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Writing in science

Why write in science and science classes?

Writing is integral to many fields of science - as scientists we use writing to communicate our research and ideas and to synthesize our rapidly changing fields. Writing assignments are designed to help you learn to think critically about specific scientific issues that you encounter as a citizen in your day-to-day life; to help you draw conclusions from multiple primary sources and clarify information about some of the current controversies and unresolved issues in a specific field; and to help you develop written communication abilities that you can use as you pursue your post-graduate career or further study.

This site includes links to resources specific to EEB and writing within these disciplines, but also links to general writing resources that may be useful to undergraduates and graduate students alike. In addition to the EEB Department's writing plan there is a link to a faculty-defined list of writing abilities which represent goals for undergraduate EEB majors. These abilities are utilized throughout the undergraduate curriculum and the list is intended as a reference to help students and faculty develop a common language related to writing abilities and expectations.

Writing in EEB Courses:
  • EEB Departmental Writing Plan
    EEB Department aims for writing instruction as well as a plan to achieve those aims.
  • EEB Writing Ability List
    Descriptions of writing abilities taught in EEB courses and expected of majors by graduation.
  • Assignment Checklist for Students [In development]
    Includes a list of questions to ask oneself (or your professor/TA) before beginning any writing assignment.
UMN Library Resources:
UMN Center for Writing:

Student Writing Support (SWS) offers free writing instruction for all University of Minnesota students—graduate and undergraduate—at all stages of the writing process. In face-to-face and online collaborative consultations, SWS consultants help students develop productive writing habits and revision strategies.

Consulting is available by appointment online and in Nicholson Hall, and on a walk-in basis in Appleby Hall. For more information, go to writing.umn.edu/sws or call 612.625.1893.

In addition, SWS offers a number of web-based resources on topics such as avoiding plagiarism, documenting sources, and planning and completing a writing project. See http://writing.umn.edu/sws/quickhelp/index.html.

Writing Tips:
Grammar and Mechanics
Plagiarism