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Having something to say and clear thinking to have a logical flow 2. Elegant and Stylish a. Takes time, comes through revision and requires a good editor Characteristics of a Good Writer 1. Having something to say. 2. Logical and clear thinking. 3. A few simple, learnable rules of style Good writing can be learned and improved through practicing How to Improve 1. Read, pay attention and imitate a. Observe how professional writers write, their techniques, styles and etc b. Write in a journal to practice writing skills. c. Talk about what you want to write before you write it. d. Try to engage your readers – try not to bore them. 2. Stop Waiting for Inspiration a. Just start writing, stop procrastinating b. Accept that writing is hard for everyone c. Revise! Nobody gets it perfect on the first try d. Learn how to cut ruthlessly. Never become attached to your words. 3. Find a good editor! 4. Take risks and be creative e. Find your own voice in your writing, be funny or provocative. f. Things such as hyphens and using I or We can make writing more appealing
Adoptive cell transfer (ACT) immunotherapy is based on the ex vivo selection of tumorrelative lymphocytes. Removing extra words.Examples of What to Avoid Ask Yourself Is this sentence easy to understand? Is this sentence enjoyable and interesting to read? Is this sentence readable? Is it written to inform or to obscure? Academic Writing Verbs become jargons and clunky nouns. Therefore. they are produced faster than they can be recycled back to ascorbate. including gliomagenesis. and their activation and numerical expression before reinfusion to the autologous tumor-bearing host. The use of nouns instead of verbs The use of vague words. and replacing nouns with verbs: These findings imply that. molecular species that can regulate miR activity on their target RNAs without affecting the expression of relevant mature miRs may play equally relevant roles in cancer. reorganizing using logic. Complex ideas don’t require complex language Writing should be easy and even enjoyable Principles of Effective Writing Dysregulation of physiologic microRNA (miR) activity has been shown to play an important role in tumor initiation and progression. have no purpose and or meaning The use of jargon and acronyms . but not equivalent at higher irradiance with the rate of ascorbate radical production exceeding its recycling back to ascorbate. but at high irradiation. Verbs drive sentences along and Nouns slow them down These finding imply that the rates of ascorbate radical production and its recycling via dehydroascorbate reductatse to replenish the ascorbate pool are equivalent at the lower irradiance. ascorbate radicals are produced and recycled at the same rate. at low irradiation.
basically. many acronyms are invented by authors but prove difficult to understand for readers. Distancing between the subject and the main verb “Therefore. Micro RNA (RNA is already an acronym) Though convenient. The passage also uses a passive voice (has been shown) English Language Norm Subject – Verb – Object She throws the ball Passive Voice (Awkward) Object – Verb – Subject The ball was thrown by her 3. avoid turning verbs into nouns and distancing. Cutting unnecessary words and phrases 2. molecular species that can regulate miR activity on their target RNAs without affecting the expression of relevant mature miRs may play equally relevant roles in cancer. Therefore. Writing with verbs: use strong verbs.” The changes are applied and the passage is transformed Dysregulation of physiologic microRNA (miR) activity has been shown to play an important role in tumor initiation and progression. 2. Changes in microRNA expression play a role in cancer. Using an active voice 3.Bad Traits of the Passage 1. including glioma. . Overview: 1. molecular species that can regulate miR activity on their target RNAs without affecting the expression of relevant mature miRs may play equally relevant roles in cancer. events that disrupt microRNAs from binding to their target RNAs may also promote cancer. Acronyms should only be used if they are well known and already used in the field. Therefore. including gliomagenesis. if they are standard.
every passive construction that leaves the reader unsure of who is doing what-these are the thousand and one adulterants that weaken the strength of a sentence. using examples that illustrate the challenges and solutions. Example Sentence 2 As it is well known. Only important words should be kept This paper reviews cancer biology study design. Avoiding repetition and passive voice The experiment provides the first proof of principle of laser-driven of laser driven particle acceleration in a structure-loaded vacuum. And they usually occur in proportion to the education and rank. every adverb that carries the same meaning that’s already in the verb. Cutting out the unnecessary introductions and avoiding passive voice Increased athletic activity is associated with lower cardiovascular. . and improved muscular and cardio-respiratory performance.” -William Zinsser in On Writing Well. lower blood pressure levels. Example 3 The experimental demonstration is the first of its kind and is a proof of principle for the concept of laser driven particle acceleration in a structure loaded vacuum. lower blood pressure and improved fitness. 1976 Example Sentence 1 This paper provides a review of the basic tenets of cancer biology study design. increased athletic activity has been related to a profile of lower cardiovascular risk. using as examples studies that illustrate the methodological challenges or that demonstrate successful solutions to the difficulties inherent in biological research. every long word that could be a short word.“The secret of good writing is to strip every sentence to its cleanest components. Every word that serves no function.
