A Short Guide to Writing about Biology, Global Edition eBook (9e) : 9781292120843

A Short Guide to Writing about Biology, Global Edition eBook (9e)

Published by
Pearson Higher Ed USA
Title type
NZ/Pacific customers only
This eText can only be purchased by people residing in New Zealand, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga or Cook Islands with a credit card from the same country. Click here to find the Pearson website for your region.

Digital Access Code. When you buy a VitalSource eText you will receive a unique digital redemption code and instructions on how to access this product. Please note: VitalSource eTexts are available for download immediately and cannot be returned once purchased.

Pearson VitalSource eTexts – digital books that fit your portable lifestyle

With Pearson VitalSource eTexts you can:

  • search for key concepts, words and phrases
  • make highlights and notes as you read or study
  • share your notes with friends
  • print up to 5 pages at a time 
  • use with PCs, MACs, smartphones and tablets 

The full text downloaded to your computer

Pearson VitalSource eTexts are downloaded to your computer and are accessed through the free VitalSource Bookshelf either offline or online, and also via the iPad/Android apps.

Time Limit

Pearson's Higher Education and Professional VitalSource products do not have an expiry date. You will continue to access your VitalSource products whilst you have your VitalSource Bookshelf installed.

Find out more about VitalSource eTexts

About the book

For courses in Writing Across the Curriculum or Writing About Biology.

Developing the tools to effectively write about biology

Teaching biology and strong writing skills simultaneously is a challenge, especially when students exhibit a range of abilities. The Ninth Edition of A Short Guide to Writing about Biology provides tools to strengthen student writing and reinforce critical thinking.

Written by a prominent biologist, this best-selling guide teaches students to express ideas clearly and concisely. It emphasizes writing as a way of examining, evaluating, and refining ideas: students learn to read critically, study, evaluate and report data, and communicate with clarity.

Using a narrative style, the text is its own example of good analytical writing. In this new edition, students learn how to avoid plagiarism (Ch. 1 and 3), read and interpret data (Ch. 3, 4 and 9), prepare effective Materials and Methods sections in research reports and more (Ch. 9), and prepare manuscripts for submission (Ch 9). The text also provides advice on locating useful sources (Ch. 2), maintaining laboratory and field notebooks (Ch. 9), communicating with different audiences (Ch. 6 and 10), and crafting research proposals (Ch. 10), poster presentations (Ch. 11), and letters of application (Ch. 12).

Table of contents
Part I General Advice about Writing and Reading Biology

1. Introduction and General Rules
What Lies Ahead?
What Do Biologists Write About, and Why?
The Keys to Success
Avoiding Plagiarism
On Using Computers in Writing
On Using Computers for Data Storage, Analysis, and Presentation
Technology Tip 1. Using Shortcuts and AutoCorrect

2. Locating Useful Sources
What Lies Ahead?
Easy Ways to Access The Primary Literature
Using Indexes
Using Science Citation Index
Using Current Contents Connect
Using Medline and Other Databases
Prowling the Internet
Conducting Web Searches: Developing Productive Search Strategies
Final Thoughts About Efficient Searching: Technology Isn’t Everything
Closing Thoughts
Technology Tip 2. Using Search Engines E ffectively

3. General Advice on Reading, Note Taking, and Avoiding Plagiarism
What Lies Ahead?
Why Read and What to Read
Effective Reading
Reading Data: Plumbing the Depths of Figures and Tables
Take Notes in Your Own Words
Final Thoughts on Note Taking: Document Your Sources

4. Reading and Writing About Statistical Analyses
What Lies Ahead?
Statistical Essentials
Summary: Using Statistics to Test Hypotheses
Moving Beyond p-Values
Reading About Statistics
Writing About Statistics

5. Citing Sources and Listing References
What Lies Ahead?
Citing Sources
Summary of Citation Format Rules
Preparing the Literature Cited Section
A Sample Literature Cited Section
Technology Tip 3. Bibliographic Management S oftware
Technology Tip 4. Producing Hanging Indents

6. Revising
What Lies Ahead?
Preparing the Draft for Surgery: Plotting Idea Maps
Revising for Content
Revising for Clarity
Revising for Completeness
Revising for Conciseness
Revising for Flow
Revising for Teleology and Anthropomorphism
Revising For Spelling Errors
Revising for Grammar and Proper Word Usage
Becoming a Good Reviewer
Technology Tip 5. Tracking Changes Made
to Documents 115

Part II Guidelines for Specific Tasks

Prelude: Why Are You Writing Papers and Proposals and Giving Talks?
7. Writing Summaries, Critiques, Essays,and Review Papers
What Lies Ahead?
Writing Summaries and Critiques
Sample Student Summary
Writing Essays and Review Papers
Checklist for Essays and Review Papers

8. Answering Essay Questions
Basic Principles
Applying the Principles

9. Writing Laboratory and Other Research Reports
What Lies Ahead?
Why Are You Doing This?
The Purpose of Laboratory and Field Notebooks
Components of the Research Report
Where to Start
When to Start
Writing the Materials and Methods Section
Writing The Results Section
Citing Sources
What to Do Next?
Writing the Discussion Section
Writing the Introduction Section
Talking About Your Study Organism or Field Site
Deciding on a Title
Writing an Abstract
Preparing an Acknowledgments Section
Preparing the Literature Cited Section
Preparing a Paper for Formal Publication
A Note About Co-Authorship
Checklist for the Final Draft
Technology Tip 6. Using Computer Spreadsheets for Data Collection
Technology Tip 7. Graphing with Excel

10. Writing Research Proposals
What Lies Ahead?
What Are Reviewers Looking For?
Researching Your Topic
What Makes a Good Research Question?
Writing the Proposal
Tightening the Logic
The Life of a Real Research Proposal

11. Presenting Research Findings: Preparing Talks and Poster Presentations
What Lies Ahead?
Oral Presentations
Writing the Talk
Giving the Talk
Dos and Don’ts for Oral Presentations
Common PowerPoint® Errors
Checklist for Being Judged
Poster Presentations
Checklist for Making Posters

12. Writing Letters of Application
What Lies Ahead?
Before You Start
Preparing the CV
Preparing the Cover Letter
Getting Effective Letters of Recommendation

Appendix A Commonly Used Abbreviations
Appendix B Recommended Resources
Access Code info.

To get the most out of your Pearson VitalSource eText you need to download the VitalSource Bookshelf software. This software is free to download and use. Click here to view the VitalSource Bookshelf system requirements.

Download Information: Once purchased, you can view and/or download your VitalSource eText instantly, either via the download link which you will receive as soon as you complete your online order or by viewing the download link against the order in the My Account area of this website.

Please note: VitalSource eTexts are available for download immediately and cannot be returned once purchased.