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July 4, 1977

Thorne's Better Medical Writing

JAMA. 1977;238(1):67. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03280010067034

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In the first edition of this book, the authorship was attributed to "Charles Thorne." In the present second edition, we learn that this pseudonym cloaked the identity of two assistant editors of the British Medical Journal, Drs Tony Smith and Stephen Lock. The new second edition dispenses with pseudonyms, and Lock, now chief editor of the British Medical Journal, carries the sole authorship. However, single additional chapters are contributed by Drs Bill Whimster and George Dunea.

The volume was designed primarily for the young physician just beginning to write for publication. In a pleasant, discursive style, Dr Lock explains the steps involved in writing for publication. When to write, what to write, what not to write, and how to write are the underlying themes Dr Lock discusses in numerous chapters.

Much of the book he devotes to mechanisms of the editorial process and the procedures that would make the editor's