Scientific Writing and Communication Papers, Proposals, and Presentations

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2009-12-16
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
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Scientific Writing and Communication: Papers, Proposals, and Presentations covers all the areas of scientific communication that a scientist needs to know and to master to successfully promote his or her research and career. This unique "all-in-one" handbook begins with a discussion of the basics of scientific writing style and composition and then applies these principles to writing research papers, review articles, grant proposals, research statements, and resumés as well as to preparing academic presentations and posters. FEATURES : A practical presentation carefully introduces such basic writing mechanics as word choice and word location, sentence structure, and paragraph organization before moving into manuscript planning and organizational strategies. Extensive hands-on guidance for composing scientific documents and presentations then follows. Relevant and multi-disciplinary examples taken from real research papers and grant proposals by writers ranging from students to Nobel Laureates illustrate clear technical writing as well as common mistakes that one should avoid. Examples are drawn from a broad range of scientific disciplines including medicine, molecular biology, biochemistry, ecology, geology, chemistry, engineering, and physics. Extensive end-of-chapter exercise sets provide the opportunity to review style and composition principles and encourage readers to apply them to their own writing. Writing guidelines and revision checklists warn scientists against common pitfalls and equip them with the most successful techniques to revise a scientific paper, review article, or grant proposal. Annotated text passages bring the writing principles and guidelines to life by applying them to real-world, relevant, and multidisciplinary examples. Clear, easy-to-follow writing style is understandable to both native and non-native English speakers; special ESL features address problems faced by non-native English speakers. Eight chapters on grant writing demonstrate how to write successful grant applications and how to avoid the most common application mistakes. Covering all the facets of communication that scientists need to master, Scientific Writing and Communication: Papers, Proposals, and Presentations is ideal for a wide range of readers--from upper-level undergraduates and graduate students to postdoctoral fellows, faculty, and professional researchers--in the life sciences, medicine, psychology, chemistry, and engineering.

