Beware of which and that

Your manuscript is both good and original but the part that is good is not original, and the part that is original is not good. Improve the following sentences in whatever ways seem sensible and correct, paying particular attention to which and that. 1. It is relevant to mention here that novel paleontological findings have uncovered the strong probability that the genus Can-tius, an early genus of primates of a primitive nature, had a large pedal digit that could grasp and which possibly may...

Px y sinx y

Entering over-under fractions can be a nightmare. Whenever possible, use a slant line or negative exponent to signify division. Change the format to a single line, like this (O E)2 E 2. If a really complex formula cannot be avoided, consider treating it like a figure. Furnish it in the form of a line drawing. Fractional exponents (X0'5 ) may also be used instead of square root and cube root signs (Swanson et al., 1999). When writing or editing a typescript, one is confronted with a potpourri of...

Avoid awkward coinage

Some people feel strongly that a writer should avoid using words that are gender-specific when the roles that they denote are not gender-related. These purists have gone so far as to coin new words for any term that is gender-specific, as in substituting parentboard for the computer's motherboard. In the words of Dupre (1998), even if the word is awkward, it shows your reader you are sensitive. Or does it simply make you look silly Experimental ways of making English more neutral have not...

Compose the illustration to help the reader

After a photograph has passed the tests of quality and message, it should be tailored to give the reader as much help as possible. Crop the picture to a shape suitable for the journal's column dimensions without reduction in size while retaining the highest possible resolution. Select the center of the field to coincide with the center of interest. Affix letters and arrows identifying features of interest. Keep any lettering horizontal and consistent in size, font, and contrast for easy...

Subject directories and search engines

What if you don't know what information is out there, or where it is located In general, there have been two different approaches to searching for information on the World Wide Web - subject directories and search engines. However, like everything else in the online universe, the clear-cut division between subject directories and search engines is changing. Many newer searching tools include both. Keywords are used with both approaches, but in somewhat different ways. Subject directories are...

To suggest organization try clustering concept maps

When you know what ideas you want to include, but are unsure about how to put them together, consider the technique called clustering. Midway in complexity between topic lists and outlining, this approach has been developed and refined more-or-less independently by various information-management experts in fields such as computer software development and data processing. As a result, the approach has many names and variations, but all involve a process - generally called clustering, brain...

Exercise Shortened forms page

Do not use abbreviations (TCGF, SPAFAS) in titles. Do not abbreviate U.S. except as an adjective. 2. Do not use undefined abbreviations in abstracts. Do not abbreviate units of measurement (hrs.) when they are used without numerals. 3. This alphabet soup sentence is annoyingly cryptic. 4. Do not abbreviate units of measurement used without numerals. 5. Abbreviation of state names is inconsistent and that of South Carolina follows neither approved system.

Use special features to make sweeping changes easily on the screen

For example, become familiar with the search or find feature. Not only can you find and change words or characters throughout the typescript with a single keystroke, you can also use these features to standardize format and to instantly locate and scroll to specific sections of the typescript. This feature is often combined with a replace option, which can be very handy but needs to be used with care. For example, suppose you wished to replace the word one with two throughout your typescript....

Minimize computer jargon

Jargon, acronyms, and abbreviations are proliferating with the digital age of electronic communication. Language is always changing, and we anticipate that with time many of these terms will become widely accepted. For now, be conservative. Used excessively with an audience that is unfamiliar with it, computer jargon can easily come across as pretentious. Many new compound words pertaining to technology have not yet found their way into standard dictionaries. How should they be punctuated The...

Watch out for commonly misused and confused word pairs

Use a dictionary when you write so that people don't need to have one on hand when they read what you've written. Be especially careful about words that look similar but mean different things. The English language contains a great number of words that are commonly misused or mistaken for each other. Some commonly encountered devil pairs are given below. This list is only a beginning, and no substitute for a good dictionary. accuracy precision - Accuracy is...

