Week 3: Writing Concisely

When we read blog posts, we expect to enjoy our experience. We expect it to be satisfying, interesting, and to require a lot or medium amount of effort. Blog posts are more likely to fit that description when the writing is concise and concrete. As a group, we made a not-so-concise sentence more concise and an abstract one more concrete.

We focused most of our time on sharing the outlines of the blog posts we’re working on. Prof. Coulson generously allowed us to all look at hers and help her point our areas where we might be lost as readers and would benefit from more concise or concrete writing.

Students: As you’re working on your blog posts, check out the apps Irregardless.ly and Hemingway App, which we can be use to identify problem areas and suggestions for improving text. It might be interesting to apply those apps to the scientific papers you’re writing about.

Do you find the research paper you’re blogging about to be generally concise and concrete, or does it have room for improvement in these areas? What kinds of changes can you make to the passages to make them more concise?


An announcement: Check out the University of Michigan’s “Teach-out” course on EdX (it’s free): Stand up for Science: Practical approaches to discussing science that matters.

Here are the Class 3 slides.

Featured Image: Correction by Quinn Dombrowski. CC BY-SA.

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Author: Rose Hendricks

I'm a PhD Candidate in Cognitive Science at UC San Diego. I work to better understand how metaphor shapes the way we perceive and think about the world.

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