Writing Like a Scientist

You have to be in the right frame of mind to write scientifically.  When someone is writing up a thesis or dissertation or scientific journal entry, they usually have a lot of material to review.  That tends (at least in my experience) to get your mind in the right place for the scientific language and concepts to flow.

When you are faking a scientific paper, however, you have to find an interesting balance.  You need to write scientifically, but make up everything you are writing at the same time.  Thus, you must tap both the creative and the logical parts of your brain simultaneously.

I started writing a fake scientific article to accompany Dragon back when I first wrote Dragon, but never finished it.  Somehow (I’m going to blame it on my reading science non-fiction a lot lately) I managed to find the balance.  Tonight I finished the draft of the excerpt of an article that I want to include as an appendix to Dragon.

It was actually kind of fun.  Want a sample?  Here you go:

An excerpt from “Genetic analysis of the lack of hybridization in interracial crosses of Khai” by Spencer O’Neal, Ph.D. (Columbia University)

“This characteristic of the Khai genotype to remain intact between generations may also shed some light on the handful of documented cases (Rams and Rams, 1994; Reyes, et.al, 1976; Barnil, 2004) of interspecies breeding producing viable offspring.

“The mechanics of the interspecies breeding have not been studied in great detail, but Petri and Frees (1981) did an extensive review of the known literature of these crosses.  Any offspring of a Khai/human cross would be given a haploid chromosomal set from their human parent and a diploid chromosomal set from their Khai parent.”

That’s just a little taste, but it gives you the flavor.  What do you think?


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. deshipley
    May 21, 2012 @ 21:03:39

    The source citation throughout is a great touch; really gives it a sense of legitimacy.


  2. YerMom
    May 22, 2012 @ 07:18:02

    It sounds like it could be true. Well done.


  3. Kate Ferguson Writes
    May 24, 2012 @ 03:18:53

    Nice. Sounds fun!


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