If the alternative approach is better why doesnt everyone use it

Alley and Neeley 2005b believe the answer lies in both practical reasons and emotional resistance. Practical hurdles include the challenges of writinga succinct sentence headline, finding or developing visual aids, and overcoming PowerPoint default settings. To overcome these hurdles, they suggest understanding one's subject more fully, employing digital and computer graphics programs, and using alternative slide design templates downloaded from the Web. It may be harder to answer the challenge...

Prefer Arabic numerals to Roman numerals

Roman numerals should be used only in certain stylized situations, such as the numbering of preliminary pages of a book or the tables in some journals, blood-clotting factors, or cranial nerves. At the same time, if Roman numerals are part of an established terminology do not change them to Arabic numerals. For example, continue to speak of a Type II error. Arabic numerals are easier to read and interpret than Roman numerals are. Use them to number experimental research groups, organisms, virus...

Prefer English equivalents over Latin and Greek abbreviations

An educated literary style once included the use of a number of Latin and Greek terms, particularly in footnotes. These are seldom seen in literary works today, and almost never in biological or medical publications. Avoid abbreviations such as loc. cit. in the place cited , op. cit. in the work cited , and ibid. in the same work . For viz., substitute namely for circa use about. The use of etc. and so forth , while still acceptable, is rapidly falling out of favor it commonly is not italicized...

A poster is a synopsis not a paper

A scientific poster should follow the same organizational conventions used for other scientific writing, with an Introduction, Objectives, Materials and Methods, and Results. The Discussion should be limited, and can be included under the single heading of Results and Discussion. If literature is cited, a References section must be included however, it can be in smaller type and in a less prominent position than other sections. Include Acknowledgments to recognize contributions to the research...

Find alternatives to sexist language

Though it may be unconscious and unintentional, sexism is common in scientific writing. Consider these examples. Hard-driving veterinarians in private practice should take more time for their wives and children. Fuch's endothelial dystrophy in man occurs with a predilection for aged females. The client's behavior was typically male. Some people are also quite sensitive to nonparallel usage that seems to suggest an inequality. The study included 10 men and 16 females. The researchers were...

Consider person and point of view

First Person Point View

As a writer, you can choose to present a subject in a personal or impersonal manner. In a personal point of view, you play the role of writer and reporter openly, using I, me, and my, or we, us, and our. The impersonal point of view, on the other hand, requires avoiding all explicit reference to yourself. As a writer, you also choose the level of formality of the writing, a closely related but independent factor. The decision is not solely between personal informality and impersonal formality a...

The rest of the story

Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the ark professionals built the Titanic. Since 1946, an American newscaster named Paul Harvey has been broadcasting a radio segment called The Rest of the Story. It always begins as a quaint, apparently historical tale about someone that seems very average until the very end, when Harvey dramatically exposes a missing element that reveals the deeper significance hidden within. Then he concludes And now you know . . . the rrrrest of...

Let pictographs show numerical relationships in a visually symbolic manner

Pictographs are essentially bar graphs composed of pictures. They can be very visually effective. Pictographs are of two basic types. In one, each symbol corresponds to a specific quantity Fig. 3.5 . In the other, uniformly sized symbols each represent a given quantity with a key provided that explains their meaning Fig. 3.6 . Often the precise actual numbers are posted at the end of each row or column, since such graphs present an approximation. Perhaps because their construction historically...

Consider giving an oral presentation

Spoken presentations are overwhelmingly common in the scientific and technical professions. They take many forms, from conference presentations, departmental seminars, and job interviews to classroom presentations, brown-bag lunches, and public talks. Treat each opportunity with respect. Each has its own role to play in a scientist's life, equally valuable in its own way to communication through formal peer-reviewed publication. At a point partway through your study, seek out an opportunity to...

Stay within your allotted time limit

If questions continue and the moderator doesn't end them, do so yourself. Make a final summarizing statement if possible, and thank the audience one more time. You're finished, and you survived POSTER PRESENTATIONS A HAPPY HYBRID A drug is a substance that when injected into a white rat produces a scientific Poster presentations were almost unknown before being introduced into scientific meetings in the United States in the mid-1970s. Since then, however, they have rapidly become a major format...

