The forms taken by scientific writing help to determine the very nature of science itself. In this closely reasoned study, Charles Bazerman views the changing forms of scientific writing as solutions to rhetorical problems faced by scientists arguing for their findings. Examining such works as the early "Philosophical Transactions" and Newton's optical writings as well as "Physical Review", Bazerman views the changing forms of scientific writing as solutions to rhetorical problems faced by scientists. The rhetoric of science is, Bazerman demonstrates, an embedded part of scientific activity that interacts with other parts of scientific activity, including social structure and empirical experience. This book presents a comprehensive historical account of the rise and development of the genre, and views these forms in relation to empirical experience. The emergence of the experimental scientific article, Bazerman argues, is a response to the social and rhetorical situation of the 17th and 18th-century natural philosophy activated by the need to communicate findings and the exigencies of conflict that arise from communication. The emergence of the argumentative forms of scientific writing are coincident with the emergence of the scientific community and the development of experimental procedures. All three interactively structure each other. Bazerman shows that later developments of the experimental article, in both the physical and social sciences of the 20th century, have been shaped within the contexts of the various disciplines. An understanding of what forces have shaped the experimental report, what functions the features were designed to serve, and the impact of rhetoric on the rest of scientific activity helps to evaluate all statements of knowledge and increases our ability to make intelligent writing choices. The introductory chapters explore the complex dynamics of situated knowledge-bearing texts. Bazerman then explores the interactions of textual form and social and empirical activity in early science, through examinations of the early "Philosophical Transactions" and Newton's optical writings. Bazerman also examines literate activity within the elaborated social/intellectual/empirical/literary structures of 20th century physics. His study of "Physical Review" examines changing textual form, particularly in relation to the increasing importance of physical theory as a text-structuring element. Bazerman then examines the migration of the experimental report to the social sciences in considering both changing forms and epistemological implications, looking at experimental psychology and political science. He closes by considering directly the implications of the studies in the book for theories of language and language use and for the practice of writing.