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Chapter 66 : Resounding Banalities
Authors should never launch a scientific paper with a resounding banality. Resounding banalities are not merely purposeless. They positively impair the quality of scientific writing by replacing what could be far more enticing overtures. Every research paper will appeal to a well defined core of specialists. However, an attractive title, opening sentence, and first paragraph can reach a much wider penumbra of readers, browsers and people in adjacent disciplines. An author submitting a report to a dedicated journal of antibiosis, for example, does not need to highlight the significance of developments in understanding penicillin action. Microbiologists are, of course, no more blameworthy for resounding banalities and impenetrable writing generally than people in psychology or plate tectonics. Those who simply cannot suppress the urge to brandish assertions of the unquestionable, the tautological, the fully familiar, and the utterly boring should finish, not begin, their papers in an impenetrable writing style.