Alternative Design

Michael Alley and various colleagues have been leaders in the search for a more effective slide format to substitute for PowerPoint's bulleted text approach. As part of this search, Alley and Neeley 2005b undertook a four-year study that involved interactive critique sessions of more than 400 technical presentations. The result was an approach the two researchers call simply Alternative Design. It includes the guidelines shown in Table 4.2. The two most striking differences between traditional...

Keep tasks in perspective

Each chapter in this book presents suggestions and guidelines for dealing efficiently with another of these sequential stages. However, along the way, even a relatively brief handbook like this one presents what can seem like an overwhelming myriad of details. A checklist may help keep you from losing sight of the forest among the trees. Consider adding additional columns with target dates for finishing each step and for the dates of their actual completion. We can't resist one final word of...

Check the ITAs for other requirements

Often, a journal may require special statements, permissions, and such for legal reasons. Below are some common additions that may need to be expressly mentioned in the cover letter State that all authors have contributed significantly to the paper, understand and endorse it, and have read and approved the version being submitted for publication. Some journals require a special statement to this effect, signed by all the coauthors their ITAs may specify its wording. Include a signed permission...

Abbreviations and symbols

Use only standard abbreviations the use of non-standard abbreviations can be extremely confusing to readers. Avoid abbreviations in the title. The full term for which an abbreviation stands should precede its first use in the text unless it is a standard unit of measurement. IV. B. Sending the manuscript to the journal An increasing number of journals now accept electronic submission of manuscripts, whether on disk, as attachments to electronic mail, or by downloading directly onto the journal...

Wiliam Hazlitt

GAVE it WHAT ARE YbU To ME. DOING wITH it 1 CHECkOUTTHE FANCY LABEL AROMA DEL BA O. I my pronunciation RoGER, did is that 600D, You EVER EH study spanish 1 SCHOOL FOXTROT 1996 Bill Amend. Reprinted with permission of UNIVERSAL PRESS SYNDICATE. All rights reserved. FOXTROT 1996 Bill Amend. Reprinted with permission of UNIVERSAL PRESS SYNDICATE. All rights reserved. Scientific writing today has taken on a distinctly international nature, but when the writer and readers do not share...

Uncouple long strings of nouns and adjectives

Strings of pearls often arise from an overly zealous attempt to be brief. However, lucidity is too important to sacrifice on the altar of brevity. Additional words and punctuation are preferable to barely comprehensible meanings. Suppose you encounter the phrase aged dog meat samples. It might have at least five meanings samples of aged meat used for dogs, samples of aged meat from dogs, aged samples of meat from dogs, aged samples of meat used for dogs, and samples of meat from aged dogs....

Use a spellchecker but never entrust it with everything

The ability to check spelling is one of the strengths and blessings of word processing. Take advantage of it. More than that - make its use a regular habit. Professional writing requires perfect spelling. Many people view misspelled words and typographical errors as signs of carelessness, lack of professionalism, or limited intelligence - hardly the impression one wants to make on an editor or reviewer Run a spellchecker on every document that will leave your computer. It will speed your work,...

Mark corrections attentively

Documents slated for paper copy pass through many hands between the author's submission and their final appearance as printed pages. Common sense suggests that a standard method of marking corrections will reduce the chances of misunderstandings. Proofreaders' marks form an internationally recognized convention, although British and American systems differ slightly. With the galley, publishers often include a list of preferred marks, with examples of their use. Mark corrections in the margin...

Use the active voice unless you have good reason to use the passive

Many scientists overuse the passive voice. They write as though it were somehow impolite or unscientific to name the agent of action in a sentence. They seem to feel that every sentence must be written in passive terms, and they undergo elaborate contortions to do so. However, in any type of writing, the active voice is more precise and less wordy than the passive voice. It is the natural voice in which most people speak and write. The active voice also adds energy to your writing, and forces...

Strive for sentences that average about words

For maximal readability, most sentences should be between 15 and 20 words. More than 40 words generally are too many. If your sentences consistently include fewer than 12 words - rare in scientific writing - consider linking and expanding some. As a bonus, a set of sentences 15-20 words long often will express an idea in somewhat fewer words overall than a set of overly long or short sentences does. Too long Two canine cadavers with orthopedic abnormalities were identified which included a...

