John Dixon, independent medical writer and trainer in scientific writing skills, provides a useful tip for medical writers who work in MedComms.

John’s Linkedin page is at https://www.linkedin.com/in/johndixonlmm/

John’s web page is at https://librasciencecomms.co.uk

Note these “bites” are recorded online using the zoom.us platform and hence quality may be affected by variability in internet connectivity and quality of webcams. The tips, however, are always first class!

Recorded 22 February 2019. Produced by NetworkPharma.tv

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Transcript

Hi, I’m John Dixon, a trainer in scientific writing, and here’s a bite that I hope may help you with your writing.

Make your writing look readable [NEXT SLIDE]

We should all try to make our writing readable. This includes using:

* vocabulary that is likely to be familiar to your readers, and careful use of abbreviations and acronyms
* well-constructed sentences that are not too long
* clear explanation and logical flow of ideas … and …
* bringing these together in well-structured documents

But before anyone has read any of your carefully constructed sentences, the visual impact of your document can give an impression of ‘readability’. [NEXT SLIDE]

Do you feel like reading this? It looks like hard work doesn’t it? But we probably haven’t even started to read it! [NEXT SLIDE]

Just the appearance of your writing can make a difference.

White space is key … and can be introduced by using:

Shorter paragraphs
Headings and sub-headings
Bullets and lists … when appropriate
Tables and figures … when appropriate [RETURN]

If your style guide permits, and you are responsible for print layout, then also critical to appearance is the style and size of fonts you use, your margin widths and use of columns. [NEXT SLIDE]

So there are things we can do to make this look a little more inviting to read [NEXT SLIDE]

A little better?

I hope that’s helpful. For more bites to help your writing, visit networkpharma.tv.

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We are building a library of free webcasts and other video content for the global MedComms Community and others at http://www.networkpharma.tv and we’d welcome your suggestions for new content.

[For the avoidance of doubt: this video is intended to be freely accessible to all. Please feel free to share and use however you like. Cheers Peter Llewellyn, Director NetworkPharma Ltd and Founder of the MedComms Networking Community activity at http://www.medcommsnetworking.com]