Scientific writing: function and style

As much as the scientific way of working is formalized – from citation to bibliography, methodology, font size and line spacing – scientific writing styles are so different.

While scientific mathematics is extremely dependent on formalities and their style is largely characterized by it, while the “soft sciences” are less strict in their methods, they must also meet the criteria of reliability, validity and objectivity.

In principle, the scientific writing is that the style of the task of the work adjusted and in case of doubt, it should also be subordinated. Style plays an outstanding role in the perception of a text by the reader: even if the facts in a scientific text have been comprehensively researched, evaluated and placed in the overall theoretical context, problems can arise. Thus, too rigid, too foreign-word-heavy, too artificial or too colloquial expression can ruin the good impression and even raise doubts about the competence of the author.

Sometimes it is advisable to go over the text once more in terms of its phrasing and style: it is not just about breaking up monstrous sentence constructions and avoiding superfluous foreign words, but also about the variety of expressions and the aspect of the word sound: nobody likes to read about “centrally certified competence networks”. Terms that are often repeated are difficult to avoid in scientific papers. By using synonyms or (simply kept paraphrases) but a relaxation of the text can be done. The reader is thereby animated to continue the text study, which is difficult especially for brittle topics. The (sparse) use of anecdotes or humorous contexts can also contribute.

The style correction should be done by a person with sufficient scientific experience, specific subject knowledge and the necessary expressiveness. Frequently, academic ghostwriters take on this task because they have knowledge in these areas.