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At once sophisticated and practical, Writing in Biology: A Brief Guide advises students on composing research articles, literature reviews, oral presentations, and other key biology genres. The book gives careful attention to both the governing priciples of audience, purpose, and argument, and the ground rules for style, visual design, and sourcing. Writing in Biology: A Brief Guide is a part of a series of brief, discipline-specific writing guides from Oxford University Press designed for today's writing-intensive college courses. The series is edited by Thomas Deans (University of Connecticut) and Mya Poe (Northeastern University).
Leslie Ann Roldan is a lecturer in the Writing, Rhetoric, and Professional Communication (WRAP) program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Mary-Lou Pardue is the Boris Magasanik Professor in Molecular Biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1. Why and How Biologists Write Writing is integral to the professional lives of biologists Biology has many subfields that share a core writing style Biologists write for multiple purposes and audiences The structure of a research article informs the structure of other forms of biological communication How to use this book
Chapter 2. Strategies for the scientific research article How to use this chapter Figures and Tables: Start with your data Results: Connect Illustrations with text Methods: Document your process Introduction: Start broadly and then narrow Discussion: Interpret your data Title: Get noticed Abstract: Advertise your work Acknowledgements Supplementary information
Chapter 3. Strategies for the laboratory report How to use this chapter Preparing your report Figures and Tables: Start with your data Results: Connect illustrations and text Methods: Document your process Introduction: Start broadly and then narrow to your aim Discussion: Interpret your data Title References Appendix
Chapter 4. Strategies for literature reviews Focus your topic Locate sources by using the right search engines Search for articles strategically Keep track of the literature Know the difference between summarizing vs. critiquing the literature Limit the scope and define your focus as a working title Structure your literature review Adapt or design illustrations Finalize your text Edit Literature review checklist
Chapter 5. Strategies for oral presentations and scientific posters Oral Presentations Scientific Posters
Chapter 6. Style Use strong, precise topic sentences Within a paragraph, employ a consistent subject across most sentences Begin with information that is familiar to your readers; then introduce new and complex information Choose your verbs carefully: active vs. passive voice Be concise Check and clarify your antecedents Avoid compound nouns Use technical terms, but avoid jargon Edit for correctness Checklist
Chapter 7. Sources Keep track of your sources Paraphrase and compress your sources Paraphrasing properly Cite sources of illustrations and images Cite every source with an in-text reference Prepare your Literature Cited Source Checklist
Appendix. Reviewing like a biologist Receiving a review Writing a review Sample Peer Review Checklist for writing a review