Writing for Science and Engineering

2nd Edition

Papers, Presentations and Reports

Authors: Heather Silyn-Roberts
Hardcover ISBN: 9780080982854
eBook ISBN: 9780080982861
Imprint: Elsevier
Published Date: 12th October 2012
Page Count: 208
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Learning how to write clearly and concisely is an integral part of furthering your research career; however, doing so is not always easy. In this second edition, fully updated and revised, Dr. Silyn-Roberts explains in plain English the steps to writing abstracts, theses, journal papers, funding bids, literature reviews, and more. The book also examines preparing seminar and conference presentations. Written in a practical and easy to follow style specifically for postgraduate students in Engineering and Sciences, this book is essential in learning how to create powerful documents.

Writing for Science and Engineering will prove invaluable in all areas of research and writing due its clear, concise style. The practical advice contained within the pages alongside numerous examples to aid learning will make the preparation of documentation much easier for all students.

Key Features

  • Written in modular format, so you only need to access the relevant chapter
  • Covers a wide range of document and presentation types
  • Includes easy-to-understand rules to improve writing


All science, engineering and technology postgraduates will find this useful, as well as research and development workers who are expected to write reports and make presentations.

Table of Contents

Introduction: How to Use This Book

Added for the Second Edition

The Basic Structure of the Book

How to Use This Book

Section 1: Document Structure. The Requirements for each Section

1. Structuring a Document: Using the Headings Skeleton

The Basic Skeleton of Section Headings for a Technical Document

Choosing Section Headings: Building an Extended Skeleton

The Outline Mode of Microsoft Word®: Organizing a Document

The Importance of Overview Information

Deliberate Repetition of Information in a Document

Specific Types of Documents: Using This Book

2. The Core Chapter: Sections and Elements of a Document

Letter of Transmittal, Covering letter

The Title

Running Title

A Conference Poster Title

The Title Page

Authorship and Affiliation (Particularly in a Journal Paper)

Abstract (can also be called a Summary)



Table of Contents (or Contents Page)

List of Illustrations

Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations (or List of Symbols, when dealing with only mathematical symbols)





Purpose Statement, Scoping Statement (or Scope), Procedure Statement, Problem Statement

Literature Review

A Section Covering Your Planning of Tasks

Allocation of Responsibilities




Materials and Methods (can also be called Methods or Procedure)


Structuring of Corresponding Headings for Materials and Methods and Results Sections

Results and Discussion




Suggestions for Future Research

List of References or References

List of Personal Communications




No. of pages:
© Elsevier 2013
eBook ISBN:
Hardcover ISBN:

About the Author

Heather Silyn-Roberts

Affiliations and Expertise

University of Auckland


"Silyn-Roberts…presents this technical manual for writing in the sciences, intended to help students build technical competency. The basic structure of a scientific document and how to work from a skeleton of headings is covered, followed by considerations for specific types of documents. Advice on references, conventions, revising and editing is given. A small section on style is included, and the book ends by treating oral presentations."--Reference & Research Book News, December 2013
'Practical advice contained within the pages alongside numerous examples to aid learning will make the preparation of documentation much easier for all students'.--Engineering Designer, March 2001
"Writing for Science and Engineering will prove invaluable in all areas of research and writing due to its clear, concise style".--The Engineers Journal, October 2000
"Excellent text"--Professor Doug Probert, School of Mechanical Engineering, Cranfield University
'This book could serve as a practical guide to all aspects of documentation in Engineering, Science and Technology areas.'--Chemical Industry Digest, Feb. 2001