Links to Additional Sources

More Resources for Users of Writing Science in the Twenty-First Century

The books, articles, and web resources that follow are listed by the chapters of WSTFC for which they are most helpful. This section of the WSTFC website will grow and be updated at least annually, especially as new resources become available. Look for updates!

Chapter by chapter:

Introduction: “Writing Science for New Readers, with New Technologies, in New Genres”

Perrault, S. (2013) Communicating Popular Science: From Deficit to Democracy. Palgrave Macmillan.

Emphasizes scientists’ recognizing the need for respect for all audiences and their importance in debating scientific issues. Critiques science “boosterism” and the uncritical acceptance of what science proclaims.

Latour, B. and S. Woolgar 1979. Laboratory Life: The Social Construction of Scientific Facts. Sage.

Refutes the idea of “objectivity” by working scientists through the authors’ close analysis of how scientific practice and discourse are shaped by social forces in the scientific community. Demonstrates the difficulty of scientists’ understanding and relating to the needs and discourses of non-scientists.

Bazerman, C. 1988. Shaping Written Knowledge: The Genre and Activity of the Experimental Article in Science. U.of Wisconsin Press. Available at http://wac.colostate.edu/books/bazerman_shaping/shaping.pdf

This book is particularly valuable for its historical analysis of the continuing evolution of the experimental article as rhetorical needs and practices evolve.

Chapter One: “Writing to Reach Readers”

Matthews, D. (2019). “A Nobelist’s Life Lessons: Michael Kosterlitz explains physics to the non-specialist.” Times Higher Education, July 26. https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2019/07/26/nobel-prize-winner-discusses-his-lessons?utm_source=Inside+Higher+Ed&utm_campaign=aa786cb6c3-DNU_2019_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_1fcbc04421-aa786cb6c3-197362777&mc_cid=aa786cb6c3&mc_eid=df866340bc

This interview exemplifies the us-vs.-everyone-else position (which I argue against in Chapter One) that explaining physics research to “the man or woman in the street” is an “impossible task” for physicists.

Murphy, J. and C. Thaiss, eds. (2020). A Short History of Writing Instruction: From Ancient Greece to the Contemporary United States. Routledge. (Forthcoming)

This collection follows the evolution of rhetorical principles in Western thought and teaching over 2500 years. Puts the emphasis of WSTFC on the “six categories of rhetorical analysis” in historical context.

Chapter Two: “Building Experience and Confidence in Writing Science”

J. Lang, 2016. Small Teaching: Everyday Lessons from the Science of Learning. Jossey Bass.

Darby, F., and J. Lang. 2019, Small Teaching Online: Applying Learning Science in Online Classes, Jossey Bass.

These two books give many examples of writing- and speaking-rich activities based on similar “active learning” principles such as those that inspire Chapter Two of WSTFC.

Bean, J. (2011). Engaging Ideas: The Professor’s Guide to Integrating Writing, Critical Thinking, and Active Learning in the Classroom. 2nd ed. Jossey Bass.

Now-classic text that teaches teachers ways to use writing successfully for learning in classes across disciplines, including STEM.

Reynolds, J., C. Thaiss, W Katkin, R. Thompson (2012). “Writing-to-Learn in Undergraduate Science Education: A Community-Based, Conceptually Driven Approach.” CBE—Life Sciences Education, Vol. 11, 17–25, Spring 2012 https://www.lifescied.org/doi/pdf/10.1187/cbe.11-08-0064

Describes a system for designing and assessing writing-to-learn techniques in STEM teaching.

Stone, A. (2018). “Writing as a Mediator for Conceptual Change: A Targeted Activity to Help Students Uncover Their Misconceptions in an Introductory Physics Class.” Double Helix, vol. 6

Glynn, S. M., & Muth, K. D. (1994). “Reading and writing to learn science: Achieving scientific literacy.” Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 31, 1057–1073.

Both articles exemplify principles described in Chapter Two and the rhetorical approach used throughout WSTFC. Articles reinforce the concepts underlying the teaching methods described in the Instructor’s Guide for WSTFC.

Duran, L. B. and E. Duran. (2004). “The 5E Instructional Model: A Learning Cycle Approach for Inquiry-Based Science Teaching.” Science Education Review, v3 n2 p49-58.

