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Short Guide to Writing About Biology

Short Guide to Writing About Biology - 4th edition

Short Guide to Writing About Biology - 4th edition

ISBN13: 9780321078438

ISBN10: 0321078438

Short Guide to Writing About Biology by Jan A. Pechenik - ISBN 9780321078438
Edition: 4TH 01
Copyright: 2001
Publisher: Longman, Inc.
International: No
Short Guide to Writing About Biology by Jan A. Pechenik - ISBN 9780321078438

ISBN13: 9780321078438

ISBN10: 0321078438

Edition: 4TH 01

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Emphasizing writing as a means to examining, evaluating, sharing, and refining ideas, A Short Guide to Writing about Biology helps its readers get more out of their reading, lab work, education, and experience. More than a "writing guide," this book teaches readers to think as biologists and to then express that thinking clearly and concisely through their writing and speaking. With comprehensive coverage on how to read and evaluate articles, how to interpret and describe the results of statistical tests, how to maintain laboratory and field notebooks, and how to communicate information concisely and convincingly to professional and general audiences, this book is a "must have" for anyone aspiring to a career in biology. This edition also provides considerable emphasis on the Internet and work with computers in Biology. For anyone aspiring to a career in biology.

Author Bio

Pechenik, Jan A. : Tufts University

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 over 50 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, A Short Guide to Writing About Biology, has just appeared in a fourth edition.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


1. Introduction and General Rules.

What do biologists write about, and why?
The keys to success.
On using computers in writing.
On using computers for data storage, analysis, and presentation.

2. General Advice on Reading and Note-Taking.

Effective reading.
Reading data.
Reading text.
Plagiarism and note-taking.
Final thoughts on note-taking.
Locating useful sources.
Closing thoughts.

3. Reading and Writing About Statistical Analysis.

Statistical essentials.
Reading about statistics.
Writing about statistics.

4. Citing Sources and Listing References.

Citing sources.
Preparing the literature cited section.
Sample literature cited section.
Guidelines For Specific Tasks.

5. Revising.

Preparing the draft for surgery: plotting idea maps.
Revising for content.
Revising for clarity.
Revising for completeness.
Revising for conciseness.
Revising for flow.
Revising for teleology and anthropomorphism.
Revising for spelling errors.
Revising for grammar and proper word usage.
Becoming a good editor.
Summary and checklist.

6. Writing Summaries and Critiques.

Writing the first draft.
Writing the summary.
Sample student summary.
Writing the critique.
Concluding thoughts.

7. Writing Laboratory and Other Research Reports.

Why are you doing this?
The purpose of laboratory and field notebooks.
Components of the research report.
Where to start.
Writing the materials and methods section.
Writing the results section.
Writing about numbers.
In anticipation.
Citing Sources.
Writing the discussion section.
Writing the introduction section.
Deciding upon a title.
Writing an abstract.
Preparing an acknowledgements section.
Preparing the literature cited section.
Preparing paper for formal publication.
Checklist for the final draft of your research report.

8. Writing Essays and Term Papers.

Why bother?
Getting started.
Researching your topic.
Writing the paper.
Citing sources.
Creating a title.

9. Answering Essay Questions.

Basic principles.
Applying the principles.

10. Writing Research Proposals.

Researching your topic.
What makes a good research question.
Writing the proposal.
Tightening the logic.
The life of a real research proposal.

11. Writing a Poster Presentation.

Layout of the poster.
Making the poster.
Checklist for making posters.

12. Writing for a General Audience: Science Journalism.

Science journalism based on published research.
Journalism based on an interview.

13. Preparing Oral Presentations.

Talking about published research papers.
Talking about original research.
Talking about proposed research.
The listener's responsibility.
Preparing effective slides and overheads.
Getting fancy, or not.

14. Writing Letters of Application.

Before you start.
Preparing the resume.
Preparing the cover letter.
Recruiting effective letters of recommendation.

Appendix A.

The disassembled paragraph reconstituted (from Chapter 4).

Appendix B.

Revised sample sentences.

Appendix C.

The revised sample sentences in final form.

Appendix D.

Commonly used abbreviations.

Appendix E.

Suggested references for further reading.

Appendix F.

Some computer software for the biological sciences.