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Practical Authorship: Tools

8 May, 15 | by Bob Phillips

Quill_penWelcome to a new series. We’d love to have contributors, ideas and comments. The aim of this group of blogs are to address the question

How do you write, particularly a paper for a clinical, academic audience?

And we’ll start, not at the very beginning, because although it is a very good place to start, it would be better to start one step further back. With some idea of the tools you may want to use.


Practical Authorship: So you want to write

15 May, 15 | by Ian Wacogne

Quill_penThis is a another part of the series about writing.

This one is from @Ian_Wac ogne, Editor of the wonderful green Education and Practice edition. It’s part of a resource which will grow, over the weeks and months for people to access if they’re thinking about writing.

This post – as others may be – is particularly aimed at people who might like to write for Education and Practice, but I hope that there will be helpful information for other parts of the ADC suite, for the rest of BMJ publishing, and beyond.  Of course, if you’re looking for tips on creative writing – if you’re one of these people who has always had a book in you – then this isn’t the place; the best advice I’ve heard about that is to read, read, read.

In this first post, I want to ask:  Why do you want to write?


Practical Authorship: What should you write?

2 Jun, 15 | by Ian Wacogne

Quill_penWhat do you want to write?

I ended the last blog post with the thought that you might write about things that irritate you, or that interest you.


Practical Authorship: Who is Reading?

9 Jun, 15 | by Ian Wacogne

Quill_penIf you write, who is reading?


Something I find strange is that people don’t draw on their own experience of reading when they begin to write.  As such, they often don’t write in a way that they themselves would be drawn to.


Let me start here with a couple of questions. Please answer honestly.


Practical Authorship: Should I write a Case Report?

16 Jun, 15 | by Ian Wacogne

Quill_penShould you write a case report?

There is a short answer here, and there is a long answer.  I will give you the short answer, but only if you promise to read the rest.  The short answer is “no”*.  The longer answer is…


Practical Authorship: What to write instead of a Case Report

28 Jul, 15 | by Ian Wacogne

Quill_penI’ve spent quite a while trying to convince you that you really ought not to be writing a case report.  But you’re in a bind.  Firstly, you’ve got in mind a case report – or you’re under pressure to write a case report with (for) someone.  And also, you’ve got to get published.  So, what are you going to write instead?


Practical Authorship: Starting to Write

29 Jan, 16 | by Ian Wacogne

Quill_penI’ve hopefully convinced you in my previous posts that you might like to write, and I may even have given you some ideas about what to write about.

This is about how to actually write something.


Practical Authorship: What not to do when writing, 1.

5 Feb, 16 | by Ian Wacogne

Quill_penThe world is full of people who will tell what rules to follow when writing, and include some frankly made up rules about what not to do.  Many of these should be ignored and dismissed as the worst sort of control freakery.  I’d argue that there is no such thing as incorrect writing – because if ee cummings is wrong, I don’t want to be right.  There is, however, bad writing, which I would define as writing which obscures meaning, or more simply just makes your piece harder to read.  This post includes some things that I see lots, and that I think worsen writing.  more…

Practical Authorship: What not to do when writing, 2.

12 Feb, 16 | by Ian Wacogne

Quill_penWhat not to do when writing?

Well! Where should I start?  (actually, I already have – check out the previous post where I covered loads of really good stuff like how to talk about people and things and punctuation and irritants generally.)*

Here I’m going to talk about the use of mathematical symbols, abbreviations and quote marks.


Practical Authorship: Keeping it Brief

26 Feb, 16 | by Ian Wacogne

Quill_penYou’ll have read, or have been taught about haiku, the highly stylised Japanese three line poetry which has five, seven and five syllables per line.   What you don’t hear is people saying “Oh, haiku are great; I just wish they were a bit longer”.


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