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Short Guide to Writing About Biology,9780321078438

Short Guide to Writing About Biology

by
Edition:
4th
ISBN13:

9780321078438

ISBN10:
0321078438
Format:
Paperback
Pub. Date:
7/1/2000
Publisher(s):
Addison-Wesley
List Price: $31.15

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Questions About This Book?

What version or edition is this?
This is the 4th edition with a publication date of 7/1/2000.
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  • The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any CDs, lab manuals, study guides, etc.

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Summary

Emphasizing writing as a means to examining, evaluating, sharing, and refining ideas, A Short Guide to Writing about Biology helps students get more out of their biology courses and prepares them for work beyond the classroom. More than a "writing guide," this book teaches students 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 any biology student. This edition also provides considerable emphasis on the Internet and work with computers in Biology.

Table of Contents

Preface xiii
Part I General Advice About Writing and Reading Biology 1(132)
Introduction and General Rules
3(20)
What Do Biologists Write about, and Why?
3(3)
The Keys to Success
6(12)
Eight major rules for preparing a first draft
6(5)
Seven major rules for developing your final draft
11(5)
Six finer points: one last pass
16(2)
On Using Computers in Writing
18(2)
On Using Computers for Data Storage, Analysis, and Presentation
20(1)
Summary
21(2)
General Advice on Reading and Note-Taking
23(30)
Effective Reading
23(2)
Reading Data
25(5)
Reading Text
30(2)
Plagiarism and Note-Taking
32(8)
Plagiarism
32(1)
Taking notes
33(7)
Split-page note-taking: a can't-fail system
40(1)
Final Thoughts on Note-Taking
40(2)
Locating Useful Sources
42(9)
Using indexes
43(1)
Using Science Citation Index
44(1)
Using Current Contents
45(1)
Using Medline, Biological Abstracts, Basic BIOSIS, and BioDigest
45(1)
Prowling the Internet
46(2)
Seeking other relevant Web sites
48(2)
Final thoughts about efficient searching
50(1)
Closing Thoughts
51(1)
Summary
52(1)
Reading and Writing about Statistical Analyses
53(17)
Statistical Essentials
53(13)
Variability and its representation
53(3)
What you need to know about tomatoes, coins, and random events
56(3)
Establishing a null hypothesis
59(1)
Conducting the analysis and interpreting the results
60(5)
Degrees of freedom
65(1)
Summary
66(1)
Reading about Statistics
67(1)
Writing about Statistics
67(3)
Citing Sources and Listing References
70(10)
Citing Sources
70(5)
Preparing the Literature Cited Section
75(3)
Listing the references
75(2)
Listing journal references
77(1)
Listing items from the World Wide Web
77(1)
Listing book references
78(1)
Listing an article from a book
78(1)
Listing a laboratory manual or handout
78(1)
Sample Literature Cited Section
78(2)
Revising
80(53)
Preparing the Draft for Surgery: Plotting Idea Maps
82(5)
Revising for Content
87(4)
Revising for Clarity
91(6)
Taming disobedient sentences
91(4)
The dangers of ``it''
95(2)
Revising for Completeness
97(3)
Revising for Conciseness
100(7)
First commandment: eliminate unnecessary prepositions
101(1)
Second commandment: avoid weak verbs
102(2)
Third commandment: do not overuse the passive voice
104(2)
Fourth commandment: make the organism the agent of the action
106(1)
Revising for Flow
107(5)
A short exercise in establishing coherence
110(1)
Improving flow using punctuation
111(1)
Revising for Teleology and Anthropomorphism
112(1)
Revising for Spelling Errors
113(1)
Revising for Grammar and Proper Word Usage
114(7)
Becoming a Good Editor
121(9)
Giving criticism
123(2)
Receiving criticism
