Jamal El Ouahi

Helping researchers. Posts about scientific research & its process. Academia/Government Consulting.

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Jamal El Ouahi

Helping researchers. Posts about scientific research & its process. Academia/Government Consulting.

#23 The power of plain English

Read time: 4 min.

Hey friends,

I will keep this one very short today.

In a recent newsletter, I mentioned that I don’t come from a world of writing.

I was more into Mathematics and Engineering.

One of the areas I wanted to improve while doing research is writing. I guess this is also why I keep writing regularly.

Today, I want to share one of the biggest learning during my research journey.

During my PhD, I discovered the power of writing in “Plain English”.
I had a chance to take a course on scientific writing at Leiden University.

Here is what I learned:
It’s all about clarity, simple language, and being to the point.

6 features of plain English that anyone can use:

1- No unnecessary words
2- Short sentences
3- Good punctuation
4- Familiar words
5- Active voice instead of passive voice
6- Appropriate style

6 features that will make your writing more efficient.

Avoid using big words and complex phrases.

That’s it. Try it in your next writing. And let me know what you think.

That’s it for this week. Let us know in the comments if you think I missed anything or if you have any other suggestions.

As usual, if anything is unclear or if you need help with your research projects, please contact me and I will reply.

See you next Sunday!

Jamal

Question of the Week

Do you have any recommendations to add when writing your manuscripts?

Let us know in the comments.

My favorite things this week

  1. A few nice days spent in Leiden this week. It’s always good to reconnect with colleagues. And also a good opportunity to present my research work. Great feedback and discussions!

  2. I took some time off from the start of Eid Al Adha. Time to reconnect with family and friends.

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