Draft concise table titles

Unlike figure legends, which usually are listed together on a separate page from the text in a typescript, table titles often are placed directly above each table. An effective table title should include both the general subject and enough detail to make sense without the text. Better Incidence of white-tailed deer fatalities in Wisconsin, 1995-2000 Some journals allow or require brief descriptions of methods, experimental design, or statistical analysis after the table title others treat such...

Visual support for the written word

Art, like morality, consists of drawing the line somewhere. Whether or not one is prepared to call them art, visual aids can be vitally important in presenting a scientist's message. They summarize and emphasize key points and reduce narrative length. They simplify information, and in this way enhance understanding. They improve the conciseness and clarity of the narrative. And finally, when carefully crafted, they add visual appeal. Visual material supports the printed message. Picking up a...

Remove unnecessary hedging

To hedge is to protect one's arguments or statements with qualifications that allow for unknown contingencies or withdrawal from commitment. It also means to allow for escape or retreat. Whether from timidity, awe at the complexity of natural phenomena, or a misunderstanding of scientific objectivity, scientists love to hedge Table 5.1 . In fact, double and triple hedges are common. However, each additional qualifier drains more force from the sentence. Sometimes the result is a sentence that...

Remove empty fillers

In spoken English, many words and phrases act as fillers. They have little more meaning than and-um or clearing one's throat. Unless they are used to excess, neither the speaker nor his audience is even aware of them. In the lecture hall, a case for their utility can even be made - they pace a lecturer's talk to the slower pace of note-taking by listeners. In scientific writing, where each word should count, empty fillers have no place. Yet they sneak in, persistently and repeatedly. Certain of...

Guide readers through sequential processes with algorithms

An algorithm, often written out as a flowchart, is a logical sequence of steps for solving a problem. Examples of algorithm use include such varied items as decision charts, taxonomic keys, income tax forms, and medical treatment guidelines Fig. 3.10 . Algorithms have an important place in biological and medical communication, and deserve to be more widely used. Once people become familiar with their use, they generally find algorithms quicker and easier to follow than narrative instructions....

Selected resources

The Craft of Scientific Writing. 3rd edn. New York Springer. Alley, M. 2003 . The Craft of Scientific Presentations. New York Springer. Alley, M. and Neeley, K. A. 2005a . Discovering the power of PowerPoint Rethinking the design of presentation slides from a skillful user's perspective. Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference and Exposition, ICME2005-2461. Alley, M. and Neeley, K. A. 2005b . Rethinking the design of presentation...

Beware of verbiage

Verbiage, which coincidentally rhymes with garbage, means the use of many unnecessary words. Often it leads to a sort of ritualistic, pompous writing style like this Following termination of avian exposure, there was a substantial incrementation in lung volume and at this moment in time, it would appear that there has been a marginal degree of improvement in diffusing capacity. 34 words Even the most diehard among us would welcome with relief a shorter and more specific rewrite such as After...

Limit average paragraph length

Paragraph length and complexity also influence readability. A paragraph length of about 150 words has been judged to be optimal for a scientific article. A paragraph that covers more than two-thirds of a page when typed double-spaced usually should be shortened. Select a few representative paragraphs, and use the word processing program to check their word count. A paragraph that is too long and complicated is tedious to read. Reexamine the paragraph to see whether it includes more than one...

Remember proper and common nouns

You may not have consciously thought about this point of grammar for years, but when you were younger, language teachers almost certainly drilled you on it. A noun that designates a specific person, place, or thing is called a proper noun. A noun that designates any and all of a class of persons, places, or things is a common noun. These two noun types differ in their capitalization requirements Table 7.3 . All proper nouns begin with capitals. Common names generally do not except in special...

Pluralize correctly

When dealing with units of measure, use the same abbreviations for singular and plural forms 50 mg, 25IU, 100 ml . For all-capital abbreviations, form the plural by adding s without punctuation EKGs, IQs . An apostrophe normally indicates the possessive case the animal's bones . It may also be used correctly to indicate the plural of words or lower case letters when adding an s alone would be confusing mind your p's and q's . Omit the apostrophe when pluralizing all-capital abbreviations and...