125(1)
Fine-tuning
126(1)
Sentences in need of revision
126(4)
Summary and Checklist
130(3)
Part II Guidelines for Specific Tasks 133(166)
Writing Summaries and Critiques
135(9)
Writing the First Draft
136(1)
Writing the Summary
137(1)
Sample Student Summary
138(2)
Analysis of student summary
140(1)
Writing the Critique
140(3)
The critique
141(2)
Analysis of student critique
143(1)
Concluding Thoughts
143(1)
Writing Essays and Terms Papers
144(12)
Why Bother?
145(1)
Getting Started
146(1)
Researching Your Topic
147(1)
Writing the Paper
147(6)
Citing Sources
153(1)
Creating a Title
154(1)
Revising
155(1)
Writing Laboratory and Other Research Reports
156(77)
Why Are You Doing This?
156(1)
The Purpose of Laboratory and Field Notebooks
157(6)
Taking notes
158(5)
Components of the Research Report
163(2)
Where to Start
165(1)
Writing the Materials and Methods Section
165(6)
Determining the correct level of detail
166(4)
A model materials and methods section
170(1)
Writing the Results Section
171(36)
Summarizing data using tables and graphs
172(3)
Constructing a summary table
175(1)
To graph or not to graph
175(6)
Preparing graphs
181(2)
(Not) falsifying data
183(1)
The question: to connect or not to connect the dots
183(6)
Bar graphs and histograms
189(2)
Learning to love logarithms
191(4)
Preparing tables
195(2)
Self-sufficient graphs and tables
197(1)
Verbalizing results: general principles
198(4)
Verbalizing results: turning principles into action
202(1)
Writing about negative results
203(1)
Writing about numbers
203(2)
In Anticipation
205(2)
Citing Sources
207(1)
Writing the Discussion Section
207(9)
Expectations
208(1)
Explaining unexpected results
209(2)
Analysis of specific examples
211(5)
Writing the Introduction Section
216(7)
Stating the question
216(2)
An aside: studies versus experiments
218(1)
Providing the background
219(4)
Deciding on a Title
223(2)
Writing an Abstract
225(1)
Preparing an Acknowledgements Section
226(1)
Preparing the Literature Cited Section
227(1)
Preparing Papers for Formal Publication
228(2)
Checklist for the Final Draft of Your Research Report
230(3)
Answering Essay Questions
233(8)
Basic Principles
233(8)
Applying the principles
238(3)
Writing Research Proposals
241(11)
Researching Your Topic
242(2)
What Makes a Good Research Question?
244(1)
Writing the Proposal
245(6)
Introduction
245(2)
Background
247(2)
Proposed research
249(1)
Citing references and preparing the literature cited section
250(1)
Tightening the Logic
251(1)
The Life of a Real Research Proposal
251(1)
Writing a Poster Presentation
252(8)
Layout of the Poster
255(3)
Making the Poster
258(1)
Checklist for Making Posters
259(1)
Writing for a General Audience: Science Journalism
260(10)
Science Journalism Based on Published Research
260(5)
Journalism Based on an Interview
265(5)
Preparing Oral Presentations
270(12)
Talking about Published Research Papers
271(5)
Preparing the talk
271(2)
Giving the talk
273(3)
Talking about Original Research
276(1)
Talking about Proposed Research
277(1)
The Listener's Responsibility
277(1)
Preparing Effective Slides and Overheads
278(2)
Getting Fancy, or Not
280(2)
Writing Letters of Application
282(17)
Before You Start
283(1)
Preparing the Resume
283(4)
Preparing the Cover Letter
287(10)
Recruiting Effective Letters of Recommendation
297(2)
Appendix A 299(2)
The Disassembled Paragraph Reconstituted (From Chapter 5)
299(2)
Appendix B 301(3)
Revised Sample Sentences
301(3)
Appendix C 304(2)
The Revised Sample Sentences in Final Form
304(2)
Appendix D 306(2)
Commonly Used Abbreviations
306(2)
Appendix E 308(3)
Suggested References for Further Reading
308(3)
Appendix F 311(3)
Some Computer Software for the Biological Sciences
311(3)
Index 314


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