on April 8, 2000
This is an exceptional book. It walks the reader through all stages of writing a biomedical paper, and exemplifies the saying that "clear writing means clear thinking". Even after having written or co-written perhaps 40 biomedical papers and grants, I found this book an eye-opener. I've worked with some excellent writers and re-writers on biomed papers, but Zeiger's book lays out for all of us what some top writers may do by instinct. She starts with word choice, sentence structure, then alternative paragraph structures. She practically shows you the nature of language and thought. She goes through the right way to produce biomed papers - if you ever thought the great, efficient writers had a rule book -you- never got, THIS is the rule book. If you ever had an introduction that sounded like the abstract, or a results sections that was unwieldy, or a discussion section that seemed to repeat the introduction - Zeiger lays out the hidden rules that most people would want to follow. Following her rules, from sentence to paragraph to section, creates a paper that invokes an instinctive sense of clarity in the reader. Many times I had the "Aha!" feeling. The book should be very useful for all kinds of clear writing, including research grants. I never took one of those "scientific writing" classes because I felt smart and fluent and the classes seemed pedestrian. If those classes had used this book, I would have been way ahead to have discovered this information twenty years ago.
on April 12, 2002
Mimi Zeiger has written a truly useful book about medical writing. Many specialized writing books are just collections of general writing rules in disguise.
This books focuses on mechanics and methods of writing specifically for the medical sciences. Full of hands-on techniques, methods, and exercises geared to analyzing and improving your writing.
I'm an experienced technical writer yet still found this book quite useful.
on November 11, 2003
Authoritative guide on how to write. I have never seen a more comprehensive book on how to write clearly and write well. I would give it 6 stars if I could. Even non-scientists should read this. (Having said that, though, scientists IN PARTICULAR should read this - hint, hint.)