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GAZZETTA MEDICA ITALIANA ARCHIVIO PER LE SCIENZE MEDICHE

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Gazzetta Medica Italiana Archivio per le Scienze Mediche 2005 April;164(2):135-9

language: English

The methodology of biomedical research. Scientific discourse part 2: five characterising features

Camaiora L. 1, Conti A. A. 2, 3

1 Department of Linguistic Sciences and Foreign Literatures, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Milan, Italy;
2 Department of Critical and Surgical Health Care University of Florence, Italy;
3 Don Carlo Gnocchi Foundation, Centro S. Maria agli Ulivi IRCCS, Pozzolatico, Florence


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This paper is the second part of a seminar on the scientific discourse in biomedical research. The first part discussed the five interrogatives that help determine the structure and contents of English scientific writing. This second part presents five characterising features, considered essential for scientific writing; they are fluency, lucidity, precision, synthesis and objectivity. It is pointed out that the parameters of the Royal Society, back in the seventeenth century, became those not only of English scientific writing but also of English literary style, so that modern English has inherited a tradition of prose that renders it particularly suitable for scientific discourse. The five features here discussed still follow in the path traced out by Bishop Sprat (see the first part of the seminar).

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