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Do you read outstanding articles published in top journals and wonder how you can write something as articulate and erudite? Are you uncertain about how to organize your ideas and express them in a clear and logical fashion? Are you struggling to develop your unique scientific voice? Do your manuscripts confuse reviewers? Would you like people to remember your papers (and you) long after they read them? If so, then this talk is for you. In this presentation, I will cover aspects of scientific writing that are important in making the transition from novice to expert. I will particularly focus on topics that are not usually covered in scientific writing classes but that help a writer develop an effective, yet individual, style of discourse. Science professionals, especially those engaged in research, must be able to communicate their work effectively to the scientific community and beyond. In undergraduate and graduate school, students gain some basic writing skills. Making the transition from student to science professional and published author, however, requires more in the way of writing ability. For many who will become academicians and research scientists, writing must be of sufficient rigor to compete successfully for space in scientific journals and for grant funding. Unfortunately, writing often is viewed as a tedious chore—something you have to do to be a successful scientist—which becomes an impediment to developing excellent writing skills. In this talk, I will share some of the lessons that helped me become a better writer and, moreover, how I learned to love the process of writing.
This presentation was given in an invited symposium (Navigating a Career in Wetlands) at the 2016 meeting of the Society of Wetland Scientists in Corpus Christi, Texas.
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