Medical Writing Writing Matters Getting what you want from your scientific writing: tips for writing clearly

Volume 21, Issue 3 - Writing Matters

Getting what you want from your scientific writing: tips for writing clearly

Abstract

Good medical writing is like good writing in any discipline: the writer should explain complex concepts and ideas clearly and accurately and engage the reader. In this article, I provide four suggestions to help clarify writing on complex subjects: avoiding nominalizations, using language precisely, using parallel construction, and placing information where readers expect to find it. Applying these principles to science and medical writing can help readers understand difficult concepts more easily the first time they read your document.

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References

  1. Purdue Online Writing Lab, Medical Writing. Available from: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/732/01/
  2. Knight J. Clear as mud. Nature 2003;423:376–8.
  3. Gopen GD, Swan JA. The science of science writing. Am Scientist 1990;78:550–8.
  4. American Medical Writers Association. Essays for biomedical communicators. Vols. 1 and 2. 2001 Available from: http://www.amwa.org/default.asp?id=181

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Articles

Writing Matters
Message from the President
EMWA news
Getting what you want from your scientific writing: tips for writing clearly
What's your problem? A practical approach to scientific document design
The joys of outlining in medical writing
Pleasing the reader by pleasing the eye—Part 1 The role of format and design in readability
Writing visually for medical writers
Quality control: getting the best out of your review
Pharmaceutical medical writing competencies: Comparing self-perception with employers' expectations
In the Bookstores
Journal Watch
The Webscout
Manuscript Writing
Regulatory writing
English Grammar and Style
Out On Our Own
Gained in Translation

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Editor-in-Chief

Raquel Billiones

Co-Editors

Evguenia Alechine

Jonathan Pitt

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Victoria White

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Alicia Waltman

Associate Editors

Anuradha Alahari

Jennifer Bell

Clare Chang

Barbara Grossman

Joselita T. Salita

Amy Whereat

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Nicole Bezuidenhout 

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Somsuvro Basu

EMWA News       

Aurélie Gobet / Paolo Rega

Gained in Translation

Raquel Billiones

Getting Your Foot in the Door

Wendy Kingdom / Amy Whereat

Good Writing Practice

Alison McIntosh / Stephen Gilliver

In the Bookstores

Maria Kołtowska-Häggström

Lingua Franca and Beyond

Phil Leventhal

Manuscript Writing

Lisa Chamberlain-James

Medical Communications/Writing for Patients

Namrata Upadhyay

Medical Devices

Evguenia Alechine

My First Medical Writing

Anuradha Alahari

News from the EMA

Laura Kehoe

Out on Our Own

Jennifer Clemens

Regulatory Matters

Sam Hamilton

Regulatory Public Disclosure

Claire Gudex

Teaching Medical Writing

Kimi Uegaki

The Crofter: Sustainable Communications

Karim Montasser

Veterinary Writing

Editors Emeritus

Elise Langdon-Neuner

Phil Leventhal

Lay out Designer

Chris Monk