What is a scientific text?
We talk about scientific texts when we refer to all those written texts that contain information related to concepts, theories or other series of topics that are based on scientific knowledge, which is why they are written following a specialized technical language for the audience to which they are addressed.
It is often a type of text that arises as a result of a research process, in which different data and related aspects are recorded. It is presented in an organized and systematic way in which conclusions, results, process descriptions, data, among other fundamental elements, are added.
Main characteristics of a scientific text
Let us now look at the most important features of scientific texts and that allow us to distinguish them from other types within non-literary texts. Among them we find the following:
The purpose of this type of text is the clear, concrete and precise transmission of information that gathers the results of a research related to a topic that links the scientific community and, in this sense, the public that shares the interest. That is why it is built with a concrete vocabulary.
Language of the text
One of the most important features of this type of texts is precisely related to the use of language, since scientific texts use technical terms or a specialized lexicon that corresponds to the specific area in which they are developed. Thus, we find that the areas on which this language is usually used are related to fields such as physics, chemistry, mathematics, etc.
Result of a process
Generally, the scientific text is the product or information collected from a systematic or methodical work in which a phenomenon, element or situation has been analyzed following a series of principles and hypotheses. Each of these elements is crucial within the process and therefore must be recorded within a scientific text.
Another of the most important characteristics of this type of text is the character on which it is developed, since we are talking about a completely objective character in which the text is based on concrete information, data that can be verified, as well as elements of reality. That is why, given the specificity of the information shared, the subjective character is reduced as much as possible in scientific texts.
Mention of methods
Scientific texts, within the information they share, should also include the methods selected and applied in the research process. This makes it possible to give an account of how they worked, as well as the results that each of them yielded.
Distinction with the technical text
Scientific text is often confused with technical text, although it is possible to find several differences between them. Among the similarities is the use of language, for example, but the scientific text explains and describes in detail a research process that will later allow you to expose what were the results obtained, while the technical text is inclined to the explanation of other processes especially focused on the technological field.
Structure of scientific texts
This type of text has a complex structure that can easily vary according to the subject matter, area and particular needs of the author to present the information, in addition to the adaptation to different formats. Let’s see the general structure it incorporates:
Title of the text
In this first part it is necessary to place the title, which reflects the topic to be presented in the scientific text. In many cases, given the scientific nature of the text, authors usually place the title in English and in the author’s own language, since these are usually resources that are shared, disseminated and serve as a basis for other research processes.
In a brief space, the author presents a summary that introduces the reader to the information to be developed in the text. In this section, the central theme of the text should be mentioned concisely, as well as some main ideas so that the reader can identify whether it is a text of interest or not. Authors often add key words.
This is a slightly broader section in which a general perspective on the subject on which the development of the content will be focused is presented. The reader will be able to know from the beginning and in a broader way, all the processes that are going to be advanced, as well as to know the point from which the research starts, in addition to its possible approaches.
This is the central part of the text in which the whole process is developed. However, it is necessary to take into account that in this type of text the divisions by chapters are not usually handled, since its order follows a logical and objective form that does not leave room for digressions but follows its connection. It ends with a series of results and conclusions on the research process, in addition to pointing out the most important aspects.
In this part, if the author wants to divide it, he can include the methods and materials used, data collection, results and discussion in which the results obtained according to the hypothesis with which the text began are presented.
Although it is not always a requirement for this type of text, if the authors or the author wants to thank the institutions or persons who were fundamental in the development of the research, they generally do so.
This last part should include all the support material that was collected and used during the whole process. To do this, the author should compile it, selecting the most important and necessary to complement the text. Thus, it is possible that in the annexes we find resources such as graphs, photographs, tables, maps, among others.
This is one of the most important sections. Here should be included all the archival material consulted for the development and execution of each of the research methods and, in general, the process. Often these are books, other scientific texts, articles, archives of previous or related research, among others.
Finally, some of the texts of this type usually include authorizations to disclose the information, particularly when third parties, companies or patients are involved. This authorization may be placed at the beginning or at the end of the text and expresses the exclusive use of the data.
Key elements for the preparation of a scientific text
We close this section on scientific documents with a series of very important aspects that should be taken into account when preparing this type of text, especially because of the target audience. Thus, we present the following:
To whom the text is addressed
Although we know that this is a scientific text that is aimed at people who will understand many of the topics and terms that will be used, this point refers to a much more precise distinction of the target audience. That is to say, to think directly to whom we are going to address and in this sense what we are going to say, because according to the information and the reader we can structure the text so that it is presented in an organized way for its reading and understanding.
In addition to the specific information that we are going to add, between data and other information, it is recommended to brainstorm so that we can identify the information that can accompany each of the sections, creating connections between the ideas following the outline and the exact information that is shared.
The ideal is that the writing of this type of document is not only to produce a final text, but that we can write a first draft on which with judicious reading and review, we can make the necessary changes to improve it. Many authors define it as letting the text “rest”, because when writing it and reviewing it after a few hours or days, the reading will be much more objective and we will be able to identify possible connection faults that will facilitate an adequate organization of its content.
Incorporate the necessary information
Another aspect to consider is that the text must include all the information that is explicitly necessary. One of the most frequent errors, especially in this type of documents, is the addition of information that does not connect with the main ideas of the content or that can be dispensed with because it can lead the objective of the document in a different direction. That is why it is necessary to be precise and communicate what needs to be said according to the intention of the text.
In addition to the use of terms and other words typical of the medium, as previously mentioned, it is recommended to write concisely, clearly and easily applicable to the data and information to be presented. This implies avoiding any type of word that delegates a colloquial language and with it, the elimination of literary resources that generate ambiguity in the ideas presented, since the expressions used should lead to a single meaning.
To learn more about other types of text, non-literary texts and others, remember that in our literature section you can find a lot of information that will be very useful.