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    Joined: Oct 28 2006
    If you are struggling with academic science literature, don’t worry. You are not alone, and it is not your fault. The language used in these articles adheres first to standards of science, and second to those of communication. The literature is full of technical terminology, passive phrasing, and worst of all, zombie nouns.

    Why is the writing so bad? Simple. We scientists aren’t trained to write. We spend years learning math, physics, chemistry, and biology in classes that rarely require essays.



    Zombie Nouns and Alzheimer Flowers: Challenges in Reading Academic Science By Jahlela Hasle, PLoS Blogs

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    Joined: Mar 1 2013
    Unless you test out of it (I did) everyone has to take first year English (in the US) at university. If you remember nothing else, do recall these three essays:
    George Orwell, "Politics and the English Language":

    https://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/orwell46.htm

    The Happy Days Ahead By Robert A. Heinlein:
    http://fathersforlife.org/education/happy_days_decline_education.htm#Span


    ...and for a laugh or two, Fenimore Cooper's Literary Offenses by Mark Twain:


    http://twain.lib.virginia.edu/projects/rissetto/offense.html

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    Joined: Oct 28 2006
    You took much more interesting English than I had. When I went to school, English lit was all rubbish about how we would one day go to a museum to see a lump of coal. You got Heinlein? I am jealous!
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    Joined: Mar 1 2013
    Orwell and Twain were required--Heinlein was optional. Heinlein's essay was written in 1980 and it's pretty much the same critique of the American education system as we see today.

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