This best-selling writing guide, written by a prominent biologist, teaches students to think as biologists and to express ideas clearly and concisely through their writing.
Providing students with the tools they'll need 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 students how to read critically, study, evaluate and report data, and how to communicate information clearly and logically.
Students are 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.
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. Writing a Poster Presentation.
Layout of the Poster.
Making the Poster.
Checklist for Making Posters.
13. Writing for a General Audience: Science Journalism.
Science Journalism Based on Published Research.
Journalism Based on an Interview.
14. Preparing Oral Presentations.
Talking About Published Research Papers.
Talking About Original Research.
Talking About Proposed Research.
The Listener's Responsibility.
Preparing Effective Slides and Overheads.
The Pros and Cons of Powerpoint Presentations
Checklist for Being Judged
15. 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.
Appendix H. Usding the Paper Versions of Leading Index Services