You are about to write an article on the findings of your research, and you are rightly proud to communicate your findings to the rest of the scientific world. But have you ever thought about who will read your article and under what sort of conditions it will be read? Will your reader be sitting in comfortable chair, a cup of coffee at his or her side and relaxing music in the background? Will your reader be so interested in your subject that he or she will have the time and patience to read a difficult sentence twice? I am afraid this is wishful thinking; your reader is just as busy as you are and, however important your findings are, he or she has no time to struggle through a badly written text. It is therefore of utmost importance that your writing is clear, well-structured and accessible to the target reader.
Ann Bless has been a trainer at various academic institutions in Europe for over 30 years. All through her career she has aimed at arousing scientists’ awareness of how they communicate—why their writing is difficult to understand—and how to write clearly, concisely and readably.