Writing for Earth Scientists

by Matt Hall

Duration: One to two days

Intended Audience: Intermediate level

Prerequisites (Knowledge/Experience/Education Required): This non-technical course is intended for all geoscientists comfortable writing and speaking in English. If possible, students should bring an excerpt from a piece of writing they are working on.

The emphasis will be on principles of clear, accurate writing, not an exhaustive treatment of technical writing.

  • To improve the technical skills of those writing in print or online
  • To offer tips for actually getting things written and submitted
  • To encourage participation in the written history of our science

Learner Outcomes:

  • At the end of the course the student will be able to:
  • Identify venues for your writing
  • Select topics to write about
  • Write without being boring
  • Design introductions, methods, results, discussion, conclusions, abstracts
  • Create figures, tables, mathematics, references, acknowledgments
  • Describe the concepts of copyright, copyleft, permissions, trademarks
  • Discuss manuscripts, copyediting, giving feedback, getting feedback, fact-checking

Teaching Methods:
Students will be encouraged to bring examples of their past or present work for class discussion and feedback. Students will complete short exercises throughout the day and provide feedback to others to increase engagement. Course participants will receive a manual, along with quick reference guides on select technical topics (such as signs and symbols, copyediting, etc). They will also receive a copy of Hart's Rules, an indispensable guide for writers.

Instructor Biography:
Matt Hall