From the Abstract: “The implementation of inquiry-based teaching is a major theme in national science education reform documents such as ‘Project 2061: Science for All Americans’ (Rutherford & Alhgren, 1990) and the ‘National Science Education Standards’ (NRC, 1996) These reports argue that inquiry needs to be a central strategy of all science curricula… Although there are several variations of learning cycles, the one that is highlighted in this manuscript as a method to support inquiry-based teaching is the 5E Instructional Model (Bybee & Landes, 1990). The use of this model in several science education professional development programs is also addressed.”

Project Kaleidoscope, Transforming STEM Education, AAC&U http://www.aacu.org/pkal

Project Kaleidoscope (PKAL) is AAC&U’s center of STEM higher education reform dedicated to empowering STEM faculty, including those from underrepresented groups, to graduate more students in STEM fields who are competitively trained and liberally educated.

Chapter Three: “’Writing’ Redefined Multimodally”

C. R. Miller and A. R. Kelly, eds. (2017). Emerging Genres in New Media Environments. Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan.

This collection demonstrates ways in which new media are changing the concept of “genres” in writing and creating new genres.

T. Winkleman. (2019). “CRISPR Comes to the Silver Screen.” Science. Vol. 365, issue 6455, Aug. 23, 2019. https://www.sciencemagazinedigital.org/sciencemagazine/23_august_2019/MobilePagedReplica.action?u1=41665234&utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=TXSCI2190822003&pm=2&folio=764#pg44

The CRISPR example from Chapter Three of WSTFC is augmented by this review of a new film by Adam Bolt. The reviewer describes the technical virtuosity of the film but questions its accuracy and bias, thus highlighting issues from Chapters Four and Eight of WSTFC.

“Top 100 Science Blogs, Websites, and Newsletters to Follow in 2019” https://blog.feedspot.com/science_blogs/

Feedspot is a marketing site for bloggers and advertisers. Good resource for exemplary designs in multimodal STEM-relevant blogs, as well as websites and newsletters. Also useful for Chapter Nine of WSTFC.

Chapter Four: Writing Science Ethically

Roig, M., 2015. Avoiding Plagiarism, Self-Plagiarism, and Other Questionable Writing Practices: A Guide to Ethical Writing. Office of Research Integrity, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. http://ori.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/plagiarism.pdf

Authoritative guide cited several times in Chapter Four.

Kim JG, HK Kong, K. Karahalios, WT Fu, H Hong. 2016. “The power of collective endorsements: credibility factors in medical crowdfunding campaigns. ”Proceedings of the 2016 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems May 7. 4538–4549. https://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=2858289.

Based on interview research, describes influential strategies that crowdfunders use successfully to garner donations. Pertinent to the focus of Chapter Four on claims and “over-claims” in STEM research.

T Caulfield, AR Marcon, B Murdoch, JM Brown, S Tinker Perrault, J Jarry, J Snyder, SJ Anthony, S Brooks, Z Master, C Rachul, U Ogbogu, J Greenberg, A Zarzeczny, R Hyde-Lay. 2019.
“Health Misinformation and the Power of Narrative Messaging in the
Public Sphere.” Canadian Journal of Bioethics, 2019;2(2):52-60. https://cjb-rcb.ca/index.php/cjb-rcb/article/view/141/75

Useful article in describing strategies for counteracting misinformation. Emphasizes the role that scientists need to play in this counteracting effort.

Flaherty, C. (2019). “Abstract ‘Spin’.” Inside Higher Education, August 5, 2019. https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2019/08/06/study-says-authors-exaggerate-their-findings-paper-abstracts?utm_source=Inside+Higher+Ed&utm_campaign=6cd3965160-DNU_2019_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_1fcbc04421-6cd3965160-197362777&mc_cid=6cd3965160&mc_eid=df866340bc

Summarizes new study: “Study says authors exaggerate their findings in paper abstracts, and that’s a problem when readers take them at face value.” Exemplifies concerns expressed in Chapter Four. Use of linked source by this summary exemplifies accessibility of peer-reviewed literature by non-scientist readers, as described in Chapter Five.

