Effective writing is essential for the communication of scientific knowledge,
yet few biologists have any formal training in how to write a scientific paper. This course teaches students how to become
more successful writers, and demystifies the writing process via a three-pronged approach. First, we will read examples of
excellent writing in biology in order to identify writing skills that can be mastered. Second, we will focus on sharpening
specific skills through various short writing assignments. Finally, we will work throughout the semester on students'
research papers: we will work from outlines and rough drafts; we will review and critique each other's writing in class,
in conferences, and in small peer groups; and we will revise each section of these papers several times before the final drafts
Enrollment is limited to 12, and is particularly appropriate for students working on a thesis or
major research paper. This seminar is recommended for all candidates for Distinction. The seminar is writing-intensive and
carries a "W" designation.