Writing and Publishing: Resources for Researchers and Scholars

This guide is brought to you by the Office of Scholarly Communications, where our goal is to help you reach yours.

Expert Advice on Writing about Science for the Public

‚ÄčThe following publications and websites present the fundamentals of explaining science to nonscientists using a variety of media.

Communicating Science – training for graduate students

Website:   ComSciCon Programs

"Communicating science is a workshop series organized by graduate students, for graduate students, focused on science communication skills.Our goal is to empower future leaders in technical communication to share the results from research in their field to broad and diverse audiences, not just practitioners in their fields." – from the ComiSciCon website

Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science, SUNY Stony Brook

Website:  The Alda Center

"The Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science empowers scientists and health professionals to communicate complex topics in clear, vivid, and engaging ways; leading to improved understanding by the public, media, patients, elected officials, and others outside of their own discipline." 

--from the website

Greene, Anne E.  Writing Science in Plain English. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2013.

            Greene lays out the core principles of good, strong, clear writing and elaborates with a plethora of examples illustrating how to apply them. She strives to replicate the experience which the reader would receive in her own writing class; it is evident that she invests quite a lot of time in editing student work.

Harmon, Joseph E.; and Alan G. Gross.  The Craft of Scientific Communication. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010. 

            In the first part of this book, Harmon and Gross provide instructions for writing the various components of a scientific journal article – posing a research problem, choosing a title, structuring the argument, preparing the methods section, and citing sources. In the second part, they discuss proposals, presentations, and articles for lay audiences. In the third section, they conclude with two chapters on writing styles. The two chapters on PowerPoint presentations may seem dated, but the advice regarding the use of visuals remains relevant.

Montgomery, Scott L.  The Chicago Guide to Communicating Science.  2nd ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2017. 

            "Through solid examples and concrete advice, Montgomery sets out to help scientists develop their own voice and become stronger communicators. He also teaches readers to think about their work in the larger context of communication about science, addressing the roles of media and the public in scientific attitudes as well as offering advice for those whose research concerns controversial issues such as climate change or emerging viruses. More than ever, communicators need to be able to move seamlessly among platforms and styles. The Chicago Guide to Communicating Science's comprehensive coverage means that scientists and researchers will be able to expertly connect with their audiences, no matter the medium." – from the publisher's website