Help on the spot: online assistance for writing scientific English


  • Ray Cooke Université Victor Segalen Bordeaux 2
  • Sue Birch-Becaas Université Victor Segalen Bordeaux 2


Publishing in English represents a major challenge for non-native speakers (NNS) of English since they face the dual requirements of producing good quality research and presenting it in good quality English. Many NNS researchers learn how to write scientific English in a haphazard way, and few receive specific formal training in this field. This leads to misunderstandings on their part about how to write scientific English and what actually constitutes a reliable model to be imitated. Guidance exists in the form of style manuals and published writing courses, but these may prove unwieldy and too time-consuming to consult. We therefore sought to develop a dragand droppable form of online assistance in which NNS researchers’ initial drafts are processed didactically as models.