Jellison, S., et al. (2019). “Evaluation of spin in abstracts of papers in psychiatry and psychology journals.” BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine. http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjebm-2019-111176

This is the study summarized and linked to the Flaherty article. Note how the Introduction defines terms (e.g., “spin”) for the benefit of non-specialist readers. This practice exemplifies “audience splitting,” as described in Chapter Five of WSTFC.

Special Issue: Ownership, Authorship, & Copyright
Guest Editors: Karen J. Lunsford, John Logie, TyAnna Herrington
Kairos 24:1 (Aug. 2019) http://kairos.technorhetoric.net/24.1/coverweb/lunsford-et-al/index.html

Articles and reviews on intellectual property issues mainly in regard to digital content and pedagogy.

Chapter Five: “Writing the Research Article, Part I: Abstract, Introduction, and Methods and Materials”

Bazerman, C. (1988). Shaping Written Knowledge: The Genre and Activity of the Experimental Article in Science. U.of Wisconsin Press.

Also referred to under Introduction resources. This book is particularly valuable for its historical analysis of the evolution of the experimental article—which evolution continues—as rhetorical needs and practices evolve.

See the Jellison et al. article, listed above for Chapter Four, as example of “audience splitting.”

Chapter Six: “Writing the Research Article, Part II: Results and Discussion”

Y. Kim, G. Parada, S. Liu, and X. Zhao (2019). “Ferromagnetic soft continuum robot.”
Science Robotics 28 Aug 2019: Vol. 4, Issue 33, eaax7329
DOI: 10.1126/scirobotics.aax7329 https://robotics.sciencemag.org/content/4/33/eaax7329

This article’s Discussion section (1) exemplifies the inclusion of suggestions for needed further research and (2) explains limitations of the current study. Both these practices are advocated in Chapter Six of WSTFC, and can therefore be useful as an example of good practice.

Chapter Seven: “Writing the Research Review”

John B. Wallingford. 2019. “The 200-year Effort to See the Embryo.” Science. Vol. 365, issue 6455, Aug. 23, 2019. https://www.sciencemagazinedigital.org/sciencemagazine/23_august_2019/MobilePagedReplica.action?u1=41665234&utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=TXSCI2190822003&pm=2&folio=758#pg38

Chapter Seven of WSTFC uses an example from tomography in explaining the features of the research review. This research review, also from imaging technology, again exemplifies what I call the Type A form of the review. The review further illustrates the history of imaging (a topic in Chapter Three) in the representation of the embryo. Note also the informative timeline infographic (a topic in my Chapter Ten) on p. 759 of the article.

Chapter Eight: “STEM Journalism: Writing, Reading, and Connecting with Broader Audiences”

Kluger, J. (2017). Apollo 8: The Thrilling Story of the First Mission to the Moon. New York: Henry Holt.
By the co-author of Apollo 13, excellent example of a science journalist using clear analogies to explain the science of space flight.

Annual series: The Best American Science and Nature Writing. Various editors. Tim Folger, Series Editor. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Outstanding cross-disciplinary anthologies that exemplify the principles described in Chapter Eight.

See other recommendations below under Chapter Twelve.

Chapter Nine: “Science Blogs: New Readers, New Voices, New Tools”

“Top 100 Science Blogs, Websites, and Newsletters to Follow in 2019” https://blog.feedspot.com/science_blogs/

Feedspot is a marketing site for bloggers and advertisers. Good resource for exemplary multimodal science-relevant blogs. Note representation of both self-sponsored and organization-sponsored blogs. Also cited under resources for Chapter Three.

Stokel-Walker, C. (2019). “Worm robot could wiggle its way through arteries in the brain.” New Scientist Blog. https://www.newscientist.com/article/2214657-worm-robot-could-wiggle-its-way-through-arteries-in-the-brain/#ixzz5xvjbtcM2

Example of organization-sponsored blog article that is linked to the peer-reviewed IMRD journal article from Science Robotics https://robotics.sciencemag.org/content/4/33/eaax7329. Note contrast in intended audiences between the blog entry and the IMRD article, as indicated by differences in language, emphasis, and style.

Best of the Web Blogs https://blogs.botw.org/

Index of thousands of blogs across all disciplines, including STEM fields, and hundreds of interest areas. Excellent site for comparison of blogs by design features, uses of media, rhetorical approaches, etc.

