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Melody Montgomery. Today’s Session Focus – Structure Your Writing. Precision – Unravel Nouns. Concision – Activate Sentences. Avoid Redundancy. Revision.

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Presentation on theme: "Melody Montgomery. Today’s Session Focus – Structure Your Writing. Precision – Unravel Nouns. Concision – Activate Sentences. Avoid Redundancy. Revision."— Presentation transcript:

1 Melody Montgomery

2 Today’s Session Focus – Structure Your Writing. Precision – Unravel Nouns. Concision – Activate Sentences. Avoid Redundancy. Revision – Writing IS re-writing.

3 Focus

4 Starting the Writing Process Read the instructions carefully. Brainstorm, outline, and diagram ideas. Expand outline into sentences, and link ideas with transitions. Work on daily (plan for 4-6 months of writing and preparation for grant proposals). Plan for editing and submission time. Review throughout. Write and re-write: get feedback, edit, and proofread. Do not worry about your first draft(s). Focus

5 Making Your Ideas Clear Tie paragraphs together to tell a story. Use transition words to link ideas. Define terms, even if you think they are known. Avoid long sentences (keep each at 15-20 words). Breakdown ideas. Keep the subject close to the verb. Avoid using the same words over and over. Focus

6 The 1 st sentence is the most important Contains the main idea of the paragraph. Provides the reader a ‘bucket’ Structure of a paragraph Focus

7 Structure of a paragraph Contents Supports 1 st sentence Water in the bucket Focus

8 Structure of a paragraph Last sentence - Handle Summary or evaluation of information “Taken together, these data point to…” Focus

9 Use transition words to link ideas. Focus

10 Transitions Focus For continuing a common line of reasoning consequently, furthermore, additionally, also, To change line of reasoning however, on the other hand, but, yet, nevertheless, despite Contrast and Comparison contrast, conversely, instead, likewise, on one hand, similarly Emphasis above all, chiefly, with attention to, especially, particularly, singularly Exemplifying chiefly, especially, for instance, in particular, markedly, namely, including Exception aside from, barring, beside, except, excepting, excluding, exclusive of, save

11 Transitions cond. Focus Consequence accordingly, as a result, consequently, for this reason, hence Generalizing as a rule, as usual, for the most part, generally, usually Illustration for example, for instance, for one thing, as an illustration, as an example, Similarity comparatively, coupled with, correspondingly, identically, likewise, similar Restatement in essence, in other words, namely, that is, that is to say, in short, in brief Sequence at first, first of all, to begin with, in the first place, at the same time, for now,

12 Tell a clear and interesting story that emphasizes your focus. Structure sentences to stress your key points. Focus

13 Stress Position  Subject = Old Information  Verb = Action  Stress Position = New Information  Examples:  Although the treatment is highly effective, it has significant side effects.  Although the treatment has significant side effects, it is highly effective. Focus

14 Avoid expletive constructions They begin with there are/is or it is Be careful when using it/they/etc. Is it clear what it is referring to? Expletive constructions Focus

15 Precision

16 Long Compound Noun Strings or “Noun Stacks” Be cautious when using long strings of nouns; can form multiple meanings. Unraveling: Properly use hyphens. Read the phrase backwards. Use prepositions to break into modifying units. Precision

17 neuron-specific autophagy-deficient mice mice deficient in neuron-specific autophagy monocyte secreted HIV-related stimuli HIV-related stimuli secreted by monocytes LC-MS/MS-defined target concentrations target concentrations defined by LC-MS/MS Unraveling Noun Strings/Noun Stacks Precision

18 We will be testing our hypothesis using innovative methods to examine the data after we have analyzed it quantitatively. Using innovative methods, we will thoroughly test our hypothesis, examine the data, and quantitatively analyze our results. Use Parallel Verb Tense Precision

19 Magnitude v. Elevation higher = elevation increased = more Logic v. Time although, but, whereas = logic since, as = time because = logic subsequently = time consequently = logic Precision

20 Singular v. Plural phenomena = plural phenomenon = singular data = plural datum = singular criteria = plural criterion = singular Affect and Effect affect = verb effect = noun Compliment and Complement Compliment = Positive Statement Complement = Adds to Precision

21 Capitalizing Job Titles General Rule: Capitalize title when it precedes the name, and do not capitalize the title if it follows the name. Helpful link: apitals.htm apitals.htm

22 Can use in place of parentheses. Cytokines (small cell-signaling protein molecules) pair to these receptors. Cytokines, which are small cell-signaling protein molecules, pair to these … Use before ‘which’ Use before conjunction separating two complete statements. Note: ‘however’ is not a connection Use after transition words (e.g., Furthermore, Next,) Use to separate nouns (DNA, RNA, and tRNA) Serial comma: In American English the serial comma is standard in most non-journalistic writing and follows the Chicago Manual of Style. Comma Usage Precision

