The Rhetoric of Research analyses scientific writing in English for non-native and native speakers. The Introduction looks at different layers of constraints in scientific writing in English including grammatical and semantic rules, register, style, rhetoric, textual cohesion, social amenities, mode, field and genre. Section I covers the grammatical and sentential structures relevant to scientific genres and those that pose problems for non-native speakers. It explains the function of the relevant tenses, of voice, and conditional clauses and how 'grammatical' and syntactic facets interact with rhetorical choices. Section II looks at problems common to novice writers, whether non-native or native English speakers, including neglect of the paragraph as an organizing unit, superfluous words and phrases, monotonous sentence structure and inappropriateness for the intended readership. Many writers who have been taught 'academic English' still find themselves unable to cope with 'scientific English' and the final section of the book discusses how to analyze various scientific genres, such as journal articles, oral presentations, abstracts, professional letters and grant proposals.
This section also covers the usually neglected area of interpersonal relations in the scientific discourse community. How do we handle sensitive issues such as criticizing other researchers and advancing one's own claims?
Beverly A. Lewin has extensive experience in teaching scientific writing to Ph.D. students from non - English speaking backgrounds. Since 1980, she has taught students in fields ranging from astronomy to zoology, with the majority in the social sciences. Her own research focuses on scientific discourse, especially genre analysis and managing interpersonal relations in texts (hedging and politeness). Her research on genre analysis is presented in Expository Discourse: A Genre-Based Approach to Social Science Texts (coauthored with Jonathan Fine and Lynne Young, Continuum, 2001) and From Hedging to Heightening: Toning Down and Up in Scientific Texts (Melbourne Papers in Linguistics and Applied Linguistics, 2001).