Twelve Tips for Terrific Texts: Tip #5 – Jargon (Writing stage)

Time for the fifth tip in my scicomm series, and now we’re moving on to the “writing” category! Let’s talk about “jargon.”

We all know we should limit our use of jargon, but it’s still worth the reminder. It’s also important to really consider what jargon is – acronyms and abbreviations can be jargon, but so can regular words! Choose your language carefully to convey your intended message to your intended audience. If your popular science article uses words that would confuse your hairdresser, and doesn’t fully explain what they mean, you’ll need to rethink your word choices. Even when speaking to other academics, jargon that you consider easy and basic may be overwhelming (or may mean something else entirely in another field!).

Your best bet is to eliminate jargon whenever possible, regardless of your audience. Speak and write clearly with laymen’s terms if you can!

Stay tuned for the next 7 tips!

Communicating your science: writing: jargon. Talking to the public? Get rid of it. Talking to other academics? Minimize it.

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