FORMAT AND ARRANGEMENT

headlines

6.31  SPELLING

Excellent academic and professional writing includs no spelling errors. Any careless spelling errors will communicate a negative image to readers: if the writer is careless with such little things as spelling, then it is quite likely that the writer is careless with “other little things” such as found in your Methods section. Perhaps readers will doubt the accuracy or precise with “big things” too.

Using a spellcheck is always helpful, so set your software for the US dictionary function. Software dictionaries may or may not include all the variations of spelling. To wit:

travel travelled traveled
focus focussed focused

North American English spelling is more common nowadays in scientific and technical writing than British English spelling. The University of Tokyo generally uses North American English spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and other similar conventions. see 6.5

Here is a list of some of the important differences in science:

British system   (North) American System
programme
grey
oedema
anaesthesia
leukaemia
centre
metre
fibre
litre
sulphur
ageing
sizeable
insure
analyse
realise
labelling
fulfil
skilful
tumour
defence
arguement
judgement
learnt
  program
gray
edema
anesthesia
leukemia
center
meter
fiber
liter
sulfur
aging
sizable
ensure
analyze
realize
labeling
fulfill
skillful
tumor
defense
argument
judgment
learned
  • You might want to consider having a colleague or a friend read your writing for possible errors … of all kinds!
  • Many journals accept article submissions with either North American English or British English spelling provided the spelling conventions are applied consistently throughout the document.

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