On 22nd to 24th October 2018, doctoral students came together at the University of Bergen’s Geophysical Institute for an interactive three-day scientific writing workshop with Dr. Daniel Soule. The course considered all aspects of writing a scientific paper, from style, structure and editing, through to targeting journals, motivation for writing and getting the most out of writing time.
The course started by looking at scientific style and its relationship to critical thinking. That day students also considered who to cultivate effective writing habits, through practice focused on their reading, and developing a review of the literature for their whole PhD project, as well as for individual papers.
The second day broke the structure of a paper down into its constituent parts by using descriptive models for each section of the paper and looking at them as games that need mastering. These models and games can then be applied during planning, writing and redrafting a paper. Dr. Soule showed how to use things such as titles, first sentences and introductions early in the planning process to explore the complexities of a data set and refine the author’s contribution to a clear message.
The course finished off by taking an overview of the whole publication process, including writing with multiple authors, factors impacting journal choice, and dealing with peer review and rejection. During the three days participants had the opportunity to spend time developing their writing skills in depth. They were also able to share experiences with other doctoral researchers, consult an academic writing specialist concerning problems specific to their research project.
Text: Danile Soule
Photos: Mandy Kong