September 1970

Writing the Biomedical Research Paper

Author Affiliations

Rochester, Minn


By Stanley M Garn, PhD. Price, $3. Pp 65. Charles C Thomas Publisher, 301-327 E Lawrence Ave, Springfield, Ill 62703, 1970.

Am J Dis Child. 1970;120(3):281-282. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1970.02100080165028

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I find little to commend in Garn's book. It is a garrulous collection of generalities, generally unencumbered by specific advice to aid a troubled author. For those who collect such things, the book is an interesting and unusually complete collection of truisms and cliches about writing.

A few samples suffice to display Garn's style, which seems almost a parody of expository writing. Here, for example, is a classic example of tautology (only one of many dozens): "The introduction provides the relevant references, but should not be a total literature-survey, especially in a well-worded area. It is the place to detail previous relevant work, but not the place to summarize all that has been done before. An exhaustive bibliography is rarely needed, but a selective bibliography is appropriate." Here is another Garnism, I presume an effort to be clever: "He may discover that Nature has no fixed tabular style, and

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