What is a gazinta

Block Diagram Scientific Skills

Bjelland 1990 uses the term gazinta, derived from the expression goes into, to encompass those visuals that show the hierarchy and complexity of actions within an object, idea, or institution. A gazinta shows organization and interaction. One type of gazinta, the drawing tree Fig. 3.8 , is essentially static. It shows the subassemblies that make up an assembly and the assemblies that make up an object or an organization. In a drawing tree, all subassemblies of the same relative importance or...

Word tables and numerical tables have their place

All this having been said, we must stress that tables are sometimes the best illustrations for a scientific paper. Word tables present parallel descriptions concisely. In medical writing, tables that appear in case series analyses provide a good example of their appropriate use. In an oral presentation, a teaching article, or a review, small tables of text which function like figures also may be used to emphasize the main points or included as a handy reference like the example in Table 3.2....

Exercise Collective nouns comparisons and lists page

An appropriate dose is 10-50 parts per million of chloramphenicol. 2. The university president convened a committee of scientists. 3. We infused 12 liters of serum into the elephant. 1. The authors' mild pulmonary hypertensive stage was similar to this stage in our study. 2. Group A was more unusual than Group B. 3. The cat recovered better than any of the other cats did. 4. The emergency medical kit contained a bandage, an applicator, a towel, a brush, and a rubber sponge. 5. The fox was...

Exercise Practicing mixed corrections page

Comments Wordy change numbers to Arabic use first person. Revision We conclude that these mammalian cells have a limiting diameter of 16-20 A. 2. Comments Subject-verb disagreement use of passive could be changed. Revision We studied the inhibitory activity of the various combinations and plotted isobolograms. 3. Comments Wordy, awkward at. . . by construction sounds like location increasing may be interpreted two ways. Revision At the cell surface, EDTA increases cell wall permeability....

Exercise Punctuation page

Indicate optimum instrument settings for temperature, humidity, rainfall, and performance. 2. When examined closely, the skeleton bears many bumpy spines that project from the surface of the animal. 3. Class Echinoidea, which includes sea urchins, sand dollars, and heart urchins, is not closely related to class Ascomyceteae. 4. The adults are radially symmetrical, but the larvae are bilateral. It is generally held that this phylum evolved from bilateral ancestors and that radial symmetry...

Appendix

Excerpts from Uniform requirements for manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals Writing and editing for biomedical publication International Committee of Medical Journal Editors A small group of editors of general medical journals met informally in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1978 to establish guidelines for the format of manuscripts submitted to their journals. The group became known as the Vancouver Group. Its requirements for manuscripts, including formats for bibliographic...

Insert commas for clarity and emphasis

The comma has a wide variety of uses, but its overall role is to add clarity or emphasis to a sentence. Remember this fact, and the comma's many specific applications begin to fit into a pattern. Whenever a dependent clause or a long adverbial phrase comes before the main statement of the sentence, it needs a comma. As an example, consider the previous sentence. To determine whether to use commas with a clause that is within a sentence, read the sentence without the clause. Proper punctuation...

Exercise Clarity and brevity page

1. mature iron from muscle iron that is from mature muscle. 2. chronic symptoms of depression symptoms of chronic depression. 3. excretion of renal lithium renal excretion of lithium. 4. In their abdomens, the three patients all had tumors that were confirmed to be metastatic and malignant. Avoid saying cases had tumors. 5. We examined various combinations of immunospecific drugs to see whether any inhibited leukocytes in the peripheral blood of humans. Avoid saying a study examines something....

To develop the papers framework consider an outline

Outlining is a time-honored technique, but it is important to remember that outlines serve two distinct purposes - to help organize one's thoughts, and to help organize one's written words. Some writers who find them useful for one of these purposes may find them less helpful for the other. Thus, the first decision should be whether to draw up an outline at all. You know your own personality best. If you decide to use an outline, the next decision is what kind. Outlines come in many types, from...

