Good, Bad, and Ugly Science Writing: Got any Examples?

I’ve been writing style guides for various government departments for a while now. But it just hit me a month ago that I should be writing a style guide for so-called grey literature because there’s obviously a market for it. (No. It will not be called “50 Shades of Grey Literature.”)

What I need is more good, bad, and ugly examples of science writing. I have plenty now, but I don’t have real examples of a lot of things, especially examples from government reports. And who better to ask than writers? I’m sure you’ve come across your fair share of bad science writing.

Here’s my favourite example of ugly, so you have an idea of what I’m after:

The survey revealed that men rode bicycles more often than women.

No, the examples don’t have to be funny—just awkward.

The bad can be found in any medical journal. But I’m still interested in examples.

I probably have enough of the good, but if you have a favourite example of a good explanation of some scientific theory or maybe just a good book, let me know.

I’m also interested in good science writing guides. If you have found one you like, let me know. Most of the ones I’ve found are too basic—more for undergraduates than practising scientists.


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