Dead weight words and phrases a. Methodological c. Unnecessary jargon and acronyms e. Repetitive words or phrases f. It should be emphasized that 2. It can be regarded that d. . Important 3. etc. Very.Cut Unnecessary Words Be vigilant and ruthless After investing much effort to put words on a page. Common Clutter: 1. successful solutions 6. really quite. Avoid useless adverbs. we must fight their seductive pull. Avoid acronyms unless they are standard and well known. Example Sentence 1 Brain injury incidence shows two peak periods in almost all reports: rates are the highest in young people and the elderly. Studies/example g. i. generally. if you don’t like the new sentence you can always ctrl z. Adverbs h. Yet. challenges/difficulties d. Empty words and phrases a. basically. Long words or phrases that could be short Muscular an cardiovascular performance = fitness 4. Basics tenets of b. Illustrate/demonstrate c. Thanks to the modern day undo. The sentence is transformed and becomes and more powerful Brain injury incidence peaks in the young and the elderly. The new sentence should convey the same idea with more power. As it has been shown c. we often become reluctant in removing them. As it is well known b. they have no purpose. 5. Try the sentence without the extra words and compare them.
--Lettres Provinciales.5%. based on the assumption that intelligence is normally distributed is about 2. Deficiency in T –cell-mediated immune response predisposes an individual to active TB. 1656 Other Tips Eliminate negatives Eliminate superfluous uses of “there are/there is” Omit needless prepositions Crisp version most many agree rare the three cause because affect . “I have only made this letter rather long because I have not had the time to make it shorter. if intelligence is normally distributed. Repetitive words or clauses Example A robust cell-mediated immune response is necessary.Long words and phrases that could be short Wordy version A majority of A number of Are of the same opinion Less frequently occurring All three of the Give rise to Due to the fact that Have an effect on Practice Sentence The expected prevalence of mental retardation. Dec. 16.5%.14.” Je n’ai fait celle-ci plus longue que parceque je n’ai pas eu le losisir de la faire plus courte. is 2. and deficiency in this response predisposes an individual towards active TB. The expected prevalence of mental retardation.
They agreed that it was true. We can arrange the pulleys in many ways. The meeting happened on Monday. . The data confirms that there is an association between vegetables and cancer. They agreed it was true. Omit needless prepositions When you’re over the word count removing words such as “that” and “on” which are often superfluous can help. Many physicists like to write. There was a long line of bacteria on the plate. She did not want to perform the experiment incorrectly. They believed the drug was safe. She was usually wrong. They did not believe the drug was harmful. Bacteria lined the plate.Eliminate Negatives She was not often right. The meeting happened Monday. The data confirms an association between vegetables and cancer. Common examples of negatives: Not honest Dishonest Not harmful Safe Not important Unimportant Does not have Lacks Did not remember Forgot Did not pay attention to Ignored Did not succeed Failed Eliminate there are/there is There are many ways in which we can arrange the pulleys. She wanted to perform the experiment correctly. There are many physicists who like to write.
The verb to be (is) and the past participle of the transitive verb (loved) (She) is the object Cigarette ads were designed to appeal especially to children. There is no subject. To find the passive voice Ask: Who does what to whom? could be shall be should be will be would be may be might be has been must be The passive voice format Object* – Verb – Subject Mistakes were made (no responsibility) . abdicates responsibility. The passive voice takes away the subject.Using the Active Voice The active voice (normal English format) Subject – Verb – Object* She threw the ball *may not always have an object The passive voice can be recognized through the passive verb. What was remembered – the visit (hence the object of the verb remember) I will always remember my first visit to Boston. She throws the ball (Verb takes the object) To be verbs Is Are Was Were Be Been Am Examples My first visit to Boston will always be remembered by me. She is loved. and the past participle of the main verb. The main verb must always be a transitive verb. which consists of two parts: a form of the verb to be.
it was found that pre-treatment with antibiotics increased the number of super-shudders. Increased promoter occupancy and transcriptional activation of p21 and other target genes were observed. Additionally.Passive Voice Examples: By applying a high resolution. 90 degree bending magnet downstream of the laser electron interaction region. The activation of Ca++ channels is induced by the depletion of endoplasmic reticulum of Ca++ stores. the spectrum of the electron beams could be observed. (Rearrange the sentence) Depleting Ca++ from the endoplasmic reticulum activates Ca++ channels. while immunosuppression did not. General dysfunction of the immune system has been suggested at the leukocyte level in both animal and human studies. (Verbs should not become nouns) Pre-treating the mice with antibiotics increased the number of super-shedders while immunosuppression did not. (You can use of personal pronouns) We observed increased promoter occupancy and transcriptional activation of p21 and other target genes. 90 degree bending magnet downstream of the laser electron interaction region. (Active voice forces more detail) Both animal and human studies suggest that diabetics have general immune system dysfunction at the leukocyte level. . (Identify subject) We could observe the spectrum of the electron beams by applying a high resolution.
