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Short Guide to Writing About Biology, A,9780321385925

Short Guide to Writing About Biology, A

by
Edition:
6th
ISBN13:

9780321385925

ISBN10:
0321385926
Format:
Paperback
Pub. Date:
1/1/2007
Publisher(s):
Longman
List Price: $47.00

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What version or edition is this?
This is the 6th edition with a publication date of 1/1/2007.
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  • The Used copy of this book is not guaranteed to inclue any supplemental materials. Typically, only the book itself is included.

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  • Short Guide to Writing About Biology, A
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Summary

Provides students with the tools needed to be successful writers in college and their profession, while emphasizing writing as a way of examining, evaluating, and sharing ideas. Students are taught how to read critically, study, evaluate and report data, and how to communicate information clearly and logically. Teaches students to think as biologists and to express ideas clearly and concisely through their writing. Courses preparing students for a profession in the field of biology.

Author Biography

Jan A. Pechenik is professor of biology at Tufts University

Table of Contents

PREFACE xvii
PART I General Advice about Writing and Reading Biology 1(128)
1 INTRODUCTION AND GENERAL RULES
2(20)
What Do Biologists Write about, and Why?
2(3)
The Keys to Success
5(9)
Ten major rules for preparing a first draft
5(4)
Six major rules for developing your final draft
9(3)
Eight finer points: the easy stuff
12(2)
The annoying but essential final pass
14(1)
On Using Computers in Writing
14(4)
On Using Computers for Data Storage, Analysis, and Presentation
18(1)
Summary
19(3)
TECHNOLOGY TIP 1. GETTING THE MOST FROM YOUR WORD-PROCESSING PROGRAM
16(6)
2 LOCATING USEFUL SOURCES 21 Using Indexes
22(11)
Using Science Citation Index
23(1)
Using Current Contents
24(1)
Using Medline and Other Databases
24(2)
Prowling the Internet
26(1)
Conducting Web Searches: Developing Productive Search Strategies
27(4)
Final Thoughts about Efficient Searching: Technology Isn't Everything
31(1)
Closing Thoughts
32(1)
Summary
32(1)
TECHNOLOGY TIP 2. USING SEARCH ENGINES EFFECTIVELY
28(5)
3 GENERAL ADVICE ON READING AND NOTE-TAKING
33(19)
Why Read and What to Read
33(1)
Effective Reading
34(2)
Reading Data: Plumbing the Depths of Figures and Tables
36(4)
Reading Text: Summarize as You Go
40(2)
Plagiarism and Note-Taking
42(9)
Plagiarism
42(1)
Take notes in your own words
43(6)
Split-page note-taking: A can't fail system
49(2)
Final thoughts on note-taking: Document your sources
51(1)
Summary
51(1)
4 READING AND WRITING ABOUT STATISTICAL ANALYSES
52(20)
Statistical Essentials
52(12)
Variability and its representation
52(3)
When is a difference a meaningful difference? What you need to know about tomatoes, coins, and random events
55(2)
Establishing a null hypothesis
57(2)
Conducting the analysis, and interpreting the results
59(4)
Degrees of freedom
63(1)
Summary: Using Statistics to Test Hypotheses
64(1)
Moving Beyond p-Values
65(2)
Statistical power
65(1)
Effect magnitudes
66(1)
Reading about Statistics
67(1)
Writing about Statistics
68(4)
5 CITING SOURCES AND LISTING REFERENCES
72(11)
Citing Sources
72(4)
Summary of Citation Format Rules
76(1)
Preparing the Literature Cited Section
76(5)
Listing the references—General rules
77(1)
Listing the references—Using the correct format
78(3)
A Sample Literature Cited Section
81(2)
TECHNOLOGY TIP 3. BIBLIOGRAPHIC MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE
79(1)
TECHNOLOGY TIP 4. PRODUCING HANGING INDENTS
80(3)
6 REVISING
83(46)
Preparing the Draft for Surgery: Plotting Idea Maps
84(5)
Revising for Content
89(3)
Revising for Clarity
92(6)
Taming disobedient sentences—Sentences that don't say what the author means
92(3)
The dangers of It
95(2)
Problems with and
97(1)
Headache by acronym
98(1)
Revising for Completeness
98(2)
Revising for Conciseness
100(7)
First commandment: Eliminate unnecessary prepositions
102(1)
Second commandment: Avoid weak verbs
103(1)
Third commandment: Do not overuse the passive voice
104(1)
Fourth commandment: Make the organism the agent of the action
105(1)
Fifth commandment: Incorporate definitions into your sentences
106(1)
Revising for Flow
107(4)
A short exercise in establishing coherence
109(1)
Improving flow using punctuation
110(1)
Revising for Teleology and Anthropomorphism
111(1)
Revising for Spelling Errors
111(2)
Revising for Grammar and Proper Word Usage
113(6)
A grammatical aside: Rules-that-are-not-rules
118(1)
A strategy for revising: Pass by pass by pass
119(1)
Becoming a Good Reviewer
119(8)
Receiving criticism
122(2)
Fine-tuning
124(1)
