Hoatlin:Writing Class with Rachel Dresbeck

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Please start your comments with ~~~~, your automatic wiki-signature will appear after save, like this : Maureen 23:10, 18 August 2006 (EDT)


Tuesday September 5, 11 am in MRB 622


Maureen, Linda M, Guy, David F (BMB Grad Prgm Director), Rachel D

Goals for the meeting

Plan logistics for setting up a custom writing class for second year BMB graduate students for Winter term

Class Description from Vollum Website

This course is an in-depth professional science writing course open to all OHSU researchers. The writing program has two main elements: the weekly two-hour seminar and the weekly individual tutorial.

The seminar is designed on the model of the writing workshop, in which participants bring writing to class each week and the class discusses strategies and options for revising. The workshop is an efficient way to improve writing because it helps you to understand how your writing is coming across to an audience who ought to be able to understand your work: your colleagues. This workshop also helps you develop a vocabulary that you can use to assess writing, which will help you become a more attentive and responsive reader, peer reviewer, teacher, and colleague. We will cover basic elements of good scientific writing style, including document, paragraph, and sentence structure, as well as answer nagging questions about grammar, punctuation, and usage.

The tutorials are held once a week, for about an hour. Here, we will work intensively on whatever skills or problems you would like to address by going over the professional writing you are working on.


  • To help you write-and therefore think-more clearly
  • To improve formal science writing abilities (grammar, style, punctuation)
  • To improve logic, structure, and rhetoric
  • To learn to target different audiences
  • To learn constraints of writing and how to overcome them
  • To receive individualized coaching for manuscripts, grants, job applications, and other professional writing projects
  • To improve your ability to read and edit the work of others

Audience: Researchers, Neuroscience Graduate Program students, other graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, faculty Dates & Times: This course is offered three times per year: Winter, Spring, Fall; 9.30 am-11.30 am Wednesdays, with additional tutorial times by appointment Duration: 8 weeks Location: Vollum 4M


Article on Scientific Writing

Task list/who will do it

Meeting notes

  • Current Structure details
    • 8-10 students
    • 8 weeks of workshop seminar Wed 9:30 -11:30 1x a week
    • practical examples : principles 1/2 time, 1/2 peer review.
    • 6 one-hour private tutorials (can be divided up)
    • starts Fall Sept 27th
    • currently non-credit
  • Adapting Class to BMB
    • for BMB has to be for credit, graded (P/F?)
    • Winter, Spring OK this year (ex: need to write NRSA)
    • Best fit is summer of 2nd year to help with quals
    • Advisor/student/Rachel will decide on appropriate practical example to work on.
  • Problems considered
    • Is this too much help for students? Discussion was that helping the students with writing structure is better for the students and that weaknesses will still be identified
  • Action Items
    • Rachel will email article on scientific writing, book titles on scientific presentation. Maureen 13:35, 21 December 2006 (EST) done

Will consider sitting in on Adv class to help with evaluation of presentations

    • Rachel needs to figure out about how assign credit w/ C. Cunninham
    • Rachel considering developing class for oral presentations
    • MEH to give feedback on writing class to D. Dorsa
  • Other
    • Try to get a blog style format for electronic grants-Guy (Info-ed?)

Meeting Dec 21

  • comments on the writing class being "too much help"
  • are all BMB students also PMCB students?
  • assigning credit issues
    • if credit is given then cost may increase unless Rachel is given a waiver
    • does class have to be given as a separate class or can students get credit while embedded in ongoing classes

Task List

  • Rachel will meet w/ Leslie H to get a waiver
  • if student is Ex-PMCB is money still there waiting for them?-ask Jeannie Sutter

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