## Topic outline

### SPECIFICITY

Reasoned Writing / A Framework for Scientific Papers

• ### TOPIC OUTLINE -- REASONED WRITING

#### TOPIC OUTLINE

Reasoned Writing Topic Outline ("tree" format: read from left to right and/or follow the numbers)

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### Reasoning is the strongest framework for scientific communication.

#### reasoning form arguments?

### AND transitions are perhaps the most common and least powerful logical transitions.

#### The word "And" is not the only way to reflect the AND conjunction. Some other words that can also express "And" are:

"And" Transitions

#### Sometimes, it is possible to use logical transitions that are similar to "and," but more specific. For example, if two premises are similar to each other, then expressing the similarity is more powerful than simply declaring both premises. Similarity can be expressed using several terms, such as:

Similarity Transitions

### Hierarchical conjunctions can provide valuable information about the relationships among elements.

#### There are many ways to indicate hierarchies. However, two main categories are subsets (less inclusive groups within a larger group) and supersets (more inclusive groups that contain a smaller group).

EXAMPLES OF HIERARCHICAL CONJUNCTIONS

### "But" transitions are conjunctions that express contrast. "But" transitions can greatly help clarify differences and maintain reader interest.

#### Fortunately, the word "but" is not the only way to express a "but" transition.

More "but" Transitions

### Several words can indicate the conclusions of reasoned arguments.

#### There are several Logical Transitions that indicate conclusions, including:

"Conclusions" Transitions

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### Specific writing involves choosing words with clear referents and appropriate scope.

#### Clear sentences identify the specific referents. For example, the problem with the sentence "Several important factors affect learning" is not with the word "factor" itself, but because the sentence lacks specific referents that specify the meaning of "factor." "Factor" can be used in a more specific way. For example, the sentence "Among the factors that affect learning are (1) student motivation; (2) prior student knowledge; and (3) learning environment" uses a list framework to identify three contributors to learning. The word "factor" helps to indicate that the three identified contributors are only a subset of larger group of factors that affect learning. Therefore, nouns like "factor" can be helpful if part of specific statements, but are NOT specific enough to act alone as subjects for sentences.

APPLICATION: To write specific sentences, make sure that every word has a specific, clear referent. Avoid vague nouns that are not immediately specified by connecting the noun to a clear referent.

### PROCEED ALONG THE TREE FROM LEFT -> RIGHT.

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