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Short Guide to Writing About Biology

Short Guide to Writing About Biology - 5th edition

Short Guide to Writing About Biology - 5th edition

ISBN13: 9780321159816

ISBN10: 0321159810

Short Guide to Writing About Biology by Jan A. Pechenik - ISBN 9780321159816
Edition: 5TH 04
Copyright: 2004
Publisher: Longman, Inc.
International: No
Short Guide to Writing About Biology by Jan A. Pechenik - ISBN 9780321159816

ISBN13: 9780321159816

ISBN10: 0321159810

Edition: 5TH 04

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This best-selling writing guide teaches students to think as biologists and to express that thinking clearly and concisely through their writing.

Starting with a macro focus on general writing matters and moving to a micro focus on specific types of writing in biology, this brief, supplemental guide provides students with all the tools they'll need to be successful writers. Emphasizing writing as a means to examining, evaluating, sharing, and refining ideas, this text teaches students to communicate information accurately and concisely. Comprehensive coverage of how to read and evaluate articles, interpret and describe the results of statistical tests, maintain laboratory and field notebooks, and communicate information to professional and general audiences makes this best-selling book a "must have" for any biology student.

Features :

  • Discusses the key areas of writing in biology including essay exams, term papers, proposals, summaries, critiques, laboratory and other research reports, and letters of application.
  • Extensive pedagogy in each chapter includes checklists and summaries, lists of concepts, processes, common pitfalls, and highlighted key statements.
  • Includes useful coverage on the creation of oral presentations and poster presentations.
  • Introduces students to the way biologists think and write about biology, providing general advice on reading and writing about data and statistical analyses.
  • Several useful appendices provide additional writing and research help, including a list of commonly used abbreviations, references for further reading, and information on computer software for the biological sciences.

New To This Edition :

  • Updated coverage of citing sources reflects the latest changes in the Council of Science Editors (CSE) style.
  • Enhanced instruction for avoiding plagiarism includes new specific checklists and guidelines.
  • Features updated guidelines for doing research on the web, including the use of online journals.
  • Presents new advice on preparing effective graphs and PowerPoint presentations.
  • Offers additional

Author Bio

Pechenik, Jan A. : Tufts University

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. Why Read and What to Read: General Advice on Reading and Note-Taking.
Effective Reading.
Reading Data: Plumbing the Depths of Figures and Tables.
Reading Text: Summarize As You Go.
Plagiarism and Note-Taking.
Final Thoughts on Note-Taking: Document Your Sources.
Locating Useful Sources.
Closing Thoughts.

3. Reading and Writing about Statistical Analysis.
Statistical Essentials.
Summary: Doing Statistics.
Reading About Statistics.
Writing About Statistics.

4. Citing Sources and Listing References.
Citing Sources.
Summary of Citation Format Rules.
Preparing the Literature Cited Section.
Sample Literature Cited Section.

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 Essays and Term Papers.
Why Bother?
Getting Started.
Developing a Thesis Statement.
Researching Your Topic.
Writing the Paper.
Citing Sources.
Creating a Title.

8. 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.
Citing Sources.
Writing the Discussion Section.
Writing the Introduction Section.
Deciding on a Title.
Writing an Abstract.
Preparing an Acknowledgements Section.
Preparing the Literature Cited Section.
Preparing Papers for Formal Publication.
Checklist for the Final Draft of Your Research Report.

9. 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.

10. Answering Essay Questions.
Basic Principles.

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 Résumé.
Preparing the Cover Letter.
Recruiting Effective Letters of Recommendation.

Appendix A. The Disassembled Paragraph Reconstituted (from Chapter 5).
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.
Appendix G. Sample Form for Peer Review.
Appendix H. Some Useful Websites.