Procrastilearner's Style Guide For Science and Technology Posts - Updated And Improved

in steemstem •  4 months ago

Image credit: User J.J. Wikimedia link
CC BY-SA 3.0 license

This is an updated and improved style guide to help new STEM bloggers in writing their posts. I have written this guide to build a bit on the main Steemstem style guide.

I think that writing science, health and technology articles is a fun activity. I use blogging to help me learn new topics, crystallize my understanding of a topic that I already know or just for the joy of sharing some knowledge with other people on the net.

A science post is not a scientific article so the rules are more relaxed but there are still rules as well as laws that govern this activity.

Don't Plagiarize

Use you own words when writing a topic and don't simply copy or spam someone else's work. This is the internet. You will get caught either by a human or a computer. Having said that, I find that @cheetah is still not perfect so don't be shy to flag it's comments on your posts when it has wrongly targeted you.

Remember that it is okay to quote someone verbatim if you found that someone else has wordsmithed a perfect sentence to describe something difficult or subtle concept. Just make sure that you use the ">" sign and reference the author. For example:

Quantum entanglement is a physical phenomenon which occurs when pairs or groups of particles are generated or interact in ways such that the quantum state of each particle cannot be described independently of the state of the other(s), even when the particles are separated by a large distance—instead, a quantum state must be described for the system as a whole. - Sourced from Wikipedia

Or you can use this inline style:

"You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life." a quote from Winston Churchill found via the Brainyquote.com website.


Image credit: Quinn Dombrowski link
CC BY-SA 2.0 license

Spelling, Grammar and Typos

Typos are a fact of writing life. You will make them and they are forgivable but at the very least proof read your article before hitting that post button.

I like to proof read the markdown text first and then proofread the preview text. After I post the article I proof read the published article one more time and fix any overlooked style, grammar or spelling errors.

The Importance of Paragraphs and White Space

Try not to write a wall of text. Glowing screens are hard to read and most people's eyes need more white space than they would for something printed on paper.

You will notice in this post that I break my paragraphs up more often than I would if I were writing a paper printed report. This makes it easier on your readers.

Article Length

Okay let's be realistic, this is the internet. Our attention spans have been destroyed so I like to keep my STEM posts to between 4 to 8 screen pages in length (excepting this guide).

It is hard to read text on a screen and so very few people will want to read a topic for longer than that. Walls of text are often a stylistic error.

If your post is really long then consider breaking your article into two or three posts and publish them over a course of a few days. This has the benefit of letting you focus more intensely on one aspect of your topic.

Always make sure that you link back to your older related posts so the reader can go to them if interested.

Making a few related posts over the course of a few days is NOT bounty chasing if done with the above described intent in mind.

Properly Cite Your Image and Its License

Copyright issues are now a huge thing on the internet and each country has it laws on the matter. Always make sure to use a full description of the image license.

It is always best to use public domain images, creative commons images or images that are otherwise free to use.

A good way to find images that are free for use is to go to Google Image search and apply the 'Labeled For Reuse' parameter under the 'Usage Rights' menu option. There are many other free for reuse image sites such as Pixabay and Pexels.

It is important to provide a link to the image source and the next subsection describes how to do that.

Formatting and Style

Markdown has many tricks, use them to improve your formatting and style.

There are many posts on Steemit discussing the many powers of markdown, my favourite is the one where you can flow text around an image. You do this with these html tags:

The example above is basic tagging for text flow. However it is important to credit your images in Steemstem so I tend to use the following tagging system to include the image credits while keeping my images looking nice:

  • The div tag lets the text flow around your image.
  • You put the image url in between the quotes in the image = "".
  • The br tag is a line break and forces the credit text onto the next line.
  • The sub tags make the text smaller and less intrusive. This keeps the raders eye from being unduly distracted by the image credits.
  • The "imagelink" is a placeholder for a link to the source of the original image, insert the link for the original image here. It is important that you link to the original source in this manner.
  • Finally, include the license type for the image. Replace the text in the example above with the license for the image that you are using.

Steemd.com Is Your Friend

Have you ever seen a post that used formatting tricks that you liked and you wondered how to do that. It is easy, all you need to do is replace the steemit.com with steemd.com in the url for the page and voilà, you get the source code for that post.

Scroll down to the text formatting that you like and adapt it for your use.

Personality

Personality is important in blogging, especially in STEM blogging. Don't be too dry. Don't just replicate a Wikipedia article on the topic that you are writing about, otherwise people would just go to Wikipedia instead of your article.

Don't be afraid to be you. Use some humour or personal quirkiness. Make use of your life experience to help explain a topic.

Science is not dead or dull so don't make it that way.


Image credit: creativecommons.org link
Public domain image.

Cite Your Sources

If you are writing a STEM article then it is always critical that you cite your sources. No one is the fount of all knowledge so it is important to give credit to those articles that you used to help create your post. At the bottom of this post is an example of a citation section.

If You Are ESL Don't Sweat It


Image credit: Pixabay.com link CC0 license

If English is not your first language don't over-worry about your STEM writing too much.

The majority of STEM readers are enlightened and understanding folk. We native speakers can pick off a non-native speakers quickly and we know to give them slack.

In fact, we actually take it as a compliment that you even bothered to learn our weird and difficult language.

Thank you for reading my post.

Post Sources

[1] Helpful Guidelines for Crafting Steemstem Content by steemstem
[2] Creative Commons - Wikipedia article
[3] Creative Commons FAQ by creative commons
[4] An example of one of the several Creative Commons license type
[5] Mastering Markdown by Github
[6] How Do I Use Markdown - Steemit FAQ

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Excellent, thanks for writing this up again. Always good to point people towards.

Typo: in Personality you have "Do be too dry". I'm going to assume you meant don't there, right?

I wouldnt usually point these out but seeing as this one might get some evergreen use then likely for the best.

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Yep. Typo fixed. Ironic. Thx for the help.

Great info! Something I also like a lot is to align the text with is:

<div class=text-justify>"Your post"</div>
I Don't know why it isn't used here more often? It is fairly common in other scientific writings and I find it very pleasing :D

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Good guide! If you don’t mind I’ll suggest this to people who are getting started writing stem stem posts. Cheers!

Thank you very much for suggestions and advices like this. I am a frequent writer for steemstem and what you write is really important for me and for my next posts.
Work for the community is always important!!!
Good job, man!

I upvote you plz upvote me

Have you ever seen a post that used formatting tricks that you liked and you wondered how to do that. It is easy, all you need to do is replace the steemit.com with steemd.com in the url for the page and voilà, you get the source code for that post.

Me, right now.

Another aspect would be the use of press releases. Most of the popular sites like sciencedaily and phys.org just straight copy the releases from the original sources. However, there are debates on the ethics of press releases, its been given the go ahead for journalists to do exactly that, as long as they give proper attribution. Naturally, one would assume this would be fine on steemit, if the professionals can. Just a thought

A great read and helpful inside into writing for a blog. I'm still new, to it all so the more information the better.

Nice guide. Perfect for those who'd like to start writing some STEM articles and a reminder to us who've written some already. 👍

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Slow ako sa mga ganyan 😅

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D m lang bet. 😂

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