Putting pen to paper: Scientific writing for researchers

Photo Tirachard Kumtanom, Pexels

Writing is hard, and scientific writing is really hard.

In undergraduate studies, there is little to no preparation for the level of writing required in postgraduate programs, and the academic career that may lay beyond.

This series of writing workshops aims to provide postgraduate students and ECRs with the foundational skills to write well, and equip them with techniques for tackling academic writing of any kind.

Lunch will be provided as a social and networking oportunity for ECRs from ANU, University of Canberra and CSIRO.

 

Part 1: The fundamentals of writing

Monday 15 August

A one-day workshop on the fundamentals of writing that aims to address ways to improve writing, increase productivity, and techniques for managing the mental struggles that often accompany writing.

Topics covered include

  • Time management strategies
  • Writing routines
  • Managing mental health and gaining confidence
  • How to structure any piece of writing
  • Editing techniques
The workshop will also feature a talk by Andrea Wild, Communication Advisor for CSIRO's National Research Collections. Andrea will speak about
  • How to frame your science as a story so that people will listen and remember
  • Tips on writing for general audiences when you’re used to writing papers
  • How to use literary techniques to make your writing more interesting
 

Part 2: How to write a scientific paper quickly and efficiently

Monday 22 - Wednesday 24 August

A three-day intensive scientific paper writing workshop outlining an effective strategy for putting together a publication quickly and efficiently.

Day 1 will feature a talk by Professor Arthur Georges about writing a paper from concept to publication. This will draw upon expertise gained in his 30+ year scientific career, and 200+ scientific publications.

This workshop series will focus on demystifying how to write a scientific paper by breaking down the process into discrete stages, and showing how a paper transforms from a rough draft to a published manuscript.

Topics covered include

  • How to get started
  • Identifying the core message
  • Planning and structure
  • Making great figures
  • Writing an impactful discussion
  • Preparing a manuscript for publication
  • Finding the right journal
 

About me

My name is Sarah Whiteley, I am an ECR at the Institute for Applied Ecology at the University of Canberra. I study the epigenetics of temperature induced sex reversal in reptiles. In another life, I wanted to be a writer, and completed a BA in English Literature and Writing. I was trained how to write and edit at a professional level, something I became very grateful for after finishing a BSc with almost no writing training at all.

I completed my PhD in 3.5 years (mostly during COVID), and currently have 11 publications, 9 of which I am lead author. I have also written content for the Faculty of Science at the University of Queensland, and am currently editing a textbook for CSIRO Publishing.

My aim with these workshops is to pass on what I wish I knew when I was undertaking my earlier studies, and what I have learned during my Honours and PhD programs, to other postgrad students and ECRs. I want to share my experiences to normalise the struggles faced with scientific writing, and in research in general.