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How to be an Efficient (Science) Writer

Online course

Dr Marina Hurley shows you how to rapidly produce a content-rich first draft and be more efficient at each stage of the writing process.

To request an invoice prior to booking, please email admin@writingclearscience.com.au

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.

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Are you an inefficient writer? 


The Problem:

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.



The Solution:

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.

Research scientists

This course will benefit research scientists who regularly publish their work.

Non-academic scientists

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. 

Consultants

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

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. 

(To request an invoice prior to booking, please email admin@writingclearscience.com.au)

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.

Learn how to...

- Get your thoughts and ideas down quickly
- Manage your time effectively
- Avoid distraction and procrastination
- Effectively manage your writing projects

- Monitor your productivity
- Produce a content-rich first draft of a new document

- Thick critically about your writing and what you read 


Resources

- Pre-recorded lectures and course video guides

- Writing exercises and example answers

- Worksheets (planning, getting started, problem solving and producing content)
- Checklists, infographic and other educational handouts

- Course roadmap

- Additional resources and tuition for Premium members

Course Structure & Delivery

- The course is designed for incremental learning with each lesson (step) building on from the previous one.

- There are four modules delivered over four weeks for Premium members, while Self-Study members can complete the course sooner if they wish.

- All members will have 12 months access to the course. 

Skill improvement (topics covered)

Writing - planning - critical thinking - document design - identifying your audience - researching your topic - effectively capturing thoughts and ideas - correct use of essential science writing terminology - time management - seeking and receiving effective feedback - prioritising the writing process.


See the Course Outline for the module and lesson headings

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). 

(To request an invoice prior to booking, please email admin@writingclearscience.com.au)

Course Content

The course consists of four modules, with 3-4 lessons (steps) and 3 - 8 writing exercises per module.

1

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

2

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

3

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

4

Module 4: Course wrap-up


- How to maintain effective document version control

- How to monitor your writing productivity

- Course recap and additional resources


Testimonials

Click here to read more testimonials

Geordie Scott-Walker

Consultant Ecologist 

"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."

Sherine Jansz

Medical Research

"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."

Clancy Hall

Research Scientist

"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."

Simone Haigh

Environmental 

Project Manager

"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

Manjeeti Juggernauth

Marine Biologist

"...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!"

Roxanne Francis

Research Scientist

"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."

Course Fees

Self - study members

Immediate access to the course library. Self-guided learning. 


$

145

  • Immediate start.
  • Work at your own pace.
  • 1 year access to Course Library.
  • Technical support Mon-Fri
  • Writing Exercises (with example answers).
  • Downloadable worksheets & handouts. 
Premium Members 

Next release: 28th October. 4 modules released over 4 weeks with tutorials, live Q&A sessions and feedback on writing exercises.

$

425

  • 4 modules released over 4 weeks.
  • Tutorial Group & 4 Tutorial Webinars.
  • 1 year access to Course Library.
  • Feedback on Writing Exercises 
  • Downloadable worksheets & handouts. 
  • Monthly live Q&A Webinars.

(To request an invoice prior to booking, please email admin@writingclearscience.com.au)

Membership Features

Self-Study Membership

The self-study membership gives you 12 months access to the entire online course library. Budget-conscious students can work at their own pace and use the study guides to help progress through the course. 


Premium Membership

In addition to 12 months access to the entire online course library, premium members have access to regular live Q&A and tutorial webinars, where Marina answers your questions and offers further tuition on key topics covered in the course. You will also receive written feedback on your writing exercise answers and access to the online tutorial group. 

Premium Membership Bonuses

- A colour-printed, ring-bound copy of all course handouts and worksheets.

- 12 month subscription to the Daily Writing Tips email newsletter. Topics range from grammar, style, punctuation, spelling and vocabulary.

- 50% discount on 1 future course enrolment if you submit all writing exercise answers for feedback.

Bonus

Premium Member Bonuses!

The bonuses listed below are only available with the Premium Course subscription.  

Bonus 1*

A colour-printed hardcopy workbook

You will receive a colour-printed hardcopy workbook of all writing exercises, worksheets, course guides and lecture handouts.

Bonus 2*

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.