Organization is a journey not a destination

A literature review means you'll soon be handling an avalanche of papers - at the very least, personal notes, photocopies, journal reprints, and printed copies of electronic publications. It is essential to have some system in place to deal with all the information that will be converging upon you. What system is most effective There is no one-size-fits-all answer. The popular press is brimming with suggestions, often coupled with explicit or implicit promises of spectacular life results if one...

Deal respectfully with reviewers comments

The system of peer review, wherein anonymous reviewers funnel comments about your typescript back to you through the editor, is rarely a wholly pleasant one no matter how common it is. Even if you have carefully followed all of the suggestions in this book, be prepared for the possibility of negative reviewer comments. The worst thing that you can do, should critical reviews appear, is to treat them as an affront to your professional image. Instead, calmly and carefully evaluate all the...

Cite trade names correctly

Sometimes there are reasons why it is critical to include a trade name in the text of a paper. When this is the case, use the common name first, then the proprietary name. Like variety names Yellow Radiance rose , and some market terms Choice, Prime , trade names should always be capitalized. With two-word names such as Sorvall centrifuge only the first or significant word is capitalized. At least the first time the product is mentioned by full trade name, one should include a suffix...

Punctuate the elements ofseries clearly

Series range from straightforward lists of like items to extremely convoluted sentences with all manner of nested phrases. For maximal clarity, they require different sorts of punctuation. With a simple series, place a comma before and, or, and between the items. Your composition teacher may have instructed you otherwise - in literary writing, and in United Kingdom scientific writing, this comma is often omitted on the grounds that it interrupts the flow of words. However, American scientific...

Watch use of definite and indefinite articles

The definite article the and the indefinite articles a and an are challenging to multilingual speakers. Many languages have nothing that directly compares to them. Use the with nouns whose identity is known or is about to be made known to readers from general knowledge or some clue in the text. The amoeba's endoplasm spreads peripherally from the ends of the pseudopodium. Use a or an only with singular count nouns. Use a before a consonant sound and an before a vowel sound. Pay attention to...

Condense figure legends

Many journals prefer a clipped, sentence-fragment style of writing in figure captions examine recent issues. Usually, articles a, an, the can be omitted and prepositional phrases can be treated as above, shortened, or omitted. Full sentences Fig. 1. The chromosome characteristics of the unknown strain of Tetrahymena are illustrated notice the large and heavily stained object in the center of the photograph, which is the macronucleus. 28 words Clipped form Fig. 1. Chromosome characteristics of...

Misplaced modifiers

Because modifiers provide detail and clarification, they are the darlings of the scientific writing world. We've already noted how scientists stack them and fill them with jargon. Scientists also place them in strange locations that cause ambiguity and unintentionally shift their meaning. Whether they are single words or entire phrases, most modifiers function as adjectives or adverbs. To correct a misplaced modifier, simply move it as close as possible to the word it modifies. Unclear The...

Exercise Dangling participles and other misplaced modifiers page

Toward the anterior chamber, a lamination was evident. 2. Using dimethyl sulfoxide, we observed no bacteria. 3. After experimentation, bacteria multiplied. 4. A correlation between the variables was evident with this method. 5. With an inverted ocular, intestinal sections can be examined for metazoan parasites. 6. Two of the researchers' stopwatches that had been left leaning against cabinets were badly damaged. 7. For sale Laboratory table with thick legs and large drawers suitable for...

Deal constructively with writers block

The deadline is fast approaching. You sit down to write and absolutely nothing useful happens . . . You chew your pencil or tap a rhythm on the computer console, stare out the window, get up for a drink of water, decide to run an errand or shop for groceries . . . The inspiration to write has vanished. You have writer's block. Or do you Those who write about writing debate whether writer's block - particularly in scientific writing - is a real phenomenon or just a...

Attending to grammar numbers and other mechanics

Sticklers unite, you have nothing to lose but your sense of proportion, and arguably you didn't have a lot of that to begin with. Maybe we won't change the world, but at least we'll feel better. Proper grammar, formatting, and citations are essential to effective written and oral communication. These fundamentals help avoid misunderstandings and reduce the chances of error in fact or interpretation. Attention to detail is a little like housekeeping. When it is done well, no one is aware of it....

