Course Objective

To improve the writing and speaking skills of scientists presenting science-related content to various audiences.

In striving to achieve this objective, the course uses

  1. Lectures on various aspects of writing and speaking.
  2. Three papers and two talks by each class member.
  3. Class peer assessment: solely of the talks and partially of the drafts of the papers.
  4. Detailed, written, instructor comments on all assignments.
    These extensive and rigorous comments are not personal attacks but instead serious, constructive suggestions for improvement.

Desired Skills: For Papers and Talks
Skill Comment
Can define topic for particular audience Find a limited subject.
Develop a point of view.
Can find useful references/illustrations In library and on web.
Can write sentence outline Each sentence is a topic sentence.
This approach can greatly speed up writing process.

For Papers
For Talks
Each topic sentence is point of one paragraph. Each topic sentence is point of one viewgraph.
Can write paragraph to develop topic-sentence's point. Can organize viewgraph to explain viewgraph's point.
Can use criticism to improve the draft. By practicing the talk can learn to improve it.
Can effectively critique others: both finding flaws and offering constructive suggestions. Can see how criticism of others could be applied to own talk.

Your comments and suggestions are appreciated.
[Writing Course Home Page]

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