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Biological Sciences: Science Communication

Writing Help

Here is a list of resources for learning about how to write well. Writing about biology research requires special considerations in terms of style, clarity, and content, so some of these resources specifically cover science writing. This list will be updated as resources are created and discovered.

The Elements of Style

The Elements of Style is the definitive text and classic manual on the principles of English language read by millions of readers. The 18 main topics are organized under the headings, “Elementary Rules of Usage,” “Elementary Principles of Composition,” “A Few Matters of Form,” “Words and Expressions Commonly Misused,” and “Words Often Misspelled.” Written in an engaging and witty style, the book emphasizes simplicity, orderliness, and sincerity in writing.

Science Communication Workshops

Mellon College of Science has excellent resources for learning about science communication. Download slides, schedule a meeting, and view upcoming events at the Science Communication Workshop Website

Short Guide to Writing About Biology

This best-selling writing guide by a prominent biologist teaches students to think as biologists and to express ideas clearly and concisely through their writing.


Providing students with the tools they'll need to be successful writers in college and their profession, A Short Guide to Writing about Biology emphasizes writing as a means to  examine, evaluate, share, and refine ideas. The text teaches students how to read critically, study, evaluate and report data, and how to communicate information clearly and logically.


Students are also given detailed advice on locating useful sources, interpreting the results of statistical tests, maintaining effective laboratory and field notebooks, writing effective research proposals and poster presentations, writing effective applications, and communicating information to both professional and general audiences.

Writing in the Sciences

This free online course developed at Stanford, Writing in the Sciences, teaches scientists to become more effective writers, using practical examples and exercises. Topics include: principles of good writing, tricks for writing faster and with less anxiety, the format of a scientific manuscript, and issues in publication and peer review. Students from non-science disciplines can benefit from the training provided in the first four weeks (on general principles of effective writing).

Student Academic Success Center

The Student Academic Success Center at CMU provides resources for supporting students' efforts to improve written, oral, and visual communication skills.  The GCC supports any student, at any level, in any discipline, at any stage of the composing process.  The GCC offers free one-on-one tutoring for academic communication projects on the first floor of the Hunt Library.

Biological Sciences, Biomedical Engineering, and Neuroscience Librarian

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Melanie Gainey
Mellon Library
4th Floor Mellon Institute