The ability to succintly communicate topics related to scientific research in writing is paramount to success regardless of one's career. Writing in graduate school is essentially inescapable, as manuscripts, grants, and theses are required to summarize and report one's scientific findings as well as to evaluate a student's success. Abstracts, case studies, and reviews are also common. In addition, it is important to be able to communicate science to audiences outside of your relevant field or perhaps outside of science altogether. Students should continually work on developing their writing skills in order to improve the quality, clarity, and effectiveness of their writing. Here are some resources to help you do just that:
- BIOL 497F: Science Outreach and Communication - new Fall 2015!
- The Penn State Graduate Writing Center
- Writing Guidelines for Engineering and Science by Dr. Michael Alley
- The Graduate School Grant Writing Workshops
- Office for Research Protections: Survival Skills and Ethics Series
- Apply to take part in the Graduate and Professional Student Association's Dissertation and Thesis Boot Camp - a week-long event held in a quiet section of the library that includes informational workshops on issues related to writing as well as dedicated writing time. For more information on when the bootcamp is each semester, visit the GPSA website.
- For international graduate students and visiting scholars, you can attend weekly English writing tutorial sessions at The Learning Center in 7 Sparks Building on Tuesdays from 1-2pm (visiting scholars) or 2-3pm (graduate students).
- For international graduate students, you can sign up for the Spring 2016 course "ESL116G ESL Composition for Academic Disciplines". For students who are writing a dissertation, preparing a grant proposal or a conference paper, or getting ready to write their candidacy exams or comprehensive exams, this class will help support and improve their advanced, discipline-specific English writing. For more information, visit here or contact Dr. Deryn Verity (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- American Society for Microbiology Scientific Writing and Publishing Webinar Series
- "Publishing Advice for Graduate Students" by Dr. Thom Brooks (2008)
- "Grant Proposals (or Give me the money!)" by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Writing Center (2012)
- "Writing Science for Non-scientists" by Laura Diaz-Martinez, American Society for Cell Biology (November 8, 2013)
- Science Writing Tips - posts from professional science writers via a blog run by the Wellcome Trust
- "Writing Strong Titles for Research Manuscripts" by BioScience Writers (April 1, 2012)
- "10 Tips on How to Write Less Badly" by Michael C. Munger, The Chronicle of Higher Education (September 6, 2010)
- "Academic writing for graduate students: essential tasks and skills" by John M. Swales and Christine B. Feak (2012)
- English Communication for Scientists by Jean-Iuc Doumont, Nature (2010)
- Purdue Online Writing Lab
- College of Skills Training from Elsevier Publishing Campus
- Get involved as a regular contributor or as a guest writer for the Huck Student blog (coming soon!)
- Become a reviewer for the Huck Peer Review/Editing group (coming soon!)
- Online blogging about your research, career development, graduate student life, or science in general
- Contact Penn State research journals (e.g. Eberly College of Science Science Journal) about doing some freelance writing
- Write for newsletters or local newspapers
- Start a writing group with other graduate students in your department or across departments
- Get feedback from your adviser, mentors, and peers as often as possible
- Read widely both inside and outside of your discipline