Skip to main content

Buchtipp Juli 2021

Photo: utb

Writing Scientific English. A Workbook.





Skern, Tim
3rd, revised edition 2019, Facultas-Verlag, 215 pages
ISBN: 978-3-8252-5066-9
Available via the UB licence   



Many students are struggling when it comes to writing academic texts. They may lack information on how to structure their term papers or feel uncomfortable with the English language as a means to communicate their ideas and the results of their research.

If you, too, are facing these difficulties, this book might be just right for you.

In the first part of the book, the reader finds compact and specific guidelines for writing texts in scientific English—both on the grammatical and the stylistic level. This section includes a collection of basic vocabulary to be used in academic writing and many examples to illustrate the “do”s and “don’t”s of scientific writing. It also comes with a complete chapter of exercises to practice applying these guidelines. 

The second part of the book focuses on the mechanics of writing scientific texts. It takes the reader through the process of creating and improving a model manuscript. This part of the book starts with a general introduction into the process of publishing research results in scientific journals and then moves on to each of the specific parts of a paper that need to be written out. Along the way, the author provides comments and explanations pointing at important aspects to consider at every step.

Throughout the book, readers will find a lot of useful material to train their scientific writing skills. For example, the book features texts written by former students of the author’s scientific writing classes. These function both as illustrations for specific mistakes and as examples in the exercises. At the end of the book, there is a collection of references to further resources which students may use to keep honing their writing skills. In addition, the book also points out online material for preparing oral presentations.

The book is mainly oriented at academic writing in the natural sciences, but thanks to its focus on scientific vocabulary and on the structure of manuscripts, it can also be used in other disciplines. It might be especially (but not exclusively!) helpful for students writing in English who are not native speakers of that language. In sum, the book is a great resource for every student who is looking for an introduction into the process of writing academic texts.


Reviewed by Anne Apel, July 2021

Photo: utb