In scientific papers (in my case it's usually in computer science) it seems to me that some techniques which help in explaining concepts and technology are not used that much.
For example a metaphor often helps one to understand abstract concepts. Not the most useful example but something like "Monads are like burritos, they are not plain, but something wrapped in something else".
Another such technique would be explaining a specific (and simple) case of something - and maybe a second and third case - only to reveal later on what they are actually specific cases of. By successfully following the simple examples and seeing what they have in common, it is then easier to get an intuition about what the abstraction is all about. As a bonus, it might also make studying the material more enjoyable because it just seems easier.
Now, I don't remember reading stuff like that all too often in scientific papers, but I often find them in online tutorials, blogs and such.
Is their use generally discouraged, and if so why?
I might be wrong in at least two ways:
- These "tricks" are used. I just don't see them.
- They have a disadvantage I did not think of. I just think they can be very beneficial, and the extra time spent reading is often worth it.
I think the online book Learn You a Haskell for Great Good! does most of the things I mean. It also includes some jokes and funny drawings which are not what I'm talking about.