Arsenio’s ESL Podcast | Season 5 Episode 61 | Writing Skill | Descriptions of Scientific Processes

These processes are likely to contain technical vocabulary that your read may not understand. Often these words can be guessed from context, but if it is key to understanding the process, it may help to provide a definition. Here are four ways to write definitions.

  1. Noun + relative clause

A turbine is a machine that uses a wheel rotated by liquid or gas to generate electricity.

2. Physical description + relative clause

A wind turbine is a large metal structure with blades that rotates in the wind to generate electricity.

3. Explanation between em dashes (–)

Fracking fluide — a mixture of water, sand, and additives — is pumped into the well.

4. Similar word / object + or + noun

Tiny holes, or pores, in the rock allow it to absorb large quantities of oil, water, and natural gas.

Complete the definitions.

  1. A generator is a machine which ____________________________.
  2. A solar panel is a _______________________to generate electricity.
  3. Hybrid cars — ____________________________– have grown in popularity.
  4. ______________________________, or force, from the waves turns the turbines to generate electricity.

Now, write definitions for the following terms using each of the techniques above.

  1. Mining
  2. Recycling
  3. Carbon footprint
  4. A dam


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