The Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences

Developing writing skills

The ability to succintly communicate topics related to scientific research in writing is paramount to success regardless of one's career. Writing in graduate school is essentially inescapable, as manuscripts, grants, and theses are required to summarize and report one's scientific findings as well as to evaluate a student's success. Abstracts, case studies, and reviews are also common. In addition, it is important to be able to communicate science to audiences outside of your relevant field or perhaps outside of science altogether. Students should continually work on developing their writing skills in order to improve the quality, clarity, and effectiveness of their writing. Here are some resources to help you do just that:



Campus resources:


Online resources:




  • Get involved as a regular contributor or as a guest writer for the Huck Student blog (coming soon!)
  • Become a reviewer for the Huck Peer Review/Editing group (coming soon!)
  • Online blogging about your research, career development, graduate student life, or science in general
  • Contact Penn State research journals (e.g. Eberly College of Science Science Journal) about doing some freelance writing
  • Write for newsletters or local newspapers
  • Start a writing group with other graduate students in your department or across departments
  • Get feedback from your adviser, mentors, and peers as often as possible
  • Read widely both inside and outside of your discipline