Medical Writing Writing Matters What's your problem? A practical approach to scientific document design

Volume 21, Issue 3 - Writing Matters

What's your problem? A practical approach to scientific document design

Abstract

For science to be understood, assimilated, and further developed, it must be accessible through clear and concise writing. Science is about solving problems that often interlink with each other. To improve the clarity of scientific writing, every project should focus on solving a single problem and consequently every document should include a clearly articulated problem statement. The ‘What's your problem?’ exercise is a method for articulating a clear problem statement and then using this problem statement to guide the structure, design, and logic of the document. This exercise can be applied to the presentation of original research as a primary source document (papers, reports, dissertations) or to the interpretation or analysis of others’ primary research (literature reviews, opinion pieces, magazine articles).

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References

  1. Hall GM. The structure of a scientific paper. In: Hall GM, (ed.) How to write a paper. 3rd edn. London: BMJ Publishing Group; 2003.
  2. Latka MH, Fielding K, Gray GE, Bekker L-G, Nchabeleng M, Mlisana K, et al. Pregnancy incidence and correlates during the HVTN 503 Phambili HIV vaccine trial conducted among South African Women. PLoS ONE 2012;7(4):1–8. e31387. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0031387.
  3. Evans D. How to Write a Better Thesis or Report. Melbourne University Press, Victoria: 1996.

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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

Managing Editor

Victoria White

Deputy Managing Editor

Alicia Waltman

Associate Editors

Anuradha Alahari

Jennifer Bell

Clare Chang

Barbara Grossman

Daniela Nakagawa

Joselita T. Salita

Petal Smart

Amy Whereat

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Nicole Bezuidenhout 

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Somsuvro Basu

EMWA News       

Aurélie Gobet / Paolo Rega

Gained in Translation

Ivana Turek

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

Tiziana von Bruchhausen

Pharmacovigilance

Jennifer Morris

Regulatory Matters

Sam Hamilton

Regulatory Public Disclosure

Claire Gudex

Teaching Medical Writing

Kimi Uegaki

The Crofter: Sustainable Communications

Jennifer Bell / Louisa Marcombes

Veterinary Writing

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Elise Langdon-Neuner

Phil Leventhal

Lay out Designer

Chris Monk