Table of Contents

Chapters 2-15, 20-24, and 28 end with a Summary and Problems.
Chapters 16-19, 25-27, and 29 end with a Summary.
Chapter 1. Prelude
1.1 Importance of Writing in Science
1.2 About Readers
1.3 About Writers
1.4 About This Book
1.5 Design of This Book
Chapter 2. Individual Words
2.1 The Central Principle
2.2 Word Choice
2.3 Word Choice--Special Cases
2.4 Redundancies and Jargon
2.5 Abbreviations
2.6 Nomenclature and Terminology
2.7 Dictionaries
Chapter 3. Word Location
3.1 Readers' Expectations
3.2 Competition for Emphasis
3.3 Placement of Words
Chapter 4. Technical Sentences
4.1 Grammar and Technical Style
4.2 Person
4.3 Voice
4.4 Tense
4.5 Sentence Length
4.6 Verbs and Action
4.7 Noun Clusters
4.8 Pronouns
4.9 Lists and Comparisons
4.10 Faulty Comparisons
4.11 Common Errors
Chapter 5. Special ESL Grammar Problems
5.1 Prepositions
5.2 Articles
5.3 Verbs
5.4 Adjectives and Adverbs
5.5 Nouns and Pronouns
5.6 Grammar References
Chapter 6. From Sentences to Paragraphs
6.1 Paragraph Structure
6.2 Paragraph Organization
6.3 Paragraph Coherence
6.4 Condensing
Chapter 7. The First Draft
7.1 The Writing Process
7.2 Prewriting
7.3 Authorship
7.4 Drafting a Manuscript
7.5 Outlining and Composing a Manuscript
7.6 Writer's Block?
7.7 For ESL Authors
7.8 Outside Help
Chapter 8. References and Plagiarism
8.1 About References
8.2 Selecting References
8.3 Managing References
8.4 Text Citations
8.5 Plagiarism
8.6 Paraphrasing
8.7 References Within a Scientific Paper
8.8 The Reference List
8.9 Common Reference Styles
8.10 Citing the Internet
8.11 Footnotes and Endnotes
8.12 Acknowledgments
Chapter 9. Figures and Tables
9.1 General Guidelines
9.2 Importance of Formatting and Placement of Information
9.3 Figure or Table?
9.4 General Information on Figures
9.5 Types of Figures
9.6 Formatting Graphs
9.7 Examples of Graphs
9.8 Figure Legends
9.9 General Information on Tables
9.10 Formatting Tables
9.11 Other Kinds of Supplementary Information: Formulas, Equations, Proofs, and Algorithms
PART III. MANUSCRIPTS: Research Papers and Review Articles
A. Research Papers
Chapter 10. The Introduction
10.1 Overall
10.2 Content and Organization
10.3 Elements of the Introduction
10.4 Special Case: Introductions for Descriptive Papers
10.5 Important Writing Principles for the Introduction
10.6 Signals for the Reader
10.7 Common Problems of Introductions
10.8 Sample Introductions
10.9 Revising the Introduction
Chapter 11. Materials and Methods Section
11.1 Overall
11.2 Content
11.3 Organization
11.4 Important Writing Principles for Materials and Methods
11.5 Ethical Conduct
11.6 Common Problems of Materials and Methods Section
11.7 Sample Materials and Methods Sections
11.8 Revising the Materials and Methods Section
Chapter 12. Results
12.1 Overall
12.2 Content
12.3 Organization
12.4 Important Writing Principles for the Results
12.5 Signals for the Reader
12.6 Common Problems of the Results Section
12.7 Sample Results Sections
12.8 Revising the Results Section
Chapter 13. Discussion
13.1 Overall
13.2 Content
13.3 Organization
13.4 First Paragraph
13.5 Middle Paragraphs
13.6 Last Paragraph
13.7 Important Writing Principles for the Discussion
13.8 Signals for the Reader
13.9 An Alternative: Results and Discussion
13.10 Common Problems of the Discussion
13.11 Sample Discussions
13.12 Revising the Discussion
Chapter 14. Abstract
14.1 Overall
14.2 Content
14.3 Organization
14.4 Applying Basic Writing Principles
14.5 Signals for the Reader
14.6 Common Problems of the Abstract
14.7 Reasons for Rejection
14.8 Revising the Abstract
Chapter 15. Titles
15.1 Overall
15.2 Strong Titles
15.3 The Title Page
15.4 Running Title
15.5 Key Words
15.6 Revising the Title
Chapter 16. Revising the Manuscript
16.1 Revising the First Draft
16.2 Subsequent Drafts
16.3 Reviewing a Manuscript
Chapter 17. Final Version and Submission
17.1 General Advice on the Final Version
17.2 Submitting the Manuscript
17.3 Writing a Cover Letter
17.4 The Review Process
17.5 Letter from the Editor
17.6 Resubmission
17.7 Paper Accepted
B. Review Articles
Chapter 18. Review Articles
18.1 Overall
18.2 Content
18.3 Organization
18.4 Abstract of a Review Article
18.5 Introduction of a Review Article
18.6 Main Analysis Section of a Review Article
18.7 Conclusion of a Review Article
18.8 References
18.9 Signals for the Reader
18.10 Coherence
18.11 Common Problems of Review Articles
18.12 Revising the Review Article
Chapter 19. Proposal Writing
19.1 General
19.2 Types of Proposals
19.3 Choosing a Sponsoring Agency
19.4 Federal Agencies
19.5 Private Foundations
19.6 Corporations and Other Funders
19.7 Preliminary Steps to Writing a Proposal
19.8 Online Resources
19.9 Starting to Write a Grant
19.10 Interacting With the Funder
Chapter 20. Letters of Inquiry and Preproposals
20.1 General
20.2 Content and Organization
20.3 Abstract/Overview
20.4 Introduction/Background
20.5 Statement of Need
20.6 Objective and Specific Aims
20.7 Strategy and Goals
20.8 Leadership and Organization
20.9 Budget
20.10 Impact and Significance
20.11 Cover Letter
20.12 Verbal Proposals
20.13 LOI Outlines
20.14 Revising an LOI/Preproposal
Chapter 21. Abstract and Specific Aims
21.1 Overall
21.2 Abstract
21.3 Specific Aims
21.4 Significance and Impact
21.5 Applying Basic Writing Principles
21.6 Signals for the Reader
21.7 Common Problems
21.8 Reasons for Rejection
21.9 Revising the Abstract and Specific Aims
Chapter 22. Background and Significance
22.1 Overall
22.2 Content and Organization
22.3 Elements of the Section
22.4 Signals for the Reader
22.5 Coherence
22.6 Common Problems
22.7 Revising the Background and Significance Section
Chapter 23. Preliminary Results
23.1 Overall
23.2 Content
23.3 Organization
23.4 Important Writing Principles
23.5 Signals for the Reader
23.6 Common Problems
23.7 Revising the Preliminary Results
Chapter 24. Research Design and Methods
24.1 Overall
24.2 Content
24.3 Organization
24.4 Closing Paragraph
24.5 Signals for the Reader
24.6 Common Problems
24.7 Revising the Research Design and Methods Section
Chapter 25. Budget and Other Special Proposal Sections
25.1 Budget
25.2 Other Special Proposal Sections
Chapter 26. Revision and Submission
26.1 General
26.2 Before Sending Out the Proposal
26.3 Revising the Proposal
26.4 Submitting the Proposal
26.5 Being Reviewed
26.6 Site Visits
26.7 If Your Proposal Is Rejected
26.8 Resubmission of a Proposal
26.9 If Your Proposal Is Funded
Chapter 27. Posters
27.1 Function
27.2 Content
27.3 Organization
27.4 Sections of a Poster
27.5 Photos, Figures, and Tables
27.6 Preparing a Poster
27.7 Presenting a Poster
27.8 Sample Poster
27.9 Checklist for a Poster
Chapter 28. Oral Presentations
28.1 Before the Talk
28.2 Conference Talks and Abstracts
28.3 Content and Organization of a Scientific Talk
28.4 Visual Aids
28.5 Preparing for a Talk
28.6 Giving the Talk
28.7 Voice and Delivery
28.8 Vocabulary and Style
28.9 Body Actions and Motions
28.10 At the End of the Presentation
28.11 Questions and Answers
28.12 Other Speech Forms
28.13 Checklist for an Oral Presentation
Chapter 29. Writing for Job Applications
29.1 Overall
29.2 Curricula Vitae (CVs) and Résumés
29.3 Cover Letters
29.4 Accompanying Documents
29.5 Research Statements
29.6 Teaching Statements
29.7 Resources
29.8 Letters of Recommendation
29.9 Checklist for the Job Application
Appendix: Commonly Confused and Misused Words
Answer Key

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