Improving word choice style and syntax

Calvin And Hobbes Scientific Writing

On the whole, I think the pain which my father took over the literary part of the work was very remarkable. He often laughed or grumbled at himself for the difficulty which he found in writing English, saying, for instance, that if a bad arrangement of a sentence was possible, he would be sure to adopt it . . . When a sentence got hopelessly involved, he would ask himself now what do you want to say and his answer written down, would often disentangle the confusion. - Charles Darwin's son,...

When in doubt spell it out

Here is a quick summary of some places not to abbreviate. Unless an abbreviation is internationally accepted DNA, RNA , avoid using it in the title or abstract. Titles and abstracts are often translated into foreign languages, where readers may find the abbreviations perplexing. Do not begin a sentence with an abbreviation. Do not abbreviate generic names when they are used alone. Drosophila melanogaster or D. melanogaster is acceptable, but never simply D.orD.m. Do not abbreviate units of...

Identify quoted passages from other texts

Any time you copy another writer's or speaker's exact words directly in the text, it must be set off in a way that shows it to be a quote. How this is done is determined by such factors as the quote's length 40 words or less is a common dividing point , the nature of the material being quoted, the country in which the document is being published, and both editorial and personal preferences. Short quotes called run-in quotations are usually placed directly in the text, with quotation marks at...

Hyphenation rules are complex and changing

Hyphens have two general purposes, dividing and compounding. They function primarily as spelling devices, but also can link or separate words or replace 160 7 Attending to grammar, numbers, and other mechanics Table 7.2. Ten hyphenation rules that generally apply Guideline Examples 1. Use a hyphen to create compound modifiers that precede a noun 2. Use a hyphen to avoid ambiguity 3. Use hyphens in compound numbers from 21 to 99 4. Use hyphens in fractions and ratios that function as adjectives...

Use specialized symbols and notations sparingly and with care

In many scientific professions, communication depends heavily upon specialized notations such as symbols, equations, and formulas. These also are a type of illustration. They often appear on a line by themselves, like an in-text table. If complex, they may be submitted as a camera-ready photograph or digital file, like other artwork see Chapter 3 . Scientific symbols and notations often express thoughts not easily or efficiently expressed as words. However, they have many drawbacks. They slow...

Exercise Scientific names and other foreign words and phrases page

1. the parasitic wasp, M. atrata 2. the dandelion, Taraxacum officionale, family Compositae, class Dicotyle-donae 3. the honeybee, Apis mellifera var. ligustica 4. the human malarial parasite, Plasmodium falciparum Bignami 5. The starfish Asterias belongs to the class Asteroidea, phylum Echinoder-mata, in the section Deuterostomia. 1. When acceptable, use the formulas already given in the book, Official Methods in Microbiology. 2. For information on the action of green plant pigments, i.e.,...

Three ways to fix a dangling participle

Reliance upon the passive voice is a major reason why participles so often dangle. This is because the true subject is usually hidden in passive voice. Therefore, one straightforward way to correct a dangling participle is to rewrite the phrase to include the true subject of the verb that was turned into a participle. Dangling participle Using our inoculation procedures, infected hamsters developed granulomata. True subject included, but wordy When we used our inoculation procedures, infected...

Omit hiccups and other needless repetition

Short words often prepositions that unnecessarily accompany verbs or other parts of speech are sometimes termed hiccups. Omitting the italicized words in Table 5.3 column 1 does not change the meaning, a sure sign that the hiccup is unnecessary A longer sort of hiccup occurs with roundabout, indirect constructions such as There is a cure available. It consists of. . . This can be rewritten simply as The available cure consists of. . . Tautology, a closely related problem, is defined as needless...

Watch out for spoken biomedical jargon

Biomedical terms can pose a special hazard because some are used incorrectly so often in speech that the misleading ring of familiarity can lend them false authenticity. Some examples follow. biopsy - This is not a verb. The mass was not biopsied, but a biopsy of the mass was performed. Observations are made on a biopsy specimen, not on the biopsy itself. die of, die from - Persons and animals die of, not from specific diseases. euthanatized, euthanized -Which of these words, if either one,...