Guide to Drafting a Manuscript

A scientific experiment is not complete until the results have been published. Therefore, to do science, one must also write science. Realising this, scientists should weigh the words in their manuscripts as carefully as they weigh the reagents in their laboratories.

Robert A. Day (1989)


I spend a lot of time reading draft manuscripts either as a coauthor, supervisor or to provide friendly advice. I usually enjoy doing this but please

Before giving me a draft report or paper I expect you to have gone through this check-list to remove typographic errors. This way I can concentrate on the science.

You usually can find more errors if you leave some time (a few days at least) before reviewing your manuscript. You might also try reading some of your work out loud. Often this can catch grammatical errors and clumsy English. And finally please have a look at A Brief Guide to Style for some notes on document formatting and style.