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Tips for Effective Writing

Over at BitesizeBio, Nick Oswald has some advice for researchers — make sure your manuscript is readable. Getting work published is only the beginning, Oswald says. A researcher's job is to effectively communicate his work to peers and the public, and if no one reads the manuscript, then "we might as well have not done the science in the first place," Oswald adds. "Same goes if no one gets the message of what we have done, and why is it important to the field."

Making a manuscript readable is important, and it can be done in just five minutes a day. Take any manuscript, Oswald says, and scan it for exactly five minutes, while keeping in mind five key points — make sure the purpose of the research is clearly stated, make sure the key points of the work are logically presented, clearly specify and emphasize the implications of the research, make sure the language is clear and easy to follow, and try to add some appeal. "If you do this for one paper per day, you’ll quickly start to build up an instinct of what makes a paper readable and attractive," Oswald says.