Medical Writing Writing better Removing the dead wood
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Volume 26, Issue 1 - Writing better

Removing the dead wood

Abstract

Authors are urged to write clearly, concisely and convincingly, but this can be difficult to achieve if they are unaware that they are using longwinded phrases, convoluted language and excessive hedging, also   called “dead wood”. In this article, I provide some examples of how dead wood can be removed to improve readability. I also provide a sample exercise that readers can use to practice removing dead wood.

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References

  1. Møller C. New medical writing course in Copenhagen: Increasing chances of publication for non-native speakers. The Write Stuff. 2007;16(1):8–9.
  2. Laksáfoss Holbek B, Jessen Hansen H, Kehlet H, Horsleben Petersen R. Thoracoscopic pulmonary wedge resection without post-operative chest drain: an observational study. Gen Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2016;64(10):612–7.

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Articles

Writing Better
President’s Message
EMWA News
Advancing the Medical Writing profession: The Joint Position Statement on the Role of Professional Medical Writers
AMWA-EMWA-ISMPP Joint Position Statement on the Role of Professional Medical Writers
EMWA’s Special Interest Groups (SIGs)
Finding the action in your writing: Avoiding nominalisation
Removing the dead wood
Writing economically in medicine and science: Tips for tackling wordiness
How to shorten a text by up to 30% and improve clarity without losing information
Troublesome words
Can you recognise the four main ways that English sentences can be structured?
Three strategies to help you write clearly for a lay audience
Structuring paragraphs
A checklist to improve your writing
Results of the 2016 EMWA member survey
News from the EMA
Getting Your Foot in the Door
Teaching Medical Writing
In the Bookstores
Lingua Franca and Beyond
The Webscout
Good Writing Practice
Medical Communications
Profile: An Interview with Michael Markie - an open science and open data advocate
Out on Our Own

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