23 Which & That Which follows a comma and introduces non-essential clauses The transmembrane protein CD22, which is a negative regulator of cellular signaling … That does not follow commas. Introduces essential clauses By examining the pathway that negatively regulates cellular signaling, … i.e. & e.g. i.e. = id est. That is. Nucleic acids (i.e., DNA and RNA) e.g. = exempli grati. For example. Macromolecules (e.g., nucleic acids) Precision

24 Use between nouns of equal importance (eye- opener) Use between two numbers spelled out (e.g., twenty-four) Use to link two nouns or words that modify another noun (e.g., real-time experiment, well- run practices) Note, modifiers ending in ‘ly’ are not typically hyphenated. Precision Hyphen: Punctuation Rules Used for compound noun phrases

25 Three-hundred-year-old trees: An indeterminate number of trees that are 300 years old. Three hundred-year-old trees: Three trees that are 100 years old. Three-hundred year-old trees: 300 trees that are one year old. Disease causing poor nutrition: A disease that causes poor nutrition Disease-causing poor nutrition: Poor nutrition that causes disease Multiple extra cellular signals: Many additional cellular signals Multiple extra-cellular signals: Many signals that are outside the cell Cancer causing mutagenesis: Cancer that causes mutagenesis Cancer-causing mutagenesis: Mutagenesis that causes cancer Hyphens: Clarify Longer Clauses Revision


27 Eliminating Wordiness Is aware of/has knowledge of … Is taking … Are indicative of … Are suggestive of … In the event … Concision Knows Takes Indicate Suggest If

28 Avoiding Redundancy Past History Final outcome Repeat again Actual facts Refer back Absolutely essential Basic fundamentals Close proximity Desirable benefits Entirely eliminate Still persists Concision

29 Phrases that You Can Omit Has a tendency to In the event that In the process of All things considered Has the ability to As far as __ is concerned In light of the fact that By means of For all intents and purposes It seems that In the nature of At the same time as Concision

30 Let the Subject Do the Work Keep subject and verb close. Our theory, which was adopted using the basic principles of human healthcare ethics that contains four principles, is a grounded theory approach. Our grounded theory approach adopts the four basic principles of human of healthcare ethics. Use active verbs and activate sentences. We will develop a cell line - rather than “a cell line will be developed” The ICP data show - rather than “It can be seen from the ICP data…” Concision

31 Use Strong Action Words Examples: accelerate, compile, compose, delineate, describe, detect, determine, develop, elevate, evaluate, expand, formulate, generate, hypothesize, illustrate, implement, induce, inflict, instigate, interpret, isolate, maintain, manipulate, perform, placate, predict, prepare, prescribe, produce, promote, prompt, propel, protect, reduce, repair, research, support, synthesize, target, test, transfer, undertake, utilize, yield … Examples of active verbs: list.pdf list.pdf Concision

32 Original: An understanding of these recurring cytogenetic changes has led to the molecular dissection of specific chromosomal regions and has resulted in the isolation and cloning of various proto-oncogenes Revision: Because we better understand these recurring cytogenetic changes, specific chromosomal regions have been molecularly dissected resulting in isolation and cloning of various proto-oncogenes. Concision Reduce Prepositions

33 Passive Sentence: (Noun) (Verb phrase) By (Noun) The true subject is at the end 1.Find the true subject. 2.Find the verb. 3.Organize into subject-verb structure. Exercise: Converting Passive to Active Voice Concision

34 The ABC pathway is blocked by elevating the expression of the XYZ protein. Increased expression of the XYZ protein blocks the ABC pathway. Concision Converting Passive to Active Voice

35 There were a number of questions regarding the experimental design and several concerns were pointed out by the group members. The group members raised a number of questions and some concerns regarding the experimental design. Converting Passive to Active Voice Concision

36 Avoid Weak Qualifiers If, Try, Hope, May, Might, Should, Could, Believe, Possibly use EXPECT. Concision

37 Write in clear, simple sentences Avoid difficult, compound sentences Break things into smaller chunks Poor structure diverts readers’ energy Don’t put your reader to sleep Concision


39 It is unknown why such phenomena occur. Because the screening process requires proof of certification, it is not necessary to collect this information. At this point in time, we cannot ascertain the reason as to why such phenomena occur. In light of the fact that certification is required, we consider it irrelevant to inquire regarding this aspect of one’s background given that It has been addressed in the screening process. Revision

40 Editing and Proofreading Tips Edit and proofread in blocks of time. Allow your self to step away and look at fresh. Try changing the look and formatting of your document. Use a highlighter to mark the changes that you made for printed edits. Create a timeline – schedule time to write/practice Revision

41 Checklist Read out loud. Replace/unravel long noun phrases. Is your train of thought clear (correct modifiers and prepositions)? Check sentence variety (impact – short sentence). Check that you do not use the same words and phrases over and over ( Precise/unambiguous word choices. Revision

42 Structuring your writing 1.Positions of emphasis 2.Let the subjects do the work 3.Paragraph organization Activating verbs 1.Use active voice 2.Strong verbs 3.Avoid nominalization Eliminating wordiness 1.Prune the redundant 2.Reduce weak qualifiers 3.Avoid clichés and empty generalities Review…

43 Email-address: Phone: 402.559.4132

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