How to obscure your message.


    © Kathryn Tosney
    Chair of Biology
    The University of Miami

Tosney home page
Society for Developmental Biology

5. Be wordy, but avoid explanations.

Avoid substance or explicit statements.

    Bury -or omit- the message

    Be wordy

Particularly avoid highlighting the message in large type: highlight the methods instead.

State the main point only in the middle of long lines of text: methods sections or legends are ideal.

Avoid stating the results or interpretation and NEVER state the conclusions.

    Use passive voice and complex sentence constructions.

Use long sentences, long paragraphs, and avoid topic sentences; the more topics in each paragraph, the better

Never use just one word when 10 words will do.

Repeat text verbatum in all figure legends. Explain everything--except the main point.


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