Question about science essay and which order to put points in?

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Ay up, just finished researching for my science essay.. It is about how medicine and helathcare has benifitted society under the title benefits of science to society and I have a few short questions, hope you will be able to answer..

1) Does the essay have to be in thrid person?

2) Can I use rhetorical questions throughout the essay?

4) When making points is it ok or not needed to talk about the history of the point i'm trying to make i.e. how it was hundreds of years ago for example technology/equipment

5) These points are all the points I have been talking about, what order is best for them and are they adequate enough?

Easing pains
Knowledge of hygiene
Preventing future diseases
Understanding science
Drugs and antibiotics prevention
Variety of drugs:
Technology in healthcare
Universal healthcare
Quality of life
Extended life span
New challenges


Offline Variola

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1) Yes, never use I or me.

2) Depends-some are ok if they are in context of a discussion, but as rhetorical questions don't usually have direct answers it is best not to rely on them too much.

(what happened to 3? lol)

4)Again depends if it is relevant, if you think it needs to be mentioned, or even gone into detail how these advances have helpe in comparision to years before then include it, but remember to stay on point.

Look at the structure of your essay, are you going to talk about set examples of advancement i.e pain relief or are you going to make a more circumspect essay with the odd mention of advancement used to illustrate? Either way is fine but depends on what is required of you by the marker. If you are using the first style, then you could outline the general history then go deeper into major developments, like discovery of choloform for surgery etc.
The history would be a logical place to start, with a history of the advent of medicine in general and compare to where we are today perhaps.
As for content, essays styles are quite personal and you will develop your own preferred method, if you are doing it under broad headings, then assuming you are including major discoveries/events in that field then it is ok.
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Offline imatfaal

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I would agree with Variola's answers ; just seen that she has replied in between me typing and pressing post. 
  Stick to third person and also try to keep tenses simple; verbs referring to an object should be self-consistent.  I would avoid rhetorical questions, they are a verbal flourish rather than a written device; don't you agree? Don't make lists with missing entries :-) A benefit must be shown against a historical background, my understanding is that you are describing the technological advance and explaining the benefits this advance has wrought; this needs a little bit of before and after.  maybe a critical eye would be useful as well; have health gains been universal? what threats are on the horizon (super-bugs?)? is it technology that is providing gains or ways of living (ie drugs/machines vs diet/cleanliness)? 

  Although essays need plans - I firmly believe that it is essential to get your prose down on paper and then go about chopping it about and re-editing.  read and re-read before handing in any work.  if it is an important essay - get someone else to read it through.  this is not in order to cheat or to plagiarise.  You can be so familiar with your own arguments that you fail to see the gaping hole; others, even if not a specialist will spot it straight away.

Good Luck!

And do use the spellcheck!  Good format, spelling, grammar, and presentation all make an essay easier to read and easier to give a good mark to.
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Offline MartinTheK

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I may have missed something. Is this essay to be your own work on your original thought and research? You wouldn't want to be like one of those tiresome fraternity boys who keep a trove of old essays to submit as their own are you?

Some people get very shirty if they think you are passing off other people's concepts as your own. You might want to include something like, "As Sir MartintheK recently observed in 'The Naked Scientists Forum, blah, blah,blah' This has the benefit of expanding the page. As a sophomore I could turn a teaspoon of original thought into 7 loaves of essay.

I remember a quote from George Bernard Shaw. As I remember - it goes, "I only have one piece of advice for you, Never take advice from anyone."

P.S. It might be wise to run a spell checker over your "helathcare essay" and then proof read it once and then again, the next morning to comb out those pesky typos.
« Last Edit: 17/08/2010 15:12:21 by MartinTheK »


Offline annie123

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It is difficult - and probably inappropriate - to comment/make suggestions re content without knowing the context of this essay - your grade, nature of assignment etc.When you read it over you could ask yourself whether there is anything in it that is not already generally known  by your contemporaries -i.e. what new insight have you brought to the assignment?
As to mechanics - avoid the passive voice.


Offline MartinTheK

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The passive voice is best avoided ( That's a joke! Get it? Haw!... but very true.)

Here are some good points which may be found in "James Fennimore Cooper's Literary Offenses" by Mark Twain which apply to any writing:

"In addition to these large rules, there are some little ones. These require that the author shall:

    12. Say what he is proposing to say, not merely come near it.

    13. Use the right word, not its second cousin.

    14. Eschew surplusage.

    15. Not omit necessary details.

    16. Avoid slovenliness of form.

    17. Use good grammar.

    18. Employ a simple and straightforward style.

Even these seven are coldly and persistently violated in the "Deerslayer" tale."

In addition, you should always avoid jargon. Here is what they tell Freshmen at Arizona State University...

"Merriam-Webster's online dictionary defines jargon as follows: 1) confused, unintelligible language; 2) the technical terminology or characteristic idiom of a special activity or group; or 3) obscure and often pretentious language marked by circumlocutions and long words.

Jargon is a classic sign of bad writing when communicating to general audiences. Since ASU publications are to be written to professional standards, and we want our messages to connect in ways that are easy to understand, communicators should avoid jargon at all costs.

Here are some tips for rehabilitating your writing practices in this area:

    *If the source can’t come up with a good explanation in lay terms, rely on your dictionary and reputable online sources to explain the concept/issue. Can you explain it to your mother, grandmother or uncle Jimmy?
    *Leave it out if it is not essential to the story.
    *Make the definition of any necessary jargon short, clear and understandable to readers.
    *Explain jargon with examples. The classic example is a measurement of micrometers or nanometers compared to the thickness of human hair. That gives readers a mental image of the scale you’re talking about.
    *Read the piece aloud from the position of a reader. It will hit your ear, even if it doesn’t hit your eye.
    *Know your audience. Stories for Insight go to largely an educated audience, but articles should be written for a general audience, too. News releases should be written like news stories. Newspapers write to a sixth-grade reading level.
    *Avoid acronyms, especially those used on campus. They mean nothing to an audience outside of ASU. On second reference, use a name such as "nursing" for the College of Nursing & Healthcare Innovation. Or, use "the school," "the college," etc., on second reference.
    *Academic degrees and certifications are something to be proud of, but many people have no idea what these initials stand for. If a degree or certification is relevant to the story, refer to it in a way that readers understand: "Beihl, who has a doctorate in physics…"
    *Use analogies to explain hard-to-grasp topics."

Hold it! I just recalled that there exists a certain type of software called a "grammar checker". They aren't infallible but they do throw up a little message box with a petulant remark like, "you are using that tiresome passive voice in this sentence". Nobody says you have to write with a green eyeshade and a goose quill. If you don't have one at hand...maybe one of your classmates...
« Last Edit: 21/08/2010 19:30:42 by MartinTheK »