same good writing strategies still apply.  One of them is appropriate word choice.  Here are some helpful guidelines to follow when writing for science class:

1. Use appropriate scientific vocabulary whenever possible.  If you are writing a longer piece that will be read by people who are not members of your science class, it is a good idea to define uncommon scientific words the first time that you use them in your piece.

2. Replace words such as: “few, some, several, many,” with actual numbers – either real data (often given as a range of values and/or the mean with uncertainty) or estimates (about…approximately…between).

3. Avoid using overused words (think Mrs. Degi’s “Really Bad Word” list).

Mrs. Degi’s (Slavens 7th/8th LA teacher) list of “really bad words”:

very   stuff     a lot    like     ton   absolutely   really   kind of

interesting    probably    “way out there”     good     unique      awesome

nice     all   sort of      totally      big      completely     definitely

would (of) have      well     I mean    a bunch     lots of  (lottsa)

some     “Hi!”     quite      so     you know

Also avoid the word “cool” unless talking about temperature.