Skills Earth Sciences

Writing style and conventions

Learning outcomes

At the end of this chapter you will be able to:

  • Use a scientific writing style
  • Use academic language
  • Write a clear, coherent and attractive text
  • Use appropriate words according to the conventions of scientific writing
  • Use correct tenses


Keep in mind that there is a certain language style and syntax associated with scientific writing. Your text should be easy to read and comprehensible, not over complicated jargon and terminology. This chapter provides a number of useful tips and considerations with respect to scientific conventions in writing style.

In the degree programs of Earth Science, we generally follow the style manual by the American Society of Agronomy (ASA). We refer to this document to find general information about the use of abbreviations, punctuation, and units in your text. For further information about the correct use of punctuation, see this website. Please note that if you have trouble writing in English, there are various courses available through the UU language school.