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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 the reader with the tools needed to be successful writers in college and their profession, A Short Guide to Writing about Biology emphasizes writing as a way of examining, evaluating, and sharing ideas. The text teaches how to read critically, study, evaluate and report data, and how to communicate information clearly and logically.
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.
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.
Table of Contents
I. GENERAL ADVICE ABOUT WRITING AND READING BIOLOGY.
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. Locating Useful Sources.
Prowling the Internet
3. General Advice on Reading and Note-Taking.
Why Read and What to Read
Reading Data: Plumbing the Depths of Figures and Tables.
Reading Text: Summarize As You Go.
Plagiarism and Note-Taking.
4. Reading and Writing about Statistical Analysis.
Summary: Using Statistics.
Reading About Statistics.
Writing About Statistics.
5. Citing Sources and Listing References.
Summary of Citation Format Rules.
Preparing the Literature Cited Section.
Sample Literature Cited Section.
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 Reviewer
II. GUIDELINES FOR SPECIFIC CRITIQUES.
7. Writing Summaries and Critiques.
Writing the First Draft.
Writing the Summary.
Sample Student Summary.
Writing the Critique.
8. Writing Essays and Term Papers.
Researching Your Topic
Developing a Thesis Statement.
Writing the Paper.
Creating a Title.
9. 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.
When to Start
Writing the Materials and Methods Section.
Writing the Results Section.
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 A Paper for Formal Publication.
Checklist for the Final Draft
10. Writing Research Proposals.
What Are Reviewers Looking For?
Researching Your Topic.
What Makes a Good Research Question?
Writing the Proposal.
Tightening the Logic.
The Life of a Real Research Proposal
11. Answering Essay Questions.
12 Presenting Research Findings as Talks and Posters
Talking about published research papers
Writing the talk
Giving the talk
Dos and Don’ts for oral presentations
Talking about original research
Talking about proposed research
The listener’s responsibility
Preparing effective visuals
Common Powerpoint errors
Checklist for being judged
Layout of the poster
Making the poster
Checklist for making posters
13. 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. Sample Form for Peer Review.
Appendix G. Some Useful Websites.