Recently I have been thinking and talking a lot about how difficult it can be to move on from life as a PhD student. I have found some aspects of this transition very difficult, as I have written about previously. It seems that a lot of people who have made their way on to my blog have also experienced a loss of confidence or direction; towards the end of their PhD, during the period after thesis submission, or as they move into (or search for) a new job. Therefore I would like to list a few of the articles and resources that I have recently found helpful; some for very specific advice, and some for more general support. I have picked out an article from each site, but all of these sites offer a wealth of other useful and interesting information.
For scientists, writing is as vital as planning and executing experiments. Usually, soon after you have published a few articles in a field, you would be asked to serve as reviewer. This is both part of your responsibilities and very useful. But if you have only the perspective of being an author and a reviewer, perhaps can learn something from some of my personal editor’s experience.
Make Yourself AccountableScientific American (blog)My greatest insecurity as an assistant professor is scientific writing and publishing. My training and abilities were already somewhat strong in teaching and mentoring, as well ...
Notes Although this article is primarily aimed at university students writing proposals for scholarship applications – many of these principles and techniques are applicable to other types of proposals, as well.
Picture this scene. You’re sat at your desk when your supervisor comes in, paper in one had, cup of coffee in the other. “What did you think of the article?” They ask. You get a knot in your stomach and a sinking feeling. You knew there was something you forgot to do.
How do you perfect the art of good academic writing?
Aside from concerns over growing consumerism, managerialism and diminishing job security for early career researchers, few topics engender as much debate as academic writing. A blog post published last November, Academic writing: why does it have to be so dull and stilted?, is a good case in point. Its author, James Derounian, talks about "linguistic slaughter" then refers to a blog by Sheila O'Malley who calls bad academic writing "laughably impenetrable".
Writing scientific research articles: Strategy and steps guides authors in how to write, as well as what to write, to improve their chances of having their articles accepted for publication. The book is designed for scientists who use English as a first or an additional language; for research students and those who teach them paper writing skills; and for early-career researchers wanting to hone their skills as authors and mentors.
"These are the most important components of your thesis or report. Put your biggest effort into getting them perfect. Most professors read the Abstract, Introduction and Conclusions chapters of a thesis first, then they dive into the main body text afterwards. This means that you have to be particularly careful in wording these sections, since there is some content overlap."
"I can’t quite believe that I’ve been writing Literature Review HQ for just over a year now. I started writing this blog because I had to go through such a steep learning curve when writing the literature review for my doctoral thesis. I didn’t have all the answers back then, and I don’t have them all now but I’ve learned a lot..."
There's been a lively discussion at Jeff Perkel's guest post from this morning, “Should Linus Pauling's erroneous 1953 model of DNA be retracted?” Most of our commenters say “no.” Some of those “nos” are quite emphatic, ...
Most of the students I see in science classes do not write very well. Whatever it is that they learn in English courses and through “writing programs” is not preparing them to write well in the sciences.
This is the first edition of Scientific Academic Writing, my new magazine where you will find interesting articles and links to resources on academic writing. I hope you will find it useful and please let me know if you want specific topics to appear here and I will do my best to scoop them for you! Enjoy your reading.
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