Sentences in need of revision
124(3)
Checklist
127(3)
TECHNOLOGY TIP 5. TRACKING CHANGES MADE TO DOCUMENTS
123(6)
PART II Guidelines for Specific Tasks 129(160)
7 WRITING SUMMARIES AND CRITIQUES
130(9)
Writing the First Draft
131(1)
Writing the Summary
132(1)
Sample Student Summary
133(2)
Analysis of student summary
134(1)
Writing the Critique
135(3)
The critique
135(3)
Analysis of student critique
138(1)
Concluding Thoughts
138(1)
8 WRITING ESSAYS AND REVIEW PAPERS
139(12)
Why Bother?
139(1)
Getting Started
140(1)
Researching Your Topic
141(1)
Developing a Thesis Statement
142(1)
Writing the Paper
143(5)
Getting underway: Taking and organizing your notes
143(1)
The crucial first paragraph
144(2)
Supporting your argument
146(2)
The closing paragraph
148(1)
Citing Sources
148(1)
Creating a Title
149(1)
Revising
150(1)
Checklist
150(1)
9 WRITING LABORATORY AND OTHER RESEARCH REPORTS
151(74)
Why Are You Doing This?
151(1)
The Purpose of Laboratory and Field Notebooks
152(4)
Taking notes
153(3)
Making drawings
156(1)
Components of the Research Report
156(3)
Where to Start
159(1)
When to Start
160(1)
Writing the Materials and Methods Section
160(6)
Determining the correct level of detail
160(3)
Giving rationales
163(1)
Describing data analysis
163(1)
Use of subheadings
163(2)
A model materials and methods section
165(1)
Writing the Results Section
166(33)
Summarizing data using tables and graphs
167(1)
Constructing a summary table
168(1)
To graph or not to graph
168(6)
Preparing graphs
174(4)
(Not) falsifying data
178(1)
The question: To connect or not to connect the dots?
178(4)
Making bar graphs and histograms
182(3)
Learning to love logarithms
185(2)
Preparing tables
187(3)
Making your graphs and tables self-sufficient
190(1)
Putting your graphs and tables in order
190(1)
Incorporating figures and tables into your report (or not)
191(1)
Verbalizing results: General principles
191(3)
Verbalizing results: Turning principles into action
194(1)
What is a 'figure"?
194(1)
Writing about negative results
195(1)
Writing about numbers
195(1)
In anticipation—Preparing in advance for data collection
196(3)
Citing Sources
199(1)
Writing the Discussion Section
199(7)
Expectations
200(1)
Explaining unexpected results
201(2)
Analysis of specific examples
203(3)
Writing the Introduction Section
206(7)
Stating the question
207(1)
An aside: Studies versus experiments
208(1)
Providing the background
209(3)
A sample introduction
212(1)
Talking about Your Study Organism or Field Site
213(1)
Deciding on a Title
213(2)
Writing an Abstract
215(1)
Preparing an Acknowledgments Section
216(1)
Preparing the Literature Cited Section
216(1)
Preparing a Paper for Formal Publication
216(2)
Checklist for the Final Draft
218(7)
TECHNOLOGY TIP 6. USING COMPUTER SPREADSHEETS FOR DATA COLLECTION
198(23)
TECHNOLOGY TIP 7. GRAPHING WITH EXCEL
221(4)
10 WRITING RESEARCH PROPOSALS
225(12)
What Are Reviewers Looking For?
226(1)
Researching Your Topic
227(1)
What Makes a Good Research Question?
228(1)
Writing the Proposal
229(5)
Introduction
229(1)
Background
230(2)
Proposed research
232(2)
Citing references and preparing the literature cited section
234(1)
Tightening the Logic
234(1)
The Life of a Real Research Proposal
235(1)
Checklist
235(2)
11 ANSWERING ESSAY QUESTIONS
237(7)
Basic Principles
237(5)
Applying the Principles
242(2)
12 WRITING A POSTER PRESENTATION
244(7)
Layout of the Poster
246(2)
Making the Poster
248(2)
Checklist for Making Posters
250(1)
13 WRITING FOR A GENERAL AUDIENCE: SCIENCE JOURNALISM
251(8)
Science Journalism Based on Published Research
252(3)
The simple statement and bullet leads
252(1)
The narrative lead
253(1)
The surprise or paradox lead
254(1)
Science journalism in action: An example
254(1)
Journalism Based on an Interview
255(4)
14 PREPARING ORAL PRESENTATIONS
259(13)
Talking about Published Research Papers
260(4)
Preparing the talk
260(2)
Giving the talk
262(2)
Talking about Original Research
264(1)
Talking about Proposed Research
265(1)
The Listener's Responsibility
265(1)
Preparing Effective Slides and Overheads
266(1)
The Pros and Cons of PowerPoint Presentations
267(3)
Checklist for Being Judged
270(2)
15 WRITING LETTERS OF APPLICATION
272(17)
Before You Start
273(1)
Preparing the Résumé
273(3)
Preparing the Cover Letter
276(11)
Recruiting Effective Letters of Recommendation
287(2)
APPENDIX A: THE DISASSEMBLED PARAGRAPH RECONSTITUTED (FROM CHAPTER 6) 289(1)
APPENDIX B: REVISED SAMPLE SENTENCES 290(2)
APPENDIX C: REVISED SAMPLE SENTENCES IN FINAL FORM 292(2)
APPENDIX D: COMMONLY USED ABBREVIATIONS 294(2)
APPENDIX E: SUGGESTED REFERENCES FOR FURTHER READING 296(2)
APPENDIX F: SAMPLE FORM FOR PEER REVIEW 298(1)
APPENDIX G: SOME USEFUL WEB SITES 299(2)
APPENDIX H: USING THE PAPER VERSIONS OF LEADING INDEXING SERVICES 301(2)
INDEX 303


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