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Scholarly and Professional Communication: Other Topics for the Advanced


Scholarly and Professional Communication: Other Topics for the Advanced Barbara Gastel, MD, MPH Texas A&M University Overview Writing review ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Scholarly and Professional Communication: Other Topics for the Advanced

Scholarly and Professional Communication Other
Topics for the Advanced
  • Barbara Gastel, MD, MPH
  • Texas AM University

  • Writing review articles
  • Writing letters to the editor, editorials, and
    book reviews
  • Supervising the writing of a thesis or
  • Writing recommendation letters for study in the
    United States
  • Mentoring others in their writing

Review Articles
  • Review articlean article summarizing the
    literature on a topic
  • Popularity of review articles with
  • Graduate students
  • Practitioners
  • People changing research areas
  • Others
  • High citation rates of some review articles and
    review journals

Tips Preparing to Write a Review Article
  • Check beforehand whether an editor might be
  • Carefully define the scope of the article.
  • Search the literature thoroughly and
    methodically. Keep a record of your search
  • Perhaps have a librarian help you.
  • Perhaps have criteria for including articles.
  • Consider recording information on standardized

Two Structures for Review Articles
  • Subtopic-by-Subtopic (with a subheading for each)
  • Modified IMRAD
  • Introduction
  • Methods used to search and analyze the literature
  • Results (findings of the search)
  • Discussion

Tips Writing a Review Article
  • Organize the article carefully.
  • Stay focused.
  • Integrate what you found do not merely catalogue
  • Because the audience may be broad, write
    especially clearly.
  • Double-check the text and references for accuracy.

Opinion Pieces for Journals
  • Some types
  • Letters to the editor
  • Editorials
  • Book reviews
  • Other
  • Should present well-informed opinion

Letters to the Editor
  • Used mainly to comment on recently published
    articles (post-publication peer review)
  • In some journals, used to report briefly on
  • Sometimes used for other purposesfor example, to
    make an announcement or share a humorous

TipsLetters to the Editor
  • If a letter is commenting on an article, submit
    it soon after the article appeared.
  • Follow the journals instructions re length,
    number of authors, number of references,
    allowance of a figure or table, etc.
  • Be focused and concise.
  • Maintain a polite, professional tone. Avoid

  • Generally written or invited by one or more of
    the editors at the journal
  • Perspective editorialsprovide context for an
    article in the same issue
  • Persuasive editorialsargue for a specific
    point of view
  • Sounding boardssimilar to editorials but
    initiated by readers

  • Keep focused.
  • Consider the audience, and organize the editorial
    to be persuasive.

Book Reviews
  • Book reviewan article describing and evaluating
    a book (or some books)
  • Some functions of book reviews
  • Helping individuals and libraries to identify
    suitable books
  • Acquainting readers with highlights of books that
    they might not read
  • Providing feedback to authors and publishers

TipsPreparing to Write a Book Review
  • If you have a conflict of interest, do not review
    the book.
  • In general, read the book thoroughly.
  • If the book isnt suitable to read cover to cover
    (for example, if its an encyclopedia), sample it
    in a thoughtful way.
  • Take notes as you read.

Examples of Questions to Consider Addressing in a
Book Review
  • What is the goal of the book?
  • Of what does the book consist?
  • What is the background of the author(s)?
  • What are the strengths of the book?
  • What are the limitations?
  • How does the book compare with related books?
  • Who would find the book useful?

Supervising the Writing of a Thesis or
  • View this role as a chance to help the student
    develop writing habits and writing skills that
    will be of lasting use.
  • Try to ensure that expectations are clear.
  • Emphasize
  • Integrating writing into ones work schedule
  • Pacing a writing project
  • Organizing writing carefully
  • Revising writing thoroughly

Supervising the Writing of a Thesis or
Dissertation (cont)
  • Help the student develop publishable material as
    part of the thesis work or dissertation work.
  • Help the student avoid dissertationese
  • Excessive use of passive voice
  • Overly extensive quoting of others
  • Pompous wording
  • Long, convoluted sentences
  • etc

Supervising the Writing of a Thesis or
Dissertation (cont)
  • Encourage the student. Be alert for signs that
    the student is becoming discouraged, and
    intervene to keep the student motivated.
  • Help the student to avoid or effectively cope
    with conflicting advice from different committee
  • Help the student to experience the satisfaction
    of having written well.

Writing Recommendation Letters for Study in the
United States
  • If possible, accept the request only if you can
    write a strongly positive letter.
  • Obtain materials and information to usefor
  • Any forms to complete
  • A description of the item being applied for
  • A curriculum vitae or resume of the applicant
  • Examples of the applicants work

Recommendation Letters A Format
  • First paragraph name of candidate what the
    candidate is applying for
  • Second paragraph how you know the candidate
  • Next paragraph or two your assessment of the
    candidate (try to be specific generally avoid
    any negative comments)
  • Final paragraph summary

Mentoring Others in Their Writing A Few Ideas to
  • Emphasize writing as a process, not a product.
  • Emphasize revision.
  • Offer examples of writing to use as models.
  • Share some of your experiences, including
    challenges you faced.
  • Review writing line by line with author present.
  • Remember to praise as well as criticize.
  • Join in celebrating the persons successes.