Category Archives: Writing

Do not fix the English when you review a manuscript for a journal

How easy it is to go into edit mode when you read a manuscript. After all, once you fix the English, the science is easier to understand. But then you might start wanting to move paragraphs around and get sucked … Continue reading

Posted in Helping others, Managing an academic career, Writing | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Why you need a one day writing retreat

Have you found a way to avoid the tasks that snow you under and get your important but not urgent work done? It is something that I struggle with daily. I am kind to myself and understand that some days … Continue reading

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How to read a scientific paper

Do you remember when you read your first scientific paper? For me it was hard. Some parts I did not understand. Other parts were interesting. The structure seemed odd, with a narrative that did not flow. I read it from … Continue reading

Posted in Presentations and seminars, Publishing your work, Reading critically, Scholarship, Undergraduates, Writing | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Active learning in research perspectives and science communication

Science is a lot more than measuring and testing ideas. It is a rich social endeavor with its own language, its own standards, its own ethics, and its own literature. Undergraduates miss out if they do not learn this. But … Continue reading

Posted in class, Science writing for the public, Teaching, Uncategorized, Writing, Your lab group | 2 Comments

Teaching effectively and efficiently: abstract writing

Are you happy with how you teach writing? Do you have a trick? The only tricks I have are to give good examples and to have students write a lot. Beth Fisher at a Wash U writing workshop convinced me … Continue reading

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Have you figured out how to make a graphical abstract?

Figures make papers easier to understand. I love it when a paper has a flow diagram of what exactly they did, especially when they also say why. I don’t know why, but figures stick in ways that pure words do … Continue reading

Posted in Communication, Writing | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Thinking of starting your paper with a quote? Be careful!

It is a wonderful feeling to start a piece with a quote that means something to you. You can connect to someone famous who has said something much more clearly than you might. From there you can move on to … Continue reading

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An easy way to get your photos into Wikimedia

We need photos of all the living things! Even if you make your living on photographs it will not kill you to put one image per species out there for people to use when they volunteer their time to write … Continue reading

Posted in Photographs, Wikipedia, Writing | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Have you tried the new Wikipedia Visual Editor?

One of the things that keeps some people from making a quick edit to Wikipedia is unfamiliarity with the HTML markup code. It isn’t hard, especially if you do some of their great tutorials, but you can also use their … Continue reading

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What is the copyright of this blog?

I hope I sometimes post something useful to you. You might want to use it for your own group, or send it around. But there are some things you don’t agree with that you want to change. Is this all … Continue reading

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