Most of us are driven into the world of science by intrinsic curiosity, asking “why” and wanting to engage in activities to find the answers. We learn about “the scientific method” of tackling a research problem and, in formal laboratory and lecture courses, are taught the mechanics to carry out the required experiments. Learning these skills is an important aspect of becoming a successful scientist. Of equal, if not greater importance, is developing the skills to build on the knowledge of
others and share your findings with the scientific community.
No discovery can be great if it is not accurately and concisely
disseminated to the world. In this context, it is crucial to develop
technical writing skills that conform to the standards put forth
by the scientific community being addressed. Just as you expect
to see certain standard formats when you open everyday resource
books as simple as a telephone book, the scientific community
expects to see your findings reported in a standard way.
The purpose of the Departmental Writing and Resource Guide is
to itemize many of the writing tasks that you will be faced with
during your undergraduate and graduate education as well as beyond.
You will encounter one or more of these tasks in the courses you
take, as well as in independent research that you may be involved
in. For each task, a recommended format will be presented, along
with tips and guidance on do’s and don’ts. It is important
to note that each professor may require some deviations from the
recommended formats given in this guide. Such instruction should
always be followed in submitting your assignments.
Writing and Resource Guide (PDF)