Creating Your Model

You are about to learn how to create your own system for analyzing the language used today in successful articles. Luckily, you are the type of person who can do this because you are a scientist, and scientists analyze well. First of all, by using a keen eye as you begin to study the language structure of current articles in international science journals, you will discover new things you may not have noticed before. You will realize:

• Science calls for a sudden narrative.

• Successful articles are dramatic stories told in as few words as possible.

• Above all, in the voice of science, clarity is crucial.

Your first step is to photocopy 1-3 articles all of which have the three characteristics mentioned earlier. Next you are going to design spreadsheets, either on paper or in your computer, on which to put the data you collect from the articles. Typically the kinds of information these spreadsheets contain include data on:

• Length and variety of sentence structure, including frequency of prepositional phrases.

• Use of transitions, direct and implied.

• Appropriate choice of verbs.

• How articles begin and end.

• How and when to give credit to other researchers.

The actual topics you use for your spreadsheets, and the number of spreadsheets you make, will depend on the type of help you need and upon how sophisticated your English is. Someone else's spreadsheets would probably be of little or no value to you. However, here is an explanation of the type of data found on some typical spreadsheets:

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