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The Scientist S Guide to Writing


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Table of Contents

Preface vii Part I. What Writing Is 1. On Bacon, Hobbes, and Newton, and the Selfishness of Writing Well 3 2. Genius, Craft, and What This Book Is About 11 Part II. Behavior 3. Reading 17 4. Managing Your Writing Behavior 22 5. Getting Started 30 6. Momentum 42 Part III. Content and Structure 7. Finding and Telling Your Story 57 8. The Canonical Structure of the Scientific Paper 74 9. Front Matter and Abstract 79 10. The Introduction Section 84 11. The Methods Section 89 12. The Results Section 99 13. The Discussion Section 120 14. Back Matter 126 15. Citations 132 16. Deviations from the IMRaD Canon 138 Part IV. Style 17. Paragraphs 149 18. Sentences 159 19. Words 174 20. Brevity 182 Part V. Revision 21. Self-Revision 193 22. Friendly Review 204 23. Formal Review 211 24. Revision and the "Response to Reviews" 222 Part VI. Some Loose Threads 25. The Diversity of Writing Forms 233 26. Managing Coauthorships 247 27. Writing in English for Non-Native Speakers 260 Part VII. Final Thoughts 28. On Whimsy, Jokes, and Beauty: Can Scientific Writing Be Enjoyed? 273 Acknowledgements 287 References 289 Permanent URLs 299 Index 303

About the Author

Stephen B. Heard is professor of biology at the University of New Brunswick in Canada and associate editor of the journal American Naturalist.


"Heard provides a well-written, useful guide across the various scientific specialties, emphasizing the need to create a paper that clearly reflects the goal of the writer and also has literary merit."--Choice "In an accessible, informal tone, this book explains essential techniques that students, postdoctoral researches, and early career scientists need to write more clearly, efficiently, and easily."--Lunar and Planetary Information Bulletin

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