RG Grainger
Written Work Guides
Guide to Drafting a Manuscript
Guide to being Lead Author of a Paper
Check-list for Submitted Reports, Papers and Theses
A Brief Guide to Style
    Writing Style
    Spelling & Grammar
    Abbreviations & Acronyms
    Numbers & Units
    Tables & Figures
    Latex Tips
Grainger Falls

Writing Style

Narrative Point of View

Technical writing is impersonal. Never use the first person ('I' or 'we').

The Sentence

Use short sentences.

The Paragraph

A paragraph should contain a coherent point or collection of points. A one sentence paragraph is genrally too short. If a paragrapch starts by referencing the sentence at the end of the previous paragraph you should consider restructuring the paragraphs.

Word Usage

  • Scientific writing should be precise and unambiguous.
  • Good writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences.


Generally cross-referencing is used to locate an idea that has been discussed earlier. Forward referencing is not helpful to the reader and is to be avoided.
Earth Observation Data Group, Department of Physics, University of Oxford. Page last updated: @21:16 GMT 03-Jan-2015