Objective: At the end of the course, students will be more skilled writers and editors, able to offer and respond to concrete suggestions to improve their work.
This workshop can stand alone, or supplement the Tim Albert method of scientific writing. Herein, we focus on “top down” paragraph structure: the first sentence broadly states the idea of the paragraph, and the supplementary sentences expand upon, and support it.
I teach in a lively, interactive fashion, without grammar exercises or any kind of rote language instruction. Instead, I use “live” writing examples from papers in progress, and focus on real-world editing in the classroom. You will learn to spot the errors you are most prone to make, and learn to correct them quickly. I believe in constructive criticism and encouragement, so you needn’t be worried about sharp critique. There are no writers out there, including native speakers, whose work is perfect.
In preparation, I ask participants to email me a sample of writing on which they are currently at work, or that they have recently completed. Please ask them to indicate the paragraphs that they think require particular attention. In it, I will distill the samples to illustrate common errors, and will guide students through correcting them. Then students will work in pairs, under my supervision, to improve each others’ writing.