January 2013 marks the start of a series of articles by Trivalent Editing, full of tips and advice to help you improve your academic writing skills. We are a trio of experienced biomedical scientists who spent many happy years as postdoctoral researchers before making the decision to switch to science editing.
During our research careers we successfully prepared theses, research papers, reviews, book chapters, as well as grant and fellowship applications, while working in a number of international academic institutes and universities. Since setting up together in business in 2011 (Trivalent Editing), we have continued to build on our science writing skills and are now fully accredited science editors. As well as working directly with students and academics, we now provide freelance editorial services to journals, science magazines and academic publishers.
Since leaving bench science, we’ve put our skills to good use helping students and academics to advance their scientific careers by advising on thesis preparation, and assisting with grant applications and presubmission manuscripts.
Science writing can be a real challenge for native English speakers, let alone those who have English as their second or third language. We’ll be writing about issues that are relevant to scientists of all nationalities and that will help you to improve the presentation and readability of your scientific manuscripts. Time after time, we see many of the same issues crop up, so we know we can give you the type of advice you really need. We know the typical pitfalls for students and inexperienced writers and we’ve got a lot of tips to help you avoid these.
We’re looking forward to presenting a series of articles designed to form a comprehensive set of guidelines to help you improve your academic writing skills. We’ll be posting tips on:
- science writing, from planning to polishing
- grammar – tools of the trade
- correct language/word use
- maximising your use of word processing tools
We’ll also help you:
- to understand why using the correct symbols is important and why consistency is everything,
- to communicate your ideas more clearly by removing distracting errors from your text,
- with things you’re not sure about and even with things you didn’t know that you didn’t know,
- to sharpen up your science writing skills by presenting your text in a professional manner.
We’ll cover all stages of the writing process, from things to consider before starting, to basic techniques to improve your writing, incorporating figures and tables, and tips for self-editing.
Over the coming months, we’ll help you to understand why it’s important to present your data and ideas in a professional way and give you advice on how to do this. The ability to present your research in a clear and convincing manner is an important skill that will help you to be successful at every stage of your scientific career. Good, clear communication, which makes it easy for your audience to understand the results and impact of your research, is as necessary for a PhD student submitting a thesis for examination as it is for group leaders submitting research papers and grant applications. The bottom line is that the more easily your examiner or reviewer can understand your work, the more successful you are likely to be in achieving your goals.
We’re looking forward to your company over this series of articles, so please let us know if there are any issues you’d particularly like us to cover.
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