Making a List, Checking it Twice

Making a List, Checking it Twice

When you make a trip to the grocery store, do you write an essay about what you want to buy? Hopefully not, because most sane people make a list. Lists make dense information easy to understand at a glance. Instead of searching through wordy sentence after wordy...

Information Overload

Information Overload

Large chunks of information can ruin the flow of an otherwise great document. Too much information can distract the reader from the overall point of your document, or cause them to lose interest altogether. Rather than overload your readers with data, definitions, and...

“Who Gives a **** About an Oxford Comma?”

“Who Gives a **** About an Oxford Comma?”

This lyric from the band Vampire Weekend asks a good question. The answer; I do. You see, commas are one of the most versatile punctuation marks. The oxford comma so detested by this “trustafarian” band is used in a list of three or more terms, after the...

Writing for Scientists: Active versus Passive Voice

Writing for Scientists: Active versus Passive Voice

As a scientist, you have a lot on your plate when it comes to writing. Above all, you have to clearly and concisely summarize your methods, results, and discussion. You have complex ideas to convey and detailed descriptions to effectively communicate to your reader....

Microsoft Word: Teaching an Old Dog New tricks

Microsoft Word: Teaching an Old Dog New tricks

The spell-check feature in Microsoft Word is your first line of defense against embarrassing misspellings and grammatical errors, but it has a few chinks in its armor. Obviously, Microsoft Word cannot remember every single word in the English language, especially...

Christmas in July

Christmas in July

Who decided that December would be the season to give and receive? Aside from that Jesus guy, of course.  I have a present for you even though it’s only July.  It’s not a pony, or a puppy, or tube socks. Unlike a live animal in your house, this gift will save you time...