ISBN13:978-0205667277 ISBN10: 0205667279 This edition has also been released as: ISBN13: 978-0205672400 ISBN10: 020567240X
Summary: This best-selling writing guide by a prominent biologist teaches students to think as biologists and to express ideas clearly and concisely through their writing. Providing students with the tools they'll need to be successful writers in college and their profession,A Short Guide to Writing about Biologyemphasizes writing as a way of examining, evaluating, and sharing ideas. The text teaches students how to read critically, study, evaluate and report data, and how to
communicate information clearly and logically. Students are also given detailed advice on locating useful sources, interpreting the results of statistical tests, maintaining effective laboratory and field notebooks, writing effective research proposals and poster presentations, writing effective applications, and communicating information to both professional and general audiences.
Summary: This best-selling writing guide by a prominent biologist teaches students to think as biologists and to express ideas clearly and concisely through their writing. Providing students with the tools they'll need to be successful writers in college and their profession,A Short Guide to Writing about Biologyemphasizes writing as a way of examining, evaluating, and sharing ideas. The text teaches students how to read critically, study, evaluate and report data, and how to communicate information clearly and logically. Students are also given detailed advice on locating useful sources, interpreting the results of statistical tests, maintaining effective laboratory and field notebooks, writing effective research proposals and poster presentations, writing effective applications, and communicating information to both professional and general audiences. ...show less
Edition/Copyright:7TH 10 Cover: Paperback Publisher:Longman, Inc. Year Published: 2010 International: No
View Author Bio
Jan A. Pechenik is Professor of Biology at Tufts University, where he has been teaching and doing research since 1978. He obtained his B.A. in Zoology from Duke University and his Ph.D. in Biological Oceanography from the Graduate School of Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island. To date he has published more than a hundred papers on the development and metamorphosis of marine invertebrate animals, including snails, blue mussels, crabs, barnacles, polychaetes, bryozoans, and parasitic flatworms. Professor Pechenik has also published a successful textbook on invertebrate biology, currently in its 3rd edition, and chairs the Division of Invertebrate Zoology within the Society for Comparative and Integrative Biology (formerly the American Society of Zoologists). Committed to teaching as well as research, his highly praised book on this subject, AShort Guide to Writing About Biology, will publish in its eighth edition in January 2012.
View Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Part I General Advice about Writing and Reading Biology 1
1 Introduction And General Rules 2
What Do Biologists Write about, and Why? 2
The Keys to Success 4
Eleven Major Rules for Preparing a First Draft 5
Seven Major Rules for Developing Your Final Draft 10
Nine Finer Points: The Easy Stuff 13
The Annoying but Essential Last Pass 14
On Using Computers in Writing 15
On Using Computers for Data Storage, Analysis, and Presentation 18
Technology Tip 1. Getting The Most From Your Word-Processing Program 16
2 Locating Useful Sources 21
Using Indexes 22
Using Science Citation Index 23
Using Current Contents Search 24
Using Medline and Other Databases 24
Prowling the Internet 25
Conducting Web Searches: Developing Productive Search Strategies 27
Final Thoughts about Efficient Searching: Technology Isn't Everything 31
Closing Thoughts 32
Technology Tip 2. Using Search Engines Effectively 29
3 General Advice on Reading and Note-Taking 33
Why Read and What to Read 33
Effective Reading 34
Reading Data: Plumbing the Depths of Figures and Tables 36
Reading Text: Summarize as You Go 41
Plagiarism and Note-Taking 42
Take Notes in Your Own Words 44
Split-Page Note-Taking: A Can't-Fail System 48
Final Thoughts on Note-Taking: Document Your Sources 50
4 Reading and Writing About Statistical Analyses 51
Statistical Essentials 51
Variability and Its Representation 51
When Is a Difference a Meaningful Difference? What You Need to Know about Tomatoes, Peas, and Random Events 54
Establishing a Null Hypothesis 56
Conducting the Analysis, andInterpreting the Results 58
Degrees of Freedom 62
Summary: Using Statistics to Test Hypotheses 63
Moving Beyond p-values 63
Statistical Power 64
Effect Magnitudes and Alternative Analyses 65
Reading about Statistics 66
Writing about Statistics 66
5 Citing Sources and Listing References 71
Citing Sources 71
Summary of Citation Format Rules 75
Preparing the Literature Cited Section 76
Listing the References-General Rules 76
Listing the References-Using the Correct Format 77
