How to be an Efficient (Science) Writer
Are you an inefficient writer?
The ability to communicate science effectively is often limited by a lack of education in writing skills.
When writing about science it is easy to drift away from your key topic when researching, planning and writing. This is especially true when writing reports or papers for large projects.
The pressure of getting the science right often causes science writers to be too perfectionist in their approach, exacerbating inefficient writing behaviour.
Inefficient writers commonly:
- take a long time to finish a document.
- are not happy with the final product.
- dread the prospect of writing.
- suffer from procrastination and writer’s block.
- don't spend enough time thinking about their central aim and key messages.
- lack confidence in their writing ability.
This often results in:
- Writing that lacks clarity and focus.
- Excessive time spent editing, writing and rewriting.
- Excessive, incorrect or untimely feedback.
- Poor appreciation of your hard work and talents.
- Lack of reader engagement.
Improving your writing efficiency will help you:
- reduce writer fatigue and anxiety.
- produce higher quality documents.
- improve your confidence as a writer.
Dr Marina Hurley shows you how to stay on track and be more efficient at each stage of the writing process.
Marina will show you how to:
- get to the point, quickly and effectively.
- avoid producing seemingly endless drafts.
- think clearly about what you want to write.
- decide who you are writing for.
Irrespective of your topic, background, level of writing experience or document type, you can implement these steps to develop your first draft or rework a current document.
By following the steps and writing exercises outlined in this course, Marina shows you how to permanently improve your writing behaviour.
You are given downloadable pdf worksheets that will help you to produce content for your first-draft documents. You can also reuse these worksheets for future projects or if writing different documents from the same project.
Who is this course for?
Dr Marina Hurley teaches science writing from a broad framework that covers all document types and scientific disciplines. The worksheets and writing exercises allow you to write information that can be immediately used for your current projects.
The course is designed for both experienced and inexperienced writers
- If you are an experienced writer and want to improve your efficiency and productivity, this course will help you overcome poor writing habits and improve the way you plan and and effectively manage your writing time.
- If you are new to science writing, this course will help you develop good writing and research habits that will be invaluable for your future career.
This course will benefit research scientists who regularly publish their work.
This course will benefit graduate scientists who do not publish research and rely on their scientific investigation and reporting skills to solve environmental, economic, medical or social issues.
postgraduate science students
This course will benefit postgraduate science students from any discipline: for example medicine, life and environmental sciences, engineering, chemistry and physics.
This course will benefit science graduates who work as consultants or within consultancy firms and rely on their scientific investigation and reporting skills to solve environmental, economic or social issues.
Science professionals are those who do not produce science themselves but write and talk about science research and technology.
If you don't have a science degree, yet still work in a scientific profession, this course will not only improve your efficiency but assist your understanding of the principles and priorities of science writing.
Key Course Features
The course shows you how to efficiently produce a first-draft document that meets your needs as a science writer. You will be guided through Marina's unique approach of considering what to do before you start writing, how to get started and how to stay on track and produce a content-rich first-draft document. This course shows you how to permanently develop efficient writing habits.
Benefits & Outcomes
Improve your time management
This course will help you deal with procrastination, distractions and writer's block. You will learn how to plan sufficient time for writing.
Improve the way you write
Learn how to get started and quickly produce relevant content for your document. Marina shows you how to avoid 'going down the rabbit hole', when researching your topic, designing your aim and objectives and producing your first draft.
Improve your productivity
As you become more efficient at writing, you will be able to produce more documents within a similar period of time or have more time to devote to other tasks and activities.
Improve your confidence
Improving your efficiency, productivity and ability to stay focused when writing will reduce stress and allow you to feel more confident as a writer.
What this course does not cover
How to be an Efficient Writer does not cover:
- - How to design or write specific document types or document sections. In this course, Marina teaches science writing from a broad perspective that will help you write any type of scientific document: e.g. a research paper, a consultancy report, a client report or a thesis.
- - How to write clear sentences and paragraphs or how to write concisely. These topics are covered in face-to-face workshops and in a new online course (available late 2021).
The course consists of four modules, with 3-4 lessons (steps) and 3 - 8 writing exercises per module.
