Contents

Preface page ix

Preface to the third edition x

1 preparing to write 1-30 Search and research 1

Conducting a comprehensive literature review

Using the Internet wisely and well

Tapping other informal and formal communication channels Your research: the big picture Choose a communication venue 13

Formal publication: the message determines the medium Other ways to publish Plan to succeed 21

Organize and plan your message Avoid plagiarism

Use the Process Approach to take charge Exercise 1.1. Search strategy and Boolean logic Exercise 1.2. Message, format, and audience Exercise 1.3. Organizing ideas

2 composing a first draft 31-55 Deal with matters of authorship 31 Productivity tools and pitfalls 33

Use word processing to write more efficiently Master the tools that will make your writing life simpler Spellcheckers, grammar and style analysis programs Follow standard structure 42

Introduction Materials and methods Results

Discussion and conclusions

Acknowledgments References

Abstracts and summaries The title

Other title page items Use tense to show the status of work 48

Build momentum - and keep it! 50

Exercise 2.1. Spelling and grammar programs Exercise 2.2. Title choices Exercise 2.3. Tense use

3 visual support for the written word 56-78 Choosing and using visual aids

Tables

Figures

Graphs

Photographs and other documentary illustrations Explanatory artwork Examining your choices

Exercise 3.1. Table and figure choices

4 visual support for the spoken word 79-102 Oral presentations 80

Media choices for oral presentations Developing a traditional text-based oral presentation Visual elements of text, tables, and figures The PowerPoint controversy Speaking in public: the human factor 91

Control nervousness Delivering the speech or presentation Handling questions

Poster presentations: a happy hybrid 97

Preparing a poster Presenting a poster

Exercise 4.1. Slide presentation format Exercise 4.2. Answering questions

5 revising to increase coherence 103-124 Work efficiently 103

Start with organization and logic Use the power at your command Improve the big picture 105

Rework for clarity Rewrite for readability Condense for brevity

When short might be too short 118

Abbreviations, acronyms, and other shortened forms

Noun clusters and strings of pearls Exercise 5.1. Person and point of view Exercise 5.2. Readability Exercise 5.3. Shortened forms Exercise 5.4. Clarity and brevity

6 improving word choice, and syntax style 125-152

Choose a better word 126

Recognize and minimize jargon Use bias-free, inclusive language Choose the right word Focus fuzzy nouns and qualifiers Check the verbs 139

Choose livelier verbs Unmask disguised verbs Active and passive voice Subject-verb agreement Beware of strange links 145

Ambiguous antecedents and misplaced modifiers Dangling participles The mischief of multiples 148

Collective nouns and noun phrases The grammar of comparisons and lists Exercise 6.1. Jargon

Exercise 6.2. Handling language sensitively Exercise 6.3. Devil pairs Exercise 6.4. Which and that Exercise 6.5. Fuzzy words and disguised verbs Exercise 6.6. Active and passive voice Exercise 6.7. Subject-verb agreement Exercise 6.8. Dangling participles and other misplaced modifiers

Exercise 6.9. Collective nouns, comparisons, and lists

7 attending to grammar, numbers, and other mechanics 153-181

Tweak the text 153

Punctuate for clarity Capitalize consistently Treat scientific names properly

Use foreign words and phrases to inform, not impress

Fine-tune number use 170

Numerals versus written numbers

The SI metric system for measurements and weights

Very large and very small numbers

Percentages

Practicing mixed corrections 179

Exercise 7.1. Punctuation Exercise 7.2. Capitalization

Exercise 7.3. Scientific names and other foreign words and phrases

Exercise 7.4. Number use and interpretation Exercise 7.5. Practicing mixed corrections

8 the rest of the story Preparing to publish

Double-check references and attributions Verify submission format Submit the document Remember Murphy's Laws Back and forth: editorial review

Correct galley proof conscientiously Celebrate - You have published! Tips for international publication

Address second-language English readers effectively Choose an effective approach when writing English as a second language Usage and grammar pitfalls for nonnative writers Ethical issues

Respect your data - and your readers Check again for plagiarism

Protect yourself from potential libel and slander charges

Legal matters

Trade names Copyright Permissions Patents

Appendix 1: Suggested responses to exercises 209

Appendix 2: Excerpts from "Uniform requirements for manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals: Writing and editing for biomedical publication" 221

Selected resources 232

Index 236

182-208 182

188 192

198 202

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