HRT 860: Scientific Writing: Workshop

Course Code: HRT 860

Credits: 1

Credits and Offerings

  • 1 credit
  • Spring Semester annually

Course Description

Writing engaging and effective scientific papers is one of the most important components of academic success! This small-group workshop will train graduate students in scientific writing through reading and analysis of representative publications from a variety of general and plant-related journals. Optionally, students writing a paper, thesis or grant proposal may bring copies and distribute these to other students in the group. The writing will be discussed and suggestions for improvement will be made collectively by instructor and class members.

Course Objectives

This workshop will include discussion and practice of:

  • How to write for a specific audience
  • Modern use of tense and voice
  • Balance between general background and specific detail
  • Manuscript architectures
  • How to compose an effective figure caption
  • Appropriate language in discussion of trends, significance and statistics
  • Fact vs. fiction: proper use of terms such as 'suggest', 'indicate', 'show', etc.
  • What to include (and not include!) in Results, Methods, Discussion etc.
  • What to include as primary vs. supplementary information
  • How to avoid plagiarism
  • The importance of accuracy in detail
  • How to select an appropriate journal
  • How to write a cover letter that interests the editors and reviewers
  • How to craft an effective response to reviewer comments and editorial decisions
  • How to critique and evaluate your own writing
  • Techniques for bypassing 'writers block'