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BELS Revisited: Answering Your Questions About the Exam

Guest post by Sarah Felde Back in October 2014, I wrote a post about my experiences taking the Board of Editors in Life Sciences (BELS) exam ( Since that post went live, the blog has received dozens of emails and online comments asking for more information about the test. In general, readers want to know three things:  What’s the best way to prepare for the exam? What topics are covered […]

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Goof-Proofing Your Writing

Guest post by Sean Dixon As an editor, I see many errors again and again, ranging from subject-verb disagreement to faulty pronoun usage to problems with punctuation such as comma splices. One of the most common types of mistakes I see is word choice errors. These are also among the easiest mistakes to correct. Here are some words I see commonly confused and how to sort them out: • Agreeance […]

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Patient Education: Lessons from the Indiana AMWA Conference

Guest post by Sam Clapp As a writer and editor, I’ve worked on textbooks, pamphlets, web copy, magazine articles, and online courses, so I know firsthand the difficulty of communicating cogently to diverse audiences. There are a number of issues facing the writer who wants an audience to pay attention. People have ever-higher standards for the entertainment value of the content they read, competition from online educational resources is always […]

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With BELS On (or, How I Earned My Editor of Life Sciences Certification)

Guest post by Sarah Felde, Special Projects Manager for WilliamsTown Communications Does the acronym BELS ring a bell? If you’re a writer, editor, or publisher of biology-related content, it might. Founded in 1991, the Board of Editors in the Life Sciences—or BELS—is a professional organization that awards credentials to manuscript editors with expertise in the life sciences. If you’re not familiar with BELS, don’t worry! I first heard of BELS […]

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