Brief Style Guide for Chemists (1)

Brief Style Guide for Chemists (1) - A Brief Style Guide...

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Chemistry & Biochemistry – Brief Style Guide Page 1 of 5 A Brief Style Guide for Chemists Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, Brigham Young University Each journal and agency has its own style and rules. Look up and follow exactly the rules of the particular journal or agency to which you are submitting your paper, proposal, or report. Always keep your reader in mind. Almost every rule listed here is for the purpose improving clarity and readability. The more you can aid your reader to quickly and accurately understand your work, the better. Organization 1. Use a concise, but informative and descriptive title. Avoid unusual or nonstandard abbreviations and acronyms. Don’t try to be clever. (In rare cases, appropriate humor can be incorporated into a subtitle; a favorite example from the Journal of Physical Chemistry: “Triboluminescene in Sucrose Crystals, or why do Wintergreen Lifesavers spark in the dark”). 2. Use headings to organize and divide documents. In typography, a first-level heading is called an A head; a second-level heading, a B head; and so forth. Don’t indent A heads and B heads. Distinguish between A and B heads in the text by changing the font attributes. Be sure your headings stand out from the text. 3. Present information in a logical order, organized to flow clearly from sentence to sentence, paragraph to paragraph, and section to section. 4. Link back to earlier information as necessary with strong phrases, like “Because fluorescence does not interfere with CARS signals, …” or “The lack of interference by fluorescence …”. Don’t use weak, interest-draining phrases, like “As previously mentioned, …” or worse “the afore said …”. 5. Organize paragraphs with a clear topic sentence, followed by supportive information. Each paragraph should have only one idea. 6. Organize sentences with the topic (old) information at the beginning and the emphasis (new) information at the end. 7. Don’t give explanations to the editor (or instructor) within a manuscript. If you want to write a note to the editor, use a separate letter or memo. Format and Appearance 8. Double space the lines in a manuscript, including the references. 9. Use a serif font for text; you may use a san serif font for titles and heads. For scientific papers be conservative with font faces, font sizes, and font attributes. Don’t bold, italicize, or change font size unless absolutely necessary. Never bold and underline the same words. 10. Don’t allow widows and orphans to occur in your manuscript, especially orphan headings. A widow is the last line of a paragraph appearing alone at the top of a page; an orphan is the first line of a paragraph appearing alone at the bottom of a page. Orphan headings can be automatically avoided in Word by using the Heading Styles function.
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Chemistry & Biochemistry – Brief Style Guide Page 2 of 5 11. For numbered or bulleted lists, don’t put excessive space between a bullet and its text. Usually, space bullet and text by only 0.25
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This note was uploaded on 03/08/2012 for the course CHEM 391 taught by Professor Vollmer-snarr,h during the Winter '08 term at BYU.

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Brief Style Guide for Chemists (1) - A Brief Style Guide...

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