Tips and Tricks

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10 Essential Checks to Complete Before You Submit an Important Document

We all reread our documents before submitting them—but often we focus on sentences and spelling more than on format. Here’s a systematic approach that will help you catch spelling, grammar, and formatting errors during your last passes through the document.

10 Decisions Your Style Sheet

Should Cover

A style sheet is a tool to help you achieve consistency in style within a long document and across different documents. It contains decisions that you make on writing, punctuation, formatting, and design of your document(s). 

5 Common English

Grammar Mistakes

Both native and ESL (English-as-a-second language) speakers struggle with some of the more intricate grammar rules compiled here. You will become a better writer if you understand these grammatical problems and know how to resolve them.

5 Common English

Writing Challenges

This is a compilation of writing challenges that both native and English-as-a-second-language (ESL) speakers struggle with. If some of these commonly made mistakes resonate with you, you’re in good company.

10 Simple Rules for

Clear Writing

The plain language tips outlined here will make it easier for your readers to find the information they are looking for and to understand what they read at first pass.

What would make science writing easier and more enjoyable for you?
Laptop Writing

Many scientists dread writing—and yet, effective scientific writing is crucial for career success.

You can complete this 10-question survey in less than 4 minutes. Your anonymous answers will help create meaningful editing and coaching services for scientists like you. You will be able to view other respondents' answers once you complete the survey.

Test Your Knowledge

Simply hover over each box to reveal the correct answer (not available on mobile).

 

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Which is incorrect?

  1. I don't know which to choose, I will probably pick blindly.
  2. I don't know which to choose; I will probably pick blindly.
  3. I don't know which to choose. I will probably pick blindly.

Option 1

Option 1 is a comma splice: Two independent sentences should be separated by a semicolon or a period, not a comma.

Which is incorrect?

  1. I am lying on my bed.
  2. I lay on my bed.
  3. I lay my book down on the bed.

None!

 

Option 1 is present progressive tense. 

Option 2 is past tense.

Option 3 is present tense. 

Which is incorrect?

  1. My earphones fell between the chair and the lamp.
  2. The difference between the 3 groups was significant.
  3. I have a choice between chicken and beef.

Option 2

 

If you are comparing more than 2 groups, you are comparing among groups. If you name each group individually, between can be used for more than 2 groups.