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Self-Paced Scientific Writing Training – Materials

Lessons & Critical/revision exercises

Introduction: papers vs. proposals

A paper’s results are known and proposal’s results aren’t, so the two documents should set up their arguments differently

Lesson 1
Exercise 1

Module 1: sections of papers and proposals

Lesson 2—Displaying data & Exercise 2
Organize your data to set up a story and design your figures so they’re easy to interpret

Lesson 3—Linking experiments & Exercise 3
Results and research plan sections
Relate each result or experiment to the overall story

Lesson 4—Explaining rationale & Exercise 4
Introductions and specific aims
Get editors and reviewers excited! Exercise 4

Lesson 5—Putting results in context & Exercise 5
Discussions
Make sense of results and address experts’ concerns

Lesson 6—summarizing & Exercise 6
Abstracts and specific aims

Module 2: the writing process

Lesson 7—Getting started & Exercise 7
Know your document’s message before you start writing, and plan each section around it

Lesson 8—Drafting and developing & Exercise 8
Don’t worry too much, but plan ahead

Module 3: revision techniques

Lesson 9—Organization within a section & Exercise 9
Make strings of sentences into unified paragraphs that progress logically

Lesson 10—organization within paragraphs & Exercise 10
Indicate where your paragraphs are going

Lesson 11—emphasis & Exercise 11
Place key ideas strategically

Lesson 12—structure for flow & Exercise 12
Use old information as context for new information

Lesson 13—transitions & Exercise 13
Indicate the relationship of a sentence to the previous one

Lesson 14—clear sentences & Exercise 14
Say what you mean, use your verbs, and get rid of fluff