Chapter Ten: “Creating Posters and Infographics”

Morrison, M. 2019, #better posters: How to create a better research poster, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1RwJbhkCA58

Flaherty. C. 2019. “#betterposter.” Inside Higher Education, June 24, 2019. https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2019/06/24/theres-movement-better-scientific-posters-are-they-really-better

From the article: “There’s a movement for better posters at science conferences. But are they really better? And how does poster push relate to the ongoing campaign for open science?”

See Wallingford, above, under resources for Chapter Seven.

Chapter Eleven: “Creating Oral-Visual Presentations”

Tufte, E. (1990, 2001). Envisioning Information. Cheshire, CT: Graphics Press.

This is an early book (one of many) by the well-known theorist of information design. He is probably best-known as a critic of how Power Point is used (and abused) in presentations.

Ten Secrets for Using PowerPoint Effectively/Think Outside the Slide…www.thinkoutsidetheslide.com/ten-secrets-for…

Creative suggestions for getting the most out of PowerPoint’s recent editions.

TED Talks https://www.ted.com/about/our-organization

From the website: “TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less). TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged, and today covers almost all topics — from science to business to global issues — in more than 100 languages. Meanwhile, independently run TEDx events help share ideas in communities around the world.” In Chapter Eleven, I advocate watching a variety of these talks as a way to expand and refine your own presenting skills.”

Chapter Twelve: “Writing with Style and Styles”

As you read this chapter, refer back to the discussion of “style and tone” in Chapter One (pp. 36-39). Whereas Chapter Twelve deals with aspects of style that cut across all genres and most writing situations, the “style and tone” part of Chapter One deals with what makes styles different in different situations and with different writers.

Try experimenting, as my STEM students have, with different styles for communicating the same information, but to different readers in different genres. For example, try turning your IMRD research report into a flyer for non-scientists, or into a website or blog entry for other groups of users.

The Best of the Web Blogs site https://blogs.botw.org/ is a great site for finding blogs that use a conversational, informal style that contrasts beautifully with the formal, highly professional style of the IMRD research articles that are often linked to the blog posts.

Also regarding style and styles, check out the examples and recommendations described above under resources for Chapter Nine.

For a journalistic style, the websites for

• National Geographic http://nat.geo.com
• the National Wildlife Federation blog, https://blog.nwf.org/?_ga=2.150927222.1932914546.1567183741-1282234833.1565368679
• and the American Physical Society (APS) Policy News https://www.aps.org/policy/

are among the many STEM sites that exemplify for you not only the journalistic principles I describe in Chapter Eight—but also the multiple uses of media that I focus on in Chapter Three.

For example, read the APS News piece (May 2019) on the international helium shortage. This short APS article links to an NBC News article on the shortage: “Not just Party City: Why helium shortages worry scientists and researchers” https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/not-just-party-city-why-helium-shortages-worry-scientists-researchers-n1007151 . Note how such pieces show uses of the style tips I describe in Chapters Twelve and Eight.

Chapter Thirteen: “Editing Sentences”

The following resources enhance the editing advice given in the chapter and have the advantage of marking your text for a wide range of possible errors in syntax (grammar), punctuation, and spelling. Remember that these functions give only editing advice, not overall writing advice. Do not try to use them as a substitute for any other phase of the writing process. That’s not how they work.

• Grammar and spelling checkers in Microsoft Word

For Word users, these services are built in, though you have the option of using them or not. They are most useful for alerting you to possible problems in your sentences, but always make sure that they have indeed identified an error. They are far from infallible, and you should not let them bully you into making changes where you do not think changes are needed.

• Grammarly.com https://www.grammarly.com/?q=grammar&utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=Search&utm_term=english%20grammar%20sentence%20correction&matchtype=b&msclkid=7d1b848d39bb1e54df8bd9e455365a10

Grammarly comes in both free and “premium” (paid) versions, with the second much more powerful than the first, though the free version is much more sophisticated than the grammar and spelling checkers in Word. Grammarly is not available for Macs. The big advantage of Grammarly over the Word built-ins is that it gives you many options for alternative words and phrasings—and it explains the reasons why it has marked a concern.

Again, none of these tools substitutes for any other phase of the reading-writing process besides editing.