Write for readers who are easily distracted

Academic publisher Elsevier’s new 8 page guide called Elements of Style for Writing Scientific Journal Articles has great advice for all factual writing. The most important rule is “write for the busy reader who is easily distracted”. Elements of Style says readers will use almost any excuse to stop reading when they encounter poor writing that leads to reader fatigue and frustration.

Sections in Elements of Style include:

  • Basic rules of manuscript language including tenses, grammar, sentences and paragraphs
  • Classic errors to avoid
  • Always remember your reader
  • Cross-references and figure captions
  • Writing and rewriting.

We’ll highlight more advice in future posts.

Read Elsevier’s Elements_of_Style_for_Writing Scientific Journal_Articles (Dec 2013).

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