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February 1962

Good English for Medical Writers

Arch Intern Med. 1962;109(2):245. doi:10.1001/archinte.1962.03620140117015

There seems to be no end of books being written about how to write, especially how to write medical and scientific papers. This book by Ffrangcon Roberts one might think simply added to the glut on the market. It does not. Rather it is an excellent catechism for physicians writing papers. Roberts lists the main sources he has used for reference and in consultation. Although it is largely a list of British sources, what he has to say is clearly applicable to writing in America. I differ with what he says about Sir Clifford Allbutt's "Notes on the Composition of Scientific Papers." To me it is vintage wine, not likely to go out of date as Roberts thinks, though this may be a matter of opinion. Furthermore, Roberts does not believe that much deterioration in style is taking place. What he says may be true in British medical writing but

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