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What Is Scientific Writing Style: Characteristics, Types, and Examples 

In this article, we will analyze in detail the scientific writing. You will find answers to the following questions:

What Is Scientific Writing Style: Definition

Scientific writing is the functional style that is a means of communication in the field of scientific, professional, and educational activities.

The Aim and Purpose of Scientific Writing

The main purpose of the scientific writing is informative. It consists in transmitting objective information about a person, nature, and society.

The scientific style aims to explain the phenomena of nature and social life, determine patterns and identify cause-and-effect relationships.

Scientific texts are distinguished by clarity, consistency, accuracy, objectivity, and evidence of information.

The scope of the scientific writing is the field of science and educational activities. 

First of all, it is used in written form: books, articles, reports, encyclopedias, etc. But it is also found in oral form (scientific conferences).

Read also post “What Is Colloquial Language (Colloquialism): Features, Genres, and Examples”.

Features and Characteristics of Scientific Writing Style

Scientific writing style features
Features of scientific writing

The features and characteristics of the scientific writing style include:

  1. Logicality: information is presented consistently and in a clear sequence.
  2. Generalization, accuracy, and objectivity of the information.
  3. Evidence and persuasive arguments (many arguments, facts).
  4. The use of terms and general scientific words. On average, the terms occupy about 15-20% of the text.
  5. The use of words with an abstract meaning (these are words that do not evoke specific images in the mind and memory, for example, property, hate, joy, reality).
  6. Most often, scientific texts are monologue narratives.
  7. More nouns and adjectives, and fewer verbs.
  8. The complex construction of sentences.
  9. The sentences are mostly long.
  10. Almost not used rhetorical devices (epithets, comparisons, metaphors, etc.). 
  11. Scientific texts are free from emotional words and statements. 
  12. The correct order of words.
  13. The strict order of information presentation.

Read also post “What Is Formal and Informal Writing: Characteristics, Key Differences and Examples”.

Types of Scientific Writing

Like other writing styles, the scientific writing is rarely found in its “pure” form. In scientific texts, journalistic and business style elements of writing can be found.

Due to this interaction with other styles of writing, and depending on the purpose and specifics of its application, the scientific writing is divided into six types:

  1. Academic: dissertations, monographs, scientific articles, speeches.
  2. Educational and scientific: report, textbooks, courses of lectures, coursework, seminar report.
  3. Popular science: popular science books and magazines, children’s encyclopedias.
  4. Scientific and informative: reviews, summaries, theses.
  5. Scientific and reference: encyclopedias, dictionaries, reference books. 
  6. Scientific and technical: patents, standards, description of inventions, specifications, technical requirements.

Let’s take a deeper look at each type of scientific writing.

Scientific writing types
Types of scientific writing


Academic Writing

The aim of academic writing is the definition and description of new phenomena, facts, and regularities.

The main genres and examples of academic texts are:

  • Monographs.

A monograph is a scientific study devoted to one specific phenomenon, fact, issue, or topic.

Usually, the monograph is over 120 pages in A4 format in length. It is a complete scientific work.

A scientific article is a short essay in which the author describes the results of his research.

  • Dissertations

A dissertation is a qualifying work, the successful completion of which is necessary for granting academic degrees and titles. Size: 50 to 500 pages. It is issued in the form of a book or bound manuscript. 

Academic writing also includes reports, and speeches.

Academic texts have the same writing structure that includes:

  1. Title.
  2. Introduction.
  3. Main part. 
  4. Conclusion.

Educational and Scientific Writing

The educational and scientific writing style is used in the teaching and training processes, particularly, for the transfering scientific information to students and absorbing knowledge. 

There are oral and written genres of educational and scientific substyle. The oral ones are message and response.

The main written genres of this substyle are:

  • Report. 

A report is a detailed message on a specific issue based on documentary data. The report’s purpose is to inform and provide recommendations, or suggestions.

  • Textbook. 

A textbook is a learning tool designed to assimilate and enhance knowledge.

  • Transcript. 

The transcript (notes) is a summary or a brief record of a lesson, lecture, or article.

  • A course of lectures. 

A course of lectures is a collection of texts lectures by one or more authors on individual topics or for the whole course. It takes up the content of the discipline.

Popular science is intended for the dissemination of scientific information among the mass addressee (for example, among a certain category of readers: children, teenagers, etc.). 

Popular science genres include:

  1. Popular science books are literary works about science, scientists, scientific achievements, and research, intended for the general readers.
  2. Popular science magazines.
  3. Encyclopedias for children.
  4. Articles.