Bonus 3*

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,

Bookings for the next Premium Membership release close: October 21st 2021


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(To request an invoice prior to booking, please email admin@writingclearscience.com.au)

Frequently Asked Questions

How much time will it take to complete the course?

- The minimum time commitment is 1-3 hours per week, depending upon how much time you take to complete each writing exercise, what module you are working on, how much writing you do as you complete the course and whether you are a self-study or premium member. 

- While completing the course, you are encouraged to prepare a first draft of a document. How long you take to do this is up to you. 

- For premium members, during the 4 week course release, Marina hosts a live tutorial webinar every week. These tutorial last 25-30 minutes and the replays are posted in the course library in case you cannot attend.

Is the course taught by live online lectures?

No. All educational material is delivered through the online course library. All lectures are available as pre-recorded videos (maximum 20 minutes in length). The exercises and worksheets need to be downloaded and completed on your own computer.

Premium members receive additional tuition and assistance via 4 weekly live tutorials where Marina discusses the exercises and key teaching principles in further depth and answers any questions. In addition, premium members can attend the live monthly Q&A sessions. All tutorials and Q&A webinars are recorded if you cannot attend live.

Can I do the exercises if I don't have a current project?

Yes. The writing exercises are designed to help you produce content for a current document. However, you can choose a completed project or design a hypothetical project to help you complete the writing exercises and achieve your learning objectives.

Is being far away from Australia a difficulty for taking this course?

No. If you submit an exercise for feedback, Marina takes an average of 1-3 days to respond. If you have any problems with any aspect of the course, we will respond within 24 hours and aim to solve your issues in the shortest possible time. The live tutorial and Q&A webinars (for premium members) are run at 2pm AEDT, so you would need to check your timezone to see if you could attend live. Otherwise, the replays are placed in the course library within 24 hours.

Is the course suited to non-researchers?

- The course is suited to people completing their own research and publishing papers, managing scientific projects and writing reports or writing about research completed by others. 

- The course is suited to you if you regularly write science reports and work to solve applied problems with scientific procedures and protocols.

- If you do not have a science degree, you are expected to be thoroughly familiar with how science works and the principles of producing and reporting scientific information. Read Marina's blogpost What is science writing?

Do I have to start the course immediately?

If you purchase the Self-Study membership you can start the course immediately and complete it in your own time. You have 12 months access to the course library.

If you purchase the Premium membership you can start at the next course release which is Thursday October 14th. Four modules are released over four weeks along with weekly tutorial webinars. You will have 12 months access to the course library and monthly live Q&A sessions.

How do you define 'science writing'?

Marina define's broadly defines science writing as writing about science.


"...The key feature of all types of science writing is that the topic under discussion is a scientific topic:  that the information presented has been gathered, analysed and critiqued using accepted scientific methods. This is true whether you are presenting new science (e.g. research papers, theses), reviewing research by others (e.g. literature reviews, desktop reviews), reporting scientific approaches and methods to solve commercial or industry issues (e.g. reports, policy reviews) or writing about the astonishing world of science (e.g. news or magazine article)."

Read more from Marina's blogpost 'What is Science Writing?'.

Are there other ways to pay besides going through the Trybooking link?

Yes. To request an invoice or other ways to pay, please download, then complete the pdf Registration Form, and return to admin@writingclearscience.com.au.

Do you teach grammar or how to improve my sentences in this course?

No. Grammar rules, how to write clear sentences and paragraphs and how to write clearly and succinctly. are topics covered in face-to-face workshops and in a new online course (available late 2021).

However, if you are a Premium student and submitting your exercise answers for feedback, Marina may include additional feedback on how to improve your writing if the meaning is unclear.

Is this course suitable if English is my second language?

Yes. However, you are expected to be able to write grammatically-correct sentences in English. Grammar rules, how to write clear sentences and paragraphs, and how to write clearly and succinctly are not covered in this course.

However, if you are a Premium student and submitting your exercise answers for feedback, Marina may include additional feedback on how to improve your writing if the meaning is unclear.

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 more about my background  au.linkedin.com/in/marinahurley/

Read my blog here

Marina Hurley

Refund Policy

You can apply for a 100% refund if you are not satisfied with the course within 7 days of your booking. Please note that you will not be eligible for a refund if you have progressed further than Step 2 Module 1. Please also read our Terms & Conditions

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