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Grammar

Stacy Christiansen

in AMA Manual of Style: A Guide for Authors and Editors (10th edition)

Print Publication Year: 
2007
Published Online: 
2009
eISBN: 
9780195382846
DOI: 
10.1093/jama/9780195176339.003.0007
Item type: 
chapter
ISBN: 
9780195176339
A clear understanding of grammar is basic to good writing. Many excellent grammar books provide a detailed discussion of specific principles (see 25.3, Resources, General Style and Usage). In ... More
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Nouns

Stacy Christiansen

in AMA Manual of Style: A Guide for Authors and Editors (10th edition)

Print Publication Year: 
2007
Published Online: 
2009
DOI: 
10.1093/jama/9780195176339.021.132
Item type: 
section
Nouns (words that name a person, place, thing, or idea) may serve as subjects or objects.Although in English nouns can be used as modifiers, overuse of noun modifiers can lead to a lack of clarity. Purists ... More
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Pronouns

Stacy Christiansen

in AMA Manual of Style: A Guide for Authors and Editors (10th edition)

Print Publication Year: 
2007
Published Online: 
2009
DOI: 
10.1093/jama/9780195176339.021.133
Item type: 
section
Pronouns replace nouns. In this replacement, the antecedent must be clear and the pronoun must agree with the antecedent in number and gender.Note: The possessive pronoun its should not be confused with ... More
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Verbs

Stacy Christiansen

in AMA Manual of Style: A Guide for Authors and Editors (10th edition)

Print Publication Year: 
2007
Published Online: 
2009
DOI: 
10.1093/jama/9780195176339.021.134
Item type: 
section
Verbs express an action, an occurrence, or a mode of being. They have voice, mood, and tense.In the active voice, the subject does the acting; in the passive voice, the subject is acted on. In general, ... More
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Modifiers

Stacy Christiansen

in AMA Manual of Style: A Guide for Authors and Editors (10th edition)

Print Publication Year: 
2007
Published Online: 
2009
DOI: 
10.1093/jama/9780195176339.021.135
Item type: 
section
A modifier describes another word or word group. Words, phrases (groups of words without a subject or predicate, usually introduced by a preposition or conjunction), and clauses (groups of words with ... More
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Sentence Fragments

Stacy Christiansen

in AMA Manual of Style: A Guide for Authors and Editors (10th edition)

Print Publication Year: 
2007
Published Online: 
2009
DOI: 
10.1093/jama/9780195176339.021.137
Item type: 
section
A sentence must have at minimum a subject and a verb; it also usually contains modifiers. Sentence fragments, which lack a subject or a verb, should not be used in scientific or technical writing (except ... More
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Diction

Stacy Christiansen

in AMA Manual of Style: A Guide for Authors and Editors (10th edition)

Print Publication Year: 
2007
Published Online: 
2009
DOI: 
10.1093/jama/9780195176339.021.136
Item type: 
section
Diction, or word choice, is important for any writing to be understood by its intended audience. In scientific writing, concrete and specific language is preferred over the abstract and general.Homonyms ... More
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Parallel Construction

Stacy Christiansen

in AMA Manual of Style: A Guide for Authors and Editors (10th edition)

Print Publication Year: 
2007
Published Online: 
2009
DOI: 
10.1093/jama/9780195176339.021.138
Item type: 
section
Parallel construction can be used to build a sentence or emphasize a point.Parallelism may rely on accepted cues (either/or, neither/nor, not only/but also, both/and). All elements of the parallelism ... More
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Subject-Verb Agreement

Stacy Christiansen

in AMA Manual of Style: A Guide for Authors and Editors (10th edition)

Print Publication Year: 
2007
Published Online: 
2009
DOI: 
10.1093/jama/9780195176339.021.139
Item type: 
section
The subject and verb must agree in number; use a singular subject with a singular verb and a plural subject with a plural verb. Unfortunately, this simple rule is often violated, especially in complex ... More
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The Paragraph

Stacy Christiansen

in AMA Manual of Style: A Guide for Authors and Editors (10th edition)

Print Publication Year: 
2007
Published Online: 
2009
DOI: 
10.1093/jama/9780195176339.021.140
Item type: 
section
A paragraph is a cohesive group of sentences. It presents a thought or several related thoughts. Each paragraph should be long enough to stand alone but short enough to hold the reader’s attention and ... More

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