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Effective Scientific Communication

The Other Half of Science

Cristina Hanganu-Bresch and Kelleen Flaherty

Publication Date - August 2020

ISBN: 9780190646813

432 pages
6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

In Stock

Addresses undergraduate STEM majors and minors who want or need to improve their scientific writing skills


Writing and the sciences are intricately linked. Without writing, science would not exist -- and could not be funded, communicated, replicated, enhanced, or applied. Further, writing helps scientists (and students) understand the science, explain the results of research in a greater context, and develop new ideas. Working from this philosophy, this book primarily addresses undergraduate STEM majors and minors who want or need to improve their scientific writing skills.

Grounded in the basics of rhetorical research and scientific writing practices and guided by the authors' experiences in the classroom, this book makes the case that writing is an essential component of science regardless of the stage of the scientific process, and that it is in fact a component of thinking about science itself. Featuring student-centered stories that place each topic in context and suggestions for practice, Hanganu-Bresch and Flaherty arm STEM students with the skills to enhance critical thinking and cultivate good writing habits.


  • Addresses the unique demands of science writing for students in STEM disciplines
  • Focuses on science writing-specific forms like IMRaD, abstracts, proposals, and presentations

About the Author(s)

Cristina Hanganu-Bresch is Associate Professor of Writing and Rhetoric at the University of the Sciences, where she has been teaching writing and scientific writing since 2008. She holds graduate degrees in rhetoric and scientific and technical communication from James Madison University and the University of Minnesota. She is passionate about rhetoric of science, medical rhetoric, and writing education.

Kelleen Flaherty is adjunct Assistant Professor of Biomedical Writing at the University of the Sciences. She has worked as a bench scientist, a college professor (for scientific and writing classes), and for the professional medical educational industry as a regulatory writer, a promotional writer, a publications writer, and a continuing medical education writer. She regularly presents at the national level on topics germane to professional medical writers and serves on both local and national committees and commissions dedicated to training medical writers.


"Effective Scientific Communication is a book that offers practical guides in a range of scientific skills. This is a text that is very clearly written for students in the sciences . . . It is accessible without dumbing-down the scientific process, and offers tips and tricks throughout in order to help the reader navigate the beginning of their writing career. This is a real strength of the book. a strong introduction to the scientific process and communicating about data . . . I can see it quickly becoming a core and essential text. It will certainly be on my reommended reading lists" -- Craig Harper, Nottingham Trent University, The Cognitive Psychology Bulletin

Table of Contents

    Introduction: The Story of Scientific Writing
    Part I: The Tao of Communicating Science
    Chapter 1. Cultivating Good Writing Habits
    Chapter 2. Target Audience
    Chapter 3. Ethics in Scientific Communication
    Chapter 4. Critical Thinking
    Chapter 5. Communicating Basic Statistics
    Chapter 6. Visual Communication
    Chapter 7. Research and Documentation
    Part II: Genres of Scientific Communication
    Chapter 8. Writing Original Research Papers
    Chapter 9. Review Papers
    Chapter 10. Abstracts and summaries
    Chapter 11. Writing Proposals
    Chapter 12. Presentations
    Chapter 13. Writing in the Sciences: Minor Genres
    Chapter 14. Scientific Writing for Multimedia and the Web
    APPENDIX: The Writing Toolbox
    Crafting Effective Sentences, Paragraphs, and Papers