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Science Communication in Earth and Mineral Sciences

Guide to help identify, locate, evaluate, and effectively use information to communicate science

Discipline-Specific Writing

Discipline-specific writing is challenging, especially when you are new to the field. This section of the guide provides helpful writing tips specific to your EMS major.


The scientific process is reflected in the convention of typical sections of technical papers. The general structure is the following: Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion (IMRaD).

Typical Sections of Technical Papers
Section Scientific Method Includes
Introduction States hypothesis States research problem, objectives, context & why reader should care
Methods Details how hypothesis was tested Description of experimental procedure (e.g., explain materials used, how they were prepared, how measurements were made and what calculations were performed)
Results Provides data (not interpreted) Expresses data in relevant forms (e.g., tables, figures)
Discussion Interprets data Explores practical and theoretical implications, analyzes patterns and relationships, explains limitations of experimental design

Sections of a  paper: Introduction; Methods; Results: Discussion/conclusion  Online resources for general information on technical writing


Beyond the body of the work: titles, abstracts and more

Writing an effective title and an abstract are crucial to whether or not your paper will ever see the light of day. And by the way, don't use figurative language such as this expression in your technical documents. Concentrate on precision and concision. 


Peer review and other feedback

two students with a laptop

Peer-review is an essential element of the transfer of experiment into shared information for the scientific community. Manuscripts are critically read by other scientists. These peer-reviewers then suggest whether the manuscript be accepted, rejected, or revised and improved before it is published.


Visualizing data: tables, charts and maps

a group of math instruments - protractors, pens, triangles