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The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Building & Construction Technology program

Need writing help?

Writing Center @ Du Bois Library Learning Commons (577-1293)

RefWorks - citation manager - this links to the guide for the NEW version!
If you have an account on the old version, I strongly recommend creating a new account on the new version - much better! And it's easy to import your references from one to the other. 

Writing in science

Books on scientific writing in our collection: (links go to the UMass Amherst library catalog)

Mastering scientific and medical writing: a self-help guide, Silvia M. Rogers - 2014
Link above goes to the library record for the e-book
We also have a paper copy of an older edition:

UM Science  Reference T11 .R64 2007

Writing science : how to write papers that get cited and proposals that get funded, Joshua Schimel, Oxford U Press, 2012.
Link above goes to the library record for the e-book

Scientific style and format: the CSE manual for authors, editors, and publishersby the Style Manual Committee, Council of Biology Editors
UM Science 
 Reference T11 .S386 2014

See also the website Council of Science Editors (formerly Council of Biology Editors) Citation Guide, a quick reference for citation styles. RefWorks includes these styles too.


Web links:

Planning Your Scientific Research Paper, 2004 - Jon A. Gibson, Northeast Fisheries Science Center.
Pertinent, detailed advice for
researchers in his field, but useful for all scientists.

Use care when relying on websites

View information from the "free Web" with healthy skepticism. Try answering these questions to test the reliability of a website, or any source of information.

  • Who are the authors? Do they have any credentials in this field?
  • When was the last time the site was updated?
  • Do they cite sources for their information? Are these sources reliable?
From the UC Berkeley site listed below:
  1. Step back and think about all you have learned about the page. Listen to your gut reaction. Think about why the page was created, the intentions of its author(s). ...
  2. Be sensitive to the possibility that you are the victim of irony, spoof, fraud, or other falsehood.
  3. Ask yourself if the Web is truly the best place to find resources for the research you are doing.

If you have any doubts about the website, please feel free to contact your librarian!

Some sites with more extensive good advice about evaluating websites: