Making Sense in the Life Sciences: A Student's Guide to Writing and Research (2nd edition)

Margot Northey; Patrick von Aderkas
Pub date
Apr 2015
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  • Concise. Features an overview of research and writing for students in the life sciences, for a reasonable price, and can be used as a resource for a student's entire academic career.
  • Practical. Uses straightforward language to discuss the basics of research and writing. Instructors agree that as an overview, the Making Sense series is much easier to digest than heavier writing style guides, and they appreciate the discipline-specific content.
  • Documentation: Features up-to-date guidelines for documentation and referencing and provides the most current guidelines for documentation in the life sciences including coverage of CMS and CSE style and referencing.
  • Up-to-date. Along with including the most up-to-date citation styles, the Making Sense series also features current examples, and useful information on using the internet as a research tool.
  • More Accessible. This edition contains more bulleted points and summaries to make the content easier to reference and absorb.


The Making Sense series offers clear, concise guides to research and writing for students at all levels of undergraduate study. The volumes in the Making Sense series-covering courses in humanities, social sciences, life sciences, engineering, psychology, religious studies, and education-are intended for students in any undergraduate course with a research and writing component, but are especially appropriate for those at the first-year level.
Revisions to the second edition of Making Sense in the Life Sciences include coverage of new developments in technology-based research and writing. It provides examples on how to read scientific articles, how to find the papers that students need for their essays, and how to move this information into bibliographies. This edition also provides examples of how to search across various databases to find the important papers in a field, as well as how to burrow deeply into scientific literature.


A Note to the Student
A Note to the Instructor
1: Writing and Thinking
2: Planning an Essay
3: Researching an Essay
4: Writing an Essay
5: Writing a Lab Report
6: Writing with Style
7: Common Errors in Grammar and Usage
8: Punctuation
9: Misused Words and Phrases
10: Using Illustrations
11: Documenting Sources
12: Giving Oral Presentations and Poster Presentations
13: Working in Groups
14: Writing Examinations
15: Writing Resumés and Letters of Application
Appendix: Weights, Measures, and Notation

About the author: 

Margot Northey is a specialist in communications and the former dean of the School of Business at Queen's University.
Patrick von Aderkas is a professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Victoria

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