I noticed the comments from earlier about scientific writing, and I thought I
might add my opinion on the topic which has been frustrating me for almost a
year. I am an undergraduate biochemistry major, and most of my biology
classes now center on reading current literature rather than textbooks.
Consequently, I have to wade through roughly twelve of the world's dryest
articles a week. This past week I encountered an article that was so poorly
written the experiments weren't even outlined in chronological order; it was
impossible to tell what the authors had done, in what order, and why. It
seems to me that after working for months or years on a project and finally
getting results, researchers would go out of their way to make others want to
read about their work. The writing doesn't have to be emotional or poetic,
but are clarity, simplicity, and maybe some reasonable syntax too much to
I have begun to realize that this issue isn't confined to scientific writing.
Scholarly research in any discipline seems seems to be presented in the same
discouraging way. Honestly, no matter how brilliant someone's discoveries
are, they are worth very little if no one can bear reading about them.