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Spectrum of medical writing

Spectrum of medical writing

The spectrum of medical writing spans from regulated, structure-driven technical documents like clinical study reports to less structured documents, such as scientific publications and posters, in addition to promotional material and Web content.

Over the last years, our communication agency has specialized in the writing of scientific publications and reports. Our team comprises a few senior scientists with high expertise in specific domains like oncology and hematology. Becoming an experienced medical writer takes time, entailing continuous self-training and self-learning.

Medical writing necessitates a blend of specific capabilities, such as writing skills, awareness, and application of guidelines, and most importantly, the ability to understand, analyze, interpret, and present scientific data in the required format. Are you convinced of this professional approach? Why don’t you give it a shot.

Commonly misused expressions

Commonly misused expressions

...Many expressions listed here are bad style rather than bad English, and readers whose curiosity is aroused may wish to pursue their investigations. A book we recommend for such pursuits is "The Careful Writer" by Theodore M. Bernstein.

Alternate. Alternative. The first one means every other one in a series; the second, one of two possibilities.

They meet on alternate Sundays
They follow an alternative approach

Among. Between. When more than two things or persons are involved, among is employed. When, however, more than two are involved but each is considered separately, between is the preferred term.

What’s the difference between a dog and a cat
My keys were found among other gadgets

And/or. Given that this often leads to confusion or ambiguity, it should be avoided and replaced by or both.

≠Many alcoholics lose their jobs and/or driving licenses
Many alcoholics lose their jobs, driving licenses, or both

Irregardless. Is incorrect and should be replaced by regardless.

≠I eat chocolate irregardless of its impact
I eat chocolate regardless its impact

That. Which. That is the defining, or restrictive, pronoun; which is the non-defining, non-restrictive.

This is the book that I read last week
The book, which I read last week, is bad

Less. Fewer. Less refers to quantity, and fewer to number.

This week, I have less time
I have fewer things to do tomorrow

Basic elements of English usage

With the rising use of SMS, many of us have forgotten the proper usage of English punctuation. Do you wish to submit an impeccably written paper to one of the major medical journals? If so, proper usage of punctuation is a must.

1) Use a comma to indicate a break within a sentence.

One common case that requires a comma is the enclosure of parenthetic expressions.
Donald T., the President of the United States, lives in Washington.

2) Use a comma before a conjunction introducing an independent clause.

Donald T. has been President for only 3 months, but has made major changes.

3) Do not join independent clauses by a comma. If two or more grammatically complete clauses are to be joined, the proper mark of punctuation is the semi-colon.

Donald T.’s tweets are entertaining; they are full of engaging ideas.

4) Do not break sentences in two. In other words, do not use periods instead of commas.

≠ Donald T. is a great entrepreneur. A man who is able to make great deals.
= Donald T. is a great entrepreneur, who is able to make great deals.

5) Use a colon after an independent clause to introduce a list of particulars, an appositive or a quotation.

Donald T. requires other attributes: knowledge, experience, and patience.