Module 1: What to do before you start writing
Step 1: How to define or clarify your project aim
Step 2: The priorities of science writing
Step 3: How to develop efficient reading, citation and note-taking habits
Step 4: How to effectively manage your writing time
Module 2: Getting started
Step 1: How to plan the stages of document production
Step 2: How to identify the target audience and purpose
Step 3: How to align project design with document structure
Step 4: How to produce a content-rich first draft
Module 3: How to manage the writing process
Step 1: How to prioritise the writing process
Step 2: How to critically evaluate your writing
Step 3: How to seek and respond to feedback
Module 4: Course wrap-up
- How to maintain effective document version control
- How to monitor your writing productivity
- Course recap and additional resources
Click here to read more testimonials
"I always found it challenging to balance efficient reporting with high-quality outputs. The How to be an Efficient Writer course has given me great confidence in this pursuit.
The course provided me with a robust toolset that is delivered within a clear and straight-forward framework, which emphasises key science-writing principles. I now take a more structured approach to writing tasks and have a much clearer idea of the time required to deliver high quality writing products.
I recommend the course to both early and mature professionals looking to build their skills from scratch, and those looking to sharpen their current approach to science writing. Marina, thanks again for providing such a great course."
"Your workshop really helped me brain storm ideas before I started to write so I wouldn’t be overwhelmed with the amount of thoughts and information I needed to incorporate into reports. A course well worth the time. No hesitation to recommend."
"I completed ‘How to be an efficient writer’ in the first year of my PhD. Prior to the course, I ticked every box for inefficiency and felt I needed help.
I credit Marina for teaching me, step by step, the skill of producing a scientific document in a time frame expected at a professional level. I am so grateful for the knowledge I gained and have continued to use for every writing project since."
"I have produced so many written materials after graduating in 2008, and I really wish I had done this course when commencing my career.
It has introduced me to many writing strategies and topics that I now realize I had previously taken a bit of an ad hoc approach toward. It has also been invaluable in helping me put a lot more structure and rigour around my approach to the current document I am preparing.
Thank you again for an excellent set of teaching materials, the course has really helped me up my game.."
Click here to read more testimonials
"...when I went through the course, I absolutely enjoyed it and I wished I knew about it earlier! Your teaching did so much good beyond what I believed it would.
Above all, your teaching has helped me develop my confidence and has been a huge transformation for me with my current working environment.
Writing has been an ongoing struggle for me but, I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart that your teaching has been an invaluable tool, not only to help me with my writing, but also with my general communication. Life in the workplace has become less daunting and I will definitely recommend this writing course!"
"The How to be an Efficient Writer course has given me the tips I needed to get over that initial hurdle to just start writing.
I now use the things I learnt in the course almost everyday and I feel less dread when it comes to writing. Highly recommended."
Immediate access to the course library. Self-guided learning.
Next release: 28th October. 4 modules released over 4 weeks with tutorials, live Q&A sessions and feedback on writing exercises.
Premium versus Self-Study Enrolment
Premium Enrolment Bonuses!
The bonuses listed below are only available with the Premium Course subscription.
A colour-printed hardcopy workbook
You will receive a colour-printed hardcopy workbook of all writing exercises, worksheets, course guides and lecture handouts.
1 year's subscription to Daily Writing Tips
Daily Writing Tips provide useful writing tips and writing exercises via email. Topics range from grammar, style, punctuation, spelling and vocabulary.
50% alumni discount on one future writing course.
As a reward for completing the course and achieve all of the learning objectives, if you submit all of your answers to the writing exercises, you will receive a 50% discount on any future writing course,
Frequently Asked Questions
About The Course Instructor, Dr Marina Hurley
Originally an ecologist and entomologist, I received my PhD in Zoology (Insect-plant interactions) in 1997 and then worked as an academic and researcher. I found that I loved giving students feedback on their writing and switched to teaching writing full-time in 2004. Since then, I have developed a unique approach to teaching science writing that I deliver through my Writing Clear Science workshops and online courses. I teach scientists, students and science professionals from all walks of scientific life and all science disciplines.
I always look forward to seeing what current projects my students are working on and find it immensely rewarding to see how my teaching has helped so many people. In this current online course How to be an Efficient Writer, I show you how to rapidly develop a content-rich first draft document and how to develop efficient writing behaviours.
You can read my blog here
You can read more about my background here: au.linkedin.com/in/marinahurley/