Science

Dash it All! (a confession)

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I have a confession to make. Until recently, I did not know the difference between a hyphen (-), an ‘en dash (–),’ and an ‘em dash (—).’ I did not even know that the latter two had names. If you had asked me a year ago, I would have said that these three horizontal lines […]

Science

Pizza Pie: Avoiding Repeating Redundancies

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When I was in school, I was told never to refer to a pizza as a “pizza pie.” That’s because the word pizza means “pie” in Italian. When you say “pizza pie,” you are literally saying “pie pie.”   [I digress only briefly to acknowledge that I used the word “literally” in the last sentence. […]

Science

Primary and Secondary Sources

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In any paper or article that attempts to explain a concept, prove a point or relay a story, the most important thing a writer can do to add credibility is to cite their sources. Citing a source lends legitimacy to writing by connecting it to other pieces of work, proving that the facts and information […]

Science

Persuasive Writing

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Convincing another human that your ideas are correct is one of the most important functions of language. Whether a trivial matter of where to eat or the enormous concepts of what constitutes right and wrong, the words you use can profoundly affect others. But while in conversation or public speaking one can utilize tone of […]

Science

Four Tips for Writing a Medical Paper

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Medical writing is a niche discipline. As a result, the authors of papers, manuscripts, and articles on medical subjects do not always have this level of expertise. Fortunately, because medicine is niche, certain standards and styles can generally be followed, depending on the type of writing, to make a piece more targeted and professional. Here […]

Science

Using the Word ‘I’ in Business and Academia

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The word ‘I’ is perfect for describing things about yourself. Likes, dislikes, opinions, and analyses; these are very personal ideas, and so it’s fitting to relay them using the first person singular. In a professional or academic context, however, it is often advisable to limit to the use of ‘I’ as much as possible. This […]

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The 7 Rules for Using Commas

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Commas can be wildly confusing, and the grammatical rules around them are many. Here are the times you’re going to put them in your writing, and how to do it correctly:   Use a comma before any coordinating conjunction linking two independent clauses A coordinating conjunction is a word such ‘and,’ ‘but,’ ‘for,’ ‘or,’ and […]

Science

Parallel Structures in Writing

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There are many stylistic tricks in writing, but one of most overlooked is a parallel structure (or parallelism). Parallel structures are based on the idea that between word, phrases, and clauses there should be logical consistency. This is easiest to explain with examples of parallel and non-parallel structures side by side. Words and Phrase Agreement […]

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4 Ways to Eliminate Unnecessary Words in Your Writing

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One of my favorite writing tips is always to trim down extra words wherever possible. Overly wordy prose can make an article appear rushed, amateurish and difficult to read. Luckily, there are some easy tricks to help you make your writing flow better and avoid becoming repetitive.   1. Replace Redundant Adjectives An excellent first […]