The Good Writing Practice initiative was launched in the December 2010 issue of TWS1 by Alistair Reeves and Wendy Kingdom. The aim is to go beyond the classic style guide and provide advice on practical aspects of writing that make texts easier to read – and write, of course. An initial list of topics to be covered was put together by a small group of European Medical Writers Association (EMWA) members, some of whom have already contributed.1 This project is, however, open to anyone who wishes to contribute advice on writing in our field that is not found in published style guides and that they feel would be useful to their colleagues. The advice may also contradict classic style guides – which is no surprise, since they often contradict one another.
The aim is to keep contributions short so that a variety of topics can be covered in each issue. ‘Short’ means about 400–500 words, sometimes up to a page. Topics that need more space can be spread across successive issues. So far, we have covered abbreviations, the benefits of using a language dictionary, pleasing the reader, overwriting, using checklists when writing, and writing for specific audiences.
If you have ideas or wish to agree or disagree with any of the advice or add new aspects, do not hold back: send a contribution to Wendy Kingdom or Alistair Reeves, however long or short. Maybe you have a question that you have not found an answer to elsewhere. We have plenty of experts in EMWA who should be able to answer most questions about writing.
Finally, we hope to bring everything together in an EMWA publication. Help us to make this a success!
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