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REU Communications Class

REU Communications Class

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REU Communications Class

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  1. REU Communications Class The Science of Science Writing Lauren Shepherd lbshelby@u.washington.edu Foege N303

  2. Quotes on Scientific Writing Write for a scientist in another field. Don't underestimate your readers' intelligence, but don't overestimate their knowledge of a particular field. When writing about science, don't simplify the science; simplify the writing.Julie Ann Miller, Editor of Science News One way to find out if you have succeeded (in writing clearly) is to show your draft to colleagues in other specialties. If they do not understand, neither, very probably, will The Lancet's staff. The Lancet

  3. Disseminate knowledge Objectives • Communicate finding • Provide record of work

  4. Establish expertise • Build reputation Significance

  5. Types of Articles • Research - original findings • Review - summarize field • Brief communication - “hot method”

  6. Don’t plagiarize • Don’t falsify data • Publish original work Reminders

  7. Writing Suggestions • Use active voice (avoid passive when at all possible) • Use past tense* • Balance substance and structure *Introduction & discussion

  8. Tips for Logical Prose • Determine main message(s) • Topic ➙ emphasis • Old ➙ new • Find the action • Clarify!

  9. Strategies for Writing • Determine key ideas • Think in sections • Flesh out details • Add transitions

  10. Article Structure • Title • Abstract • Introduction • Materials and methods • Results • Discussion (conclusion) • Acknowledgments

  11. Structural Details Beginning: objectives and hypotheses Middle: methods and data End: conclusions and implications

  12. Title • Succinct and catchy • Attract attention • Describe message A reversible wet/dry adhesive inspired by mussels and geckos A structure for Deoxyribose Nucleic Acid Imaging the biogenesis of individual HIV-1 virions in live cells

  13. Abstract • Summarize paper (150-300 words) • Acts as gatekeeper to paper • 1-2 sentences per section • Give away take-home message

  14. Background • Objective • Survey field • Review status • Construct motivation • How you fit in • Hypothesis • What’s novel Introduction

  15. Materials and Methods • Enough detail for peers to reproduce • Describe and cite (general reader) • Supplemental information (expert)

  16. Present the Data Results • ‘Big picture’ description of experiments

  17. Results • Support objectives and hypotheses • Present in logical order • Present analyzed data • Integrate text and data

  18. Discussion • Place results in context • Examine and explain results • Discuss implications (theoretical & practical) • Summarize evidence for conclusions Discuss − do not repeat − Results

  19. Acknowledgments • Significant assistance • discussions • physical and technical • reagents or supplies • Facilities • Funding

  20. 5 Practical Tips • Create figures and results • Outline each section • Provide context and impress • Connect dots for readers • Have peers review paper

  21. Peer Review Session

  22. Homework: Due July 30 • Create a rough draft of your paper • Introduction • Methods • Preliminary figures and results • Revised Poster • Introduction • Methods graphics or schematic • Preliminary figures and results

  23. Resources Books and Articles: How to Write and Publish a Scientific Paper, Robert Day. Doing Science, Ivan Valiela. The Science of Scientific Writing, Gopen, G. and Swan, J. American Scientist, 78, 550-558: 1990. Me Write Pretty One Day: How to Write a Good Scientific Paper. Wells, W. Journal of Cell Biology, 165, 757-758: 2004.