By agreeing to be an author on the paper. You (or your team) ran the experiment and interpreted data. and estimates that the number of diabetics in these countries will double in the next 25 years. Readers tend to skim the methods section for key words rather than reading it as prose. . The style guidelines for many journals explicitly instruct authors to write in the active voice. The active voice is livelier and easier to read To use the active voice. The experiments and analysis did not just materialize out of thin air. Thus. you are taking responsibility for its content. personal pronouns are required. (try to avoid use of adverbs) Report approximately – estimates… Estimating in the future – projects… Use the Thesaurus. you can use the passive voice in the methods section. As. (“the data were interpreted to show”) 3. Writing with verbs Using strong verbs Avoiding turning verbs into nouns Don’t bury the main verbs Verbs are the most important element of sentences. 2. you should also claim responsibility for the assertions in the text by using “we” or “I” 4. However. Picking the right verbs is crucial Example: The WHO reports that approximately two-thirds of the world’s diabetics are found in developing countries.Using We or I 1. The myth that avoiding first-person pronouns lends objectivity to the paper. what was done is more important than who did it.
Each student worries about their grade (incorrect as each student is singular) All students worry about their grade . Don’t kill verbs by turning them into nouns! Don’t bury the verbs in the sentence Subject should immediately be followed by verb.The WHO estimates two-thirds of the world’s diabetics are found in developing countries. and projects that the number of diabetics in these countries will double in the next 25 years. near the beginning of the sentence. To avoid gender choice. Use “to be” verbs purposefully and sparingly. turn to a plural. Grammar Tips Affect vs Effect (Verb vs Noun) Compared to vs Compared Compare to = to point out similarities between different things Compare with = to pint out differences between similar things That vs Which “That” is the restrictive (defining pronoun) “Which” is the nonrestrictive (non-defining pronoun) Is your clause essential or non-essential? That: the essential clause cannot be eliminated without changing the meaning of the sentence Which: the non-essential clause can be eliminated without altering the basic meaning of the sentence (and must be set off by commas) They vs Their Do not use they or their when the subject is singular. Try to avoid adverbs by finding better verbs.
fourteen series circulating. and parenthesis… You can use punctuation to vary your sentence structure. Comma (shortest pause) Colon (bigger pause) Dash (abrupt pause) Parentheses (really big pause) Semicolon (connecting two sentences) Period (biggest pause) Dash (less formal) Parentheses (less formal) The Others Use less formal punctuation more sparingly. only four. or sentence) into a passage that is grammatically complete without it. . by 1980.Parentheses allow readers to skip over the material . It was the best of times. semicolon.The main point of the sentence should not change without the parentheses. in 1940. when the syndicate was in its final years. it was the worst of times The semicolon joins two ideas! Semicolons are also used to separate items in lists that contain internal punctuation. he also cared about it. nine. phrase. Parentheses (parenthetical expression) Use parentheses to insert an afterthought or explanation (a word.Punctuation Dash. Example: They dramatically reduced the number of series in production: in 1935. The Semicolon connects two independent clauses. Example: Kennedy knew something about the world. . colon.
Dash Use the dash to add emphasis or to insert an abrupt definition or description almost anywhere in the sentence. Friedlander and his colleagues first transplanted stem cells from an adult mouse into the eyes of newborn mice. Also remember that the dash is slightly less formal. The drugs did more than prevent new fat accumulation. explanation. shorter paragraphs allows for more white space on the page and results in a more pleasant reading experience. Just don’t overuse it. (A parentheses or comma could not be used) (Stunk and White’s classic The Elements of Style) Paragraphs 1 paragraph = 1 idea Keep paragraphs between 3 and 5 sentences. They also triggered overweight mice to shed significant amounts of fat – up to half of their body weight. Sometimes a colon is used to join two independent clauses if the second amplifies or extends the first. avoid lengthy paragraphs. slap sanctions on them. The rule of threes (when you have a choice or there is ambiguity) Provide 3 examples or items in a list. Examples: Washington has a simple solution to most governments it doesn’t like: isolate them. three is an ideal number and acts like a rule of thumb. The idea should be given off early in the paragraph. Give away the punch line early. or it loses its impact. The woman suffers from a lack of experience and a chronic Democratic disease: compound sentences.Colon: Use a colon after an independent clause to introduce a list. conclusion or amplification. quote. and wait for their downfall. (Dash has emphasis effect) To establish that the marrow cells – also called adult stem cells or endothelial precursor cells – can colonize the eye. Paragraph flow is helped by: .
Rebuttals (all) . a.- Logical flow of ideas Parallel sentence structure If necessary. Organizing your thoughts Do you have an organizational system? Have all your facts and ideas ready and organized according to category or etc… Spend more time organizing and you will spend less time writing. Logical Flow of Ideas Sequential in time (avoid the Memento approach) Going from the first to the last. follow: . General to specific (take-home message first!) From broad idea to specific examples. therefore b) Pre Writing Steps Get organized! Don’t try to write and gather information simultaneously. Don’t “Bait and Switch” your reader too many times. Gather and organize information before writing the first draft.Counter-arguments (all) . rely more on the logical flow. Make them memorable and use emphasis at the end. When discussing a controversy.Arguments (all) . Logical Arguments (if a then b. Avoid using too many transition words. transition words The reader remembers the first and last sentence the best. a time line approach is natural. Develop a road-map Arrange key facts and citations from the literature into a crude road map/outline before writing the first draft. Brainstorming away from the computer may be more efficient Compositional Organization Like ideas and or paragraphs should be grouped together.
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