Mastering Scientific and Medical Writing: A Self-help Guide (Google eBook)

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Springer Science & Business Media, Jan 20, 2007 - Medical - 146 pages
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“If any man wish to write in a clear style, let him frst be clear in his thoughts. ” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe You may ask why anyone would want to write yet another book about scientifc writing. Tere are many books on the subject, some more useful than others, and the abundance of literature on this topic may confuse rather than guide. I felt that this book was necessary for several reasons. During the past years, I have learnt much about the needs of scientifc communicators, both through my personal experience as a pharmacologist and, later, through teaching scientifc writing at universities, pharmaceutical companies, and other institutions. In today’s busy world, guidance on scientifc writing must be focused and to the point. Our constraints no longer permit the ti- consuming search for the “correct” word or formulation. Moreover, the speed by which we produce a manuscript has become increasingly important, be it in academia or the pharmaceutical industry. Scientists ofen fnd it difcult to accept that their professional success essentially depends on their skill and efciency to communicate their research results. Without any doubt, the rapid exchange of pertinent information is critical to scientifc advancement and should therefore be regarded with due respect. A second, perhaps even more important reason for writing this book is my personal concern for everyone challenged to write high-quality texts in a language that is not his or her native tongue.
  

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Contents

INTRODUCTION
1
GOOD VERSUS POOR SCIENTIFIC WRITING AN ORIENTATION
3
22 THE PLAIN LANGUAGE MOVEMENT
4
23 THE BASO PYRAMID OF SCIENTIFIC WRITING
6
231 BASELINE
7
233 OPINION
8
24 COMMON MYTHS AND MISCONCEPTIONS
9
242 LONG AND COMPLICATED SENTENCES
10
452 POSITION OF ADVERBS IN SENTENCES
56
453 POSITION OF PREPOSITIONS IN SENTENCES
58
46 DANGLING PARTICIPLESAND OTHER DANGLERS
59
463 DANGLING GERUNDS
62
48 USE OF RESPECTIVELY
64
49 PLURALS OF ABSTRACTIONS AND ATTRIBUTES
65
PUTTING IT NICELY STYLE
67
52 ACTIVE VERSUS PASSIVE VOICE
68

243 MISUSING OR WASTING SPECIFIC AND GENERIC TERMS
11
245 TENDENCY TO TURN SHARP AND POWERFUL VERBS INTO WEIGHTY NOUNS
12
WORDS AND UNITS ORTHOGRAPHY AND PUNCTUATION
13
312 USING SPELL CHECKERS
14
33 PUNCTUATION
16
333 PUNCTUATION MARKS INDICATING EMOTION
18
334 PARENTHESES AND BRACKETS
19
335 PERIODS IN TITLES AND ACADEMIC DEGREES
21
337 NONBREAKING SPACES AND HYPHENS
22
34 SHORTENED WORD FORMS IN SCIENTIFIC WRITING
23
342 TRUE ABBREVIATIONS
24
343 UNITS OF MEASUREMENT
25
344 ACRONYMS AND INITIALISMS
27
345 CONTRACTIONS
28
35 NUMBERS
29
352 FORMATS OF NUMBERS
31
353 RANGES OF NUMBERS
32
36 CAPITALIZATION
34
363 CAPITALS IN TITLES
35
3631 CAPITALIZING HYPHENATED COMPOUND WORDS IN TITLES
36
365 CAPITALS IN NEWAGE WORDS
37
FORMING SENTENCES GRAMMAR
39
42 THE TENSES IN SCIENTIFIC REPORTING
41
43 JOINING STATEMENTS
44
432 NONPARALLEL VERBS
45
433 NONPARALLEL MODIFIERS
47
44 SUBJECTVERB AGREEMENT
49
442 SPECIAL NOUNS
50
443 COLLECTIVE NOUNS
51
444 THE RULE OF MEANING
53
445 VERBMATCHING WITH NONE AND THE NEITHERNOR LINKAGE
54
45 SYNTAXORDER OF WORDS
55
523 THE VERB TO BE IN COPULA FORMULATIONS
69
53 OVERUSE OF PREPOSITIONS
70
54 LIMITING MODIFIERS AND OTHER DECORATIVEWORDS
73
542 MODIFIER STRINGS
74
55 THE HOUSE STYLE OF JOURNALS
76
56 COMPANYINTERNAL CONVENTIONS OF STYLE AND FORMAT
77
REDUNDANCY AND JARGON FOCUSING ON THE ESSENTIALS
79
62 DOUBLE NEGATIVES
80
63 TAUTOLOGY REPEATED AND REDUNDANT WORDS
81
64 DOUBLING PREPOSITIONS
82
65 JARGONIZED WRITING
83
66 OXYMORONS
85
STRUCTURING SCIENTIFIC TEXTS GETTING THE STORY OUT
87
AVOIDING DISCRIMINATION ETHICS OF SCIENTIFIC WRITING
89
822 GENDERINCLUSIVE LANGUAGE
90
83 RACIST WRITING
92
84 AGEISM
93
QUOTING PUBLISHED MATERIAL REFERENCE FORMATS
95
92 REFERENCE FORMATS AND THE UNIFORM REQUIREMENTS
96
923 REFERENCE MANAGER TOOLS
101
APPENDIX
103
GROUPS OF WORDS AFFECTED BY THE DIFFERENT SPELLING
107
103 THE MAIN PUNCTUATION MARKS IN SCIENTIFIC WRITING
108
104 AWKWARD PHRASES TO AVOID
112
105 A LIGHTHEARTED VIEW OF SCIENTIFIC JARGON
115
106 LIST OF ACADEMIC DEGREES AND HONORS
116
REFERENCES
121
113 PUBLISHED LITERATURE
122
EXERCISES
123
SOLUTIONS TO EXERCISES
135
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