DrugMonkey has an interesting discussion going about whether or not to “Cite While You Write“. And yes, I am a big enough nerd that I find this type of discussion “interesting.”
On a bit of a different tangent, the best paper-writing advice I ever received was to stop thinking of a manuscript as a linear document with a beginning, middle, and an end. Instead, create the tables and figures first and organize them until you can use them to verbally tell the story. Then outline the key points of the story and organize the critical citations that support the story. Then write the results and the discussion. Then the methods. Then write the introduction and abstract last. When you write the introduction first, you lock yourself into a narrative that may not be the best fit for your data. I suspect this is how people end up writing papers where they have some data that sneaks into the results, but was never mentioned as part of any hypothesis or methodology.
Break yourself of linear manuscript writing.
Also, always include page numbers. I don’t think I realized the crucialness of this move until I first watched a mentor review a paper by printing it out, separating out different sections, and spreading it all over his desk.
On an even more unrelated note, how did I forget how funny Triumph the Insult Comic Dog was?