A Sample Literature Cited Section 80
Technology Tip 3. Bibliographic Management Software 79
Technology Tip 4. Producing Hanging Indents 79
6 Revising 82
Preparing the Draft for Surgery: Plotting Idea Maps 84
Revising for Content 88
Revising for Clarity 91
Taming Disobedient Sentences-Sentences That Don't Say What the Author Means 91
The Dangers of It 94
Problems with And 96
Headache by Acronym 96
Revising for Completeness 97
Revising for Conciseness 98
First Commandment: Eliminate Unnecessary Prepositions 100
Second Commandment: Avoid Weak Verbs 101
Third Commandment: Do Not Overuse the Passive Voice 102
Fourth Commandment: Make the Organism the Agent of the Action 104
Fifth Commandment: Incorporate Definitions into Your Sentences 104
Revising for Flow 105
A Short Exercise in Establishing Coherence 107
Improving Flow Using Punctuation 108
Revising for Teleology and Anthropomorphism 109
Revising for Spelling Errors 109
Revising for Grammar and Proper Word Usage 110
A Grammatical Aside: Rules-That-Are-Not-Rules 116
A Strategy for Revising: Pass by Pass by Pass 116
Becoming a Good Reviewer 117
Receiving Criticism 119
Sentences in Need of Revision 123
Technology Tip 5. Tracking Changes Made To Documents 120
Part II Guidelines for Specific Tasks 127
7 Writing Summaries and Critiques 128
Writing the First Draft 129
Writing the Summary 130
Sample Student Summary 131
Analysis of Student Summary 132
Writing the Critique 133
The Critique 133
Analysis of Student Critique 135
Concluding Thoughts 136
8 Writing Essays and Review Papers 137
Why Bother? 137
Getting Started 138
Researching Your Topic 139
Developing a Thesis Statement 140
Writing the Paper 141
Getting Underway: Taking and Organizing Your Notes 141
The Crucial First Paragraph 142
Supporting Your Argument 144
The Closing Paragraph 145
Citing Sources 146
Creating a Title 146
9 Writing Laboratory And Other Research Reports 148
Why Are You Doing This? 148
The Purpose of Laboratory and Field Notebooks 149
Taking Notes 150
Making Drawings 154
Components of the Research Report 154
Where to Start 156
When to Start 156
Writing the Materials and Methods Section 157
Determining the Correct Level of Detail 157
Giving Rationales 159
Describing Data Analysis 160
Use of Subheadings 160
A Model Materials and Methods Section 161
Writing the Results Section 162
Summarizing Data Using Tables and Graphs 163
Constructing a Summary Table 164
To Graph or Not to Graph 166
Preparing Graphs 171
(Not) Falsifying Data 173
The Question: To Connect or Not to Connect the Dots? 174
Making Bar Graphs and Histograms 177
Learning to Love Logarithms 179
Preparing Tables 182
Making Your Graphs and Tables Self-Sufficient 183
Putting Your Graphs and Tables in Order 186
Incorporating Figures and Tables into Your Report (or Not) 186
Verbalizing Results: General Principles 186
Verbalizing Results: Turning Principles into Action 189
What Is a "Figure"? 190
Writing about Negative Results 190
Writing about Numbers 190
In Anticipation-Preparing in Advance for Data Collection 192
Citing Sources 193
What to Do Next? 194
Writing the Discussion Section 194
Explaining Unexpected Results 195
Analysis of Specific Examples 197
Writing the Introduction Section 201
Stating the Question 202
An Aside: Studies Versus Experiments 203
Providing the Background 204
A Sample Introduction 206
Talking about Your Study Organism or Field Site 207
Deciding on a Title 207
Writing an Abstract 209
Preparing an Acknowledgments Section 210
Preparing the Literature Cited Section 210
Preparing a Paper for Formal Publication 210
Checklist for the Final Draft 212
Technology Tip 6. Using Computer Spreadsheets for Data Collection 193
Technology Tip 7. Graphing With Excel 215
10 Writing Research Proposals 219
What Are Reviewers Looking For? 220
Researching Your Topic 221
What Makes a Good Research Question? 222
Writing the Proposal 223
Proposed Research 226
Citing References and Preparing the Literature Cited Section 228
Tightening the Logic 228
The Life of a Real Research Proposal 228
11 Answering Essay Questions 230
Basic Principles 230
Applying the Principles 234
12 Presenting Research Findings: Writing Talks And Poster Presentations 237
Oral Presentations 237
Talking about Published Research Papers 238
Talking about Original Research 242
Talking about Proposed Research 242
The Listener's Responsibility 242
Preparing Effective Visuals 243
Using Power Point 244
Checklist for Being Judged 247
Poster Presentations 248
Layout of the Poster 250
Making the Poster 252
Checklist for Making Posters 253
13 Writing Letters of Application 254
Before You Start 255
Preparing the Résumé 255
Preparing the Cover Letter 258
Recruiting Effective Letters of Recommendation 268
Appendix A Revised Sample Sentences 270
Appendix B Revised Sample Sentences In Final Form 272
Appendix C Commonly Used Abbreviations 274
Appendix D Suggested References For Further Reading 276
Appendix E Sample Form For Peer Review 278
Appendix F Some Useful Web Sites 279
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