Scientific and Informative Writing

The function of scientific and informative writing is to transmit scientific information.

  • An abstract is a brief report on a specific topic, which collects information, most often from several sources.
  • Abstract review is a report that compares different points of view on a particular issue. Compiled from several sources.
  • An abstract summary is a brief report that highlights only the main provisions.

Scientific and Reference Writing

The scientific and reference genres help the reader quickly search for the necessary scientific information. 

The main genres of the scientific-reference writing are:

  • An encyclopedia is a scientific reference review of different subject areas of knowledge in the form of a dictionary.
  • A dictionary is a collection of words with their translation, interpretation, and explanation.
  • A reference book is a book that contains brief information of a scientific, social, industrial, and applied nature.
  • A catalog is a list of information about objects, which makes it easier to find these objects by a certain attribute.

Scientific and Technical Writing

The scientific and technical writing style is common in technical documentation. Texts of this sub-style serve to apply the achievements of fundamental science in practice.

Examples of the scientific and technical writing:

  •  Patent.

A patent is a document that certifies the exclusive right to an invention, product, or process.

  • Specifications. 

The specification is a definition and list of specific features, a refined classification of something.

  • Technical requirements.

A technical requirement is a document that establishes requirements that a particular product, material, substance, etc., or a group of them must comply with.

  • Standards. 
  • Description of inventions. 

The Structure of Scientific Text

Any scientific text, regardless of genre, follows the same template. 

A scientific text is based on a thesis – a statement that requires justification. To confirm and substantiate this, the author must provide arguments and evidence.

Often, for a more complete argumentation, illustrations are given in the text – these are examples that confirm the scientific assumptions. 

The text ends with a conclusion or summary that outlines the assessment of the research and provides perspectives for further study.

Examples of Texts Written in Scientific Writing Style

Example 1

Excerpt from the scientific article “Neptune is already an ice giant, but it might be having a cold snap” BY LAUREN J. YOUNG:

Neptune has always been known as an icy blue behemoth. The eighth most distant planet of the solar system is a dark, cold place—but now an international group of space scientists has found that temperatures in Neptune’s thick atmosphere might actually be even cooler than previously thought. 

Thermal-infrared images taken of Neptune over the past two decades reveal that thermal brightness dimmed in 2003, suggesting that the planet’s average temperatures in the stratosphere, the atmospheric layer that sits above the area where weather brews, dropped by about 8 degrees Celsius (14 degrees Fahrenheit) over that timeframe. The results were published on April 11 in Planetary Science Journal. “


Example 2

Abstract for the scientific publication “Analysis of Cleaned Waste Glass and Utilisation In The Normal Strength Concrete” written by Serelis Evaldas, Vaitkevicius Vitoldas:

The article investigates the possibilities to utilize waste glass in normal strength concrete. Waste glass was obtained from a local dumpsite. In the research glass shard were prepared in two ways: before and after cleaning process.

Before cleaning process waste glass used as it is and contained all impurities. After the cleaning process, most impurities in waste glass were washed out. Waste glass shard was crushed in a ball mill, then analysed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and energy-dispersive xray spectroscopy (EDX).

Effect of waste glass powder before and after cleaning process on Portland cement hydration process was analysed by the semi-adiabatic calorimetry test method.

For further research other properties such as density, compressive strength and porosity of normal strength concrete with different amount of waste glass powder also were investigated. In the experiment was found out, that when 25 % of ordinary sand is replaced by waste glass powder after the cleaning process, can be expected slight gain in compressive strength.”

Example 3

An excerpt from a presentation at International Scientific Conference:


Authors: Sylvie Hadrová, Ludmila Křížová

” Milk quality is closely linked to the type and quality of feed. However, forages as well as cereal grains used in dairy nutrition are frequently contaminated with mycotoxins that can be transferred into milk and thus may pose a risk to food safety. Up to now, carry-over rates are known for some mycotoxins and they can be used for estimation of mycotoxins concentration in milk. In the present on-farm experiment, corn silage was identified as a major source of DON contamination in dairy diet. The average daily intake of DON was 3515.3 μg/day and the predicted concentration of DON in milk ranged between 0.00018 and 0.00422 μg/l, so under described conditions the risk for consumers is negligible.”


Used sources of information:

  • Russian language for technical universities. Scientific style. Author: Y. Smirnova
  • Wikipedia
  • Russian language and culture of speech. Authors: Tatyana Balykhina, Mikhail Rybakov, Marina Lysyakova.
  • Stylistics of scientific speech and editing of educational and methodological materials. Textbook for teachers of secondary education.
  • Image –


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